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 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


  • 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 […]

  • Using a MacBook As a Long-time Ubuntu User – The Week of Mac

    Macbook

    This post summarizes my (almost) week of using a Mac, as a long-time Ubuntu user. You can read why I tried this experiment here. Thursday – Day 1 The first annoyance started when I connected the MacBook up to the USB type-C hub I had purchased. While the hub did its job well (more on […]

  • Using a MacBook as a Long-time Ubuntu User – Preparation

    Using a MacBook Day 0

    If you read my last post, after 30 years of using computers, I bought my first Apple laptop. I’ve long been opposed to using Apple products for various reasons. However, the combination of the new Apple silicon and a requirement for access to an Apple computer for my work means that I now own an […]

  • Apple Silicon MacBook Air – Unboxing and Initial Thoughts

    MacBook Air

    If you’ve spent any time reading this blog, you will know that my personal operating system of choice is Ubuntu. I’ve used Ubuntu since 2006, first as a local development server (a physical box hooked up my local network), and then switched to using it as my daily driver in 2008. I had short stint […]

  • Async Conf – An Asynchronous Online Conference

    brown and black wooden chairs inside room

    Ever since the world of tech conferences went to shit last year, I’ve not attended any virtual ones. They don’t appeal to me at all. The main reason is that when I attend conferences, it’s to meet up with my fellow attendees, greet old friends, meet new ones, and discuss all manner of topics. Attending […]