News & Media for the Lab - 03 July 2020

Welcome to the first ever NML Newsletter aka News & Media for the Lab. The purpose of this internal newsletter is to give you, the esteemed NML & Atura family, a few company updates, some people updates and a bunch of other stuff that you may or may not find useful.

How often will this piece of unparalleled literature be arriving in your inbox you ask? Well, the answer is simple really, once a month. I welcome all of you to contribute going forward and if there is anything you would like me to include (nothing pg rated please Charl) please send me a mail with the information. I am informing you now that I have full rights to tweak the content, or change it entirely. You’re welcome.

Now enough with this small talk, let's dive right in shall we.

Bits and bytes

If you’re here because you’re looking for a few company updates, look no further than the Bits & Bytes section. It’s a quick and easy to read highlights package from some of the Leadership Team, plus a few necessary shoutouts. If you want to find out more, feel free to dm them directly.

Charl Marais
Surfing is the best I've ever seen it, (thank you Charl, this is very informative).
VPN access via Azure Active Directory has been configured, and we can get rid of our local physical machines and VMs.

A SHOUT OUT TO: Eugenie - She has stayed a star right up to the final day. We are going to miss her.

Saffia Manjoo
Graphite had a successful production deployment on 26-06-2020. We deployed enhancements and patches. This was our first attempt at a monthly release cycle, it went smoothly and it will be amazing if we can get this process right as it will mean smaller releases, more frequently which means less risk. Well done to the Graphite team!

Remy Brecht
Things have been very well put together, visual online voting with results. Love it.

A SHOUT OUT TO: Shout out to all NML'ers. For all the hard work in this trying time of COVID-19 but also to Alison for completing the online training course in software testing.

Rogan Flitton
June has been a hectic month. We did a minor (yet major) release for ARL on 30 May, that has enabled ARL to sell either over the phone or via their call center, and this has enabled them to make sales again since the lockdown started which is a huge win for them obviously and us (their success is our success)!
Aurecon we also did a minor release with some styling tweaks and bug fixes and that was a success too. Big well done to both teams for the great work!

A SHOUT OUT TO: Moolman - He's taken Aurecon onboard very rapidly and doing so well!

Dave Eagle - Atura
Mostly Stanlib news which is now kicking off, and has the potential to have a massive impact on Atura. Watch this space!

A SHOUT OUT TO: Sue - we know we're going to be losing her soon as she takes over more NML projects but she's had a huge impact on out team and projects so we are super sad.

Paul Cartmel

We signed off AFS for 2020 so accounts are up to date. Wrote 2 proposals and did a number of pitches and we had a great month billings wise. We also got a step closer to FTE and SLA with a couple of clients. Generally very happy.

A SHOUT OUT TO: Claudia, she's been amazing getting our accounts and asset register in order.

New kids on the block.


Software developer and Chelsea supporter,Hamza Kalla, loves football and sneakers. Half the reason he's here is because he knows Adidas is next door. If you take him out for lunch don't order him anything that contains avo and/or veggies.
If this beacon of health could change one thing in the world, it would be to end racism. We all feel as strongly and are all backing you on this one Hamza!


Atura's new Software Engineer, Daniel Schwartz, can be found Watching YouTube videos about things he doesn't actually understand, then pretending to be an expert. This soulless charlatan, can be found on a daily basis is wearing his pj's in Team meetings with the webcam off (we've all been there). What he hates is the sound of a vacuum cleaner and Twitter, he thinks it's a mess. DM him for more details.
If he could change on thing about the world he'd invent a cup of tea that never ends or never gets cold and is always ready.


Project Manager, Janine Ritchie, can be found trail running, often in Newlands Forest in the evening. She will get involved in any team activities and constantly has her game face on. She dislikes loud noises and being cold. Good luck for the month of July, Janine, good luck.

If she could change one thing in this world it would be traffic. Well thats been one small positive in this global pandemic, Janine, no traffic. Enjoy it.

All that other stuff

Teams background

Well done to the winners of the very first NML Quiz night. You have won full bragging rights for 1 week. Featured above, Nicholas, Dave and Remy aka the Brochachos team, deep in thought and simultaneously debating answers during a breakout session.



Looking for a good book?The Tattooist of Auschwitz will render every emotion from sadness to happiness, hatred to love, anger to peace & calm and just everything really. If you want a tear jerker and to be completely moved by a book, put this one at the top of the list.

Movies & Series


The feature image above is for the movie Eurovision Song Context: The Story Fire Saga (click on the image to see the trailer). If you're not a Will Ferrell fan, firstly thats just not right, but more importantly, this one is not for you. This is Dave's recommendation, I haven't seen it yet and plan to, especially when I read this review from Ronan, a random from the internet.

"This movie doesn’t go places with a mishmash of a plot, but what gets our vote is its musically rousing climax and a few moments that hit all the right notes."

If you're looking for a series to watch, look no further than Seal Team, a military drama that follows the professional and personal lives of the most elite unit of Navy SEALs as they train, plan, and execute the most dangerous, high-stakes missions their country can ask of them. Recommended by Remy, reach out to him, if you want to know more.


This month we celebrated the birth of three integral cogs to the NML team. Simone, Ant and yip that'sAngus, back in the day when he was rocking & rolling in his garage. He has since thrown in the towel on his hair and his band days but I bet if we ask nicely, a performance is on the cards...

Riddle me this

What word in the English language does the following: the first two letters signify a male, the first three letters signify a female, the first four letters signify a great, while the entire world signifies a great woman.
What is the word?

A note from the CEO

Reset and scale

NML, I’m so proud of how far we’ve come in 6 months and what we’ve gone through and are coming out the other side of with flying (NML) colours. We continue to hire and grow, and as I always say it is an honour that people chose to work for and with NML for a part of their lives. We are attracting some amazing talent and I couldn’t be more proud. This speaks to a strong belief of mine that successful people do things that scale and compounds. Hiring great people compounds, one good person usually refers two and so on…

From a technology perspective, things that I’m finding amazing are how well certain pieces of the puzzle are coming together.

  • Cloud continues to grow and we are at the forefront of building software in the cloud, (the cloud scales [elastically])
  • ASP.NET MVC through .NET Core in linux container scale
  • Freedom Project at NGI will utilise some great DevOps tools to move the solution through the dev > testing > QA > E2E > Live (this scales)
  • C# Functions and Lambda Functions are just amazing. These are easy copied, adapted and maintained – that scales
  • Logic Apps - moves coding a step closer to building in a visual designer and that scales
  • Power Automate - this similar to logic apps moves coding a step closer to building in a visual designer and that scales)

My goal is to continue to work ON NML and not so much IN it. Working on NML means trusting Dave, Charl, Rogan, Justin, the PMs etc.. delegation scales. Working on the business means getting the cogs of business right - Hiring, Training, Culture, Marketing, PR, Sales [including proposals], Reusable IP, Accounting [including time sheeting and invoicing]. All of these things compound and scale – I’m excited to try get this right and execute on the vision to make NML the highest quality software development company in South Africa. Quality compounds.