Knysna

Until recently, I had only driven through Knysna while road tripping through South Africa. We decided to spend the long Easter Weekend in this peaceful coastal town. Our B&B was situated on the central Thesen island. The long drive was worth it. We enjoyed exploring the nearby forests, venturing in the local harbour, visiting the [...]

The Quest for 666

Every year at the Grand Meetup, when our whole company gathers in the same physical space, we give flash talks: 4-minute talks about any topic. Two months before the 2016 Grand Meetup, we sat in an Ethiopian restaurant in Berlin with a few of the WooCommerce team and we chatted about all sorts of things, [...]

Syrian refugees & selective memory loss

There I was, sitting at a B&B, having breakfast. The other guests were a French elderly couple living in Durban. So the host and the guests started talking about Syrian refugees. "I had a chat with someone high up the ranks in the South African government," our host explained to them. "We were supposed to have [...]

The worst reply to mentions of white privilege

"I've worked hard my whole life." That's it. The worst reply.* And yet it's one of the replies I've heard the most from white people here in South Africa. What's so bad about it? #1: Wrong topic By pointing to your working hard, you're not addressing the issue that the words "white privilege" address. White [...]

The Justice Conference (Cape Town)

South Africa is a country in pain, the wounds of centuries of colonialism followed by the brutal system of Apartheid have left deep wounds that are only now starting to scar before they can start to heal. Questions The Justice Conference tried to address some of the questions our country is grappling with from a [...]

Damaging effects of short-term missions

During my MA in theology, I wrote a paper on short-term missions (STMs) in January 2010. Seven years later, not much has changed: too little critical reflection on STMs is happening. One of the most prominent Christian mission organisations, YWAM, still includes STMs as part of their discipleship training school's outreach part. Having just finished [...]

Getting Sassy with WordPress 4.7 and Jetpack

I'm not a WordPress developer, I'm a WordPress site builder. I don't develop the blocks to create a website, I use those that others have created. Those blocks are themes and plugins. Tweaking designs However, the styling and design will not always look exactly like you want. You're happy with the majority of it, but [...]

WordPress: A 💖 Story

Below is a summary of my keynote at CMS Africa Summit 2017, a community summit in Africa. I love working with WordPress. I'm not a web developer, but I've tried a lot of different solutions for making websites. My first proper site was built with Flash, and though it was cool back then to have [...]

Belgian bands growing up

When you listen to music, you get influenced by a lot of other musicians, but I doubt anyone has as much influence as your local bands. Especially in Belgium, where everything is only a short train ride away, I've looked up to several bands. I still listen to some of those musicians regularly. So which [...]

Cambodia

The first ten days of our trip, we were in Vietnam. On the last day of 2016, we flew into Cambodia for the next half of our holiday. Start We arrived in Sihanoukville when the sun was already setting. It was New Year's Eve, and we had no idea what to expect of this coast [...]

Vietnam

Kim and I have family and friends all over the place. It's great to visit them, and we love them, but it sometimes results in us exploring less than we'd like to. So we decided to go on a 3-week trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. The first ten days we spent in Vietnam, and we [...]

Acrobat Reader: Scanning without scanner

A lot - as in a lot - of admin these days is still very document focused. One thing that always slows down the process, is the need for scanning those documents. Either I have to scan at work, or go to a copy shop, or just buy a scanner. Scanner app At least, that's what [...]

Swag at Automattic: Ethical sourcing

One aspect of our travels to Vietnam and Cambodia over the Christmas holidays was that Kim and I both struggled a lot with how cheap clothing was. If a shirt costs $1, there is no way everyone in the supply chain got a fair wage out of that, even if the cost of living is cheaper [...]

WordCamp Harare

Last weekend, Jetpack and WooCommerce sponsored the first WordCamp in Zimbabwe ever. My colleague, Herman, and I attended as representatives of the company, and also took a speaking slot. Below are some of the pics I took on Saturday. It's always great attending WordCamps and other open source conferences in Africa. People are so friendly [...]

WooCommerce in Real “Live”

My slides for the very first WordCamp Harare are now available. I spoke about my experience of setting up my first live WooCommerce store after having worked with WooCommerce for 2 years in testing environments. https://speakerdeck.com/jobthomas/woocommerce-in-real-live

Zwarte Piet and My Own Racist Blind Spots

In 2011, I met my South African wife in Belgium. Her friend Crystal was visiting the town where we both lived in late November that year. Both of them were absolutely shocked when they saw Zwarte Piet (or Black Pete). Blind spots Up until that point, I had never ever considered the racist implications of [...]

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