piece written on the 1st November 2013 by  

Each year Cape Town hosts a number of excellent technology events and this year’s been no different. As we draw to the close of the year I wanted to highlight some of the events that are left as I felt I should attend one or two, you know, to flash some business cards around and meet some great people. Event attending in Cape Town is an incredible opportunity to network with other like-minded people, a lot of my career was created through doing this, and with it being the end of the year it’s a good time to potentially build some synergies for the beginning of 2014.


I was also approached by someone at WooThemes and asked whether I would give some tickets away to the WordCamp event happening next week so look out for the question below. I’ve attended a few WordCamps in my time and they’re always enjoyable, but what intrigues me about this year’s offering is that I’ve been told that there’s going to be more focus on entrepreneurs and less of the same speakers – that could be quite interesting because we’ve all seen how powerful WordPress can be, combine that with some entrepreneurial spirit and we’ve got some powerful startups.

Let me get right to it and highlight those events I was able to track down:


If you haven’t been to a 27dinner then now might be the time. The dinners aim to bring together informed, networked individuals that share a passion for technology and the digital space. 27dinner was founded in 2006 by Mike Stopforth and Dave Duarte, and has proved to be a successful venture. The events take place in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. I reached out to the Twitter account to find out some more information and it’s been confirmed that there will be an event in Cape Town before the end of the year on November 27th. Keep your eyes locked on their Twitter account and official website for information about the event.

Clojure Usergroup Meetup

Organised by Deon Moolman, Clojure is an event for the more technical folk. The event pages states the following, “Come along, let’s chat FP and help you get going or unstuck with Clojure. Ideally bring some code and we can explore what that would look like in Clojure.” The official website linked to Clojure is {code}bridge, which is a co-working space for software and hardware developers in Cape Town. The concept is based on the popular Hacker Dojo space that was formed in Mountain View, California. The next event takes place on October 31 and you can find more information about it on www.codebridge.co.za

Silicon Cape VS Office Hours

If you’re planning a start up and need assistance and feedback on your ideas, this is a good event to attend. As any startup will know, the early stages are the most difficult (well, that and scaling) and this event can assist you with that. You need to book a timeslot and unfortunately the date for deadlines was on October 29th, but it’s always worth following up just in case they’re accepting more people. A great way to get some experienced feedback on your next big idea. The event takes place on November 1 at TheBarn (3rd Floor, Block B, Woodstock Exchange). You can call Ryno Lawson on 072 815 4853 for more information.


Another event for the more technical folk. Node.js is a platform built on Chrome’s JavaScript runtime for easily building fast, scalable network applications. As you can see, it’s for those of us who love JavaScript, which is probably fairly few of you who read this website, perhaps I’m wrong! I haven’t attended a NodeJS event unfortunately so I’m not able to vouch for the level of the event, but it’s run by Simon Bishop who you may contact on 083 282 0703 if you have any questions. Otherwise, the event takes place on November 5 at the Acceleration Offices on Kloof Street in the Longkloof Studios.


This year Cape Town has the privilege of hosting the first Umbraco event in Africa! The event aims to support and grow the local community and they’ve promised beers, snacks and giveaways. The event is for those who love web development and content management systems and takes place on November 6 at the Bluegrass Digital Offices which is at 21 Dreyer Street in Claremont. You can RSVP by visting their Meetup profile here.


For a lot of the producers in Cape Town, WordCamp will be the biggest event of the year. The event boasts a strong list of sponsors and a great line up of speakers. What should be interesting is that the duty of MC is being handled by Derick Watts & The Sunday Blues so we know there will be many laughs and a great vibe. The event is taking place on November 7 at the Cape Town Stadium. Included in your ticket is secure parking, lunch and a few other goodies! You need to act quickly though, tickets are going like hotcakes!

Free Marketing Support Drop Ins

This event is another opportunity for business owners, managers and marketers. If you’ve got a marketing idea you want to bounce of someone else or perhaps you’re struggling with something and would like assistance then this event could assist you with that. The event takes place on November 7 on the 1st Floor of the Truth Coffee Building. You’re welcome to call Alex Harrington-Griffin on 081 4501 901 if you have any questions, otherwise be sure to visit their Meetup profile here for more information.

MoMo Jamboree @ AfricaCom

Taking place at Shimmy Beach Club on November 11th is the Mobile Monday South Africa Jamboree. This is an event for folks who are into the mobile space and there’s even a special for those of you who run startups in the mobile space to pay a little and get additional exposure to your startup – to do so, you’ll need to email info@mobilemonday.org.za. I haven’t been to one of these events but there’s a great amount of information on their Eventbrite profile so perhaps take a good read of that.

Girl Geek Dinner

A geeky dinner for the ladies! Girl Geek Dinners were launched in 2011 with the aim of bringing together geeky ladies and their male counterparts. Over the past few years I’ve heard some really great feedback so if you’re a geeky gal then this is the event for you to attend – November 7 at Cafe Chic on Breda Street is where it’s taking part. You’ll be pleased to know that for the R180 you’ll get canapes, dessert, a welcome drink and a goodie bag! You can pop on over here to find out more information.

Startup Weekend

A 54 hour event  (15-17 November 2013) where startup enthusiasts including developers, designers, marketers and product managers come together to pitch ideas, form teams, build prototypes, hack business plans and launch startups. The event starts with open-mic elevator pitching on Friday evening – teams then form and start working towards an MVP. They receive input from industry expert coaches over the weekend, and present in front of a panel of judges by Sunday evening. An ideal way to network, find cofounders and test your startup idea. Want more information? Visit the website.


As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been given 5 tickets to WordCamp and all you need to do is leave a comment below and tell us how you discovered WordPress.

If you know of another event, please pop it in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do about adding it to this post.

Congratulations to the following winners:

  • Nate Kettles
  • Amanda Devine
  • Francois Smit
  • Karen Welter
  • rrcatto
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  • Jamaaludeen Khan

    I started blogging in 2007 – I used WordPress from the start, and I still do. I can’t remember how exactly I heard about it though.

  • Alan Levin

    Many many years ago when it was first out in Beta, I tested WP on our servers. Since that time I use it less and less mainly because of upgrade – plug-in versioning issues abused by badware and spammers

  • Goodness me that was fast!

  • Out of interest Alan, what content management system do you use? The upgrades are a bit of a nightmare, I can’t argue with that.

  • Warren Zwick

    I had to make a blog type interaction system for the company I worked for and after trying a few ‘out the box’ systems I had a look at wordpress after a suggestion from a good friend – I loved the backend and ease of use. pretty much since then it is all I use.

  • I think that’s the case for many people, the ease of use is certainly one of WordPress’ biggest selling points. I do WordPress training on an almost weekly basis and it’s the one content management system that I find clients are able to understand.

  • Ian Read ?

    I discovered WordPress way back when in version 2.6. It was the famous 5 minute install that came up in a Google Search

  • I remember the days of 2.1 and the likes. In fact, I have a website that still runs on an ancient version, viewing the Dashboard is something else! :D

  • Warren Zwick

    awww – you make it sound like its aimed at simpletons ;)
    Other pro points for me was the variety of templates and that the templates are, for the most part, very easy to edit. Special mention goes the the modular based system where plugins can be added and removed on the fly and how you can edit them with basic coding knowledge.

  • Ian Read ?

    errrmmm…. why are you still running an ancient version lol????

  • Marvin Leugering

    I started with WordPress in April 2012 when we moved @FoodBlogCT from Websitebaker to WordPress! How much easier life has been since then. :)

  • Thank you for your comment!

  • It’s an oooooold website that I no longer use, and have just left it online for laughs :)

  • Peter Sserwanga

    website baker?
    the name itself gives me the heevie jeebies

  • Alan Levin

    I find Blogger works well and it’s fairly customisable albeit a little more time consuming (sometimes) to setup…. sites.google, wikimedia and where needed Joomla…

  • That just makes me want to see it??!! LOL

  • True story – My boyfriend and I split up and suddenly had to figure a whole bunch of stuff out on my own. Goodbye Joomla, Hello WordPress.

    I have never looked back, best gift he ever gave me.

  • Francois Smit

    I first used WordPress in 2008, the hosted version on WordPress.com. I liked the wysiwyg simplicity and ease of use Blogger offered, but at that stage not being able to use it on your own domain was a deal breaker. After Blogger I gave WordPress a try, I thought it was nice, when going through the settings I found a link to download WordPress, installed it the work server and the rest is history. 5 years and numerous websites later and I still wouldn’t consider using anything else, even learned PHP thanks to WordPress.

    First Theme I ever installed was called Corpo Geek. :-)

  • Karen Welter

    Always heard but never knew. Wordcamp caught my eye two years in a row, but only now have a small social enterprise that has a wordpress site as it’s main lever. Learning the ropes Slowly,. Only three months in. Scary but love the potential. @longtablect

  • Dimitri Dhuyvetter

    Another interesting event coming up is Startup Grind Cape Town hosting Mark Forrester (WooThemes)

  • Karen Welter

    I’m the only one without an Avatar. Not working that well on an ipad

  • Zughdi Manuel

    I was battling with Joomla and Drupal and needed a CMS that was easy to use and manage. I discovered WordPress via Google ads and since that time I never looked back :)

  • Dimitri Dhuyvetter

    I can’t exactly remember when I discovered WordPress but I’ve been using it for more then 5 years. Took me some time to see the real value of it. I used to be a big fan of Drupal, but realised that often all someone really needs is a WordPress blog, with a custom theme and maybe a few plugins.

  • Warren Zwick


  • Ian Read ?

    so is it too soon to ask who won? ;)

  • How I discovered WordPress? Wow, to be honest it was probably through trial and error with those automated script installers (Fantastico) that you get on Basic Linux hosting accounts. I had tried Drupal and Joomla, but when I used WordPress it felt simple and straightforward, yet quite powerful for my needs. Then I discovered the massive theme and plugin community. I was sold!

  • rrcatto

    Your link to the 27dinner twitter account needs work.

    I discovered WordPress in late 2005. A customer’s web site was built using it. Her son, a geek, built it for her. I was using MoveableType at that time and didn’t particularly like it much because it was difficult to work with. I took a look at WordPress and liked many of its features (for instance MT required a web site to be manually regenerated every time you updated it – wtf?) Some of my earliest blog posts are actually imports from my original MT blog.

  • Congratulations Nate, you’re a winner! You’ll be contacted shortly with further details.

  • Congratulations Richard, you’re a winner of one of the tickets. You will be contacted shortly.

  • Congratulations Francois, you’re a winner! You’ll receive further details shortly.

  • Congratulations Amanda, you’re a winner of one of the tickets! You’ll receive further information shortly.

  • Congratulations Karen, you’re a winner. Stay tune and you’ll receive further information shortly :)

  • Francois Smit

    Thank you Chris, I appreciate it!

  • Thanks Chris

  • Awesome! Thanks so much :)

  • rrcatto

    Thanks, Chris. This will be my first one. I’ve booked and will be there. Hope I run into you there.

  • Sorry Ian, I announced the winners and messaged them. I’ve only just seen your comment now -_-

  • How was it Amanda?

  • How was it Francois?

  • Haha, the beauty is that it can work for non-technical folk and technical folk. Templates are great, Magento, Joomla and so forth get templates too, but I find them overly complicated to get working.

  • How was it Karen?

  • “Your WordPress 2.3.1 is out of date. Please update.” haha!

  • Screenshot above :D

  • Thank you for sharing Dimitri! I’ve been overloaded with comments and am only having a chance to update now.

  • Enjoyed a lot. Stuff went over my head but got a lot of insight. Thanks again

  • Fantastic :) Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Francois Smit

    Hey Chris

    It was really informative. Apart from the speakers, the thing that stood out most for me is how well everything was organised. The overall experience was consistent with what I have experienced ‘online’ with WooThemes. It’s not often that you find a company that offers that type of consistency. Definitely something we all should aspire to achieve.

    Thanks again for giving me the ticket!

    Best Regards

  • Hey Francois,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write back to me with a detailed response, I truly appreciate that and am thrilled to hear that it was a success. I was sad to not attend this year as I’ve attended previous WordCamp’s and they’ve always been a blast, especially a few years ago where I got to have a drink with Matt himself!

    Take care and hope to see you on iMod in the future :)