Feb 22, 2023

DjangoCon 2022 in Porto: Insights from the World’s Biggest Django Conference

DjangoCon 2022 in Porto: Insights from the World’s Biggest Django Conference

After a year of just virtual events taking place due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the Django community finally gathered in person for the DjangoCon 2022 conference and chose a very beautiful site – the city of Porto. Located in northwest Portugal, Porto is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and thriving startup scene. Needless to say, we were excited to attend the conference and learn from the experts behind the Django framework, which has been a crucial tool in building Showmax's Content Management System (CMS).

During our visit to Porto, we were able to explore the city's famous landmarks and attractions, such as the iconic Clérigos Tower and the Cais da Ribeira. We were also treated to the city's famous golden sunset views and sampled its delicious seafood and world-renowned port wine. It was a wonderful learning opportunity and a chance to network with our peers, but also a moment of exploring the rich culture and history of this vibrant and dynamic city.

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The event was held in The Super Bock Arena (Pavilhão Rosa Mota) which was definitely a good choice. The venue provided ample space for attendees to network and enjoy the talks and workshops. One of the unique features that stood out was the roof tour, which was a great opportunity for attendees to take a break from the conference and experience a different perspective of the city. The tour finished with a tasting of traditional port wine poured into a cup made out of chocolate!

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The conference was full of amazing speakers, which were not only talking about Django and the magic things you can do with it but also about our developer community and how Django can be used in a wide variety of ways, from giving opportunities to get into coding with Django Girls to how to use hidden features of the framework to do things you didn’t even know you wanted to do!

One of the most interesting talks was done by Daniel Roy Greenfeld (@pydanny), the legend behind the series of books called Two Scoops of Django, which every Django developer has used, directly or indirectly, to learn how to build things with the framework at some point in their career. During his talk on Scaling from one to Billions, Daniel delved into the fundamental aspects of being a good developer and how to translate these skills into projects that can impact billions of people while keeping in mind the ethical considerations that arise from such influential work. In the end, Daniel’s talk had little to do with Django itself, but left us with a lot to think about regarding our daily job and how it affects people around the world.

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Another speaker, Katie Mclaughlin, made us think "What should you have to worry about?” She presented her view about the multiple trends we have popping up all the time on our daily job as developers and how to identify the ones that are actually worth our attention or even our time. In the talk she described in detail three main topics: Stable and Scalable Infrastructure, Reliable and Resilient Code, and Thoughtful and Thriving Community. We really recommend you watch her talk as it was not only very informative but also presented in a very playful and fun way.

On a more technical side, we had a lot of amazing speakers talking about different topics, but the ones who stand out the most for us were:

  • Add Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to Django in Mere Minutes: we had the opportunity to learn from Justin Mayer (@Jmayer) about the importance of Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), what are the types available and, of course, how to add it to Django in mere minutes!
  • Introducing Django Ninja: presented by Vitaliy Kucheryaviy, who walked us through a new way of building REST APIs in Django that uses python type hints in a clever way to validate, convert and serialize the endpoints’ inputs and outputs, and also automate API documentation!
  • “Observe!”: Honza Král (@honzakral) covered many useful tips and tricks to help improve monitoring, observability, and debugging of the running Django applications, such as logging, APM (application performance monitoring), distributed tracing, error tracking, and other things which are essential for any production Django app.
  • Handling Django in highly concurrent & scale environment: Tarun Garg told us about his journey toward trying to improve the performance of such things as Django admin pagination, text search, and Django models caching in a highly concurrent environment, which was a very educational experience for us!

By the end of every conference day there was a chance for people to participate in the Lightning Talks, giving five minutes to each speaker to talk about a topic of their choice. This was a really nice opportunity for those who wanted to have their first talk in a less strict format. That doesn’t mean that the talks were not serious or anything like that. We listened to multiple speakers talking about various interesting topics. For example, we listened to a talk about the maintainer of django-upgrade, which quickly presented a tool to us which will make the upgrade of Django major versions easier. It was a major announcement which the Django community has been waiting quite a while for.

In conclusion, the Django Conference is a testament to the thriving and dedicated community of developers using the Django framework. From all around the world, individuals and teams are utilizing Django to build impressive and innovative projects. The community of Django users is a major factor in the continued success and popularity of the framework within the Python ecosystem. The conference was very well organized – the great venue, interesting talks, and inspirational networking were wrapped up with an excellent final party and the extra addition of a free boat trip around the city of Porto. It was a very nice addition to switch the focus from the conference and get to know and enjoy this wonderful city from an unusual angle.

We are already looking forward to DjangoCon 2023, which this time will be in yet another amazing city: Edinburgh! Hopefully this time we might even be one of the speakers telling the world about the crazy things we do with this amazing technology in order to bring moments of joy to our users!

Thanks Bogdan Bodnar for co-writing this post!

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