The blog of an aspiring technologist.

I'm a web developer.

I'm the lead developer behind The Gleaners Interface.

I got my start in web development making fast Wordpress Spinups for non-profits.

I run an irc server and spend time asking and answering questions in the popular #django and #python channels on freenode.

I live in Vermont, and love to travel.

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What a conference!

It's been a damn long week, and it ended with a pull request to Django's source code! Here's a quick rundown of tips that I'll be thinking of next time I go to a conference:

  • Talks are teasers, they act as great introductions but no substitute for spending real time with a topic
  • All the pay-extra fluff is worth it, the TDD tutorial was amazing and I wish I went to more lke it
  • Have your marketing materials ready and handy, I felt awful for having a mediocre-at-best portfolio site, and I talked to devs who felt worse for not having their business cards with them
  • Like any good project you undertake, make a reasonable estimate for how much it's going to cost, and then quote for double
  • As always, prioritize your own energy

There are a lot of takeaways, but I'd like to really elaborate on that last one. One of the ringleaders of the event made a joke about the 3-2-1 rule, in that every day at a conference you should get three hours of sleep, two square meals, and one shower. And if you have to skip something, don't skip the shower.


That said, there's a lot of rules we all abide by when we're in our normal lives that need to get a little extra emphasis at a conference. For short two day stretches, it's easy to run yourself thin and sleep when you get home, but a week long event like Djangocon, I found myself battling with sleep deprivation, not moderating my coffee consumption, and basically the mindset of sprint til you get home couldn't hold out that long.

Maybe I'm just getting older, but I'm glad that Wednesday night I decided to just eat the lost productivity and go to sleep at 9 like a sane person. It made the last day of the conference that much more enjoyable and remember why I put such a high priority on maintaining my energy through my non-conference-going life.

Thanks again Djangocon, I hope to see everyone who attended at PyCon Montreal!