When he was 6 years old, Darren van Roodt started complaining about headaches, and it was discovered that he had a tumour on his brain. The removal of the tumour effected his growth but not his hunger for achievement. Sixteen years later, the 22 year old Darren graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Computer Science at the University of the Western Cape.
Born and raised in Maitland (Cape Town), Darren has been a consistent achiever both at School and at university. He completed matric in 2012 at Rhodes High and for the next 3 years, he continuously made it into the top 3 list of performers in computer science. His hard work eventually paid off when he achieved a cum laude pass, which meant that he scored above an average of 70% for all his subjects.
Not only has Darren achieved remarkable academic success, but he has already started making his way to the top of the corporate ladder. He currently works at Rand Merchant Bank as a systems analyst within the field of quantitative risk, a job that requires an advanced understanding of programming, mathematics and statistics. His job is basically to maintain the systems that determine the credit ratings for corporate clients.
Darren says that his proudest moment was when he and his four friends won the 2013 Code Jam, a competition that requires teams to build an app that could help improve education. They built an Android mobile app which helps students studying maths to connect with tutors.
In addition, Darren was part of the UWC team that made it into the finals of the 2015 Standard Bank IT Challenge, a competition that challenges the teams to solve many programming problems as fast as possible.
Stanley and Jill, Darren’s mother and father, say that they could not be prouder of their middle child. He says that he is grateful for having such a supportive family, which includes his older sister, 25 year old Carren-Lee and his younger sister, 20 year old Terri-Lee. He is also very grateful for the positive support and influence of his friends.
Darren is only starting his climb to the top, but don’t be surprised if he becomes the next Stafford Massie. He has all the defining characteristic of a future millionaire innovator: shy but brilliant, an innovative thinker and a team player with an enthusiastic hunger for learning and solving problems.
Source: IOL (edited)