DjangoCon US 2022 takeaways, new Django developments, getting unstuck as a junior developer, and more.
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Will Vincent 0:06
Hi, welcome to another episode of Django chat podcast on the Django web framework. I'm Will Vincent joined by Carlton Gibson. Hello, Carlton.
Carlton Gibson 0:12
Hello. Hello. I sneeze said hello, Colton. Hello, how are you?
Will Vincent 0:16
And this is a special episode, we don't have a guest for a change. But we're gonna do a recap of Django con us, which we both attended. Last week, this will come out a week or two later. But lots of talk about the message boards are blowing up this this week's Django newsletter is super, super long. And what are your quick takeaways from there? The event ends in Boston for the first time.
Carlton Gibson 0:39
Okay, all right, well, so there's two things. First event is in this applies equally to jank on your it's just been so good in both the conferences, to finally get back together after so long. I think people were really struggling with the pandemic, I think the community was sort of feeling a bit like, is it still we're gonna work? Is it still gonna work? And it's just as soon as you're in the same room? It's like, yes, it's clear, you know, here we are. And, you know, and then, you know, the vibrant in person thing. That's just amazing. And then second thought I had to say just about jank on us particularly isn't just have to praise their COVID policy. Because they had this very strict COVID policy about vaccines and about pre testing before you're right and about mask wearing mask inside the venue outside and it was okay in a mask, but inside the mask. And whilst it's not all this a bit of a pain, it turns out that it's 100% successful, I don't know if nobody got COVID there. But I've seen so many tweets and reports that, you know, negative tests when you get home, and short people are tired and like the sore throat or whatever, but they haven't gotten caught COVID at the conference, whereas I've seen other in person conferences which have been not so strict. And is that oh, I got COVID Oh, I got COVID Oh, I got COVID. So honestly, I just have to salute that 100% It was a tough choice to make, you know, there was a lot some controversy about it. I think they've absolutely made the right decision. And they've implemented it really well. And it's got a proven positive result. So well done Django con for that.
Will Vincent 2:09
I know this is gonna be Django con us focus, because that's the one I attended. But I don't want to skip over Django con Europe, which you also attended a couple of weeks before. So we can you should sprinkle that in with the the videos are up. We're promoting them on the newsletter. But you know, there was a bit actually I think twice the size Django con Europe this year was 66 600, hence
Carlton Gibson 2:31
optimaal. And you know, it's like the force it's been off and then all of a sudden it's open. Just because
Will Vincent 2:36
typically, I think it's a little smaller in person, right? It typically Django con us is like five 600. and Europe? I don't know, little less. Yeah,
Carlton Gibson 2:44
in my experience has been slightly smaller in previous years, whereas this year, it was a lot bigger. I don't know how that translates into future years. Who knows? But yeah, what can I say? It was, it was lovely. I mean, the venue importer was very big. And they didn't have such a strict COVID policy. But I mean, I didn't get COVID Though, I don't know what other people do. But it you know, it was fine. It was lots of outdoor space, it was big meeting rooms, you know, if you've got ventilation, but the main sort of worry area, I guess is in the seating bit where you've got, you know, the talks and you're crowded in the space. And what should we do, especially after two years of not seeing anybody, and not doing these events, and then it's an in person event. And there's a bit of I don't know what the correct protocol. I
Will Vincent 3:28
do know that PyCon us was speaking to the Django, US organizers about what worked because everyone's trying to sort this out. And you know, the US one was more on the strict side, but it's not that big of an inconvenience. And no as you as you say, like some past conferences, everyone's been testing positive after or, you know, either on Twitter or anecdotally. And so, anyway, it's
Carlton Gibson 3:55
such a for such a small inconvenience. My view is for such a small inconvenience for such a successful result. You're seeing so many people test negative afterwards. It's like yeah, okay, that's it's worth the inconvenience. I have no problem at all with with that. That was my view on it. How was Boston Boston was nice, because on the way I stopped off to see you and Will's always telling me that he lives in Brookline, or should he moved to the country? I'm always like, yeah, move to the country. But I went to see wellness family in Brookline. And that was very nice. So now I'm like, Yeah, I should stay in Brookline is
Will Vincent 4:26
like, yeah, now you, you and my wife are like, No, we're never leaving. You know, but I have to say Fall. Fall in particular is a pretty I mean, you got to see foliage, right. You hadn't seen foliage in a while.
Carlton Gibson 4:36
Yeah, hadn't seen like the trees putting on that Autumn display type thing and also had, like 25 degrees. Beautiful weather. What's that in new money? 6070 degrees. Yeah,
Will Vincent 4:45
it was very warm. It was a 60s. Yeah. Yeah. So
Carlton Gibson 4:48
it was lovely. And you know, practically we have been raining and miserable. I wouldn't have been so in that.
Will Vincent 4:54
Yep. And you you went over my kids. My two year old still asked about you can even this Morning, so,
Carlton Gibson 5:02
yeah, good. I like I like to hear that.
Will Vincent 5:05
You know, so when you're for acting up, you can be like, you know, there's three across the pond that I appreciate my presence.
Carlton Gibson 5:13
Yeah, good, good, good enough to come and see us in Spain. Yes, I
Will Vincent 5:17
know. Well, Next Gen Con Europe is May in Edinburgh, which I would love to attend. I hope I can do that. But
Carlton Gibson 5:25
okay. Go Nick. Okay, so now that's gonna come. I just gonna plugging it. Yeah, Gen Con European. And so I'm just going to cut over you doing with them. We both gave talks, let's talk about your talks. You're talking a little about my talk, then we cut back to you know, round up about the conference. So
Will Vincent 5:40
okay, so these might be up by the time this comes out. years, the your European version is out. So we'll put it in the notes. Yeah, my talk 45 minutes. The Jenga jigsaw puzzle lining all the pieces, trying to provide a comprehensive look about what is Django what is the entirety of the framework and do some high level code examples. So I think the talk went okay, I wasn't as prepared as I have been for past ones, partly because there's no Django Boston meetup anymore where I would normally run through it. So like, I know, well, someone needs to walk in there. There are people. One of the sponsors path AI of the conference is based in Boston and would provide hosting space before so yeah, it's doable. But yeah, I was I was pleased that the talk happened. I think it'll be I was actually talking to some people from Cactus group yesterday about mentorship, because they they have, that's an agency with about 24 developers in North Carolina, which is likely where Django con us will be next year. And they have some mentorship programs. And it's hard for there's this imposter syndrome, when you're learning web development, that you just have no idea what you know, and don't know. And so the goal of the talk was to say, here's as much as I can show you a roadmap of, of Django, and all the pieces, you know, the beginning pieces, intermediate advanced pieces. So you can check things off, and no, oh, yeah, there's signals or middleware. And along the way, the biggest thing for me is I wanted to have a detailed drawing of the request response cycle. So someone can see the file system, whiskey, again, middleware, like just how these things all connect, I had never seen that. Really, I when I was starting out. And there's some talks now that are quite good, that go in detail on this. But this was a high level overview where we built up all the pieces. So that's the goal, a beginner level talk, I want to do a deep dive talk, I think next time, but I hope this talk will be helpful for people. Yeah, I
Carlton Gibson 7:39
watched it, I thought it'd be very handy in terms of like to start that orientation. Like, because when you come in, it's like, oh, well, there's this kind of flood of information that you
Will Vincent 7:50
get, like, what are the batteries? It's like, well, you know, here's the auth system. And like, that's great. But like, turn to appreciate it, you have to know what sessions and cookies are, which, if you're new to web development, you have no idea what they are. So, you know, I introduced the auth system, he was like he's have a very basic configuration. And then here's quickly how sessions and cookies work, because you should know that, and then all off. And yeah, just trying to go. I mean, I ran out of time, I went like three hour speed for the last, the last a couple of minutes, because I was so nervous. I didn't look at the person giving me cue cards. But I was trying to, you know, basically, how do I distill 10 years into just, here's 45 minutes of all I can give you, you know, because there's thing is even the command line, like I have a little bit on the command line, because like, just this morning, someone emailed me for my API's book, where there's a section where I say, open up another console, because you're running the background server, the Django server, then you spin up a React one, and this person was like, I don't know how to open up another console. You know, I mean, it seems trivial, but stuff like that happens all the time. And it's just like a full stop. And it's, it's not the docks job to do that. But I'm fairly attuned to those pain points. So I tried to make the ramp up as smooth as I can and take 10 seconds to say, Hey, this is how you do that. Or, you know, I mean, I think I talk I could do up to top my head that I mentioned was like, choose your own adventure Django. Like, there's so many things where it doesn't really, you know, do I have a period at the start project? Do I not do I how do I configure my URLs? Do I use function based views? There's so many things that for us, it's like, oh, here we go again, with these religious debates, but it's a full stop for a beginner because they lose confidence. So trying to stay
Carlton Gibson 9:29
you know, I really liked that about your total count on each thing. So not only did you introduce all these these things, and it just like they keep coming and they keep coming and they keep coming because there are so many batteries, but for each one you like and of course there's this question or this question if you're a beginner that might stump you just pick one doesn't have it, you know, and you move on. But yeah, you know, I remember the beginning and I don't know I had some I don't know version conflict with some PHP thing and it literally I was just like, that's it. I can't progress anymore. Yeah, no, I was able to find a worker Don't
Will Vincent 10:01
think we'll and both of us are self taught and self taught not in a boot camper with a formal internship, like, you know, a book and a computer and internet connection and being in a head against the wall. So, yeah, I've been stuck for. I've been stuck for weeks on stuff, you know, which is such a waste of time. But I didn't know any better the Jenga forum didn't exist. I didn't know how to ask for help. You know, I think hopefully, this podcast, one of the things we do is, and one of the things I'm thinking about this with a mentorship conversation I had is, beginners don't know. Like, when they're stuck, stuck, right? It's like, you gotta, right? So someone comes to us, like, I saw this the conference for you. I mean, you're, you're quite the celebrity people come up with questions. And you know, if somebody has made a go of it, and you can tell, and they say, Okay, I'm trying to do this thing, and I research this, this and this, and they're just stuck. Like, that's great. Like, put your hand up. But sometimes people are just being lazy, right? So like, you know, don't be lazy, but don't don't spend days on something that you could get help for, you know, ask ask in the forum asking Stack Overflow, there are places for people to get you unstuck, because that's, I've been there and it's, it's, you know, you shouldn't be that stuck. When you start.
Carlton Gibson 11:12
It's programming at its best is like puzzle solving. Right? So puzzle solving. If you've got the answers in the back of the book, and you just open the puzzle, then you go straight to the answer in the back of the book, there's not much fun. There's not you know, getting the value out of it. But you know, sometimes you do need the answers in the back of the book to help you forward. And the challenge, I guess we'll begin is how to know which is which? Is this just something I've got to work out? Or am I
Will Vincent 11:36
really, am I dance? Well, and the thing is that that feeling is what we you know, professional developers we have all the time, it's just, you know, more advanced things. But it's, you have to sort of like build up the muscle memory for like that feeling. You know, and then you get to a point where it's like, boring if you're like, I know how to do all this. It's like, it's not it's not enough of
Carlton Gibson 11:56
a challenge. We can always play with tooling at that point. Yeah, right.
Will Vincent 11:59
Then we go down the rabbit hole of like, I'm going to reconfigure start project or all these things. So I try to resist that. But I see the appeal at a certain point. But anyways, enough about me. Let's let's talk about your talk. Because you updated a little bit from the European version.
Carlton Gibson 12:13
Yeah. So I mean, I basically gave the same talk. And they both went well, but I'd say that my European one was was better time like a blue the timing site for my USA, I think, can
Will Vincent 12:23
you add, do you have I saw your European talk, you had like 42 minutes. And your us when was 25?
Carlton Gibson 12:29
Right. So it's quite a lot tighter. And I tried to compress it. And I didn't quite manage to compress it. So I gave the same as you. I was rushing. Right. Yeah. And I was flicking through. But I think if you watch both talks, you get the full? Yeah. I mean, I think I went into more depth at the beginning where perhaps I should have rushed on
Will Vincent 12:49
async. Let's say that, yes. About async.
Carlton Gibson 12:51
Yeah, so talking about async Jango. And I call it the practical guide you've been waiting for because you're waiting for is the joke on await async await syntax. And obviously, once I've thought of that, I had to go with the title. So it was kind of I thought the title and write write about build a talk around that. The idea was that I mean, async is really complicated. And it just is a matter of plain fact that once you adopt async, in your application, it's like twice as complicated or three times as complicated. You know, you're just making it harder by doing that. So okay, well, what's the benefit, and when would we use that. And so it just introduced a few, a basic async. Io example, to show a couple of things about the event loop. And then you can use that for background tasks in Django, because if you're running under eyes gate as the sort of kind of could, but you don't have like all the error handling and retries and scheduling and all these nice things that a proper queues gonna give you. So you still probably better off using a proper queue implementation than just a sort of quick and dirty create task with async. IO. And then what Oh, my favorite example is aggregating views. So for years, I've been building rest API's. And then you have a client app that wants to fetch, I don't know, a list, a detail view plus a related list view all in one go. So it only has to make one HTTP request, rather than, you know, multiple, because on a mobile application, it's going to be slow and battery draining, and painful. And so you create a little proxy view that sits inside, it sits in front of those two rest views, makes the rest views and then aggregates them and returns them. And we use used to do that with no GS because that was what you did. But now with async def using Django, even if you're running on a whiskey, you can write that view in, in just in Django, and it keeps your your code much simpler. So you've got the example I gave is a hotel detail with a room list. So you've got a hotel with a list of rooms and prices and you want to combine them to return one. And instead of spinning up a separate server, instead of having, you know a different technology stack. You just got a Django view with you know, perhaps HTTP acts as your async HTTP client to fetch those and combine them. And I just think that's such a beautiful pattern and it, I've literally been using it for years, I never got into Graph QL because I had this pattern and then I was established with it. And I never felt the need for the complexity of graph. QL.
Will Vincent 15:10
You waited it out, I think the swan back? Well, that's
Carlton Gibson 15:15
recently people have been saying, Well, you know, Graph QL still fading from favor. And sometimes these questions come about what technology Did you wait out and not not ever learn? And will I might one day be able to answer Graph QL? I'm not saying I will, because you know, the Graph QL still is very rich and mature. And there's lots of power in it that, you know, that kind of feels like that. I
Will Vincent 15:35
mean, yeah, I remember I think it was 2019 Django con us Ed Rivas had tutorial. So one of the three hour long things on Graph QL. And yeah.
Carlton Gibson 15:49
Django Con this year? Django? Yes, yeah, yeah. And there's the strawberry package and Django strawberry and, like Graph QL is not I'm not dissing graph. QL. But I've always been a bit of a skeptic, I've never got involved in it. I don't really know it. I've, I've never architected an application that use Graph QL. I've worked on applications that use them, but not, they weren't my creations. And it kind of feels like okay, maybe I've maybe I can just never have to learn that technology. It's like, Yeah,
Will Vincent 16:17
well, and that's part of I think, getting beyond the beginner phase is there's just this, this, you know, you go on Hacker News, there's a new technology, a new a new thing every week. And at a certain point, you're just like, you know, what, if I need it, like I tried, you know, take a look and peek around and read the Django news newsletter, but you don't have to learn everything, like the fundamentals don't change. And, you know, you don't need to have the burden of feeling like being left behind, especially with front end stuff. So yeah, I know, I really liked your you're talking.
Carlton Gibson 16:49
I'm on Hacker News blackout at the moment. And I period, you know, I periodically just block it.
Will Vincent 16:54
Well, Adam Johnson is putting up the good fight. He's on there, like multiple times a week. So yeah, well, then he puts out like a half dozen posts a week, so.
Carlton Gibson 17:02
So I don't mind being on the amazing meet me reading it. I'm not reading it.
Will Vincent 17:07
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. The orange sight. day it was Yeah. Well, and
Carlton Gibson 17:12
then yeah, I just went through a chat example four way switch introduced style.
Will Vincent 17:16
And that was my favorite thing. Yeah. Like showing, you know, their progression, right. Like, you don't have to use it. And if you are going to use it, the thought process, I think, yeah, that was my favorite bit. Yeah,
Carlton Gibson 17:25
I mean it because the idea was to give people a sort of idea of, well, what should I do? And what what are the options and again, it's an overview, same sort of thing that you're doing but a much narrower topic. Because I think it's one of those buzzwords, and the topic buzzwords is you go let's use it and then you've suddenly created yourself old number of problems, which you didn't need to have, you could just use a simple polling solution or I don't know what. And so I wanted to go through that. And people are very kind it went, you know, seemed to go well, both times even though it was rushed. I needed Katie McLaughlin who was chairing she nearly had to go and get Cojo who was running the lightning talks to come and tie me out. But fortunately, she let me go on for a few minutes extra.
Will Vincent 18:08
Yeah, no, she just she did a great job with the the deep dives. Something else was the the sprints so at your suggestion. I I stayed for the first day of sprints, I paid for it on the red eye back but I can't complain to you. You and others had much longer trips. But that was it was the Sprint's were the Sprint's were fantastic I mean, I it's just it's much smaller group and it's sort of like the, you know, the core core core people who really want to be there. So you know, that morning, I was going to go see your, you know, contributing to Django bit and I got there right at nine o'clock and you weren't there because we'd biked down to the ocean and stuff. And so I went and had breakfast with like, Jeff Triplett and Jacob Kaplan moss and it was up talking about the board for an hour. And then I came in and that whole morning, you know, they were there. How many were there were at least a half dozen or more, you know, to be clapping when someone else did a new commit somewhere to Django based on, you know, you and Mario's were running around, and it's just like, in a couple hours. There's so much progress made is really amazing to see.
Carlton Gibson 19:15
Yeah, and I like the sprint. And to last few years, I last few years. In 2019. I ran it once. So I went to Copenhagen, in 2019 Gen Con Europe, and I was trying to lead new contributors, but I was doing it on a sort of one by one basis. And so I ran round and did the same sort of talk 50 times, and I was exhausted and my throat was dry. And I you know, I couldn't be in all the places I want. And there was still people who were sort of lost as to well, what can we do? And someone suggested to me that we'd have a, like something that needs to be some kind of structure. So in Django con your junk on us that year 2019 I did a workshop and it went really well and we had a lot For tables or so, and that was just to try and get all the people who perhaps haven't got a project to work on a one to get tripped into Django together. And then they can sort of help each other. And then run it again, this time this year in Porto. And it went, Okay. And again, here in San Diego, and it went, I thought it went really well. It was really successful. And the all it is, is get set up with the test suite and have a go at Find a ticket have a gut browse through the track, because here's the thing is we've in Django, we've got 1000 open tickets just under. And so if I give you a list of 1000 tickets, you're like totally overwhelmed by what can I possibly contribute to? And then there are no easy tickets either like because it's 17 years old, right? So there's nothing where you just come in snipped something. And there's your commit and only took five seconds, if not every single ticket, but almost every ticket requires you to sit down, read it, open the code, have an explorer, come to understand it. And I have this I have this little spiel to people say to me, Well, how can I contribute? I'm new, I don't how can I? How can I suggest anything is that well, because by the time you've spent that hour or two hours really digging into it, you are literally literally are the world expert on that ticket at that moment. And the goal of the workshop is literally to get people to have that experience so that they realize how it is that just by giving it a bit of time and love, they are legitimately able to contribute on an equal footing with anybody who's been, you know, it's been around 10 years and millions of commits and all the rest of it. Because, you know, they, someone will come to me, they've been looking at a ticket for two hours. And they're like, Oh, I can't What do you think about this? And I'm like, literally, I don't know, you have to explain it. Yeah, exactly. or may not have some memory of that ticket from whenever I've come across it previously. But right now, you know, you know, 10 times more about that ticket than I do. And then you can have a really good conversation. And then they go, Okay, well, I could do this and open a PR, and it's like, yes, there's your first PR, and then
Will Vincent 21:59
a couple hours, you know, people were it was the same day people were, you know, even though there aren't super low hanging fruit, people were finding stuff and they were submitting, you know, it's just great. It's like almost like a gong like a sprint at work or something. I mean, there was every half hour, there was another round of applause. And someone else had done their first or another commit usually a first commit. Yeah,
Carlton Gibson 22:21
I mean, it's just marvelous. So from that extent, I think the workshop was really successful. And my goal for that workshop is to have that free standing. I don't want that to depend on me. It has depended on me over the last few conferences, that's fine. It can depend on me for a couple more conferences. That's not a problem. But I would like to write that up and have that as a free standing resource that then, you know, other sprint leaders could choose to use or not, or adapt or whatever, you know, future Django cons?
Will Vincent 22:47
Yeah, well, there are so many good ideas that came out of the conference in the sprints. I mean, one is Paulo just wrote wrote up thoughts on the fact that core sprints, so saying, you know, do we have Can we just have to three days for people to come together and do stuff on Django, because his experience, he had the Plone framework, he used that. And so he discussed that with a number of people. He just wrote up a blog post on that, you know, that would be really exciting to do, especially if you did one, you could do one, and then your side of the world and one in the US side of the world. And just a long weekend. And then someone I think was Pamela Fox said, Well, you know, can we do virtual or hybrid? Some of us can't, you know, can't leave for whatever reason. And yeah, we could, you know, I think just just like a modicum of structure allows for these things to happen. And that's something that, you know, we can talk about the the Django Software Foundation Board. But I think that was the kind of big takeaway is there's all these ideas, and we just need to get the organization right to have them happen, right? Because people on their own, need a little bit of that.
Carlton Gibson 23:53
Yeah. And that ties in with the other big one that came up with mentorship, we need. Simon shirt gave a keynote on the state of the IRM, which just fantastic talk, you've, you really must watch that when it comes out. But one thing he talks about is the contributors to the OEM our M and I sort of over time, that pool of it, the pool of people who can review PRs to the RM has never been big, but we need to make sure that it doesn't ever narrow to, to one zero idea what happens, right, we need to, we need a way of bringing on people in over a release cycle, because let's say you add a feature to the ORM. And I don't know and I think you did mean a full release cycle like a four point X or a five point neck. So that would be fun when Oh 4.1 4.2 Not just 4.1 because that's how you introduce a feature in 4.0 guaranteed that there are regressions in that that don't show up until 4.2 When people upgrade from LTS to LTS and so if you've introduced a feature you kind of still need to be around like that coming later later. Yeah, you know, it's not really till say 5.0 That you think okay, well, that features kind of steady now because We got through, we got through the LTS. But Pete, it's not realistic, I think for people to just come along and, you know, open the open the source code to django.db and start reading. I mean, you can do that. And that's a great thing. I do recommend doing that, because it's not that scary. But, you know, to get to get a comprehension of the LRM from that is asking me
Will Vincent 25:28
and unless you have a direct need that overlaps with work, it's, you know, I think time like Mark like, you know, Marius Jenko, fellow had that with Oracle with some of his work. I think Simon at Zapier had, there was some overlap, and then he continued it, but not a lot of people have jobs where hacking on the ORM is, you know, they're doing things that require that,
Carlton Gibson 25:51
right. And as well, I think over the last kind of year, I've come to realize that it's no good as just asking for more contributors, because like, if you're, if you're basically economically privileged, then sure you can find time and we get the same, the same sort of demographic, you know, essentially white blokes from North North America, North America, Europe, you know, the global north, so to speak, who've got the economic capacity to give that kind of time, but we won't get people from a wider demographic, you know, more representative the community unless we're able to say, hey, you know, what, there's a there's an opportunity grant here that goes with, with this mentorship so that you've got the capacity to actually do this. So we're not asking for free labor, from people who are already struggling to do it. I think, you know, I've previously done talks on your web framework needs you and you went from it still need you. And I've done get contributing to Django and how that does, Ben, that benefits you. And it benefits your career. And it's great learning opportunity and all these things. But that doesn't, that doesn't remove the economic barriers to people contributing. So I think, as part of thinking about mentorship, or thinking about the future sustainability of the of the maintainership of Django, Django, if the Django projects, the Django code, we also need to be thinking about opportunity grants and funding for that, so that we can widen access.
Will Vincent 27:17
Yes, I think it's also would be more fulfilling for people like, like you, and Simon and Maurice and others who are in there to to mentor, I mean, not for everyone, but for many of those people, I think it would add an additional layer of that, it would feel good, right? I mean, you know, because you aren't, you all aren't going to be there for forever. But if there was a sense of handing off the torch in good hands, I think that would either, if not prolong how long you'd stay just make it more rewarding to keep doing it again. And again, again,
Carlton Gibson 27:50
yeah, I mean, one thing, contributing directly, like just fixing tickets, it's great. It's good fun. And I was, in a way, it's kind of like the feeling I have about freelancing after freelancing for years and years, was the greatest brilliant, freelancing is brilliant, it paid, you know, you get a good paycheck, and you get to work on interesting stuff. But the end of it, you're kind of no closer to your long term goals. And when the paychecks gone, you're back, sort of where you were. And so you have to carry on, it's a bit like a treadmill, it's a bit like, well, hang on, how can that how long can I do this? I mean, till I'm 80? Perhaps not? That's an interesting question. But the same with fixing tickets. It's like, well, I can fix tickets, I can fix tickets. I've been fixing tickets for years now. But there comes a point where it's gonna be like, you know, I haven't quite got the energy to fix tickets, where if I can help people come along, and learn to fix tickets. It's like a false force multiplier.
Will Vincent 28:44
Yeah, well, and it's also this sense of, like, I was joking with you about something new day, like, you know, self deprecation, you know, it's like, you don't want to just leap out, you know,
Carlton Gibson 28:55
deprecation. Yeah, he will be removed. And,
Will Vincent 28:59
you know, because there is, you know, I think that's, there's a way to have that for involvement or just taking a little low, you know, in not, because right now, it's like it has has been, okay, your, your, your core, you're on the board, you're organizing a conference, and then it's just like a big drop off. So that's, like, I wrote up some personal thoughts on the Django Software Foundation Board, because I've been having to basically, this whole week has been me having discussions with people about all this, because I really, and I've seen a lot of people are stepping forward, I think, who weren't fully aware of the need, but also weren't aware of the possibilities, you know, of what, like, what, you know, I, I sat down with very prominent people, and they're like, I have no idea what the board does, like, I have no idea what the budget is, you know, and, and so it's not a scary thing. It's like, you know, here's what it does now, but here's what it could do, right? Like so I would, at the moment. Having been on the board three years, it feels like whenever we come out of a conference and things and we say Django should do all these things. So the only way to move it forward is the board. And the board already has his hands full with stuff. So I think the board, I would like to see it, get in a position where it's managing more than doing because right now we in the board do the great deal of all these other things. So I'll link to it, I wrote up a whole long thing of thoughts on how we can do it, I think it'd be, you know, a number of people stepping down, I think it's great to have new people come in and come in with at least one thing they want to push. At the same time, like Anna stepping down, I'm probably stepping down a couple other people stepping down, I still want to be involved. You know, I want to be on a working group, you know, the mentorship thing like to me, I want to make that happen. So maybe you can't do that being the treasurer, and all these other things. But if you're in a working group, or if you're on the side, you can push that forward. So that's what I would and that people have said, again, people have said, Hey, is there is there a way to contribute? And, you know, no, we don't really have that structure. So we need to, you know, working groups, whatever it's called, we need these areas where people will say, a couple people will report to the board every so often asked for approval or funding as they need. That's what they piloted with this course prints. And that's why I said to him, I was like, you know, please make an ask because the board should exist to approve and help things, but it can't. Like, we already are doing a lot of stuff. So it was offloading things and people, new people coming in with things they want to push. And just Yeah, mentorship DSF grants, we can do that. Well, Django project.com site,
Carlton Gibson 31:35
guys, sorry about the things you're talking about grants. Like the idea there is like if say, I mean, Andrew Godwin gave a great talk, which he kind of had to put together last minute, and about the history of
Will Vincent 31:46
he put it together, like less than 24 hours notice. And just like, just like, it's so much better than my talk. Okay, he goes to he's been to every conference, and he speaks a lot. And he's Andrew, but it was just like, oh, like, what am I even doing here? But yeah, he gave a great talk on the state of Jango. Among other things, at
Carlton Gibson 32:08
the end, he put forward some ideas of where he worked, like where he'd like to see Django going. And one thing amongst those words, he wants to not just him putting forward ideas he wants, you know, if you've got an idea come forward, and that, you know, let's propose it. But you know, two or three big projects that if they could be funded projects, that would make them much more realistic. And the whole point, I think the point with the Django grants is that if there are concrete ideas, it's easy to it's easier to put together a fundraising drive, you know, and this money would go towards that, then, you know, if there's nothing specific on the agenda we want to address
Will Vincent 32:48
now, absolutely. Well, and that's, you know, again, I'm always like, okay, like, let's, let's not just talk about it, let's do something. So how would we do Django Software Foundation grants? Well, we have a technical board, they could, in one meeting, agree on 510 things that can be done in a couple month period of time by the right person, they could review who that person is. And we on the board could provide funding as needed to say, okay, like, spring serialization into Django, okay, like, the technical board has scoped it, like, this is what we're thinking. And then we can review, you know, over the next year, who potentially could have the time, okay, and then what are the funding needs based on your personal situation? Like, yeah, boom, like, we can do it. Like, I think, again, that's what it requires. And that's what the board are working groups, like, we just need that extra thing of someone to, you know, and I'm planning to push this like, but I can't push everything to make that happen. But like, it's, that's to me, that's the only bit and this whole ecosystem that's missing. Like, we can get the funding, we have the people, we have the ideas, we just need that organizational structure. And that's, you know, I was able to talk multiple times with Jacob, Jacob Kaplan Moss, who has said publicly, he's going to run for the board again, which would be great to have, you know, a creator on there. But his, a lot of his focus last few years has been around organizations and trying and he writes wonderful pieces almost every week about this. So people who can bring knowledge from the PSF from private companies into rethinking you know, how Django is structured because we haven't changed it in a while. Yes. And we we can and should.
Carlton Gibson 34:30
Yeah. And I think, you know, you know, it's not an excuse, but one reason has been, you know, the last couple of years, it really, with the pandemic has taken the wind out of a lot of everybody's sails. And so, okay, we've got a chance as we start to come out of the pandemic to re energize and you know, that was the thing to see everybody does. The opening point was that seeing everybody is really re energizing. And it's like, yeah, okay, we can do this. We, there's still this heart of a community here that really wants this and is really passionate about the framework and the community. In the ecosystem, let's let's make it happen. There was a panel we were on a panel with.
Will Vincent 35:04
Yes. Yeah. And we were, we were everywhere. Yeah, there was a state of Django panel that Don wages ran, which was, I wish it could have been a lot longer. I'm sure the audience may not may have felt that way. Because it was the last thing on Wednesday, but it was,
Carlton Gibson 35:22
it was. It was interesting. It was one of the panels that they've been to that it wasn't just people on stage just talking to themselves sort of thing. So
Will Vincent 35:30
it's just like, it's just like wind wind us up like what what do we say in the podcast all the time? So it was you me, Marius? was Rachel from Django? Yep, yep. Andrew Godwin and gesture, but definitely BSF reps this. So we, we covered a
Carlton Gibson 35:52
lot of Yeah, I mean, there were lots of things in it, you know, watch the panel when the videos come out the Jeff made, I think a good point is that, you know, perhaps, historically, Python sort of look to Django. So what's Django doing? Let's do that. But in many ways, in terms of, particularly diversity in the steering Council, pythons pushed on in front. And, you know, this ties back to your point that you were talking about Jacob, we haven't updated the Django structures in quite a long time. And it's perhaps now time for Django to look at what's been done in Python and see if we can bring some ideas back. And, you know, update, we had that 10, which was still wide and participation, but then the structure of the rules haven't quite resulted in, like the technical board has been the same group of contributors, and not, not as pluralistic as it could be. And so can we, can we adjust the election rules? Or can we loosen them? Can we can we allow for people to tag out of, of contributing? And then say, Yeah, you know, what, after my break, I'm ready to come back and give back to the community again, and have a mechanism when they can be unsuitable rather than Oh, no, you haven't been contributing, therefore, you're not, you know, what's it called? Eligible?
Will Vincent 37:06
Right? Well, there's a pretty active discussion on Django, developers, Google group, and also among DSF. Members about about this. So that's hopefully, hopefully
Carlton Gibson 37:18
Spirit will come together. Yeah,
Will Vincent 37:21
well, I think it's just we haven't been together. So like, even even just on the board, I was the only board member there but like, you know, we could we the board could just do a lot of stuff. But if we don't talk to the community, we don't feel like empowered to do that stuff. You know, like, yes. So these in person events, and Django con Europe, I think there were three board members there. So but
Carlton Gibson 37:41
and then, yes, they were and he made this point about in his talk at Gen Con Europe. Up on the stage, Jack, I don't remember the exact topic, but it was one of the last ones on Friday, but he talked about well, okay, if you don't listen to the podcast, or if you don't subscribe to Django news, or you're not an individual member of the DSF. We've got no way of contacting you. We've got no way of outreaching. So okay, there's the blog. But, you know, we went on Twitter and the blog, is it Yeah, Twitter and the blog. And it's like, well, you know, have we got other? Can we think of other channels so that we can reach out again, on Django developers? Just this week. So I think prompted by the discussions coming out of Django con, someone asked a question about, well, what is an individual member? And where is it about? Because if you look on the website doesn't really say, and then, you know, Tim shilling who maintains Django debug toolbar and has done for years? He's like, Well, I've only just applied to be a Django a member of the DSF. Well, clearly, he would be, you know, a candidate, but he doesn't know what it's involved. He didn't I
Will Vincent 38:42
think he applied. He applied last year. But yeah, I've had quite some discussions with him. Yeah. And you realize someone like this, who's a pillar of the community has doesn't really know doesn't doesn't really know. And a lot of people wrote in saying, Yeah, I, you know, either I don't feel like I'm qualified, which is, you know, it can be anyone or I don't know what it is involved, and therefore, I'm hesitant to put forward because what am I stepping up in for? You know? So even even people like that.
Carlton Gibson 39:12
Okay, so there was all these things about the community, which and, and how we're going to push Django forward, which I think have new new life out from your new impetus from the conference and the bars coming out of that. I was going to ask you, did you have any other sort of exciting hot takes? I've got one more secret exciting hot take. Oh, well ask you first.
Will Vincent 39:34
Yeah, why just just just to finish up so I think I wrote personal thoughts on the communication bit that we in the board have talked about and like, you know, could do in 20 minutes is have an official newsletter like we could just like Python has one like I just sent it around to some people. We can just put it on the sidebar. But here's the thing it doesn't it can't be a board person like so like I'm happy to do to be the working group with the newsletter but you know, I But there's other things to be done. But just like put it up, say someone, all you do is once a month, send it out, repeat what we already have, we can put down the line sponsors on there. Like, boom, like, we have to have a newsletter like that's, that's kind of what it's it's 20 minutes, but it was the heartache. So I got to sit next to David Lord at the sprints, who maintains flask, he lives in San Diego and knows Andrew Godwin, some of the other people. And that was interesting. So he, you know, he, he has a full time job. And then he single handedly runs flask and a whole bunch of other things in the ecosystem. And he made the point, which I hadn't really realized, it's that flask is downloaded 10 times as much as Django. So you know, okay, we sit here and say, Well, you know, yeah, flask is for Kitties and add ons. And, you know, it's not for, you know, snarky things like you just rebuilding Django, but like, it has unbelievable usage. And he was saying a lot of times in science and other fields where people don't want to be a web developer. They, you know, but But it's professional setting. They're using flask. But anyways, he's managing all of that. And he was asking about our, you know, our board, right? Because he was like, wow, seems like Django has figured this out, right? Like, there's a whole community, it's not like literally one person who took it over from Arman. And, you know, some of the things we're talking about. He's like, I, you know, so he's being a Fellow and a core contributor, and everything doing kind of fall on top of his and not his, not his day job. And so, he's was asking about, you know, yeah, how do we structure things? Is it possible to have kind of like a fellow like role, but then there's this huge trust component, there's no clear person to him in the community, who could take that on, even if he had the money and everything else to do it. One thing he's done is he's recently gone under the branch of the PSF. So they if you contribute to pallets, which is the flask organization, it routes you to the Python Software Foundation, and in return for this public, I think 10% They handle all the administrative they handle the processing fees? You know, they they let him which, which is great, like, because otherwise he can't, you know, so PSF is expanding its umbrella to these areas, because most of these things aren't Django, they don't have conferences, they don't have this wide community, even if they have insane usage. And so they can provide legal accounting. And so that's something that we Django can also do. Jeff, Jeff trip was making this point, you know, can we have like a more formal liaison with with the PSF. And actually, tomorrow, Friday, Jeff has set up a call between the PSF Executive Director Deb Wilson, Deb Wilson, the new one, me and Anna, our president, so we're going to chat it out. And that's something that, you know, if not a board member, we should have some direct line of communication beyond like, I have one with the accountants for conferences, but like, anyways, long rambling thing, that's my hot take is that wow, flask Wow, David, Lord, and like we in the Python community can and should try to pool our resources and share tips on how to make this all sustainable.
Carlton Gibson 43:20
Yeah, I mean, sharing resources is the thing like dangos, tiny, realistically speaking, and if we were able to leverage some of the expertise and know how of the BSF that that would be great. Why don't we do that? It's probably just an accident of history that we don't do that.
Will Vincent 43:34
Yeah, I think any, they have a new executive director, you know, they've been looking to us, but they've, you know, they've changed a lot. Last couple years, they have a lot more staff, and they still don't have a huge number of people, they've got the whole, you know, pie pie situation going on. But they are the larger organization. Whereas if you asked a Django does Python developer in the street, they would assume that the PSF and the DSF are equivalent, when, you know, our budgets 200,000 their budget is millions and millions, bless them for it. So what's your hot take?
Carlton Gibson 44:09
My hot take was on the first day of spring, Simon Wilson came up to me and he's like, you know, it says in the docs that you shouldn't use SQLite in production. And I'm like, and he's like, Well, how do we how do we change that? And I said, well, well, ideally, what we need is some benchmarks, you know, we need to know like, because you get this database, SQLite database is locked error thing that comes up. And when you get current, right, so you know, you can read from a SQLite database as many times as you want. But if you try and write to it from two separate processes, it blows up. And there's in the existing docs, there's this timeout, you can add or you can add a number of seconds that it will sort of read retry for before it's raises the same error. And then there's this other tool that the well or the writer headlock where you can write much faster to SQLite. And I was like, But wait We really have no idea how fast this goes. So Simon in his brilliance just whips up a benchmark puts it all together, he's like, yep. If you with the default journal mode, and you know, no, no timeout settings and all the rest if you hit this error quite quickly, which is, you know, the historical advice, but if you set the timeout to about 20 seconds, it kind of disappears for some, you know, the scale up quite a lot before you hit that error again, but he was like, but then if I enabled the the well note, the writer headlock, it just kind of disappears and you thought 4000 requests a second sort of thing and ganache, multiple ganache home workers, and you know, all the things that you think no, surely this is going to blow up, the locked error just kind of went away. And that benchmark needs a bit of work. And they're more moralistic, right, more realistic or different right patterns, which will create, which will trigger again, trigger the error? Because you can, you know, the right ahead, log isn't flawless. If there's a there's these checkpoints. I forget the details. It's all in on the SQLite docs, but you can hit errors, but why aren't we hitting them in Simon's benchmark? I mean, you want you want the benchmark to hit the expected error at some point, right. But the figures he was getting out of his example, were more than enough for, you know, almost every website you've ever worked on.
Will Vincent 46:20
Yeah, he wrote that up. So I'll put the link
Carlton Gibson 46:23
up. Right. And so well, can we, in fact, change that advice? And, you know, Can we can we change that advice and see what we see what we say, because for a lot of websites, it might be that that's enough. And then it takes you know, if you're if you're running a small site, and you're worried about cost, it takes yet another cost center app, because to spin up a an RDS or another managed database instance, it's not free at all. Whereas if you've already got a server, and you can just put a SQLite folder file on it, you know, it's already paying out
Will Vincent 46:54
in volumes on a, you know, a Docker thing on the modern deployment things are using so you can get persistent storage instead of an ephemeral thing where it gets wiped. That's also seems like Yeah, but no, that was.
Carlton Gibson 47:08
So that's that. I'm really excited about that. And I was speaking to Simon should let on the way to the airport about it. And he was like, Well, yeah, but you know, if you need access from multiple hosts, and you need to need to migrate to a different one, it's still may not, you still may be better off starting with Postgres anyway. So that, you know, it's not a totally one sided story that you should all just use SQLite. But for, you know, where in that measured case, you know, SQLite fits your use case.
Will Vincent 47:34
Why not me, and it would make for for teaching, it would make it a lot easier to just say, you know why, like, for these for these toy sites. And for in most cases, like, you can do Postgres, I'll show you that. But you can also just use SQL Lite. That would be that would lower the barrier. Well, as you're talking one thing I maybe maybe the thing I feel like my biggest contribution is at the sprints, I was sitting with a David Lord came over. And then he was talking something about like automating deployments and asking questions, and someone was like, well, Simon's Willison is over there. He's like, you know, he's got like, hundreds of projects. And, you know, she talked to him, we kept talking. And, you know, I'm, for developer, I'm outgoing. So I went over and said, Hey, Simon, like, Could you come over here? I was like, Are you in the middle of something? He's like, Well, yes. I was like, Can I bring you over here? He's like, okay, so bless him. He trusted me and Simon came over, and he and David had never met. Like, I just sort of assumed that these original these, you know, these, these gods of web development, all there are chummy. And some of them are, but it was like, amazing to see was this like, oh, like, Hey, I'm Simon. Like, I'm David. Like, obviously, they knew who we were, but they'd never met. And then you know, they and then they were off to the races for, you know, I had to leave for the airport. But like an hour in, they were showing, like, all these little things and hacks. And so it's a beautiful thing. It's also a reminder, like, it's not like everyone knows everyone, right, and especially these conferences. The bigger point I wanted to make is, I think Tim Schilling was tweeting about this but you know, most developers are a little more on the introverted scale so like, it's just natural in conferences. Not every interaction is going to be smooth but everyone is there and trying and wants to engage if they don't, they can go to their room you know? So taking that extra step to you know, if you know that two people might work well with one another don't know each other is always worth it.
Carlton Gibson 49:31
Well then, ya know, exactly. And like even Simon, you know, superstars like I say, time, like even even superstars that you think are well they must be really that that can be shy people you know, to know they're feeling it just as much as you are when you're a bit nervous about talking to people like it's it's not it's not you, it's
Will Vincent 49:50
everybody. Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Carlton Gibson 49:52
Well, but call it let's call it a day. That's That's plenty to talk about. Really exciting and good to be back. And anyway, I've got some such warm Changuk Gonna feelings?
Will Vincent 50:00
Yes. Likewise, likewise, and lots going on. So check out the newsletter checkout. You're already on the podcast, check out the podcast. And on the Yeah, we'll put links. But I think there's changes afoot. And if you want to get involved, raise a hand. We're going to try to have working groups and all these other areas so people can act on it. It's not just the board and we can keep the momentum going.
Carlton Gibson 50:22
Well, that was it. We are going well, you see us
Will Vincent 50:25
Yes. Okay. Yeah. Django chat.com. Chat Django on Twitter. And we'll see you all next time. Bye bye. Join us next time. Buh bye.