About Me

Hi, my name is Jonathan.

I am a developer and writer from Cape Town, South Africa with a passion for open-source software.

Profile photo courtesy https://www.sitombe.com/

Developer Educator WordPress Code Instructor at Automattic

In May 2022 I joined Automattic as a full-time sponsored contributor to the WordPress project, working with the Training team on Learn WordPress. We create educational content for the WordPress community, and my focus is on developer-related content.

Joining the dotorg team at Automattic was a “coming home” of sorts, as I’ve made many friends in the WordPress space who work at Automattic, and now I get to be part of the open-source team that works on the WordPress open-source project full time.

Senior Technical Writer at Delicious Brains

In 2021 I decided to take my love of writing, my experience as a software developer, and my interest in the fields of education and developer communities and accepted a position as Developer Educator Senior Technical Writer at Delicious Brains.

Delicious Brains is a dedicated team of experts who love making software for their fellow WordPress developers. My job is to help them build amazing technical documentation and insightful developer-focused content that informs and delights our developer community.

Development Lead at Castos

From 2017 to 2020, I was Development Lead at Castos. Castos is a podcast hosting and analytics service that powers and supporters the Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin for WordPress

When I left, Castos had grown from just Craig and me to a distributed team of 12, the plugin was used by over 20 000 podcasters around the world, and over 10 000 active customers using the Castos service.

Expert at Codeable

From August 2016 to September 2020, I solved technical problems for clients from around the world through Codeable. I focused on plugin development (both custom plugins and plugin extensions) and theme development, specifically adding custom functionality to themes via child themes or plugins. As of the 1st of October 2020, I left active freelance development to focus solely on Castos.

Writer, Blogger, and Podcaster

Besides this blog, I have also written for the WordPress.com Go blog, the Jetpack blog, as well as Smashing Magazine, and WP Tavern.

In my spare time, I host a small WordPress focused podcast where I interview folks from all over doing interesting things with WordPress. If this is you, let’s chat.

Speaker

Whenever the opportunity provides itself, I try and speak at local events about various topics, including development, freelancing, PHP, WordPress, and Laravel. So far, I have spoken at WordCamp Europe (2019), WordCamp Cape Town (2016, 2018), WordCamp Johannesburg (2018, 2019), PHP South Africa (2017), and DevConf (2022).

WordPress contributor

WordPress has given me so much, so I do what I can to give back. I’m a community deputy, and I’ve been on or led the WordPress Cape Town organising team for three years. In September 2020, I stepped down from organising local WordPress meetups to focus on the WP Notify project.

Get in Touch

If you want to chat, feel free to find me on any of the following networks.

Alternatively, email me if you want to discuss a project, have a question, or want to say hi.

If anything you’ve found on this site was useful to you, and you want to say thanks, you can always buy me a coffee. I generally order an almond milk latte because I like the steamed milk texture but get a stronger taste of the espresso.

Latest Posts


  • The Slap That Changed My Life.

    woman with beaded necklace covering her mouth with her hand

    I don’t generally go into the personal details of my life in this blog, but this is one of those moments. Apologies if you are here for tech/WordPress-related stuff, and real-world stuff bums you out. I turn 45 this year, and that moment in my 16-year-old life is still as vivid to me today as […]

  • What Does a Better Notification System for WordPress Actually Look Like?

    beach bottle cold daylight

    Last week I had the opportunity to join some amazing WordPress folks to talk about WordPress notifications. In that chat I mentioned that one of my biggest “hurdles” is getting the word out about WP Notify, sharing what the team has been working on, and what we envision for notifications in WordPress. And then it […]

  • 2022 Office Update: Technical Writer Edition

    brown broom and white plastic bucket

    It has been 2 years since I last posted a workstation/office update. If I am honest, posting regular updates about my “daily drivers” was not something I ever planned, but I am always trying to refine and improve my work tools. I find it interesting to take a look back at what has changed over […]

  • 2022 Goal Setting

    clear light bulb on black surface

    I’ve never been one to set new years resolutions. I’m generally aware that most resolutions made on January 1st are never taken seriously, or only taken seriously for the first 2 weeks or so until one inevitably falls back on old habits. I also am not a solopreneur, business owner, or freelancer, so compiling a […]

  • Switch MySQL 8 Authentication Mode to native_password

    modern computer placed near server racks

    This past weekend, I was fiddling with some “devopsy” things, and I had to figure out how to switch the default MySQL 8 authentication method from auth_socket to native_password. One of the big changes to MySQL in version 8 is the default authentication method. In older MySQL versions, when you installed the mysql-server package, it […]

  • What Is the Best Local Web Development Environment for macOS?

    And why is it (currently) Laravel Valet? One of the main reasons I switched from Windows to Ubuntu for my development workstation back in 2006 was that I was tired of complicated setups for managing local development environments. Because Rasmus Lerdorf, the creator of PHP, spent a lot of time making Linux, Apache, and MySQL […]

  • Belief

    japanese lucky coin cat

    #ClickPublish When I was young, I believed I was allergic to mac and cheese! I won’t go into the details of why, but that belief was so strong that once at a pre-grade 8 summer camp, I refused to eat dinner one night because it was mac and cheese. To this day, I still don’t […]

  • 10 Things I Hate About Ubuntu

    I generally consider myself someone to be open to new experiences and prepared to consider both sides in any given discussion. This does sometimes mean that I may express opinions that are not popular. As Morten once reminded me so well, “The devil’s advocate advocates for the devil”, and he’s not wrong. After I posted […]

  • Route 44

    If you live close to Cape Town, in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, you’ve probably heard of the R44. It’s the road that runs from Gordons Bay, along the coast past places like Betty’s Bay, Pringle Bay, and Kleinmond, and connects back to the R43 at Arabella Country Estate. On the other side […]