As the venerated elder of the engineering team, Barnard mostly writes code, provides insights into best practices and code structure, and shakes his head slowly when Justin and Adrian make dad jokes.
If you're a South African with a mobile phone, the chances are you've interacted with something Barnard has worked on in his illustrious career. Bought Crypto? Had your credit checked? Chatted with a significant other via Mxit? Bought sweets at a corner store? Barnard has touched all those industries in one way or another.
Barnard studied Engineering at Stellenbosch University but decided his true passions lay in software. As he likes to say:
You're going to end up with the same job but a lot sooner and much better prepared, plus you don't have to move to a mining town.
Given that all the software developers at Fynbos have engineering degrees, but nobody majored in computer science or software development, he seems to have a point.
In that vein, after completing a Diploma in Software development, Barnard would go on to complete his Bsc in Computing through UNISA while working full time. He kicked off his working career with a few startups in the Stellenbosch area ending up on the core team for Mxit where he built everything from chat bots, APIs for external developers, and myriad other things. He later went back to his startup roots, but this time in Cape Town, joining Luno, where he worked on automated customer onboarding (KYC), savings wallets, and instant buy and sell features, to name a few.
Originally intending to find something outside of fintech for his next challenge, Barnard met the Fynbos team and couldn't help but find their enthusiasm and unshakeable belief infectious. He couldn't resist and joined the team soon after.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to do pottery, despite having little to no artistic talents. I took a few classes as an adult and I made a piggy bank that I'm quite proud of. I call it Scrooge McPork.
Is there a skill you stopped working on that you would like to revisit?
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, in a pre-covid world I trained fairly regularly. I reached blue belt and have an unimpressive collection of bronze medals from various local competitions.
What are you currently reading?
For fun: Children of time - Adrian Tchaikovsky.
To try learn something: Atomic Habits - James Clear.
What’s the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I worked as an assistant librarian during school holidays. I learned that I don't get on well with the general public, and vice versa.
Lucky for us all, Barnard is no longer making small talk and trying to be polite to random strangers. Instead he's building out the guts of our awesome product!
Get on the waitlist and be one of the first to try it.