Jacob Kaplan-Moss recently wrote about the growing size of the Django community. It seems as though we are starting to feel some Django-related growing pains here in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. Given recent developments on the Triangle Zope & Python User Group (TriZPUG) mailing list I thought I would take some time to discuss the current state of Django in the Triangle, who’s using it, and what is in the pipeline.
Django’s growing popularity
First off, it’s important to note that Django adoption is growing nationwide. The included chart shows the number of posted “Django” jobs found on Indeed.com over the past few years. Notice a trend? Jacob Kaplan-Moss estimates the Django community may have grown somewhere on the order of 2-3x from 2007 to 2009. I definitely believe it and wouldn’t be surprised if it were higher. Between the volume of phone calls from recruiters and the number of people I run into using or talking about Django its popularity is definitely on the rise in the Triangle.
Django in Action
Here’s a short list of shops in the Triangle who use Django in their day-to-day development:
I know there are other closeted folks out there using Django without full corporate blessing or knowledge. If there are other groups out there who would like to make this list please let me know.
A Triangle Django Users Group?
A new Google Group TriDjUG (twitter: @TriDjUG) was recently created in order to help foster a healthy Django community. At the same time some good discussion erupted from the TriZPUG mailing list. Why bother splitting our local Python community? While the intention was never to split away, some good cases were made for operating under the umbrella of TriZPUG. Strengthen the Python community. One exciting sentiment that came from TriZPUG members was that non-Django Python users were interested in Django and wanted to learn more during regular TriZPUG meetings. That would give us a captive audience at an already catered and organized event. Sounds good.
Surely there is some Django-specific fun to be had… For starters, we’re looking to sponsor local Django-related sprints maybe including one for the upcoming Django 1.2 release. For our community building/growing merit badges a couple of us are developing a Django Bootcamp; let’s continue to grow.
So it sounds like it’s up to us local Djangonauts to step up, participate in TriZPUG, and build greater awareness. People want to hear about our technologies, so let’s share. If you have other ideas we’ld love to hear them. If you haven’t yet introduced yourself swing by the mailing list or irc (#trizpug) and say hello.
A couple of weeks ago I emerged from my development trance and decided to venture back out into the wilds of the Triangle entrepreneurial scene. The timing worked out so that I could trek out to Raleigh earlier this month to attend the inaugural Protosprout Community Program Meeting.
Protosprout ( http://protosprout.com ) is a NC-based company founded by Justis Peters that is looking to bring local entrepreneurs together and foster an energized, start-up community. I think it was a successful first meeting. Justis pulled folks together and lead some interesting and informal discussions including how the community could work together to provide support and value to one another. Ideas included things like skill and service bartering, community forums, general networking, official Protosprout mentorship and startup programs. A local skill bartering system would be great for a lot of startups ( ala programmer meets designer ) as would a tighter knit community for bouncing ideas off of or even testing your prototypes.
The TechShop will be a a DIY workshop with a slew of tools and machines for any number of tasks ( electronics, woodworking, plastics, machining, welding, 3d printing, even blacksmithing! ). They’ll offer classes so that you can get certified to use the various tools and then you’re off to create whatever you want. I am really excited to see this in action, so all you folks with checkbooks contact Scott Saxon over at the TechShop and get this puppy funded!
I met a lot of interesting people that night and look forward to attending the next Protosprout meeting. You should check it out over at http://protosprout.com . I think Justis is doing a great job getting this organized.