My annotated guide to DjangoCon videos

* Note: This post came from a version of this blog that got lost in a server failure. It's been restored from old RSS feeds, Google caches and other sources. As such, the comments, links and associated media have been lost.

I've been meaning to post my notes from DjangoCon since I got back but haven't had time. Now with the posting of the DjangoCon sessions on YouTube , I'm fresh out of excuses. Now it's an annoated guide to the sessions I attended and took notes on.

Reusable Apps: James Bennett

Pound for pound, this was the most eye opening and enlightening session I went to. I learned Django without anyone to tell me The Right Way to do it. I learned by doing, reading, asking and when that failed, Google searching for help. This session showed me all of the things I was doing that wasn't exactly the best way.

Some highights: Your applications should do one thing and do it well. You don't have to do everything in one monolithic application (like me). If you can't describe your app in one or two short sentences, you need to review. And don't be afraid of multiple apps (like me).

GeoDjango: Justin Bronn

Anyone who knows me knows I am a serious GIS geek. I love GeoDjango . I used GeoDjango to launch Neighborhood Watch and this blog started on a branch of GeoDjango. GeoDjango is now part of Django 1.0 as a contributed application. It's amazing, and I don't think people realize how much more amazing Django is for having GeoDjango baked into it. I think when my journalist friends see what you can do with GeoDjango -- for a taste, skip to about 35:45 in the video -- they're going to freak out.

In the session, Justin does a good job laying out some GIS basics, giving you some eye candy and then showing you how easy really complex geographic queries are within GeoDjango.

Why I Hate Django: Cal Henderson

If you are remotely geeky and webby, this keynote is hilarious. Henderson is an engineer at Flickr and a gifted speaker. His talk is loaded with web developer humor, but wrapped in it all are some good points about how massive scale is hard or impossible with Django. I would love to have the massive scale problems Henderson describes - any newspaper would sacrifice interns to the page view gods to have those problems. Interestingly enough, some of the problems he talks about have solutions in the works now.

Quick hits

Django in Journalism: This is the panel I was on. I think it went well and we got a lot of good feedback. Check it out. We talked about development pressures unique to newsrooms, the awesomeness that is the admin, troubles with journalism online and a few other issues.

Schema Evolutions: This is one I need to go back and watch again. Changing your data models after you've started is a real pain in Django. This panel showed three separate projects to make this less painful.

What's New in Newforms Admin: I've always taken the approach of not screwing with the admin much because it works for me. Brian Rosner made me rethink that approach.

Panels I didn't go to but need to watch now:

Pinax: A complete social networking site in one project. People were raving about this session.

Inside the ORM: Similarly, people were raving about Malcolm Tredinnick's peek inside the object-relational model for Django.

High performance Django: Lots of suggestions on how to make a high traffic Django site fly.

Django Success Stories: Hear how people made cool sites with Django.

In all, DjangoCon was a great experience for me. I learned a lot, met a lot of great people and came back burning up with ideas. You can hardly ask for more out of a conference.

Oh, and one other note: Your wildest fantasies about what working at Google is like? Yeah, it's better than that. The facilities were amazing, the perks for Googlers are deserving of their legend. I kept waiting for someone to tell me that the bottled water was really purified unicorn tears or something similarly amazing. My company cafeteria just doesn't look the same after that trip.

By: Matt Waite | Posted: Oct. 17, 2008 | Tags: Personal, Django | 0 comments