Ettienne Botha: How I Became A SUSOnian

SUSO 12 December 2023

Our Senior SEO Developer Ettienne Botha gives an insight into what it’s like to work on client and internal development projects.

Author: Ettienne Botha, Senior SEO Developer

Ettienne Botha

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tell Us A Bit About Yourself?

Hey there. I’m Ettienne, a Senior Web Developer at SUSO.

I live in Namibia, Southern Africa, along with my wife and puppy (he is 2 now and about waist height, but he will always be my puppy). 

I enjoy playing games, any games really. I have an extensive board game collection, a Lord of the Rings chess set, a range of Magic: The Gathering decks, a lot of PC games, and play Tabletop RPGs at least twice a week.

Since I was young enough to boot up a computer, I had my mind set on becoming a Developer. In a country like Namibia though, that was easier said than done, so for that reason I spent some years working in IT until I transitioned to programming.

What First Attracted You to Joining SUSO?

I was fortunate enough to know someone who works at SUSO and could hear firsthand about the culture and transparency embedded within the company.So, when the chance came along to apply for a job, I could not let it slip by.

I was informed that SUSO was looking for a “Junior Link Builder”, not my field, but still, a chance to work for SUSO, so I applied. After HR had reviewed my resume, there were questions about why I was applying for the position when I was a developer. A couple of calls later, I was hired as a Mid-level Web Developer. 

During these calls, I met our Managing Director Andrew, and immediately knew that what I had heard about the company and its culture was true and that working here would be one of the best choices I would make.

What Does A Typical Day at SUSO Look Like For You?

First things first, COFFEE! 

While enjoying a cup of coffee, I check my emails and messages to see if there is anything new I need to know before I get into my day.

After that, my day goes one of two ways (sometimes a bit of both). I will be working on client tasks, improving their websites, and helping our SEO team execute our strategy to help achieve our clients’ goals. 

Apart from client-related tasks, I work on our internal projects which allow me to flex my programming and problem-solving skills by creating tools that help make the team’s day-to-day work lives easier.

What Made You Want to Work in SEO?

As a Web Developer, I think SEO would have become part of my life at some point, whether I wanted it to or not. I am passionate about building websites, though building an amazing website does not ensure it will appear on a SERP. 

Therefore, I wanted to take on the challenge of understanding what it meant to be an SEO Web Developer. Focussing on some of the finer details of a website, particularly the metadata aspect. 

This opened up a whole new level of enjoyment for me, as not only could I build sites that made me proud, I could track the sites’ performance and know that with each passing month, I could see the effects that proper implementation of SEO techniques would have on a website.

What’s Your Favourite Part About Your Role?

There are a couple of things that really stand out to me. 

The one that is most gratifying, is taking an idea and being able to make it a reality by overcoming the challenges presented by each task, and then being able to sit back and see the end result.

Part of what I enjoy about gaming is solving problems, in my role I am often presented with problems that do not always have a straightforward solution. There have been times when I would spend hours hacking at a problem, trying something and failing, finding a solution but finding the problems with that solution, until eventually I find an answer. It can be tiring, but it is always worth it in the end.

How Would You Describe The Culture at SUSO?

Like nothing I have ever experienced before. SUSO has really opened my eyes to what working for a company with a great culture means.

I have only met a handful of the team in person, but every day I appreciate the people I work with. I can see everyone playing their part in striving to achieve the company’s goals.

I have been fortunate enough to work with some of our leaders who provide  frequent recognition and feedback for the work I do, which fuels my desire to do an even better job.

What’s Been Your Proudest Moment / Fondest Memory at SUSO to Date?

Upon completing my sixth month at SUSO, I expected there would be a review of my work thus far; some pointers on how I can improve, and feedback on what I am doing well.

I was shocked when that call held the news that I was being promoted to Senior SEO Developer for my hard work and dedication. This was not in the slightest what I was expecting and it caught me so off guard that I didn’t even know how to react, my eyes filled with tears of joy and I needed to take a moment to find my words.

I believe wholeheartedly though, that this is only one of many wonderful memories I will have while working for SUSO.

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