Emile Ferreira full stack developer

Emile Ferreira

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

CEO and bot whisperer at InsiteBot.

Recipient of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellowship.

Breakthrough Developer of the Year, MTN Business.

years old

Cape Town, South Africa


CEO and bot whisperer



Senior Developer
OccuPi Space
FEB 2019 - JUN 2019

Intern Developer
Root Wealth
JUN 2017 - JUL 2017

MAR 2017 - JUN 2017

Web Developer
Aura Host
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 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 created a prototype smart mirror that displays the time, weather and my upcoming calendar events.

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 towards 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.

I began hosting computer science crash courses 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. We were invited to pitch our solution to the executive boards of Capitec Bank and Entersekt.

I wrapped up the academic year at Stellenbosch University with distinctions for all my subjects, 102% for computer science and a 90% average.


At 19 I became CEO to a tech startup; InsiteBot is an AI-powered website chatbot that's as easy to set up as editing a spreadsheet. It provides instant answers to your customer's questions, while gathering insights for your business and boosting leads. We launched on Product Hunt where it trended on the front page, netting us thousands of users and investor interest within hours.

I was awarded the SU academic merit bursary for being in the top 5% of the mathematical sciences faculty at Stellenbosch University. I was also selected to join the Golden Key International Honour Society as one of the top students at my university.

Bestee, my virtual assistant app, surpassed 50 thousand active users.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, I took part in the Harvard University CS50x Puzzle Day with a few friends. We did exceptionally well.

I built a web server using a laptop motherboard. It's running a private cloud syncing service (like dropbox) with 2TB of storage.