DjangoCon 2019: Django Fellow Carlton Gibson giving his talk

Above: Django Fellow Carlton Gibson gives a talk on "Your Web Framework Needs You: An Update."

Again this year, DjangoCon more than delivered on its promise of something for everyone. A keynote on burnout and balance? Thoroughly entertaining! Jessica Rose’s talk left us in stitches. Who knew a talk about occupational burnout could be so fun? It was one of a wide range of subjects covered in three days of talks, bookended by a day of tutorials and two days of sprints. The conference took place in San Diego and ran from September 22 - 26. What a great week of learning and networking!

Caktus was honored to sponsor again this year, our tenth in a row. Attending this year from Caktus were Karen Tracey, lead developer and technical director; Jeremy Gibson, developer; Erin Mulaney, contractor developer; and myself, Ian Huckabee, CBDO.

The Talks …

The sessions packed a strong lineup of speakers with a diversity of topics, and this year, every word was captured with closed captioning.

  • There were the practical: Luan Fonseca, for example, went to great lengths to ensure you’re never left with technical debt in this era of sustainable software. He addressed how to find it, how to deal with it, and how to keep it low through pragmatic code and architectural design patterns.
  • There was the unspeakable: Melanie Crutchfield invoked the horror of discovering you didn't write tests(!) and showed how having to retrofit untested Django code can make you a believer in the magic of testing.
  • There was the philosophical: Daniele Procida’s brilliant talk, a favorite among our Cakti, related nothingness and identity in Python and Django to utopia, politics, and theories of agency, leaving attendees with a new dimension to their understanding of the discipline.
  • And there was the inspirational: Erin Mullaney, whom we proudly claim as one of our own, a former Caktus staffer and now successful independent contractor, showed how easy it can be to roll your own tech job and start a business or side hustle from scratch, complete with tips on overcoming any fears of becoming your own boss.

The Walks …

Kudos to the organizers for a second year at this location. San Diegans complain that when the temperature is below 70 degrees it’s too cold, and when it’s in the 80s it’s too hot. By these standards, it was perfect all week. Which made the hotel’s well-appointed breezeway perfect for between-session breaks to code, Slack, or hold a quick meeting in the sun. And the walking trails provided opportunities for head-clearing, light exercise, and, in the case of some attendees, a chance to get their minds around nothingness and identity in Python and Django.

The Django Community Spirit ...

This six-day international conference “for the community by the community” was filled with a diverse and welcoming community. Django Fellow Carlton Gibson gave a quick update on changes that make it even easier to contribute to Django and offered ideas on how members of the Django community can get involved, and event organizers offered free workshops on contributing to open source and contributing to Django. As Carlton proclaimed in the title of his talk, “Your web framework needs you!”

We held our second annual Caktus Mini Golf event on Wednesday evening at Tiki Town Adventure Golf, and this year we had 52 RSVPs! This mid-week break gave us a chance to enjoy the ocean breeze and make new friends. Thanks to everyone who came out, and congrats to our winner Chris Gillispie who received a $100 Amazon gift card for shooting the lowest score.

Thanks to all the organizers, volunteers, and fellow sponsors who made DjangoCon 2019 a big success. We look forward to seeing you again next year!

See more Caktus updates from DjangoCon on Twitter.

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