Djangocon: lightning talks day 1

Tags: django, djangocon

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

Note beforehand: it all goes by so quick that I’m bound to miss (or mangle) names. If you want something corrected, just send me a mail or comment below. URLs to projects are also welcome if I missed them :-)

I am a doctor…. - Dr Russell Keith-Magee

10 year veteran of the django core team. He also started BeeWare, a set of IDE tools. He also started his own company.

He’s also a doctor in computer science. So what he’s going to say isn’t medical advice.

He has his fingers in a lot of pies. He was an angry man in the recent years. He also had some health problems with his back and shoulders.

A few months ago, he broke down and couldn’t take it any more. He didn’t have any energy anymore to do anything. Diagnosis: deep depression. He’s started therapy and is fine now. He’s just started, so it is too far off to declare victory yet.

Why he goes public: he wants to tell us to not put off going to a therapist or doctor. He put it off for much too long.

Russell is by any imaginable measure a very successful member of the django community. So if he can get depressed, everyone can get depressed. Don’t put off a visit to the doctor if you have any doubts at all whether you might be depressed.

The first software engineer - Andrew Godwin

He showed a 1969 photo of Margaret Hamilton with the entire printed out source code of the apollo 11 landing module. 2 meters high. Margareth was the first one to coin the term software engineer.

By accident, two of the available radars were switched on instead of only the landing radar. The processor could not handle it.

The landing went OK anyway because they assumed something would go wrong and they build in something to prioritize the landing radar.

Login canary - MarkusH

He needed a side project to take his mind off his PhD thesis. So something that emails you when someone tries to log in as you, but has the wrong password. So as a “canary in the coalmine” as a first warning.

django-login-canary. See

Sprint on axelrod - Owen

He tries to encourage us to join a sprint on . “A repository to reproduce Axelrod’s iterated prisoner’s dilemma as a Django based web application.”

The axelrod experiment tries to make sense of “cooperative behaviour”, one of the initially weird things in Darwin’s evolution theory. He proved cooperative behaviour could indeed spring to life on its own.

They’re now writing a django app that can help prove it. Have a look, you could be contributing to the theory of evolution itself.

Web scraping with scrapy and selenium - Johnston

He uses scrapy to scrape websites for information on hotels for your pets.

He then used selenium to interact with tripadvisor. Tripadvisor does weird encoding and obfuscation with javascript. But selenium is a great browser test tool, so it could handle everything tripadvisor did, including redirects. Afterwards he could scrape the data out of the end result.

That’s why he likes python! It makes stuff like this easy.

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

Hackership - Heiko Schol , a self-directed learning hands-on retreat for developers. It takes a couple of weeks. The participants plan themselves what they want to do.

It is a safe space. You can admit to insecurities and admit that you need help with something. There are coaches, but you do most of the work yourself.

There is a little bit of structure to help keep everything on track.

The next one is this summer in Berlin.

iwoca - Romain Garrigues

EU banks are declining 5M small/medium business loan demands. Often simply because the loan process is too expensive because the process is too heavy.

They’re trying to create a system that makes it quicker and cheaper. By automating the process.

They use django for it as the central core. Around it are salesforce, credit check services, banks, amazon, paypal, ebay and so. Just to get information.

They need to collect lots of information. They use twisted to quickly get the information. Analysis comes next, with for instance Pandas timeseries. And the last step is to use it all in real time: angular.js and

Some of the code is available at

Working collectively to love our work - Daniel

He thinks a basic problem many of us have is that we work for bad companies. “You need to work on saturdays because you won’t keep your job otherwise, but we won’t give you more money”. Ouch.

He now works for a wonderful place to work. The colleagues are fine and he has 30 days off every year and he has reasonable (but not terribly high) salary. It is possible.

Cannot we collectively organize ourselves? Nothing like a union, mind. Just sharing information on salary and days off and work hours. This way you could find the nicer companies to work for.

A secret announcement

There will be a python conference in the Czech republic later this year.

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.

Weblog feeds

Most of my website content is in my weblog. You can keep up to date by subscribing to the automatic feeds (for instance with Google reader):