Our People

Meet the team behind our pioneering products and solutions.

  • Jake
    Shepherd

    Technical Director
  • Michael
    Shapiro

    Managing Director
  • Darryl
    Govender

    Head Cloud Consulting
  • Steyn
    Basson

    Divisional Director
  • Tom
    Wells

    Chief Innovation Officer
  • Jeanette
    Fevrier

    Senior Developer
  • Marais
    Neethling

    Product Manager
  • Tjaard du Plessis

    Lead Architect and Account Manager
  • Warren
    Schay

    Senior Architect
  • Luke
    Machowski

    Product Development Manager
  • Darren
    Bak

    Business Analyst

Jake
Shepherd

Technical Director

Jake provides technical direction to members of the Synthesis team and is directly responsible for project deliverables and the direction of product architecture. He holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand. However, his passion for programming started many years ago when he got his first computer, a Commodore Vic20, and taught himself to program first in Basic, and then in assembly language. Before joining Dr Jack Cohen as co- founder of Synthesis Software Engineering in 1997, Jake was employed as a software engineer at Hatch Africa. He is passionate about mentoring many of the Synthesis team members and developing their skills to enhance the company’s capability.

Michael
Shapiro

Managing Director

Michael leads the strategy, marketing, sales, entrepreneurship and customer satisfaction for the company. He obtained a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1995 and has been active in the software development domain for the past 18 years. Prior to joining Synthesis he held various positions at Internet Solutions, Dimension Data and Miraculum. He has been with for Synthesis for the past 13 years, yet enjoys each day as if it were a new and fresh experience. He has strong interest in the FinTech sector and how technology and information security is shaping financial services. He is an avid trail-runner and road-runner and has completed the OTTER trail-run marathon, numerous road races - and intends to compete in many more events in the future.

Darryl
Govender

Head Cloud Consulting

Darryl is responsible for managing several of Synthesis’ client-based teams and solutions as well as building on Synthesis' cloud competencies and proprietary fabric. He completed his Information Systems Engineering diploma with distinction at Durban's CTI's Westville campus in 2005. At age 13, he had his first hands-on experience with computer programming while observing a friend create a simple Turbo Pascal program that flashed some coloured text to the screen. Soon he was spending most of his afternoons in the high school computer lab creating games and his own operating system, aptly named DarrylOS. After completing his diploma, he worked as an instructor for 18 months before moving to Johannesburg to pursue a more development-oriented career. He spent his early career specialising in Java and its ecosystem. This knowledge was applied to different industries such as banking, insurance and cataloguing systems. In 2014 he joined Synthesis and has since enjoyed the type of growth and exposure he had hoped for when originally starting his career more than 10 years ago.

Steyn
Basson

Divisional Director

Steyn is Divisional Director of Systems Integration. Prior to this role, he was a software engineer for Synthesis, which gave him extensive knowledge in this field, with a particular focus on treasury systems, financial exchanges and other regulatory systems. He studied at the University of Johannesburg, where he obtained his MSc degree in Computer Science. His research focused on the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), focussing on systems that employed AI to assist those with visual disabilities. Steyn has gained extensive experience in all aspects of the software engineering process and his fields of expertise include the development of API based components to integrate into various financial exchanges and regulatory systems including JSE Futures/Options, Spot Bonds/IRD, SARS IT3 and FATCA/CRS, as well as into various treasury systems that are in use at all major Banks within South Africa. He loves diving and travelling.

Tom
Wells

Chief Innovation Officer

Tom holds a BSc (Information Systems) Honours in Computer Science from Rhodes University in Grahamstown. His childhood was spent war-dialling with his 2400 modem, researching and building blue-boxes, harassing local BBS sysops, and being k-lined off ZAnet IRC servers. Although he wrote his first qbasic program at age 7, he sharpened his skills through reverse engineering, virus writing and social engineering hacks throughout high school. At university he met a group of like-minded hackers, learned to program C, installed slackware linux and once again got k-lined off IRC. His passion lies in the field of applied cryptography and the secure software development lifecycle. Tom is well known as a thought leader in Information Security and building secure digital platforms in South Africa. He attends and presents at many information security conferences especially dealing with the financial, payment card and banking sectors. For more of his insight, visit his blog www.tomwells.org.

Jeanette
Fevrier

Senior Developer

As a senior developer at Synthesis, Jeanette has been part of the team for the last 6 years. In this role, she provides niche solutions in collaboration with the client, integrating their feedback at every step of the development process. She obtained a BSc (Hons) Computer Science from the University of Greenwich in 2010. Following this, she worked on a diverse range of development projects, including solutions for online banking, trade finance and VAT reclaim systems, most of which have been Agile projects using the Scrum methodology. At Synthesis, she enjoys and appreciates the freedom she is given to be innovative, to work with cutting edge technologies and to focus on working closely with the client to ensure the end product adds true business value.

Marais
Neethling

Product Manager

Marais is responsible for product strategy, development and delivery to clients in the payments and Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) regulatory areas. From a young age, he showed an interest in technology and physical sciences, spending his time investigating various gadgets. This led him to study an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Pretoria. Prior to working at Synthesis, Marais developed bespoke software for various clients including payroll software, an electricity vending system and property valuation software. His current interests include web development, computational intelligence applications, payments technology, crypto-currencies and astronomy.

Tjaard du Plessis

Lead Architect and Account Manager

Tjaard leads the delivery of simple yet beautiful user experiences that are underpinned by sophisticated, targeted software architecture. He studied computer science at North-West University and obtained his master’s degree in image processing, pairing with a well-known astrophysicist.  He began his career at Accenture in software development, working for clients such as SARS, Edcon and Liberty. He joined Synthesis in 2012. He loves delving into the detail of the software craft but always roots this in real-world practicality. Software development is on the one hand something very technical and on the other hand, very personal. Tjaard loves bridging this gap, hence his fit with the Synthesis digital channels capability. He is an early adopter of anything tech and tries to balance his geekiness with any kind of sport or music.

Warren
Schay

Senior Architect

Warren completed his BSc (Cum Laude) in Electrical Engineering at the University of Witwatersrand and went on to complete an MSc(Eng) focussing on fuzzy name matching. From a young age, Warren had a passion for problem solving. After being introduced to programming at school, Warren was hooked by software’s dual logical and creative aspects. During his undergraduate degree, Warren interned at Synthesis and was the company’s first foray into graduate recruitment in 2007. Warren has a wide range of experience that includes anti-money laundering, wealth management and regulatory (SARB, SARS and FIC) reporting as well as asset and debtor finance. In addition to this, he was also involved in the development of an anonymous metal trading service.  Core to Warren’s development outlook is that software must be a business enabler, requiring close interaction and collaboration with business to deliver value as soon as possible. Warren takes a keen interest in new business areas and is passionate about mentoring and developing people to meet their full potential.He is currently studying an MBA to expand his business knowledge.

Luke
Machowski

Product Development Manager

Luke leads several projects relating to the regulatory compliance space at Synthesis. He holds a MSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Witwatersrand. His interest in technology began at age 7 when he started programming in Logo, quickly moving onto writing Turbo Pascal programs. During his studies, Luke relished in the fascinating ideas covered by the Low Current (and Software) Engineering degree at Wits and went on to pursue a Masters in Machine Intelligence. He remains involved with the university as an external examiner for the software course and occasionally external Master’s thesis. Luke is a firm believer in effective performance management and strives to build his team through a strong culture of mentorship and artefact-driven feedback.

Darren
Bak

Business Analyst

As the Lead Business Analyst for Synthesis, Darren manages a growing team of exciting Business Analysts that support the Synthesis Cloud Consulting offering and other company initiatives. He has an honours degree in Bsc Biomedical Science with a Postgraduate Diploma in Management as well as a Diploma in Business Analysis. He brings 10 years’ professional experience including product development at FNB Credit Card Division, multiple turn-key programmes in the fintech industry as well as group wide regulatory change initiatives for Nedbank and Standard Bank in the AML and Privacy space. Darren has acted as a project manager, business analyst and subject matter expert across a range of portfolios during his tenure at The IQ Business Group, FNB as well as Adept Advisory. In addition, Darren has a wealth of consulting experience within the financial, government and health sectors. Darren has expertise in implementing large SDLC and agile projects facilitating the development of the idea until the realisation and completion of all objectives. He is an avid golfer, loves watching Manchester United and Springboks, gardening and fine whiskey.

Jeanette
Fevrier

Senior Developer

As a senior developer at Synthesis, Jeanette has been part of the team for the last 6 years. In this role, she provides niche solutions in collaboration with the client, integrating their feedback at every step of the development process. She obtained a BSc (Hons) Computer Science from the University of Greenwich in 2010. Following this, she worked on a diverse range of development projects, including solutions for online banking, trade finance and VAT reclaim systems, most of which have been Agile projects using the Scrum methodology. At Synthesis, she enjoys and appreciates the freedom she is given to be innovative, to work with cutting edge technologies and to focus on working closely with the client to ensure the end product adds true business value.

Marais
Neethling

Product Manager

Marais is responsible for product strategy, development and delivery to clients in the payments and Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) regulatory areas. From a young age, he showed an interest in technology and physical sciences, spending his time investigating various gadgets. This led him to study an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Pretoria. Prior to working at Synthesis, Marais developed bespoke software for various clients including payroll software, an electricity vending system and property valuation software. His current interests include web development, computational intelligence applications, payments technology, crypto-currencies and astronomy.

Tjaard du Plessis

Lead Architect and Account Manager

Tjaard leads the delivery of simple yet beautiful user experiences that are underpinned by sophisticated, targeted software architecture. He studied computer science at North-West University and obtained his master’s degree in image processing, pairing with a well-known astrophysicist.  He began his career at Accenture in software development, working for clients such as SARS, Edcon and Liberty. He joined Synthesis in 2012. He loves delving into the detail of the software craft but always roots this in real-world practicality. Software development is on the one hand something very technical and on the other hand, very personal. Tjaard loves bridging this gap, hence his fit with the Synthesis digital channels capability. He is an early adopter of anything tech and tries to balance his geekiness with any kind of sport or music.

Warren
Schay

Senior Architect

Warren completed his BSc (Cum Laude) in Electrical Engineering at the University of Witwatersrand and went on to complete an MSc(Eng) focussing on fuzzy name matching. From a young age, Warren had a passion for problem solving. After being introduced to programming at school, Warren was hooked by software’s dual logical and creative aspects. During his undergraduate degree, Warren interned at Synthesis and was the company’s first foray into graduate recruitment in 2007. Warren has a wide range of experience that includes anti-money laundering, wealth management and regulatory (SARB, SARS and FIC) reporting as well as asset and debtor finance. In addition to this, he was also involved in the development of an anonymous metal trading service.  Core to Warren’s development outlook is that software must be a business enabler, requiring close interaction and collaboration with business to deliver value as soon as possible. Warren takes a keen interest in new business areas and is passionate about mentoring and developing people to meet their full potential.He is currently studying an MBA to expand his business knowledge.

Luke
Machowski

Product Development Manager

Luke leads several projects relating to the regulatory compliance space at Synthesis. He holds a MSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Witwatersrand. His interest in technology began at age 7 when he started programming in Logo, quickly moving onto writing Turbo Pascal programs. During his studies, Luke relished in the fascinating ideas covered by the Low Current (and Software) Engineering degree at Wits and went on to pursue a Masters in Machine Intelligence. He remains involved with the university as an external examiner for the software course and occasionally external Master’s thesis. Luke is a firm believer in effective performance management and strives to build his team through a strong culture of mentorship and artefact-driven feedback.

Darren
Bak

Business Analyst

As the Lead Business Analyst for Synthesis, Darren manages a growing team of exciting Business Analysts that support the Synthesis Cloud Consulting offering and other company initiatives. He has an honours degree in Bsc Biomedical Science with a Postgraduate Diploma in Management as well as a Diploma in Business Analysis. He brings 10 years’ professional experience including product development at FNB Credit Card Division, multiple turn-key programmes in the fintech industry as well as group wide regulatory change initiatives for Nedbank and Standard Bank in the AML and Privacy space. Darren has acted as a project manager, business analyst and subject matter expert across a range of portfolios during his tenure at The IQ Business Group, FNB as well as Adept Advisory. In addition, Darren has a wealth of consulting experience within the financial, government and health sectors. Darren has expertise in implementing large SDLC and agile projects facilitating the development of the idea until the realisation and completion of all objectives. He is an avid golfer, loves watching Manchester United and Springboks, gardening and fine whiskey.

We seek out smart people who thrive in a technically challenging environment.

We grow leaders with an entrepreneurial flair, who are as comfortable managing strategic discussions as they are in being hands-on and crafting a technical solution. Software development is not a support function to us, it is the lifeblood of what we do. For this reason we invest in people who are adept at building software that solves business problems. We support agile thinkers along a diverse career path in software where the options are limitless.

There is a reason why we’re a sought after employer. Our teams solve complex problems on a daily basis, and get involved in exciting, sophisticated development projects for blue-chip clients. Our people are also exposed to an open environment, with continual opportunities to learn from leaders in the field and put this into practice on high-impact projects. We combine the practical with the cerebral in a manner that gives us all a sense of purpose.

Join the Synthesis Team

The existing staff complement provides a highly capable, critical mass that has outstanding execution capabilities however Synthesis are always on the look out for strong software developers and analysts, in order to scale the business in a significant way.

At Synthesis, a challenging and rewarding position is just the beginning. If you’re a creative, innovative, dynamic individual, one who values teamwork and client satisfaction above all else, then we’re interested in speaking with you.

If you are interested in working for such an innovative company please email your CV to talent@synthesis.co.za.

Please note that if we do not contact you within 14 days you should please consider your application to be unsuccessful.

Graduate Recruitment and Professional Vacation Work for students

Please contact us on talent@synthesis.co.za to find out additional information on our Graduate Recruitment Programme as well as working for Synthesis during University breaks.

Yes, I'm interested in working at Synthesis!

I believe that Synthesis will be an essential partner on the road ahead

Coenie Louw - Capitec Bank's IT Manager: Payment Systems

Synthesis is a good partner as the company employs clever, highly competent people in their organisation

Daniel Ginsburg - COO VATit

I'm a huge fan of Synthesis - they're amazing

Raphael Grojnowski - CEO Mama Money

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