Emilia Dawson

Based in sunny South Africa, Jonathan Kowensky — better known as Joni — is our wonderful Senior Developer. As a thrill seeker with exceptional puzzle-solving skills and a thirst for knowledge, Joni is, what we’d call, a king of all trades. 

Computing has always been a passion for Joni, who has been playing with — and even building — computers since he was 14 years-old. It took no time before he was delving into coding, studying the basics at the early age of 16. Now, Joni gets to build new websites from scratch, conduct website speed analysis and optimization, and, when given the opportunity, create cool animations!

But software development isn’t his only passion. Before becoming a Senior Developer at Brafton, he studied physical rehabilitation and obtained extensive qualifications in the health industry, from nutrition, exercise science, post-op rehabilitation to cancer rehabilitation. And he still found ways to incorporate his technical skills into his role as a physical trainer, developing an AI personal training mobile application for high-risk clients called reAnimate.

Working Among Creatives

Before landing his current position at Brafton, Joni was keen to work within a large team that assigned ever-changing development projects on a regular basis. With our wide range of clients, it’s safe to say Joni got exactly what he was looking for.  

Client satisfaction is what drives Joni’s motivation at Brafton. Every single client project is someone’s priority and he understands what it means to them. That’s why there’s nothing more satisfying to him than making someone’s ideas a reality. He likes to view his work as shaping a “little code world” where every aspect is identified, managed and controlled.

“I love working with such nice, professional and fun people; with a vast diversity in culture and nationality.” He adds, “I really enjoy the variation in projects at Brafton and being part of such a powerful and warm family.”

Furthermore, despite having a largely technical role, Joni still gets to flex his creative side. 

“It’s great working with the creatives. We have our role-specific quirks and feel that we see eye to eye very well. Although I’ve used the line ‘don’t trust the dev with pretty’ in the past, I do feel that in the moments where clients leave some room for imagination, I am also a creative.”

life@ Jonathan Kowensky quote

Exercising the Mind

Joni’s impressively large bank of knowledge didn’t just appear overnight. He’s been absorbing copious amounts of information for years. 

“The first non-school book I read was Graham Hancock’s Orion Mystery. My grandmother gave it to me when I was 16 and boy was it a tough read. This opened my passion into studying theosophy, psychology, philosophy anthropology and esotericism. She taught me to ask ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ — she opened my mind so much that it almost fell out.”

Joni once had to spend a month in a library researching Einstein, Martin Buber, Mahatma Gandhi and Jan Smuts’ communications for a South African government heritage project where Mahatma Gandhi perfected Satyagraha (passive resistance). Apparently, he can still smell those old papers.

Now, Joni exercises his mind every week with coding riddles and challenges — asking the ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ — and breaking down the puzzles piece by piece. He prides himself in his neuro linguistic programming capabilities; as far as coding goes, Joni mainly uses PHP, Sass (CSS), HTML, Javascript and jQuery on a machine running on Linux. 

The challenges don’t stop there. Joni’s conquered nearly every element, taking on wild stunts, such as fire spinning, water skiing, walking on hot coals and summiting Kilimanjaro — at this point, he’s proven to be anyone’s first choice as a zombie apocalypse companion. Despite these massive achievements, the biggest ongoing challenge for Joni is being able to find an object he’s looking for when it’s sitting right in front of him.

Joni describes himself in the way he hopes others would, a caring, hard-working but easygoing person who could probably afford to learn how to avoid cracking jokes at the wrong time. Both personally and professionally, he’s always ready to offer a helping hand, and he works hard to understand all perspectives and realities at any given moment. These include his own perspectives, those of people involved and the truth that lies between. 

At the end of a working day, you’ll find Joni either peacefully tending to his herb and vegetable garden, binge watching the latest acclaimed TV series or competing against anyone who stands in his way in oculus paintball.