[Chicago] Census?

John Melesky list at phaedrusdeinus.org
Fri Sep 28 02:54:34 CEST 2007

On Sep 26, 2007, at 3:11 PM, Chris McAvoy wrote:
> *) How tough is it to hire a Python Django developer?

In Chicago, easier than in most cities, given that a large portion of  
ChiPy have been exposed to core developers here.

> *) Is it easier (and / or cheaper) to hire a Rails developer?
> *) Is it easier (cheaper) to hire a PHP developer?

In my experience, most Django developers come from being Python  
developers. Most PHP developers come from front-end design (or,  
worse, Dreamweaver-land). Most Rails developers come from PHP or Java.

Which is a roundabout way of agreeing with the other responders:  
Django developers might be thinner on the ground, but they're a  
higher-average-quality bunch.

> *) Pretend you're a freelancer, justify writing an web application in
> [the python web framework of your choice] to a potential Chicago-land
> client that won't use your services for the long term life of the
> application.  They want you to write it, and walk away.  How will they
> support the app once you've left?

If i'm doing my job right, and they're communicating properly, then  
there shouldn't be much in the way of support needed once i'm out of  
the picture. Django has the very handy built-in admin interface, and  
the template system is friendly-enough to web designers.

If they're convinced they'll need to change the code once i'm gone,  
they can either hire me back for a short period, or spring for an  
extra few hours for me to come in the office and get people up to  
speed on Python and Django. One of Python's biggest strengths is as a  
very readable language, which makes it easy to modify for most  
programmers once a few gotchas are covered (like spaces vs. tabs).

Depending on the client, mentioning the Washington Post, LJWorld, and  
Tabblo often helps, as does pointing to http://code.djangoproject.com/ 
wiki/DjangoPoweredSites .

> Any thoughts on how to quantify these sorts of questions is welcome

Find a Django, Rails, and PHP freelancer. Give them a fairly  
complicated site to build. Ask for time estimates.

Then, actually pay them all to do it. Compare their actual time spent  
to their original estimates. Compare the sites functionally, and  
under load.

The downside of this empirical study is the requirement of extra cash  
on-hand to build multiple sites.

> PS. .  Yes, you're doing my homework for me.

S'alright. I have recent first-hand experience on question #4.


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