Tech company founder and CEO, Haroon Meer, has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at DevConf 2023. DevConf is Southern Africa’s largest conference for software developers and professionals and is taking place this year in Cape Town on 23rd of May and Pretoria on 25th of May 2023.

Haroon Meer, who refers to himself as a researcher, is also the founder and CEO of Thinkst, and a regular contributor to publications worldwide. His company’s highly acclaimed security product, Thinkst Canary, is built in South Africa and has impressive customer base spanning all 7 continents.

Haroon’s keynote is titled “Make More Stuff” and is inspired by his observation that South Africans are missing out an opportunity to create international-grade companies and products, as South Africans instead tend to be mass consumers of products built by international tech giants. “We need to change our thinking in South Africa”, he says of our preference for using world’s technology, “and recognise that starting a company is a reasonable possibility”.

In his keynote address he hopes to nudge the audience into action by demonstrating that many of the factors contributing to a comparatively low presence in the global tech ecosystem are in fact self-imposed. “The constraints we perceive to have in South Africa are mostly not real”, he says.

Haroon’s message is informed by his own experience building Thinkst, which he describes as a “learning machine”. He attributes its success to collective contribution, adding that the team you build outweighs everything else including commercial success in the long run. Of working with the right people, he says “it’s even more important than you might think, even if you already think it’s important”.

DevConf co-host Robert MacLean says he is excited to welcome Haroon to the DevConf stage. “Haroon brings a powerfully important message to the audience, and is speaking from a position of experience in South Africa and internationally that few have. It is a significant honour to have him give the keynote at this year’s event.”

Haroon is joined by a stellar cast of local and international software development experts who will present at DevConf later this month to audiences of 750 and 500 in Cape Town and Pretoria respectively. For more information about the conference visit

DevConf is an IITPSA Continued Professional Development (CPD) accredited event.