I'm Gawin. Remote CTO, entrepenerd, and minimalist.
Currently making Nomad Family and the 7 kg challenge.
Exploring the world with a 7 kg backpack and two wonderful girls.

Gawin

I am a technologist with 20 years as an engineer and engineering leader creating award-winning innovative products. My responsibilities included every aspect of the software and product development life cycle. From the analysis, architecture, design, implementing, testing, deployment, hosting and infrastructure. Scaling from one to billions of users.

Besides my technological experience, I also have served in C-suite roles, mainly as Chief Technology Office. I am passionate about people (HR and psychology), design, traveling, hiking, health, and simplicity.

Table of Contents

  1. What am I looking for?
  2. Personal Details
  3. Personal Story
  4. Personal Skills
  5. Field of Experience
  6. Work Story
  7. Previous Positions
  8. Education
  9. Side Projects

What am I looking for?

A transparent technology organization with talented and competent people and a no-bullshit culture. An organization that respects people and cares about our future and the environment. An organization with a clear vision, trying to be disruptive while achieving the impossible. An organization wich provides the autonomy to grow and innovate, both the organization and myself. A place where I can leverage my experience and creativity to inspire others to create and achieve things they never dreamed possible.

Personal Details

Name
Gawin Dapper
Role
Chief Technology Officer
Location
Amsterdam area
Work permit
European Union
Languages
  • Dutch (native)
  • English (fluent)
  • German (ein bisschen)
  • French (un peu)
  • Spanish (un poco)
The last years I worked remotely and traveled the world with my family

Personal Story

Life didn't start easily, I was stillborn and premature at birth, but thankfully I survived to become the smallest boy to be born in my hometown. At primary school, I clearly didn't fit in. My teachers had no idea how to deal with my curiosity and they decided to send me to a school for children with learning disorders and a low IQ. Luckily my parents objected and I ended up finding an amazing teacher at a Waldorf school, which helped me flourish.

At the age of twelve, while my friends had summer jobs peeling tulips out in the fields, my curiosity made me apply for a job at Microsoft. Although the tour at Microsoft was incredible, I did not land a job. The slight disadvantage of being only twelve years old. Growing up in an entrepreneurial family I decided to start my first company instead.

Along the way, I learned a lot about creativity, but also about persistence. Later my discipline and persistence helped me playing teams sports on a professional level (national youth team) and achieving my goals early in life.

Personal Skills

These are some of my personal skills, note that I have successfully lead teams that worked with different technology stacks.

Methodologies
  • Agile
  • Scrum
  • ITIL
  • Prince
Metrics
  • SaaS metrics
  • OKRs
  • KPIs
  • Marketing metrics
  • Sales metrics
Languages
  • Ruby
  • Lua
  • SQL
  • Javascript
  • JSON
  • HAML
  • HTML
  • SASS
  • CSS
  • Applescript
  • XML
  • Pug
  • Python
  • R
  • Swift
  • PHP
  • Java
  • Perl
  • C
  • Basic
Frameworks
  • Sinatra
  • LuaRocks
  • Riot.js
  • D3.js
  • Ruby on Rails
Version control
  • Git
  • SVN
Data
  • PostgreSQL
  • Redis
  • Sidekiq
  • RabbitMQ
  • MySQL
  • Elastic
Deployment
  • Ansible
  • Chef
  • Puppet
Cloud
  • OpenStack
  • CloudFoundry
  • AWS
  • Heroku
Editors
  • Atom
  • Sublime
  • Vim
  • Microsoft Visual Code
Design
  • Sketch
  • Pixelmator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator

Field of Experience

Industries
  • Internet
  • Information Technology and Services
  • Computer & Network Security
  • Financial Services
  • Human Resources
  • Private Banking
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Design
  • Warehousing
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Outsourcing & Offshoring
Business
  • Strategy
  • General Management
  • Product Management
  • Global Team Leadership
  • Remote Working
  • Coaching
  • Fortune 500
  • Start-ups
Technologies
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Web Services
  • Architecture
  • Scaling
  • Web Development
  • Productivity Software
  • Cloud Computing
  • Security
  • SaaS
  • PaaS
  • IaaS
  • Mobility
  • Big Data
  • Social Media
Five-time winner at The Next Web hackbattle

Work Story

At University I started my second company, concentrating on creating (marketing) strategies and high-end design websites for the nightlife/entertainment industry. Our talent was quickly recognized by bigger corporations and we found our way into the more profitable financial sector, mainly private banking. In 2008, after the financial crisis wiped away our main customer base we could not pivot fast enough. Eventually not only losing the company but also a great part of myself. Later I learned that I experienced a severe burnout. As Nietzsche once said, "what does not kill me makes me stronger".

So I focused on regaining my strength, finding balance in life and exploring what happiness means to me. Although the burnout was an expensive experience, both financially and emotionally, I feel the journey made me a richer person today, in ways I could have never imagined upfront.

The last decade I focused on developing successful strategies to achieve organizational goals, for example reaching a global social reach of 380 million people as CTO for Phonebloks (later Google Project Ara) or helping Choose Blocks with their record-breaking $1,6 million Kickstarter.

Whether it's building Fuga.io, an auto-scaling OpenStack-based cloud provider, or designing and maintaining Archive.org and Petabox.org, I always enjoy working with passionate people on world-changing purposes.

Recognizing the benefits of remote work I started adopting this lifestyle early on and learned to mentor, coach and empower remote teams. Traveling with our family inspired us to create Nomad Family. Drastically simplifying our lives lead to the creation of the 7 kg challenge.

I'm extremely grateful for the opportunities I've been given, which allowed me to work with remarkably talented people on inspiring projects that made a significant impact. I strongly believe in simplicity and empowering people around me to create and achieve things they never dreamed possible.

Previous Positions

2015-present

CTO, Octile

Consultancy service as a remote CTO, mainly coaching other CTOs and solving organizational and technical challenges. Increasing profits and reducing costs for both startups and larger enterprise clients.

www.octile.io
2013-2015

CTO, Phonebloks (Google Ara)

A concept for a modular phone. As CTO I developed both the technical and social strategy. With a social reach of over 380 million people, it has been one of the most successful internet campaigns. The project merged into Google Ara within Googles ATAP (Advanced Technology And Projects).

www.phonebloks.com
2011-2015

Manager Research & Development, CYSO

Responsible for restructuring the development department, including the introduction of new methodologies, new processes, continuous integration, and continuous deployment. Increasing both the quality and speed of the team and its results. One of the notable projects is Fuga.io, an OpenStack-based cloud provider.

www.cyso.com
2008-2014

Founder, Bright 4

We developed a communication platform (similar to Google Apps and Evernote). Unfortunately, the main project was canceled after withdrawal of two large partners, caused by the aftermath of the financial crisis.

2004-2008

Co-founder and CTO, Digital Traffic

Together with an extremely talented creative director, we started an award winning company: Digital Traffic. A full-service internet agency that grew to 50 FTE. What started with Flash websites and games for clients with a presence in the entertainment industry (MTV, TMF, Bacardi, Sanoma and a long list of Dutch nightclubs) quickly shifted to the financial industry (primarily banking). One of the main achievements was that I was responsible for all 28 global websites from ABN AMRO Private Banking.

2004-2008

System Administrator, Archive.org

Designing and maintaining the data center in Amsterdam, which turned into the Petabox project. We created the first petabyte of spinning date for less than 1 million dollars.

archive.org/web/petabox
More Positions
2009-2010

Project Manager, Holder

As a project manager, I was responsible for a large variety of projects, ranging from larger enterprises to small startups backed by investment funds. Where needed I also contributed as a Ruby developer, designer, and system administrator.

www.holder.nl
1996-2009

System Administrator, Kadak

Design and maintenance of small business network, simple system administration. Including clients setup, servers setup, automatic offsite backups etc.

www.kadak.nl
2004-2007

Assistant Teacher, University of Twente

I supported seven different classes as an assistant teacher and wrote the course materials for several bachelor and master courses.

www.utwente.nl
2005-2006

Chairman, Stichting National Informatica Congres

After the first symposium, the organizing committee had issues organizing successive events. As an interim chairman, I helped to establish the organizational structure to create future yearly events.

stichting.snic.nl
2001-2001

Consultant, Cap Gemini

With a team of experts, we developed a system to manage restaurant bookings and ordering of food via the internet. It was the first restaurant in the Netherlands to use PDA's for instant ordering straight from your own table.

www.capgemini.com
1996-1998

Webdeveloper, ARPA

Summer job at ARPA, my first programming job. Developed a prototype for their website and did data entry and user testing. Returned a year later for another summer in Eindhoven.

www.arpa.nl
1994-2008

Founder, Gawinmedia

My first company mainly focused on developing websites for small business.

Education

2002-2007

Business Information Technology, Twente University

Business Information Technology, the perfect mix of computer science and business. The study focusses on assessing and contributing to the full life cycle of planning, analysis, design, development, implementation, and operation of business information systems with a scientific perspective.

* I did finish this Bachelor's degree, however, I didn't finish the Master's degree in favor of expanding my company.

www.utwente.nl
2006-2007

Human Media Interaction, Twente University

Human Media Interaction combines knowledge, technical expertise, and skills from a range of disciplines with a view to creating intelligent interactive systems that automatically respond to a user’s emotions and social cues and make appropriate decisions on what action to take. Including the design of complex, multi-modal interfaces and examining the human factors of media and their interfaces. Subjects include natural language processing, virtual agents, ambient entertainment, social robotics and artificial intelligence.

* I didn't finish this Master's degree in favor of expanding my company.

www.utwente.nl
2006-2007

Media Psychology, Twente University

Media Psychology focuses on the interaction of human behavior and media and technology, designing effective and workable psychological interventions.

* I didn't finish this Master's degree in favor of expanding my company.

www.utwente.nl

Current side projects

2017-present

Nomad Family

A global community for families who travel and raise their family while working remotely. For this side project, I designed and developed the concept and current platform.

www.nomadfamily.io
2017-present

7 kg challenge

How to work and travel the world from one 7 kg carry-on backpack.

www.7kgchallenge.com