Oliver Roick

Takeaways from Djangocon Europe 2015

I went to Djangocon Europe in Cardiff last week. Here are my key takeaways from talks I saw and discussions I had.

  • In general, I enjoyed the mix of technical and non-technical talks and the fact that many talks were given by newcomers. It’s always good to see some fresh ideas.

  • Django views are hard to get right. In his talk, David Winterbottom advocated to keep Django views flat. I couldn’t agree more. Since the day I started developing with Django, however, I have been looking for good practices about how to deal with the domain logic in complex use cases. That’s something we, as the Django community, should work on.

  • Hypothesis is a test library that randomly generates test cases for predefined functions. It is inspired by Quickcheck for Haskell. I like the idea because we know what to look for when creating test cases manually. Hence, randomised test cases might find more issues. Hypothesis can be run with pytest so it can be easily integrated in your existing test suite.

  • Security was given much emphasis. James Bennett’s keynote history of Django’s security issues and how they got into the code base in the first place is well worth watching—there is a lot to learn for future projects. Erik Romijn gave another, more practical talk about Django security. I found his security checkup tool Erik’s Pony Checkup particularly interesting, it’s worth a bookmark.

  • Harry Percival’s workshop on test-driven development was great. He explained basic concepts incredibly clearly (e.g. What are unit test and functional tests? Why do we write tests at all?) and gave a comprehensive overview of available tools to write a test suite in Python. The workshop was based on his book, which he made available for free; you should buy it though!