Djangocon: Reaching out, Django in the social sciences - Lucie Daeye

Tags: django, djangocon

(One of the summaries of a talk at the 2015 Djangocon EU conference).

Lucie Daeye is a social scientist that just picked up django last year. But she already organized a django girls paris event and is busy getting a PyLadies Paris started.

For her research, she has to keep all sorts of data on restaurants. Addresses, text from interviews, other data. She thought there would be already software for that. Something with automatic address import, perhaps automatic simple maps, easy way to add notes, etcetera.

She asked her professor for the name of the software she needed to download and he said “use a spreadsheet”. Ouch. No.

Back to paper? All kinds of papers in multiple folders? No… She asked other PhDs for what they’re using. Basically electronic files in lots of remote folders…

She complained to a developer friend who pointed her at Django. She got something simple working with the django admin. A single “Restaurant” model. Now she wanted to have a map. Which meant she actually had to program.

She saw that there would be a one-workshop for woman that wanted to learn programming (djangogirls). One one-day workshop and 10 hours of work afterwards and she now has a well-working well-looking small website for her research data.

She felt empowered as a social sciences student. There is so much that is possible once you can make websites like this!

As a developer, what can you do? You could help django girls workshops. Or set up or help initiatives at universities or community centers. Or write usable teaching material that doesn’t assume that you know what a “fibionacci number” is.

So, django community: stay the same helpful community that is welcoming to newcomers. And start helping initiatives like this.

A model railway at the 2015 'ontraxs' exhibition in Utrecht logo

About me

My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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