DjangoCon EU 2013

DjangoCon EU has always been something special. The very first European DjangoCon back in 2009 in Prague was a great start and over the years with Berlin, Amsterstam and Zurich in between in grew and grew and got better and better. This year, DjangoCon made a stop in Warsaw and, to be honest, it was the greatest conference I’ve ever been to.

Back when the first plans for this year’s event started to leak I was all “what on Earth???”, but the local team and all the helpers including Ola Sitarska, Ola Sendecka, Kuba Kucharski, Tomek Paczkowski and Jarek Piotrowski made it happen: A tech conference in a park, in a tent, that worked!!!

The conference

Over the years, conferences did evolved into those perfectly organized events where usually only one thing breaks: the WiFi. They usually take place in perfectly AC’d hotels or conference centers and depending on the price you pay you get served hot and cold beverages by people in black & white & bow-ties. Well, DjangoCon EU has always been different being a conference by the community for the community, but this year was like off a whole different planet with the organizers taking a huge risk and it working out perfectly.

The DjangoCon Circus in all its glory!

The tent is probably the most risky venue you can have. If the weather changes and you end up getting hit by rain from all directions, your conference venue might become a nightmare (depending naturally also to some degree on your attendees). But the exact opposite happened last week: Summer!

All week was perfect summer weather. Naturally, the tent became slighted heated up but still quite bearable and there was ice cream at the buffet whenever you wanted some :D

Then there were the talks. My main objectives when going to conferences are to meet up with people I haven’t seen for a while and getting new ideas. No point in talking about the fun-part since … heck, we were in a tent in a park in Warsaw! And right on the first day I moved from being managed by supervisord to circus after seeing Tarek Ziadé’s talk about it. So much for new ideas ;-)

Thematically probably the biggest theme here were databases, though, with at least 5 talks being about how to store your data (mostly in PostgreSQL) the right way:

Good stuff! :-)

So, the conference was awesome, but so was the after-show party: There was a large grill with exceptionally long queues for food and beer. Sadly the local fauna took that as an opportunity to assault us with all the mosquitos it had. Seems like for most this wasn’t really a problem but Ulrich and myself were sadly hit rather hard so we left early while the other still had a blast into the morning. But at least I still saw Rob Spectre making the crowd go wild ;-)

Rob Spectre doing a live performance ;-)

The sprints

After everyone had gotten out of the bed on Saturday, the sprint was the next point on the agenda. I guess, more than 200 people attending a Django sprint will gets its own big entry in the Django history-book. Venue in the heart of Warsaw at the HardGamma offices, enough power and WiFi for everyone and despite being nearly twice as many people as anticipated there was also enough food for everyone!

Big thanks to the organizers for such an awesome week! And see you all again next year in France!

Travel appendix

  • Get a Play prepaid data SIM card. 20 PLN for 1GB is a steal!
  • For 30 PLN per day for a room for two the Hostel Słuzewiec is quite nice.
  • OMG, the burger at Meat Love!
  • … while the burger at the Hard Rock Café is overrated ;-)
  • Besides TripAdvisor FourSquare is surprisingly useful to find good food in a city you don’t know :-)