The Official South African Tourism Website

Portfolio Dec 20, 2018

I was privileged enough to be the key individual in the development and deployment of South Africa's official tourism website. The project had some very difficult delivery requirements which kept me pretty swamped for over a year and a half. It also goes without saying that the team I worked with on this did an exceptional job to deliver it in the timeframe.

The South African Tourism Website

The South African Tourism Website

The South African Tourism Website

The South African Tourism Website

The South African Tourism Website

Key features

  • 33 different country websites and 4 different business websites all combined into one platform
  • Translated into 10 different languages
  • English
  • Japanese
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Korean
  • Dutch
  • German
  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • Argentinian Spanish
  • French
  • Italian
  • Over 21 000 different web pages across all "portals"
  • Created responsively for mobile, tablet, small desktop, large desktop and extra large desktop devices
Most importantly!

I build this project almost entirely remotely, almost all my team members were comprised of individuals in different countries. I was capable of delivering such a complex development using a project tracking solution (Atlassian Jira) and communication tools such as Skype and Slack.

This project isn't usually in my general repertoire of projects I pursue. I'm more at home working with fringe technology such as IoT and experiential things but the principles behind building anything technical still apply here.

The delivery times were largely unrealistic in my honest opinion yet with a team of very talented developers working with me, we were able to achieve these requirements.

A platform of this scale never really stops changing so it required constant work and technical support. My only regret in building this platform was taking over the project after some technical decisions had been made. The tech stack and timelines for the project had already been defined before I started on it which made for some interesting and challenging moments.

Ultimately it is a privilege to have been a part of the build of our beautiful country's tourism portal. It was an extremely proudly South African moment for me and I definitely learned a great deal.

The South African Tourism (SAT) website is broken into four main sections known as "portals", each portal facilitates a business operation for SAT.

These four portals are as follows
  • Travel
  • Business
  • Travel Trade
  • Corporate
My main responsibilities to this project
  • Managing of the development team in ensuring we delivered a solution by the expected timelines - Since the project inception we had roughly 3600 tickets on Jira
  • Providing technical direction for the project - I was in charge of a team of 12 developers, there was a constant requirement to engage with each developer to ensure they were on the right track.
  • Defining systems architecture with entity relationships - Before I took over the project, I noticed a massive concern regarding little to no systems architecture. A large portion of frontend and backend refactoring was required to produce optimised code based on data architecture grounded in Object orientation
  • Managing the processes for frontend and backend refactoring - This was a major requirement from the beginning of the project. We experienced a lot of technical debt as system architecture wasn't done before I took over the project
The tech stack for this solution was:
  • Angular 6 with Universal
  • ExpressJS
  • Redux
  • Umbraco CMS
Development Operations
  • Azure App Services
  • Azure CDN services
  • Heroku (mainly for development builds)
  • Bitbucket Pipelines
  • Docker containers
  • Redis

Nicholas Bester

I have 15 years of experience in design, development and implementation of digital marketing solutions ranging from virtual reality, 3D projection mapping, mobile apps and massive web platforms.