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JT Smith

JT Smith

JT Smith is the founder and CEO of Plain Black Corporation, and creator of the open source content management system WebGUI. In 1999, JT began working on a project called Web Done Right. A professional in Internet technology since 1992, he recognized the need for a web application framework that married both ease of use and power. Web Done Right evolved and after a number of revisions JT launched WebGUI and its parent company, Plain Black Corporation, in 2001. Less than a decade since its inception, WebGUI has become one of the most popular content management systems available.

In the process, JT's expertise and experience have earned him recognition as an innovative and knowledgeable leader in the open source community. JT has spoken internationally at conferences and institutions including HOSC, PerlSIG, OSCOM, Harvard, Frozen Perl, and YAPC. He has written articles and given expert interviews for such publications as eWeek, CIO, ComputerWorld, LinuxWorld, the Intranet Journal,, Chicago Daily Herald, and NewsForge. He also supports local publications and user groups by speaking and participating as a leader in the open source community. JT Smith, Plain Black Corporation, and WebGUI are currently headquartered in Madison, WI.

JT is always working on new companies and projects. His current portfolio includes:

The Game Crafter
The world's first web-to-print game publishing company with a print on demand service for game designers.

The Lacuna Expanse
A massively multiplayer online space strategy game that can be played in the browser or on IOS devices. Designed to be fun for casual gamers with a full menu of features, options, and strategies for power gamers.

The world's largest collection of CMS comparison data. The matrix allows visitors to compare up to 10 CMS products at a time. Over 1200+ CMS products are currently available. 

A new web app that provides companies with a better way to collect and analyze customer feedback and ideas.


Speaking Engagements

Frozen Perl - 2009
JT's presentation, entitled "The Stack", explained how using an application stack can prevent compatibility problems with an application's prerequisite modules and applications. In addition, the session explained how using an application stack can reduce an administrator's support load.

Yet Another Perl Conference (YAPC) - 2008
Presentations included:

  • WebGUI Workshop
  • The Stack
  • Why WebGUI?

JT regularly volunteers to share his knowledge with the local chapter of the Madison Perl Mongers frequently speaking on topics such as:

  • System Administration with Perl
  • Writing Network Daemons with Perl
  • POE
  • Perl web development
  • mod_perl

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) - 2007
JT presented "The Business of Open Source" to the Chicago Chapter ACM. This presentation was based on a series of open source articles that he wrote which were published on the homepage of

Yet Another Perl Conference (YAPC) - 2006
Presentations included:

  •  Managing A Giant Perl Project
  •  Building a Workflow Engine with POE and mod_perl

Holland Open Software Conference (HOSC) - 2006
JT gave a presentation on WebGUI 7. 

PerlSIG (a division of UniForum)
JT gave a developer presentation on WebGUI 7.

JT gave a presentation on open source content management systems, and the future of OSS and CMS. This is also where he officially launched

OSS Chicago
Over a two year period JT spoke five times at OSS Chicago. Presentations included:

  • The Myths of Open Source
  • WebGUI and Open Source Content Management
  • Why Open Source
  • Open Source Productivity Tools
  • BIE and Open Source Integration

Chicago Perl Mongers
JT has presented at the Chicago Perl Mongers several times over the years on topics like:

  • Perl and Content Management
  • POE
  • mod_perl
  • Perl Templating Engines

JT participated in a panel about the economics of open source business, which included three other panelists, one each from Sleepycat Software, Red Hat, and the Apache Foundation.

International Association for Open Source Content Management (OSCOM)
JT spoke about WebGUI and the business of open source.

WebGUI Users Conference
JT delivers the signature keynote "State of WebGUI" address and the wrap up session "Stump the Chump" at the WebGUI User's Conference every year. In addition, he presents on many other topics relating to WebGUI and web development.

Contact Information

For more information about Plain Black Corporation, product offerings, or booking JT Smith for a speaking engagement, please contact:

Tavis Parker

Phone: 703-286-2525 x880
E-mail: tavis AT plainblack DOT com