With five recent additions to the team we’re well overdue for some introductions. To help you get to know them we compiled a few key details on our latest Spidertracks stars - plus we hit them with some curly questions to really test their mettle. (Spoiler alert: some of our staff have not thought through their zombie apocalypse survival plans).
Sean Tindale - Chief Technology Officer
First up is Sean, our new CTO. Sean is a collector - specifically, a collector of hobbies, and has pretty much maxed-out his spare time quotient with mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon, home brewing, ukulele and surfing all making their separate demands.
Sean is married to Anita and they have two girls, Rose and Scarlett, who occasionally make Sean wonder just how he came to live in an all-female household (even the dog and cat are girls).
Professionally, Sean started out as a software developer some 19 years ago, and as a fan of all things tech he’s chuffed to now be in an environment that develops software and hardware too.
Someone he admires? “Winston Churchill. If I could choose one person, living or dead, to have as a dinner guest it would be him. I would love to ask him about his leadership and resilience through one of the darkest times in human history.”
Sean’s Zombie Apocalypse Plan: “Live on a boat with a fishing rod.”
Our Zombie Plan Assessment: 4/5. (He’s in trouble if zombies can swim).
Giri Giridharan - Chief Financial Officer
Giri joins Spidertracks after an extensive traverse through some of the biggest accounting firms in the world: Ernst & Young and PriceWaterhouseCoopers both make an appearance on his CV. His passion is helping Kiwi companies make their mark at a global level.
Giri originally hails from beautiful Sri Lanka and today lives on Auckland’s North Shore from where he and his family love to explore nature and wildlife through hiking, exploring and sports. A Kiwi of some 20 years now, Giri wanted to be either a train driver or musician when he grew up, and still loves the percussion instruments of South India. More recently he’s become fascinated by the world of satellite technology that Spidertracks moves in, telling us that it’s amazing that they orbit anywhere between 780kms from the planet and all the way out to 38,000km.
Giri’s dinner guest, of anyone alive or dead? “Barack Obama, the living legend. He rose up against all odds to be president and held the role twice in an esteemed manner. A great orator and an inspirational man.”
Giri’s Zombie Apocalypse Plan: “Pretend to be one!”
Our Zombie Plan Assessment: 5/5. A fresh approach. Meal times may be interesting but otherwise you’ll be fine.
We asked our new staff members what they last took a photo of on their phone, and got some eclectic pics!
Giri’s phone snap of Mt Cook.
Zandri Banks - Marketing and Comms Manager
Another South African Spidertracks team member, Zandri was raised on the Jacaranda-lined streets of Pretoria and moved to the UK for two years followed by New Zealand. That was eleven years ago, and despite dabbling with the idea of raising their family in Australia she and her husband have settled permanently in Aotearoa - not least because her kids were developing a deep Ocker accent and had started calling Christmas ‘Chrissy’.
Career-wise Zandri started her training in design and photography. She moved from there into the world of marketing, branding and communications, and has been working in the aviation industry for ten years.
Some fun facts about Zandri:
- She’s moved house 67 times (we call this ‘being on the run’)
- She collects cacti and vintage cameras
- Her favourite word is ‘pandiculation’ (literally: stretching when drowsy or on waking)
Zandri’s Zombie Apocalypse Plan: “Stay in New Zealand - they’ll never find us here“.
Our Zombie Plan Assessment: Either 1/5 or 5/5. A potentially brilliant plan resting on one potentially disastrous assumption...
Zandri’s daughter co-opts her phone for selfies
Cole Diffin - Technical Lead
Coding and fishing are Cole’s two great passions. And while he claims to be terrible at the latter (he cites ‘being out on the water, floating around with a rod not catching fish’ as his favourite pastime), he certainly knows a thing or two about computing.
“Coding should be fun,” says Cole. “And you should enjoy coming back to code that you have written, months or years later. So it makes sense to put time and effort into it the first time.”
Beyond the allure of tinkering with his boat or tinkering with sweet, sweet code Cole likes exploring anything new and interesting. (Did you know for example that even a small beer fridge taken off grid needs 80W in solar panels and an 80AH battery? Hey, we’re not saying everyone needs an off-grid beer fridge, but we’re also not saying you don’t…) He also loves travelling with his wife, who hails from Brazil. Tahiti, Rarotonga and of course Brazil all feature on their itinerary - while shorter domestic getaways are a great way to explore his home country of New Zealand.
Cole’s Zombie Apocalypse Plan: “Find, build, or locate an underground bunker. Build robots and use AI to train them to defeat zombies, until they eventually turn on their masters >cue Terminator soundtrack<”
Our Zombie Plan Assessment: 4/5. Positives: engineered own tech solution. Negatives: used Skynet AI instead of AWS.
Cole on holiday
Sharné Pieterse - Customer Success Agent
Sharné’s passion is aviation, so she’s set to be right at home here at Spidertracks. Originally from Johannesburg, and now based in the Spidertracks Cape Town office, Sharné has started working towards her private pilot’s license and loves flying radio controlled model planes with her two-year-old son Jayden and husband Marius.
Another outdoor enthusiast, she loves all the fun pursuits that life in South Africa offers, from surfing and hiking to wine-tasting.
Sharné lists her hidden talents as cake decorating and photography and says her guilty pleasure is drinking condensed milk (which is frankly a little strange, no?). As for her dream dinner date, she told us it would be her husband, if they could find the time (a classic raising-two-year-olds answer if ever we heard one).
Sharné’s Zombie Apocalypse Plan: Gotta shoot ‘em all!
Our Zombie Plan Assessment: 4/5. The classic approach. But will her ammunition supplies hold out? And will Fear the Walking Dead get a 6th season? So many questions.