Ars at DjangoCon: Day two round-up

Mark Ramm of TurboGears

The second day of DjangoCon spent more of the morning in panel sessions after a keynote by TurboGears' Mark Ramm on the dangers of Django becoming more like the doomed Zope 2. (Ars Coverage) HangZhou Night Net

The first panel of the day was on the technical design of Django and consisted of five core contributors to the Django project. Questions were posed by Michael Trier on a number of subjects including design decisions made throughout the life of the project and ideas for the future.

Adrian Holovaty, James Bennett, Simon Willison, Jacob Kaplan-Moss, Russell Keith-Magee, Malcolm Tredinnick

The second panel of the morning was on the role of Django in the field of journalism (the field that gave birth to Django). On the panel were Matt Waite of the St. Petersburg Times, Matt Croydon of Mediaphormedia and the Lawrence Journal-World, Maura Chace of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Ben Welsh of the Los Angeles Times. The panel was moderated by Adrian Holovaty, who himself has become a posterboy of journalist slash web developers everywhere. Topics ranged on how to convince your bosses to use Django (tell them they'll make money), the challenges of educating non-technical reporters on the finer points of the Django admin application (it's not as hard as it sounds), and a laundry list of problems solved and projects saved by the framework. (Webmonkey coverage)

Ben Welsh / LA Times, Matt Waite / St. Petersburg Times, Maura Chace / Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Matt Croydon / Mediaphormedia

During lunch, a series of roughly 15 lightning talks took place that covered a varied set of topics that range from why developers should use VIM, expositions of several content management systems (Gondola and Ella), an explanation of DjangoPlugables, some novel new test generation methods, and more.

After lunch, the conference again split into two tracks. I chose to attend the Code Design and Patch Writing talk by core developer Malcolm Tredinnick and a panel discussion on Django Success Stories.

The code design and patch writing talk focused on many of the problems faced by the Django triage team. Malcolm gave many concrete examples of things to avoid when submitting patches (i.e. removing debugging code and following PEP 8). Malcolm moved into more fuzzy areas of patch writing such as being about to sniff out the root cause of a problem as opposed to submitting patches which merely address symptoms. Finally, Malcolm offered up real world tickets and patches and described why or why not they were accepted and critiqued their form.

The Django success stories panel focused on five businesses and how using Django has helped them. Whiskey Media, The Onion, Pownce, Disqus, The Free Software Foundation, and Mediaphormedia. Topics ranged from the decisions that led to using Django which varied from "it wasn't PHP" to "it was the best tool for the job." One of the more interesting discussions centered around the ease with which the companies could hired qualified Django developers. Many indicated it was extremely difficult to find individuals with deep Django knowledge (most are tied up with more work than they can handle) but the overarching consensus was to find knowledgable programmers in their own fields who generally could pick up Django in a matter of weeks. (Webmonkey coverage)

The penultimate sessions was a live version of the community-focused Django podcast, This Week in Django. It was a fairly straightforward version of the show, complete with talks about the release of version 1.0, their newly launched website, a mention of the conference and podcast in Linux Magazine, interviews with the team from Disqus and James Tauber of Pinax/Cloud37.

Michael Trier and Brian Rosner of This Week in Django

Finally, the day and conference were wrapped up with an extremely candid and open talk about the future of Django with co-founders Adrian Holovaty and Jacob Kaplan-Moss. (Ars Coverage)

For anyone who would be interested in the above talks, all were recorded by Google and will be made available shortly (depending on your definition of "shortly") on YouTube for the world to watch. We'll keep Open Ended updated when the videos drop.

For more photos from the event, check out my Flickr photoset.

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