Django Under The Hood 2016 recap

From the beginning I really wanted to contribute to Django. I asked a friend of mine- “Do you know where I can start contributing?” She answers- “Go to Django Under The Hood”. So I went. This is my small recap of this very event.

Day one

After wandering a little bit around the city I finally got to the venue and the talks started- the first one was Channels by Andrew Godwin. Until then I had heard about this topic but I hadn’t really go into details for what it is useful for. Andrew presented a very thought-through understanding of what channels really are and for what they can be used. But I would like to see them in production to see how this gonna work. As a guy who hadn’t heard about this topic before I liked it very much.

Right after that was a talk about testing by Ana Balica. She started by introducing about how testing in django evolved which I really liked. Then there was an introduction what is happening when you execute test suite via django. And what is happening in various testcases classes and clients in Django. I really liked the segment about tools that you can use to exhance your testing and 8 tips on how to speed up tests. Another really interesting thing. You can find slides here.

The last talk on this day was debugging by Aymeric Augustin. It was a talk about how to speed up your page load. As it turns out backend is responsible for only 20% of page load. Good thing to consider when improving performance. To speed your page load you should start by improving your frontend and then go to the backend. When it comes to backend I heard some interesting ideas on how to improve performance.

Day two

The second day started with a keynote by Jennifer Akullian. It was a talk about mental health in IT. I found this topic really interesting and I was happy that it has been raised.

Next talk was a more technical one about validation by Loïc Bistuer. It was a really interesting talk about forms and validation. It was deeply technical which sometimes for me was difficult to understand but it is very good- when something isn’t comfortable you don’t learn.

Then there was a talk about javascript by Idan Gazit. It was a talk that gave me a lot because of my rising interest in JavaScript. I heard about various tools and what it means to write modern javascript. I also heard about promises- the thing that is right now on top in javascript world so I heard it every other talk from this subject :). But overally talk gave me a lot of information that I can use further.

Next one was a database backends talk by Michael Manfre. It was diving deep into django ORM to show how to develop new database backend for Microsoft MSSQL. A lot of useful info.

After a coffee break, there was a talk about open source founding by Nadia Eghbal. Nice talk about what it means to find founder for open source projects and what challenges you may have along the way

The last talk was about Instagram and how it uses django by Carl Meyer. It was amazing talk! I really liked how they evolved and what was replaced or improved along the way. The funny thing was about Justin Bieber- his photos (especially likes to this photos) heat up the postgres database. I enjoyed the way the instagram handle performance.

Day three & four

As the talks day ended time has come for sprints! There were held in another location of Amsterdam but I found it comfortable too. Also, the experience was really nice as about 300 people were developing the same framework at the same time. At the beginning of the sprint, I decided to work on some GeoDjango stuff. I was able to close one and write some documentation. Awesome time!


It was a great time in Amsterdam! Talks were deeply technical and sprints productive. Superb organization. Highly recommended to everyone!

Special thanks to Kasia for being editor for this post. Thank you.