What's the best way to wrap up a fantastic conference? With an even more fantastic sprint! DjangoCon US 2011 was recently held in Portland, Oregon, and on September 9 and 10, DjangoCon attendees crammed into the offices of Urban Airship to sprint on Django. At the peak of the sprint, over 120 people — almost one third of the conference attendees — were at the sprint venue. Even more people joined in online, using IRC to communicate with those at the
The sprints were an excellent opportunity for the international Django community to gather and make plans for the future. Over the two day sprint, there were breakout sessions discussing a possible new template tag syntax, the requirements for a next-generation admin system, and the needs of a User model. Some people contributed to infrastructure, such as greasing the gears
connecting Django's ticket system to code sharing sites like GitHub. There was a group brainstorming about the possibility of replacing Django's ticket tracker with something better. Others made contributions to documentation, working on draft tutorials, topic guides, and improving the 'out of the box' experience for new Django users. And, of course, there was the usual sprinting fare of bug squashing and feature construction.
Attendees ranged from long-time Django veterans to recent Django converts; from twenty-somethings to seasoned software veterans. People came from all corners of the globe to attend the conference — South America, Australia, South Africa, Europe, Canada and all parts of the United States.
Portland is a great town for food lovers, and as a result, it's easy for "lets pop out for a quick bite" to turn into a 3 hour lunch break, eating up valuable sprinting time. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Google, and Emma, the sprints were a fully catered event -- so Portland's excellent food came to us, and no time and energy was lost in the hunt for sustenance!
The DjangoCon US 2011 sprints were an incredibly successful event; organizers for DjangoCon US 2012 in Washington DC, and DjangoCon Europe 2012 in Zurich, Switzerland have a lot to live up to. Here's hoping next year's events will be just as successful!
By Russell Keith-Magee, Django Software Foundation President; Photos by Frank Wiles