One of the best ways to grow the Django community is to have more high-quality Django developers. The good news is that we’ve seen sharply increasing demand for Django web applications. The challenge that we and many other firms face is that there’s much higher demand than there is supply: there aren’t enough high-quality Django developers. We’ve talked about this issue intensely internally and with our friends while at DjangoCon and PyCon. We decided that we can offer at least one solution: a new Django-focused code school.
Astro will be a separate company under Caktus. To support Astro, we welcome Brian Russell, the new director of Astro. Brian is the former owner of Carrboro Creative Coworking, the place where Caktus got its start. In addition to being a long-term supporter of new developers, Brian is also an artist and entrepreneur. He has a special interest in increasing diversity within open source. Django itself is one of the most respectful and welcoming places for women and minorities and he’s excited to contribute.
Our first and leading instructor will be Caleb Smith, a Caktus developer since 2011. Caleb first joined Caktus as an intern, straight from his days as a public school music teacher. He continued to teach while at Caktus, supporting free and low-cost courses for women through the nonprofit Girl Develop It RDU. He’s also currently teaching an advanced web application course at the University of North Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
We’re building out the space for Astro currently on the first floor of our new headquarters in Downtown Durham. Astro Code School will have a dedicated 1,795 square feet of space. Construction should be complete by April.