In celebration of Heritage Day, the Digitlab #WorkFamily decided to share their varied digital heritage. It’s fascinating to see how everyone’s journey started into the world of tech that we all know and love! Happy Heritage Day Everyone!
Mike Saunders – CEO
First piece of tech: A Sony Walkman
How I got into digital: I was trying to find a way to market my band. I stumbled into MySpace and never looked back!
Steve Gardner – CTO
First piece of tech: Commodore 64 (Ja, I know some of you weren’t born yet – don’t rub it in).
How I got into Digital: While studying Architecture (buildings, not software), I started using digital media in presenting my designs and found it ticked more of my boxes than architecture. After qualifying, I decided to see if I could get into digital media and within six months I had found a business partner and set up my first digital business. That was 1999 and I ran that business until 2013 when we joined Digitlab.
Meegan Rourke-McGill – Client Director
First piece of tech: My dad bought my brother and me a desktop PC sometime around 1994/1995 and that’s the first real ‘tech’ I interacted with. You had to log out of Windows to DOS to play games like Wolfenstein and I remember reading the computer’s manual and learning some very basic coding. I also vividly remember playing hours of Microsoft Encarta MindMaze!
How I got into Digital: Owning a computer started me down the slippery slope of tech love. At varsity, I did courses in Internet Studies (yes we studied the internet) and Electronic Images (digital image manipulation and the ethics of it), where I learnt how to make a website using Microsoft Frontpage and Macromedia Dreamweaver. From there, I got involved in building a website at my first real job, and realised a career in digital media was actually where I wanted to be. That was when I joined Mike at Digitlab, and the rest as they say is history!
Darren Young – COO
First piece of tech: My first piece of tech that I owned was a Pentium 1 66mhz with 256mb of Ram and a 3dfx Voodoo 1 graphics card with 4mb of Ram.
How I got into Digital: I was into tech and designing websites and animations from 1997 while I was still at school.
Mandi Berghorst – Head of Research
First piece of tech: Sega game
How I got into digital: I’ve always had a passion for digital and became obsessed with the online world when joining Digitlab in 2012.
Tamlyn Dennekamp – Executive Assistant
First piece of tech: The first thing that I owned was an old Siemens cell phone – brick like. And while I owned it, SMS came out – and it changed my teenage life. I think I was 15 or 16 then.
How did you get into Digital: When Meegan asked me if I wanted to work at Digitlab, I didn’t hesitate as I had heard from her about what a great company Digitlab was. I have learnt SO much about digital since being here…even though if we’re honest I’m still kind of like the granny in the office and still have so much to learn 😉
Jenna Bowden – Graphic Designer
First piece of tech: My first piece of tech was a Phillips Savvy cellphone! You could hardly hear when someone called you…
How did you get into digital: I studied graphic design, so being online and working on a Mac became a way of life very quickly.
Nicholas Wiersma – Senior Software Developer
First piece of tech: The first piece of tech that I owned was in 1998 and was an old 386 computer that I scrounged parts to make. It was so slow that it would barely play mp3s.
How I got into digital: On that old 386 I started playing with software development as a hobby. The first thing I wrote (other than hello world) was a fire simulation that used pixel aggregation and really old assembly modes for display everything.
Caryn Alves – Digital Strategist/ Account Manager
First piece of tech: I got my first phone in Standard 1, think that’s 9 years old? 🙂 It was an Ericsson T28! I still have the same phone number – that’s pretty unique.
How I got into Digital: Got in to digital working here since 2013……where the future is 🙂
Steve Ilbury – Creative Strategist
First piece of tech: The first device I owned was one of those cheap Chinese TV game consoles. My first mobile device was a Nokia 3310 (long live Snake!).
How I got into Digital: Being the geek that I am I’ve always had an affinity with technology. My general interest in gaming, computers and the like combined with my qualifications in Multimedia Design and Marketing made the move into digital a logical step.
Nikolai Lombaard – Web Developer
First piece of tech: My 1st piece of tech owned was a 8-bit NES gaming system with a 40 in 1 game cartridge. My mom bought it for me in Kimberley on a Saturday morning, and after we bought the system at Reggies we went to eat at the Wimpy – longest meal of my entire existence. I was clutching the box with the system in under my arm the whole time. At Wimpy the box was standing next to me on a chair. After the meal we took the hour and a half drive home on. Needless to say it felt like years. A friend of mine came over that afternoon to set it in, no HD cables, no plug and play, no RGB cables no no, it was done via the RF cable on a other TV channel, for me it was channel 9 because SABC 1 2 and 3 were on channel 1 2 and 3.
How I got into digital: This Whole UHF band and setting stuff in was foreign to me but also so very interesting, 1st thing that popped into my head? How does it work. Long before Google and the internet so I had to be content with it just works. And boy did it work. I would unplug cables and plug them in elsewhere just to see what happens. I would set the TV channel out just to see if I could set it back in again. I would try different bands to see why UHF works but none of the others. I would play a level of Mario or Battle City and see if I can figure out how it was made. How the character moves and what would happen if I do this or that. Always trying to find a flaw or bug in the system and exploit it. Much later I would Google it and find out more but there with that 8bit NES system my interest was sparked. My interest was sparked.
Kyle Singh – Online Community Manager
First piece of tech: Probably my original Game boy; or cassette walkman.
How I got into digital: My dad would always be working on computers – I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have one in the house. I’ve always been passionate about technology, digital and games. Though I’ve studied different things, I’ve always loved digital and am happy to be working in a field that I really enjoy, and is suited to my capabilities.
Natasha Papini – Account Manager
First piece of tech: Owned as in actually bought myself? 🙂 If so, then it would have to be my iPad!
How I got into digital: I was introduced into digital through a running friend of mine! She owned a business where she developed websites, and she took me on and taught me all about CMS – one of the contributing factors that helped me get my job at Digitlab three years ago … So I will forever be grateful for the doors she opened up for me!
Adam Meikle – Community Manager
First piece of tech: My first video games console which was a Sega Mega Drive.
How I got into digital: I started my own gaming and videogame-centric blog with a friend, and then joined a gaming website as an editor a year or so later.
Sasheena Pillay – Bookkeeper
First piece of tech: Samsung B-Phone 2007, it had a media player on one side and was a phone on the other.
How I got into digital: I’m still learning about the Digital world, as my career is in Finance. I have recently joined Digitlab and I’m learning so much.
Ayanda Mhlanga – Online Community Manager & Junior Designer
First piece of tech: I unfortunately cannot pinpoint the very first piece of tech I owned, and I had a bunch of siblings so I probably didn’t ‘own’ much. I’m pretty sure the first piece of tech I owned was a Barbie doll, I mean…what is tech, everything, your fingers are tech. I also remember owning one of those cellphones that kept saying “Operator, can I help you?”
How I got into Digital: I ran a blog for one of the societies I was a part of at Uni.
Wesley Martin – Mobile Developer
First piece of tech: My first piece of real tech was a Pentium 2, which is actually really late to the game at my age.
How I got into Digital: When I left high school, I had never sent an email or opened a browser, the only thing I had done was use a word processing program and play a game or two. It was only through making new friends when I moved back to Durban that I was introduced to Tech and I just learnt from there.
Samantha Dawe – Copywriter
First piece of tech: Pretty sure it was probably a tomagotchi…
How I got into digital: While studying photography I fell in love with live music photography – and that is WAY too expensive on film, so I really got into digital photography because of that. The music photography led me online when I started writing for a music blog, and my career has been online ever since.
Philip Wilson – Community Manager
First piece of tech: I didn’t own a piece of tech until my early teens, when I got my first computer, but I do have very fond memories of our first computer at home. It must have been 1994 or 1995 when we got our first Hewlett-Packard computer. It was somewhere between beige and cream in colour, and I have distinct memories of trying to fix a dysfunctional ball mouse. But this is where my love of gaming originated. Do you remember the impossible game that was ski-free? I grew up on that. Getting chased by a Yeti that would always win.
How I got into digital: I was pretty much always in front of a computer in my teens: either tinkering with an open computer case or playing games. When we first got access to the internet, I found myself gravitating towards a digital social experience for the first time. Completely immersed in a computer game called World of Warcraft, I found myself administrating forums and websites that catered to our community of dwarves and elves and gnomes. I learnt very quickly how great a tool the internet was for bringing together like-minded individuals from all over the world, and all over the world of warcraft 😉
Megan White – Technical Copywriter
First piece of tech: I honestly don’t remember what my first piece of tech was…. a family PC?
How I got into Digital: I got into the industry by looking for a copywriting job and this is what turned up! Haven’t looked back since!
Denzil Krause – Client Manager
First piece of tech: Game boy type of game in 1995.
How I got into digital: I got into digital when I started working for Sublimemedia in 2009. I worked as a web developer.
Serena Seunarian – Digital Analyst
First piece of tech: Sony Walkma TPS-L2 – cassette player walkman
How I got into digital: As I grew, I watched my brother who is a Tech master mind and started learning first about computer hardware. Fast forward to 2010 I started studying online marketing, media and communications and realised this is the industry I want to be in 🙂
Reagan Gasa – Digital Research Analyst
First piece of tech: My first piece of tech as far as I can remember was a Sega 16-bit TV Game
How I got into digital: Largely from mobile. I was obsessed with cellphones, the latest cellphones, features, colour screens. You name it!Tags: digital, digital agency, DigitLab, Heritage, Heritage Day, interview Last modified: March 8, 2020