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 Mathematical Sciences (Computer Science)
2019 - 2021

SACS High School
National Senior Certificate (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 live TV appearance; 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, 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, for which we ended up as the overall winners.