Django: Under The Hood

This year I a had an opportunity to attend Django: Under The Hood. A single track conference focused solely on Django. Due to a fact that significant number of contributors are attending, it's great opportunity to discuss almost any issue with people who actually have a clue what is going on.

The conference takes place in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is wonderful city especially for me as a newbie cyclist. It's fascinating to see so many people using bikes when infrastructure supports it.

I decided to stay in a hostel so I could be able to walk almost anywhere and stay on budget. I picked Cocomama which turned out to be great choice. I picked room for 6 people, but I had the room for myself for two nights before the weekend! Another cool thing is that there's a cat in the kitchen! Every morning he wanted me to let him go to the garden.

All the talks were great and insightful, but four of them were very interesting for me. Andrew Godwin talked about Channels. He talked about what do channels solve, how do they work and what is the current state.

Jennifer Akullian shared how takes care about their employee's mental health and what steps should we all take when we feel somewhat weird. She started the talk describing her mental condition which really helped to emphasize her words.

For last three months I've worked as a fullstack JavaScript developer so I didn't expect to learn anything new from Idan Gazit's talk Modern JavaScript, but I actually did. I can ditch semicolons altogether when I don't start lines with backtick `, open parens ( or open bracket [. Idan did a great job describing current state of JavaScript, which is very complex for newcomers.

Carl Meyer has joined Instagram only 6 months ago but as an experienced core Django contributor he had no trouble describing history of Django at Instagram. He also focused on how is code deployed and monitored with such a huge user base.

Sprints are as important as talks are on this conference. I would say that almost every attendee came to sprints as well. This time sprints took place at Impact Hub Amsterdam. For me, being Impact Hub Prague fan, I was happy to visit Hub abroad.

During sprints I skimmed through Django's issue tracker and found one task that seemed reasonable. Its an issue where required attribute on select causes HTML validation failures in some cases.

I managed to pull out the fix in few hours and at four o'clock I already had first code review. There were various places I missed something or just didn't know about, but all the reviewers were really friendly and helpful.

We went through several iterations and I learned a lot about Python and Django during my work on this issue. So I totally recommend contributing to opensource to everyone.

On this day there were also eleven dinners with organizers and/or contributors. I attended one focused on topic "My first experience with the Django community was..." which attracted people involved in Django Girls and PyLadies. I appreciate such activities, because its really helps people with networking!

Organizers did a splendid job and I had a wonderful time during Django: Under The Hood. I'm happy to be part of this wonderful community.