Sarah is a Backend Developer at Octopus Energy and a member of the Django Accessibility team. We discuss her work improving the Django docs and admin, starting the Djangonaut Space program, organizing Django Paris meetups, and more.
Carlton Gibson 0:06
Hi welcome to Django Chat, a podcast on the Django web framework. I'm Carlton Gibson joined by Will Vincent. Hello Will.
Will Vincent 0:13
Carlton Gibson 0:14
Hello. And today we've got Sarah Abderemane with us. Thank you so much for coming on.
Sarah Abderemane 0:18
Thank you for having me.
Carlton Gibson 0:19
Now we're really excited. We're really excited. You know, I always think you've been around for a few years in the community when sort of the newer people in the community and so for me how old old man, how would my walking stick but tell us who you are? Tell us, you know, how did you find Django? And how are we so blessed to have you?
Sarah Abderemane 0:42
Okay, this is a long story rich. I don't have the usual path. I started with marketing degrees. I was planning to do like, international trade, which didn't really like it. But during my studies, I meet a developer and we talked a lot since I will want to do marketing stuff. And I find it really cool what is it was doing so we will explaining how it works. We do so and during my studies I have a course to do when you when you have to build a website, but not really with could. And we some blogs, we've Dreamweaver long that's how I got started.
Will Vincent 1:44
Yeah, same Dreamweaver.
Sarah Abderemane 1:47
So I found it really cool, even though I didn't really work through the code. And I talked to my teacher and told me I should go this way and start to learn to learn by my own. So when I finished my studies in marketing, I started to to learn by my own Wave some resources on the internet. And the developer I met during my internship helped me to to have some guidelines in and then I done a master in programming. Okay,
Carlton Gibson 2:19
so can I ask what was it about international trade you didn't like?
Sarah Abderemane 2:25
It, it's like, when you you buy some stuff, and you you sell them to another country? And I want you to do that. Like, I really like to chat with people in whichever languages. But yeah, when I discover what is really your buys, I didn't like it so much. So I changed my plan.
Carlton Gibson 2:46
Right? Okay, the catalog didn't live up to like the reality didn't live up to the catalog. Yes.
Will Vincent 2:52
By programming, you've stuck with programming. So programming seems like it's the catalog is fit a little bit better to use Carlton's analogy. Yay.
Sarah Abderemane 3:00
I started to learn with HTML and CSS, I've done like my my CV in a website with free page, I was really glad. And after that, I started to, to do more dynamic stuff. And with with school, I learned php. And so I started to do more things, which is more dynamic and looks more more on the website you can see on the internet. And during my, during my master, I was doing like, I think we say like in block release training, like we have week in, in the school and other weeks in the company. Okay. And I was learning Python with my mentor at at a company. So I discovered Python, like that. And I really liked the language. So I started to learn a bit more on my free time. That
Carlton Gibson 4:07
sounds like a awesome way to do it, as well as always banging on about how computer science courses don't teach web programming, right?
Will Vincent 4:17
Which is true.
Carlton Gibson 4:20
But like you get in that way, you get the best of both worlds, you get some actual real world, I'm building an application working with a company, I'm doing something that's on the ground, but you also get the kind of theoretical background which is
Sarah Abderemane 4:31
quite important and helpful. Yes, I want you to because I started to learn by my own and you always not have all the best practice I will say and I think it's helped a lot also to to have some theoretical since you start with nothing. So that's also why I want you to do some studies about
Will Vincent 4:54
where you have a master's but I was gonna say Carlton and I don't have formal education, computer science, but I think there Do something to starting to learn on your own and then adding the theoretical component because if you just do computer science through school, then when you graduate, I think there is, it can be a little. There's a disconnect when it's like, no one's just gonna tell you what to do next. It's really up to you. But when you start with that attitude of I have to take ownership of learning and deciding what to do. That's really what, yeah, keep going with it is like you have, it's up to you. Yeah, so that's not the worst mindset.
Sarah Abderemane 5:30
I think I wouldn't have done the same if I didn't learn by my own people. Because when you learn by studies, it's feel like really their recall. And you don't have the same feeling as you learn by your own, like building serve. And you see how we how it works and see if it's actually showing on your page. So it's really a nice feeling. And I think this is something I really want you to to push more and learn more about. So yeah,
Will Vincent 6:01
I think especially if you're used to doing some other type of work to then have programming where, especially with HTML, CSS to start, you can do the work and then see it do it seems like that, that feedback loop. Many jobs don't have that. Yeah. And, and so that, that feeling you chase it, you know, it becomes harder to chase as you get older, but you still get it. It just maybe takes you I mean, Carlton, what, like a couple of months instead of a couple of minutes to
Carlton Gibson 6:32
depends on Well, maybe if you test driven development, of course, because you write your test and it fails, and then you fix it and it passes then you write another test. Programmers
Will Vincent 6:39
get all the time, but like so many, most, most jobs, you don't ever take a moment to be like, that's, that's that that's off the list. Yeah,
Carlton Gibson 6:48
I thought you were making the other point. But yeah, no, that's true.
Will Vincent 6:53
Well, we have a long list of things to discuss with you. Go ahead, Carlton. Well,
Carlton Gibson 6:57
I was gonna say though, Sarah, you're late. So you're late. So I got to know you by the Django community, you community machine new. So you first popped up like you don't reward you do everything you do, you first stepped up on my radar for joining the accessibility team. So good. I've got so many questions about accessibility. So let me just fire them off and take them in any order. How did you get involved with what you know? What's your background in accessibility? How did you come to think, oh, you know, I'm going to join you. I'm going to get involved helping Django there. And then, you know, what, what are your kind of tips for the people who aren't necessarily accessibility experts we're getting into, because I think it's something that's really important, but there's a lack of, I think, how to it's like, you know, okay, you need these are the checklist, you need to follow it all, you know, perhaps they're there, but we don't know about them.
Sarah Abderemane 7:45
Okay. So when I get to, like security first of all, I, I want you to do accessibility stuff, thanks to a friend, which was a coworker before and he had some disabilities to see some stuff and he was he had on his slack, some some shape to to distinguish each each element and one one day he asked me to do some is change your color on the pipeline, and I didn't get why as a as a first instance. And because when you have, for example, the red color for error and the green one from for the success it didn't really see as the green one. And for him, it was exactly the same. And it was horrible to see if it's passed or failed. So I changed the color in blue for him to really see the differences and I started to learn more accessibility by that things to him. And, and discover so many stuff and I want you to learn more and elbow so other people like him. So this is my story with accessibility.
Carlton Gibson 9:23
Okay, but Okay, so I'm just going to go there because I'm like, okay, so colors, how am I to know what are the right colors to use? How am I to you know how because, okay, there's something I care about, I have no idea what to do, what do I do? So
Sarah Abderemane 9:36
you have for example, a website which is called who can use.com And you have ability to see many types of disabilities and two, for example, you have the background color and foreground color you can choose wherever You want for both colored and you will see which renders for each type. And so it will help you to, to, to, to choose the best color for, for, for example a website or, or like some text on the on the background. So this is a tool I use a lot. You also have some extension on, on navigators, which also helped to change the color of the of the website. So for example, you can enable more high constructs level to see how it renders if you can see everything with source colors. And also on on dev tool on each navigators, you will also have the ability to see the level of the contrast if it's enough, or not. Most of the time, it's great from from zero to one, if I'm not mistaken. And it will tell you if it's a low level or a high enough level to, to to choose that. So, so most high level it's free. Hey, and the really low it's
Will Vincent 11:26
one Hey. So then how did you make the leap from having your eyes open to accessibility to then joining the Django team? What was that process?
Sarah Abderemane 11:36
It's a fun one. Initially, I, I do open source by night. And websites was really annoying to me. To to see like them too wide, like brand really flashy, especially. And it's really, really late. So I started to make a dark mode. And, and I thought it would be useful for everyone. So So I was doing everything on the documentation and Tom carrying study to review my work. And, and then I finished it at Django con Europe on the sprints. And Zenzi. They asked me if I want to join the team,
Will Vincent 12:29
when I believe and the admin as well, right, because that was one of the I forget sorry, I forget the timing. Was that a year ago? Or when was that when you'd added the light and dark mode to the admin? So two years ago,
Sarah Abderemane 12:41
I think it's since two years ago.
Will Vincent 12:43
Oh god, how old am I?
Carlton Gibson 12:48
A while back now.
Will Vincent 12:49
Yeah. So Carlton and I are squinting are like what is that feeling? Yeah,
Carlton Gibson 12:53
but But you So you did the docs, and then you did the admin as a follow up in the following release? Right. And I remember one of the big issues was, well, how can we enable configuration of this? So you know, you had to introduce the switch here. And it had to be nice and lightweight. Kind of all in all of these? Yes, it's important.
Sarah Abderemane 13:13
I discovered so much extension and taIking. Just to to make the switch. I was. So I think it was a need for for the Django community. So I'm glad I put that.
Carlton Gibson 13:27
No, I mean, it's a super advanced, isn't it to one thing that you've talked about a couple of tools, and we talked about the dark mode, and the accessibility The one thing I think, are in process now perhaps you can speak to is this plan to add accessibility guidelines to the developer documentation. So there might be some guidance to which tools to use or to, you know what to check for?
Sarah Abderemane 13:50
Yes, we are trying with, with the team to add some guidelines, because most of the time people would like to have but they don't know how to do so. And we would like also to, to add more V's on the process of doing a PR if it's also be like not too much work for the contributor, but also keep that in mind for someone who will use Django for his project. So yeah, the
Carlton Gibson 14:26
last few releases where there's been lots of fixes that I mean, you know, the form rendering, for instance, a lot one of the motivations for the changes of the templates, they used to use the paragraph tag as the default template for form elements, but that's not accessible to screen readers. So the move in I think by Well, between 4.1 and then 5.0 is the final switch is to make div templates, the default template because that's more accessible to someone screen readers. You know, numerous Perhaps you could pick one or two to come to mind. I don't know if this?
Sarah Abderemane 15:06
Yes, I think the, there's a thing many people used to, to not think about is HTML. Gmail, essentially is a semantic language. And this is really useful for screen readers. And most of the time, this is something which is skipped. And this is really useful to have tags, like, for example, section or headers, to really get for the user, this is a new section of VCs, a paragraph or something else or quote, and this is really important to, to use that, in order to help people we use screen readers to to really get the information even. It's not clear at the moment. And this is something we want to, to push through and, and it will have many people for that.
Carlton Gibson 16:15
And I know, Tebow did a talk at Django con us sort of highlighting the state of the admin in terms of some hits and accessibility failure. So there's lots, there's a long, long road of possible changes, right? Lots.
Sarah Abderemane 16:32
As there is so many things to do, and, and we really want to, to, to, to move the FCC as, as mean to make it more accessible. And I think there are many things to change. The HTML is something is something we can already start to change. There are been some improvements, like for example, the landmarks, which highlight the different section four, the screen renders, you can move to, for example, to the header, and then to the main content more quickly. So there is a lot of things to do. And even for four, for example, there is a pure at the moment about links, we really want to change that. But it makes a lot of things to think about behind because there is a lot of links, and it will change also the aspect of the admin. So this is something also to care about. So a lot of things to work on.
Carlton Gibson 17:52
So when you say that it's like, yeah, any change that goes into the admin that changes the look of it, or the layout of it is always a bit like, ah, you know, we are we just, we just destroying it and moving things around. And are we and because a lot of times, we don't know, and I think the same problem that's come up with Django project.com website that you've been helping to maintain as well, is that a lot of times someone will make a suggested change, it's like, well, how does this work? We sometimes feel unsure as to whether it fits the existing Style, and the existing Style is a bit dated, but we can't just go in and slap some pink on because that's just what isn't gonna go. And how do we, as a, given the bandwidth, we have given the volunteer capacity we got how do we, how do we make progress Do you think?
Sarah Abderemane 18:40
I think it can be step by step. But there is a moment that we really need to do think about the aspects of the admin and in the layout, because as you said, the styling is really dated. And there are things which is really hard to change. So I think there is a moment we when we will have to break some stuff and make sure this is okay for everyone. And then we will be able to make more moves on the admin. About that? I think so.
Carlton Gibson 19:23
So at some stage, we need a Refresh Project.
Will Vincent 19:31
I would love to we can just look to python two and three transition right. Just taking a to make everyone happy. I'm getting
Sarah Abderemane 19:39
that Yes, sure. But I think yes. This also might help to to have more more user of Django because some people will say Django admin is a bit ugly. And I think this is something In, which also apt to have more jungle user. And it's also cool to have a nice I mean, when you work on, even if it's not something which is designed for end users, I would say like the customers. But as a developer, it's it's really nice to have that, especially as we have a lot of projects at the moment who have like, fresh, nice admin and stuff like that. So to choose to have Django to much older kids, I would say,
Will Vincent 20:42
Well, I think that, that the two big things that people see when they first come to Django is they see the Django project icon, which is a little dated, and then they everyone's always saying, hey, admin, and then the first time you see the admin, yeah, it is a little jarring, because it hasn't really changed since the first round. And so, from a marketing perspective, that's not the best look. I mean, we're used to it, and we understand why, but so
Sarah Abderemane 21:10
yeah, I have like, in my previous company, we were saying like Django is really nice. You can do many things really quickly. And it's really cool. And when we present the admin server, like, a blank face, like, Okay, I'm not a big fan of this yet. But if it's work, I'm fine with that. Yeah,
Will Vincent 21:37
it's just, it's just for the developers anyways. So they don't do well. Do you know, are there any examples of frameworks that, that have an admin that is designed better? Or is it cuz I don't know how many other web frameworks have an add been really? Is there an easy comparison? Like we should be more like something else?
Sarah Abderemane 21:59
I'm not sure. I will say it niZi Coopervision. But since I work on HP Laravel is really close to Django. And there is a there is an extension you can add to have an admin because it's not by default. And it's really nice. And baby can be an inspiration. But as it's not been the same way. I'm not sure it's really helpful.
Will Vincent 22:32
It's interesting to me, I mean, we had Laravel, and PHP really seems to me anecdotally to have to be the place where we look for inspiration, as opposed to Ruby on Rails, like Ruby on Rails is still out there. But it's, I think not, I would feel comfortable saying the last five years, I hear a lot more about Laravel. And as being used and also in terms of like, that's something Django should look at in terms of where we want to go, as opposed to Rails. So that's been interesting. Yes.
Sarah Abderemane 23:06
I don't know so much, Ruby on Rails. So it's hard for me to do to be able to compare, but as PHP is really used in France, unfortunately. And
Will Vincent 23:19
everywhere, everywhere. It's used everywhere. It's used everywhere. But
Sarah Abderemane 23:23
yes. I'm pretty sure we can we can do. We can do better for for the admin. For Django, even. We don't take inspiration of other frameworks. We may have to say that, like, for example, when I had the dark mode on Django project.com, there were a lot of people beginning to, to come on the project, asking many, many things. Like, I feel that there was more attraction of people, since there are some changes related to the interface of the of the website. So I think if we change it mean, we might have also the same that for the framework.
Will Vincent 24:20
Yeah, I definitely. I feel like there's this feeling that nobody really knows who decides what happens in Django, especially the docs, but they're the sacred thing. And yeah, just to see any change. I agree completely. It's like, oh, I didn't know that was possible. Carlton, I mean, come on. Yeah, let's
Carlton Gibson 24:37
look. No, the point is, nobody decides like, it's like, no, no, I
Will Vincent 24:41
know. That's that's, like, this weird
Carlton Gibson 24:43
thing. Is that No, who does so well? Nobody really actually. It's not like there's somebody saying yes or no, or nursing that there's just not really, we just keep it moving. Yeah,
Will Vincent 24:54
but it is what I mean. Having new new people come in like yourself, Sarah. and do things and have ideas means that the old craft, like myself can just be like, you know, and some other people can just sort of, you know, be washed, move away, right? It's not like we're just saying no all the time. But there's actually things being done, which I do think, lends itself to like doing these things we know we need to do. It's just a question of who's going to do it. And it's challenging, but I mean, I would say, Carlton as a former fellow for five years, I mean, Django is exceptional with not breaking things. But maybe that balance could be loosened a little better?
Carlton Gibson 25:32
Well, I think that we'll just stick to this example, because I think it's a good one. I think we talked a few times, and there's been various conversations about where the DSF could fund some development projects. And I think something like a refresh of the admin is something which would a need a financial, you know, stamp, because it's so much it would be so much work. It's a big project. But it would also benefit and it would be like something that we can clearly identify as, yes, there's a few sort of vague ideas. Oh, maybe we could throw some money this way? No, we throw some but actually, no, let's refresh the admin. That would be a good concrete thing to raise some money around, you know, get a team on.
Will Vincent 26:09
And do this admin brought to you by Microsoft, right?
Carlton Gibson 26:13
Will Vincent 26:18
know, well, didn't they? I heard you know, back in the day, they estimated to be a million dollars to do anything to the admin. That story is in my head.
Carlton Gibson 26:28
Well, okay, so that's the rewrite it, okay. So if you if you wanted to take, if you wanted to take the whole admin and rewrite it with crud based views, and you know, like, totally redo the entire admin, that's it, there's probably a million dollars worth of effort gone in, and
Will Vincent 26:42
now we get so
Carlton Gibson 26:48
I honestly, I'm really skeptical about a rewrite the admin totally project, but to book to redo the templates, redo. And then there's a layer slightly below the actual templates, where you're generating the HTML, you know, what Django is like, with its forms, and its its fields, and it's this, that and the other? Well, those would need some adjustment as well for the new and you templates layer, but the that wouldn't involve rewriting or the views or rewriting or the URLs rewriting, you know, which are, that would be a project as well. So but like we, you know, getting some good front end chops on? No, let's redo the front end, that I think would be feasible, the DSL could get behind that. We as a community could get behind that. And yet, the release when it was released, there would be a breaking change. There's a new admin thing. So they'd have to be, you know, some migration path maybe, but maybe not. Maybe it's a no, there's a new admin thing, and you have to go with it. You know, it because maintaining backwards compatibility always means we can't ever move forward at a
Sarah Abderemane 27:58
fit suddenly, someplace, maybe it will be fine. Fingers.
Carlton Gibson 28:05
But, well, there's my there's my my, my wonder, is it only 10 plates, I don't know, if it were only 10 plates to ensure we could just ship to
Sarah Abderemane 28:14
I know there is some stuff. It's really related to templates, but I'm not sure it's only that and I'm not so confidence on this path to to tell more. But I'm eager to learn more. So I think it's a good one for me,
Will Vincent 28:33
Sarah, we just sort of like it was a natural progression that you were interested in accessibility, and then you just did stuff and then it got accepted. But many people don't make those steps. And you've been helping the community in a bunch of ways to help others contribute to Django, maybe we could talk about some of those. So, Django, Django spaces, Django, girls, organizing Django con Europe, Django discord. I just gave you four separate paths. So you choose any of those four that you want to talk about to start. Now
Sarah Abderemane 29:02
I'm realizing I'm doing a lot.
Will Vincent 29:07
Well, I got to take care of yourself to Carleton, I can attest. I mean, I've said this before, but the talk where I first saw Carlton was a talk he gave in 2017, about being a developer for the long haul. And he talked about these things. And every year it just is more and more relevant. So I recommend that talk. If you haven't seen it, I
Sarah Abderemane 29:28
will watch it. But I'm trying to care about myself. So yes. What topic should I pick then?
Will Vincent 29:43
I'll give it to you. How about Django not space, because this is a newer one that you're very involved with that has helped having mentors and mentees and giving some guidance for people who want to contribute to Django. How did how did that come about? And where is it that now with the second cohort, right?
Sarah Abderemane 29:58
Yes. So I've done a talk about that in pilot, if you want to watch more, but it was usually to, to help people to do contribute. Since I've, for me, I've done this on my own, I ask lots of questions to many people, but it's not easy for everyone to do so. So I wanted to emphasize that when Don, and Rachel told me about this project, I Tony, yes, I really want to help for that. And we started to build the program. And I also ask, team to join and Sir also join, thanks to me, because I was talking on Discord like, Hey, you should come. I think it would be nice to have you
Carlton Gibson 30:56
given out the camera.
Sarah Abderemane 30:57
So yeah. We started to build a program, just like that. And, and we have done a pilot, which was really, really successful. And the next chord is in January. So we have made some changes, but we have more people, we have like 8080 men, and T Django notes. And we have also, if I'm not wrong, six. Now we get to, as we say, mentors, because we love space. And so it will, I think it will be a good, a good cohort. So we will see how it goes really, in January, as we have a lot of more people involved. But I think it will be a really good cohort is fun. Six,
Carlton Gibson 32:08
six groups of three each plus a navigator each that sounds like, Yes, it sounds amazing. Yes.
Will Vincent 32:18
And this is, and this is this is so great that you just, I mean, you did check with the DSF. But you just kind of did it. Because that's always the problem is that people think they need permission. But as we said, there's not necessarily someone in charge of everything. And so you all just did it, and then said, Hey, we did this thing can the DSF support, which is for so many in so many areas, absolutely the way to go to not wait on the board, the DSF board or someone else to give permission, but just just to do it and show that it works. So it's so good to see. Especially having been on the board, it's so good to see. It's makes it so much easier. It's just like this is a real thing. It's happening. Do you want to support? Oh, it's part of the Django community? Of course, right? Instead of theoretical? It's like, Nope, it's a real thing. So I, I wish this this approach could be applied to so many other things. But of course, it's a huge amount of time and effort for for you and the other organizers. So that's, that's the bit that we had Lily foot on recently. And I believe she's doing it again, or she was open to doing it again, but was talking about the sustainability part, right? You can't We can't expect the same people to do the heavy lifting all the time. So yes.
Sarah Abderemane 33:30
And and related to her. Since we have enough money navigators, we just her ask her if you want, if she wants to be backup navigators, so she has time for her. And just in case for replacement, so so we we keep the fact we try and take care of people. And if you want to just step back, you can. And
Carlton Gibson 33:58
if people like you know people in the community want to get involved. I mean, could they join the discord? Or could they, you know, could they offer advice? Could they be around to help with prs? What's the best way to contribute? If you're not, you know, you're not an official navigator or an official mentee for this program?
Sarah Abderemane 34:16
Good question. We we do have presentation and we want to to implement also office hour to to have people who would like to talk or do pair programming or or discover something new. And this is a way to do so. If you would like to ask for that and help you can reach out to us in social media or in contact at GenCon dot space. And, and also me if if there is any question, I'm open to it. And so this is one way and We, we, we also care about suggestions. So if you you have any suggestion of something you would like to do to implement, or you have an idea, and you would like to know, if it's something possible for Dragon add space, we are really happy to earbuds out.
Carlton Gibson 35:22
Okay, because it's part of the, I guess, the Django note, space, Discord is kind of a safe space, right as well for contributors, because one of the big problems is the patch. The Django Forum is a bit, you know, there, it might be a bit scary or
Sarah Abderemane 35:37
Yeah, we are trying to keep a small space to to allow people to ask question to feed, not the fear of asking. suppose to be naive question, which is really not the case in front of a lot of people. So so this is something we would like to keep in jungle space. But we are happy to have some intervention of people, even if it's occasional. Okay, brilliant. Well,
Will Vincent 36:14
can we talk about your day job, I know that you when you're not doing all these things, you're you've been at octopus energy for a little while, like, and I think you're you're primarily focused on back end, we've been talking a lot about more front end things. Yes. Is that correct?
Sarah Abderemane 36:30
This is correct. I'm working at of the octopus energy France, which is part of octopus Energy Group. And I'm doing backend, backend, backend stuff. As a company, and I'm working on as a, as a tool, which is, which help operational people to, to to create a contract for, for customers who want renewable energy, and a lot of more tools, because we are really we do care of green energy, and renewable energy. So so this is part of my thinking show
Will Vincent 37:29
that now is that what I know, for some listeners who are newer in their career, when they hear back end? It's, it's like a black hole? Like, they're thinking, like, is that models? Is that views? Is that URLs? Are there any? Like, how does that work? Does a manager come to you and say, we want this functionality? And here's the code base? Go? Or, like, what are some examples of you know, I ended up because because I know, it's so different on a huge codebase like octopus must be, as opposed to a smaller project, implementing things like like, what? So I guess what would be? Is there an example of a specific task that being a back end developer would would entail for you? Does that make sense? I don't think I worded that very well.
Sarah Abderemane 38:15
I think I get it, I will try to answer you will tell me if it's, if it's answering to your question. And so, for example, I can have a task to to to, to implement some reminders for the operational team to make sure to, to to see when there is someone who needs to, to have housing and a reminder that she needs to consume less energy at this time of the period, for example. And I'm, I'm be able to implement this, but for example, this is a really fake example, but just to see how it works. This is this can be something like that as we are an international group. I can work for example, on something part of another country, for example, if we we have a new team in in Portugal, we will have to implement everything so I will help them to implement all the other platform. We're also stuff which are needed to make sure the product is available for other customers, they can follow their consumption and stuff like that.
Carlton Gibson 39:51
I'm gonna ask how is octopus to workforce? It seems that everybody's everybody, not everybody but a lot of people are working there. Almost everybody got Yeah, It constantly hiring at all the conferences where the you know, come and talk to us. So it's big. It's active. Yes.
Sarah Abderemane 40:09
I think we have around 300 200 developers around the road, if I'm not mistaken. And was the thing I really liked in this company is, even if we are splitting or WonderWorld, we are still really friendly, trying to help each other. And really being a like a team. And we want to help other people to grow. And even if it's big group, we are still having this. As you can have a small team, for example. And for sure, octopus, it's really nice.
Will Vincent 41:04
Well, I remember they want to add one of the Django cons, they had the small little octopus plushies and I brought one that's like the number one thing I've ever brought home to my kids. They still have have one, I only brought one. But that's a nice, nice sweater. Oh,
Carlton Gibson 41:19
no, this says, you know, you need one nice child. I mean, that's the rules. You
Will Vincent 41:25
but it's not special. It's not special. If I bring it for all. over it. Yeah. Just bear in the middle the room and say hey, go.
Sarah Abderemane 41:34
Hopefully. Come in Django con us and we'll bring you the new new one we have. Lisa case.
Will Vincent 41:43
Oh, no. Yes. That is that she's showing it? Yeah. Ooh.
Carlton Gibson 41:50
You also organized. Django meetup in Paris. Is that Django? Python? Django.
Sarah Abderemane 41:56
Okay. We do have Python here, which is organized by other people. So I only organizing Django one. We have. We had free session. Since the first one I did. And it's happening. Each free month, approximately. So we now know, it can go?
Carlton Gibson 42:32
Well, it's just going to ask because it because Django is quite small, really in the in the big scheme of things. And so a monthly meetup would seem a bit much maybe. But you said it'd be three months? Yes.
Sarah Abderemane 42:46
As I don't have like I don't know all the people around the Django community in France. So it's hard to have speaker each month, maybe later. But right now, it's not so easy. And so that's why I also organize as that only free each free month. And but maybe later, we will have more speakers willing to speak as meetup that such also why we don't have so much. People
Carlton Gibson 43:27
in the French Django community should get in touch to help you organize it as well, right? You can't be doing this just by yourself. It's a lot of work.
Will Vincent 43:38
Know it's fant it's fantastic to have one there was here in Boston, there was one that was monthly for a number of years and then COVID hit and there were two organizers who did most of the work and you know, one moved away. And I do think it doesn't need to be monthly, as Carlton was saying like just having one is such a benefit because I've met so yeah, it's such a resource. But it is it is so much work, right. Like often, at least here in Boston, I found there'll be one company that will be willing to host on a somewhat regular basis, and then maybe another company that donates pizza or something. But it's yeah, it's a lot of work to do. But it's a huge benefit to the community for sure. Yes.
Sarah Abderemane 44:20
And I started that after the COVID. I've been one in the COVID which was jungle London. And someone has asked me, Why are you saying you're not even in the UK? And I told him there are no Django meetup at the moment in Paris. So this is also why I created the nice one that I'm I think, despite all the work we had for organizing it i Um, I really liked to to see other people during the meetup and networking seeing each other. And there is also some friends who comment seeing each other for a long time, like, Hey, how you been? It's been a while, it's really nice to see you. So this is something which really helps also to organize those events. When when you see other people gathering at the same time, in one place,
Carlton Gibson 45:31
since since before COVID, I've been threatening to get the train to Paris, it's still on my list of things I really want to do, but haven't actually done. But when I when I do, can I come? Can I come to your Meetup? Sure. You can.
Will Vincent 45:44
Yeah, when you're when you're touring colleges, Carlton, yeah.
Carlton Gibson 45:46
What for the Galen? Yeah.
Will Vincent 45:50
Well, there's, you know, one issue we have is, is in Django is just having people find out about things like I, in the docs, we do have a link to a local Django community section, which is empty at the moment. But that's something that I'm curious what your thoughts are Sarah, like? Do you find I find that people just don't know about things? Because we don't we Django don't have an email service. Or maybe the website doesn't have people to put the time into marketing. But we could do a better job of telling people about all the things that are happening. So I guess my question to you would be like, how are you? How are you finding? How do people find the Jingis? Django Paris meetup? What were you able to email people? Like? Was it just like, word of mouth? Or how do you let people know that? You know, because Paris is a big city, right? But how do you how do you get in touch with everyone? Yes.
Sarah Abderemane 46:47
Before COVID, there was a Chango meetup Paris. I was part of, but I think it just died with COVID. And I just tried to to put some messages on the group, even I'm not the organizer to say, Hey, I'm trying to do some follow up. So I know there are people who watch they're also on the meetup.com websites, some people are searching on this platform. But I agree with you, since we don't have enough, I think communication and marketing about about that, like I tried to for Django meetup Paris to, to put the event on a local. So Association, to too, which is part of its Python, French Association, bird to let people know that I'm organizing your Django event. So I'm trying to put the the event, whereas there is some place related to Django or Python, but it's, it's hard to reach out to people when you are not sure when where they're they see the event, and where's the best way to reach them?
Will Vincent 48:19
I mean, we I think it's still up the Django people website. For a while that connected people, I almost wonder if
Carlton Gibson 48:27
Django people had to be taken down. Eventually, there was a, you know, unfixed security issue and had been left and it had been idled. And it was getting spam. And in the end, it had to be shut down. But we need something like,
Will Vincent 48:39
Well, I just thinking because, you know, email is expensive to do. But if there was, you know, if it's just a database, we could have millions of rows, where it's literally just like, what's your name? Where are you located? Are you you know, email address if you're open so that when someone says, I want to open Django, Paris, I want to open Django Marsay, we can say, here's all the emails we have, from people in that area. And it could be something that, you know, I don't know, the Django developers survey, or we try to, I'm trying to think of a compute resource that the DSF could manage in a in a non expensive way. So that there is this pool of people because we, you know, we know, millions of people are using Django, and then some percentage want to, would it be open to contact? I mean, for example, the Django news newsletter is one tool, but it's in English. And it's every week and you know, it has almost 4000 people, but that's a drop in the bucket. Whereas I'm sure there's, I don't I don't know if it's 4 million, but there's a lot more people who maybe would want to hear occasionally from Django in quotes itself about stuff. It's not a new idea, but I wonder if you know, if we put it put it back end, if there's a way to ask people to voluntarily submit information then they can be somehow organizers in their area can contact them. I don't know.
Sarah Abderemane 49:58
Yeah, I know that in Django con Europe last year, there was a work about gathering all the meetups related to Django to put that on the, on the website, Django project.com. And I hope at some point in the community local pages series, there will be the list of everything that yes, I think right now is the best place to to ask for for things and event is discovered to me, but maybe other place, which will work, but I'm not sure everyone is aware about that. No,
Carlton Gibson 50:47
that's the problem is the fragmentation of it like the sum on the for some of the discourse? Some I don't know where
Will Vincent 50:54
it's difficult. We've just been asking you questions the whole time. Is there anything you wanted to discuss while you're here? Any questions for us?
Sarah Abderemane 51:02
I took a moment.
Will Vincent 51:06
I know, it's hard when we've just been lobbying questions at you all day long. But well, I'll give you a we've, you've sort of answered it. But one question we'd like to ask recently is, so if you have a magic wand as a separate from accessibility, what is something you'd like to change in Django? So you just make it. So? Is there something that jumps jumps to mind that you'd like to change or improve with Django itself?
Sarah Abderemane 51:30
That's a tough question.
Will Vincent 51:34
Well Carlton, we didn't get a chance to put this on air. But you've been doing some work on authentication. Like, I think this is worth a two minute, like, keep getting your take on.
Carlton Gibson 51:43
Okay, so I think that we that we've gone a bit wrong with the custom user models, I think it's it's kind of like a tar pit for for users, I think the vast majority of users don't need to customize the central auth model ever, what they need is a profile model. And they need to have that separate from their central auth model, because your centralized model is fetch from the database on every single request, right. And so if you've got like my bio, and my this and my that, and in my that you end up with 50 fields being fetched from the database, every single request. And it's like, note that that's not what the central auth model about the central auth model is about identifying the user for this request. And that's something which I think Django should have just kept secret, I understand why historically, it didn't. So the thing that I would fix in Django, if I had a magic wand was to make the unique the email field unique on Django, contrib. Models user, so that people can do login with email, which was all they ever really wanted. And then perhaps drop those the First Name, Last Name fields and move those to a profile model, and then separate the auth from the profile. And so Django would keep auth, which it really is a difficult topic. And it really is one you don't want to get wrong. And it really is a battery that Django should provide. Keep that in Django, and then give us, you know, a clear pattern for if you need profile data. This is how you do it. That's what I think I would fix if I had a magic wand.
Will Vincent 53:10
Carlton Gibson 53:13
Thanks for knocking that one up. For me. We're, well,
Will Vincent 53:16
we haven't had that on air before. My name is, you know, it's it's a big question, Sarah. So it's okay, if you can't think of one but that's one that Carlton in particular is.
Carlton Gibson 53:25
It's been bugging me for years, because I've seen I've worked on projects, which like literally the author, the customer off model is just a dumping ground for miscellaneous junk, and it's yeah, why is my request like? Well, you see what you're all models doing and every single request in the middleware?
Will Vincent 53:43
Anyway, yeah, well, what would well, I'll take a stab at, I haven't done this in a while, I think for me. I mean, we know this is not a new idea. But like the serialization API story, you know, there's really interesting things happening with Django ninja DRF is largely feature complete. There's some things we, we Django could improve, Carlton has some specific ideas, but the fact that that is not baked into Django itself, and I know we want to keep Django core small, but it really feels like API's should be within core in some way. So that would be my, my quick take,
Carlton Gibson 54:21
just on that David Smith is, is picked up GM, the JSON content parsing work. So I should be able to have, we should be able to handle it that good, when that's complete, however long that takes. But we should be able to handle JSON requests with the request object without having to need extras, and that'll be nice. And then exactly what we do about, you know, the equivalent of serializers or drf's. Generic views. Well, that's an interesting question to resolve over the next few years. Come on, sorry. There must be one thing that when you're when you're sat there and you're you're busy banging away at your computer and you're like this is really annoying. Why do I have to do this every time? What's that thing?
Sarah Abderemane 55:02
I think what you said with the oath is something I've done a lot. Yes, I agree to. And that I don't have anything in mind. Okay.
Will Vincent 55:17
Well, let me ask you, because we've talked about front end, have you had a chance to play with htm X? Do you have any thoughts on on that?
Sarah Abderemane 55:24
No. You didn't have time, I just watched the documentation. And I've done as many people like, Oh, I really need to try it out. And I didn't have time. That, but I know some friends. We use it. Also in in France, they replace everything in front end to like, for example, they had react in the day change to htm x. And this seems really happy with that. So seems to be really promising. So hopefully, I will have some time to try.
Will Vincent 56:04
Yeah, I think it was this year. Last year, there was a Django CON talk about exactly that about swapping out. Yeah, most of React for HDX. Well, anyways, yeah. lots lots lots going on lots. And, you know, we didn't really talk about Django Girls there or organizing Django con Europe. But Carlos and I both had a chance to, to see you there, as well as the other organizers. And that was, that was really a great conference. I mean, I'd love to being in Edinburgh, and my first Django con Europe, I finally got to meet all these people I'd only known about online. So that was, so thank you for your work on that.
Sarah Abderemane 56:43
Yes, I'm really happy. And, and I was happy also to see you for the first time at Django con Europe. So it's really nice to see. Everyone you have talked to you online. In real life. Yeah.
Will Vincent 56:58
And we you know, we we've said this before, but we need Django we need this. Like, there's so much work that is done and you know, once or twice a year to actually just see it person face to face. You know, I always come away with more energy from the conference. Carlton, wrap wrap us up here. I'm just babbling. It's just because
Carlton Gibson 57:16
I anything you want anything you want to shout out before we call it quits? Or maybe no, it might. But if there is very
Sarah Abderemane 57:25
something as you as you know, I'm a really big fan of accessibility. If you have any. Any concern or any question about accessibility, we have now a new category in Django forum for accessibility. So if there is anything you want to ask or talk about, you can go to the forum. And we will be happy to answer. And also I'm trying to write accessibility checklists, from my point of view, and hopefully I will be able to share it soon. Ish. So this is something we which could help people who are not aware of everything too, to be able to, to do some checks on accessibility from their own. That's
Will Vincent 58:25
great. I'm such a huge fan of checklists, I think checklists to rule them all. So all right, well, thank you so much for taking the time to come on. Really appreciate it. And all the work you've been doing it's it's truly like gives me in spirit. Like, I get excited. It's just seeing you know, the Sarah con conference that we should have you and Sarah voice and many others who just come in like a breath of fresh air and just just do stuff and just it's I can't tell you how refreshing it is to to see that. Because during COVID Sometimes it felt like we were hanging on a little tight. But now I feel a lot more relieved. So thank you for all that.
Carlton Gibson 59:05
Yes. Thanks for coming. All right, let's call it quits with Django chat. Join us next time.
Will Vincent 59:12