Emile Ferreira software developer

Emile Ferreira

Award-winning software developer and entrepreneur, changing the world one line of code at a time.

Founder at Besteeā„¢.

Recipient of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellowship.

Breakthrough Developer of the Year 2018.

years old

Cape Town, South Africa




Senior Developer
OccuPi Space
FEB 2019 - JUN 2019

Intern Developer
Root Wealth
JUN 2017 - JUL 2017

MAR 2017 - JUN 2017

Web Designer
Aura Design
JUN 2016 - JUL 2016


Stellenbosch University
BSc Computer Science
2019 - 2021

SACS High School
NSC (90% average)
2015 - 2018

Putter School
Design and UI
2016 - 2017

My story


I could type before I could write.

I was given my first computer at 4 years old. Two years later I was designing rudimentary computers, creating animated videos and impersonating David Attenborough.


At 12 years old I taught myself web coding (HTML, CSS and JavaScript). This enabled me to work as a freelance web developer. Within a year I had been commissioned and paid for my first website.

After 3 years I'd built up an extensive portfolio of websites and worked at a web design studio, whilst also honing my design skills.


I started development on my own video game - Light Bringer - which deals with the social issues that plague South Africa.

I had to learn 3D modelling and coding languages like C# and C++ to do this. Read this article by Unity and this one by Between 10 and 5.


At 16 years old I worked for Silicon Valley-based IT company Repl.it, alongside colleagues from Google and Facebook, whilst attending high school in Cape Town.

Later in the year I interned at Root, a company revolutionizing banking. I took this experience and developed a secure banking app which generates a random pin for each transaction and keeps your card disabled, except right when you need it. Unfortunately, this app got wrapped up in red tape and never launched publicly.

I attended the Google Cloud developers' conference which gave me insight into the future of cloud storage and computing. I also completed a design course at Putter School - furthering my creative pursuits.

I built my own computer from recycled laptop parts.


I received the Victoria scholarship from SACS High School for academic merit; the most prestigious award obtainable at school level.

A few weeks later I launched a beta version of Bestee. She's a virtual assistant app like Google Assistant or Siri but offline, private and much faster.

I was invited to the App of the year awards, hosted by MTN Business, where I was named breakthrough developer of the year and Bestee received the award for most innovative solution. I was also invited to present Bestee at the Web Summit in Lisbon.

I went on to make my first interview appearance on live TV; I was hosted on the Hectic Nine-9 show on SABC 2 to talk about my inspiring story.

I was awarded the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellowship to fund my further studies. The fellowship is given to the 100 most high-impact, responsible entrepreneurs in Southern Africa.

All of this whilst still in high school.


I began studying a degree in computer science at Stellenbosch University, funded by the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.

Noroff University in Oslo, Norway invited me as a guest lecturer to address their students on the journey to success in the world of technology.

I was featured in the Morning Brew; one of the biggest tech newsletters in the world. And I co-hosted a computer science crash course at Stellenbosch University, along with two friends, for charity.

I worked for OccuPi Space, a commercial property marketplace, as a senior developer - whilst juggling university lectures, scholarship commitments and Bestee's development.

I took part in the SU Hackathon, sponsored by Capitec Bank and Entersekt, along with my team of 3 first year computer science students. We developed a banking app that creates a Bluetooth Low Energy mesh network of all nearby devices, allowing for offline mobile banking in rural and developing areas. We ended up as the overall winners and look forward to continuining development on our app.