Welcome to my little corner of the internet.

Welcome to my little corner of the internet.

Hi, my name is Jonathan.

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

I work at 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.

This site is my personal blog, where I write about all sorts of things, but mostly with a focus on web development.

Here are some of my most recent blog posts:

Experiences

  • Configuring Ubuntu in Multipass for Local Web Development on a MacBook

    Configuring Ubuntu in Multipass for Local Web Development on a MacBook

    I’ve been using an Apple MacBook since June 2021. While I don’t totally hate it, I still prefer a LAMP or LEMP stack as my default local web development environment. The best alternative I’ve found on the Mac is Laravel Valet, but it’s not without some minor niggles, mostly the fact that the web server […]


  • Screen Recording Options for Code Editors

    Screen Recording Options for Code Editors

    In my Goals Setting post for 2022, I shared that I wanted to improve my blogging activity, and “try and expand into some online videos and possibly even do some live streaming.” One of the biggest hurdles with creating technical video content is making sure that any code in the code editor is readable when […]


  • The Slap That Changed My Life.

    The Slap That Changed My Life.

    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 […]


Development

  • Let’s code! Creating your first WordPress Plugin

    Let’s code! Creating your first WordPress Plugin

    As part of my sponsored work for the WordPress Training Team, I’m hosting weekly “Let’s Code” Online Workshops for Learn WordPress. Each week I cover a WordPress development concept. I’m sharing them here as well so that if anyone has questions they can ask me here (in the comments) directly. Watch this video on WordPress.tv […]


  • Coding Words

    Coding Words

    The slides from my https://www.devconf.co.za/ 2022 talk. If you’d like to get early access to the book I’m writing on this topic, please fill in this Google form.


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

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

    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 […]


General

  • Turning a shortcode into a block

    Turning a shortcode into a block

    I’ve had a couple of folks either reach out to me or ask on Twitter if it’s easy to convert a shortcode into a block. The irony is that during my trial at Automattic, that’s exactly what I created, a tutorial on taking an existing shortcode plugin and adding it as a block. I am […]


  • 45

    I turn 45 today, in a world where right-wing politics is tearing down individual rights, unjust wars are being allowed to kill innocents, and tech, in general, is just one big scam after another. I’m finding it hard to be positive about all this, but the one thing that keeps me going is the fact […]


  • I’ll Remember the Days Before I Knew Everything

    I’ll Remember the Days Before I Knew Everything

    The first time I heard about the Automattic creed was on a plane flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg, sitting next to Hugh Lashbrooke, as we flew to attend the first WordCamp in Johannesburg in 2016. I’d met the Johannesburg organizing team at that year’s Cape Town WordCamp, where we were all speakers, and I […]