I'm a freelance Software Engineer, Designer and Photographer based in Paramaribo, Suriname. From interviewing Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer after achieving a Microsoft certification for software development in 2005, to taking the official portrait for the president of Suriname, H. E. D. D. Bouterse, shortly after his inauguration in 2010, my career so far has certainly not been without any high points.
I was born in 1978 in Nw. Nickerie, the capital of district Nickerie in Suriname. Starting at a very early age I developed both technical as well as artistic interests. I used to take apart toys and other (broken) electronics just to see what made them work. I frequently built my own toys. At the same time I also loved drawing and painting and loved to be creative. I'd say that I developed both my technical and artistic skills almost equally.
At the age of 15 I was introduced to the personal computer by a good friend and cousin. I was immediately hooked and that was the start of my software engineering career. In the years following that first introduction, my mind sucked up all the information I could find on computers and software engineering. I would spend many hours a day behind the computer writing programs, hacking other programs and trying things out to the point where it sometimes happened that I did not see my dad for a few days even though we lived, ate and slept in the same house. Needless to say, most of my life during that period was spent behind my computer. Fortunately all the time I spent behind my computer back then wasn't for nothing. At the age of 16 I had written my very first tailor-made application - a patient registration database - for the local hospital in Nickerie. And by the age of 21 I was regarded by many in the industry, including my peers, as one of the best available and technically more advanced software engineers in Suriname. And everything I knew was self-taught.
One of the high points of my software engineering career was achieving the Microsoft ISV certification for software development in 2005 during the time when I was working as the Manager for Application Development at a local IT company called ITEE N.V. Achieving that certification was very significant, not only because an application that I had written successfully went through the Windows certification program, but also because at that time this enabled ITEE N.V. to become the only Surinamese IT company, the first company in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the company with the highest certification in the West-Indies, that is certified to develop software on Microsoft platforms. This also led to me interviewing Microsoft's CEO, Steve Ballmer, for a local business magazine.
When I got introduced to the personal computer, I also brought over all my artistic talents to this new platform. I no longer drew on paper but used drawing and design programs on the computer. In fact, I took those skills and developed them even further as the computer introduced new possibilities to me such as advanced image manipulation and computer animations. I even got into webdesigning and user-interface design. During the dot-com era I did many webdesigns for some of the more popular gaming websites at that time through USA-based companies like the 3DGF Network and eFront. Locally I did webdesigns and multimedia work for companies such as Self-Reliance (Insurance), Assuria (Insurance), Staatsolie (State Oil Company), CHM Suriname N.V., the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and many others either directly or indirectly.
I've also always been interested in photography. As a little boy I would often build pinhole cameras using a box with a tiny hole on one side and translucent paper on the other side to see the projected image. I used to play with negatives and built my own 'projector' when I was around 12 years old. I remember seeing a digital camera for the first time when I was 18 years old that could take blurry 640x480 pixel images with a lot of digital noise. I had to have one. But at that time I couldn't invest in photography as a hobby because my priority back then was first to get my very own PC. So photography had to wait. But when I finally invested in photography a few years later, I did so with the same dedication that I had during my early software engineering career. Because I also had a design background, I was already very proficient in applications such as Adobe Photoshop and this proved to be a big advantage when I started my photography career. In addition, due to my technical background it is easier to understand the more advanced concepts and techniques in photography and to use them along with a variety of gear to get truly unique results.
One of the high points of my photography career was being invited to shoot the official portrait of the president of Suriname, H. E. D. D. Bouterse, shortly after his inauguration in 2010. The resulting image generated a lot of praise, not just for me, but also for the president and resulted in me getting international publicity.
I don't know what challenges lie ahead of me in the future, but I do know with 100% certainty that I haven't yet reached my full potential.
Now that you've read about some of my background, please continue reading about why I think that you should work with me. Also have a look at the testimonials page to see what some of the people I've worked with have to say about me.