[portland] django coders?

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Wed Jun 17 05:03:52 CEST 2009

On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 7:26 PM, Rami Kassab<rami at typethink.com> wrote:

<< SNIP >>

> Just throwing more thoughts out. This is an important discussion for
> the future of Python, in my opinion, and we should debate this
> maturely
> and as much as possible until a solid strategy is developed and executed.

Plus don't forget the XO, something of a flagship given Sugar, even if
you're not an XO fan (plus they're hard to come by in Lower48 these
days).  A lot of kids are first tuning in programming (in Python)
thanks to Pippy.


Although there's this theory a developer will seek the best language
for the job and learn it, proof to the contrary is many are still
using VB or (shudder) VB dot net.  This is a group Kevin Altis went
after, one of our savvier marketers (helped inject that term "agile"
in response to "scripting"...).

His PythonCard was a solo attempt to duplicate Microsoft's vast GUI
tool product development team (Visual Studio division), which could
also do more with IronPython (or maybe is and I'm just not in the
loop?).  Any gossip?

In actuality, many developers just use whatever they already know
(like Bill Gates knew BASIC), and that means whatever they learned in
school, maybe as a part of some CS curriculum.  Until rather recently,
that was C++ or Java or maybe Scheme at MIT, but the world keeps
spinning, and today it's all about Python in a lot of schools.

Not just MIT, as Dylan pointed out, nor just PCC.  Michigan State,
Haverford... a growing list.

Because of this, you may find some frustrating complacency that, as
developers, you should fight.  I think the thinking at the top is that
Python is destined to have large market share in niche markets that
matter (e.g. web development ala Google App Engine **) simply because
the CS schools are already growing a small army.  So sit back and
relax, nothing to worry about.

Just my sense.  Also Jeff Rush's point is a good one, that a lot of
rich companies are keeping it a secret (my allusion to Iceland
earlier, where Twisted folks keep like 52K paying users happy, or
whatever it is, multi-user games).

Pycon, even in a recession, looked like a lot of guys with money to
burn, or at least that's the talk if not the walk.  As for myself, I
couldn't afford to stay at Hyatt Regency on my meager income,
hospitals being so cost conscious and all, especially Catholic ones.

Django appears to have a bright future as well, although KM & Co. are
already bracing for the what the backlash might be (when the
detractors decide Python is just being a little *too* successful).

Like for Ruby, detractors started the rumor that Ruby "doesn't scale"
and KM showed like 3 million hits on that, "but of course Ruby scales
fine" he added, aware of how easy it is to mislead a mob (especially
of pointy haired bosses, who mostly haunt gossip sites and know
nothing whatever about Computer Programming for Everyone (Guido's

I agree with Rami that this is an important discussion, happening in
many threads running in parallel.  User groups, in being a potential
source of branding ideas, localized swag, plus free Python Briefings
to the general public, are at the forefront of marketing this language
and should involve themselves actively.  I'm glad to see our Portland
list isn't just sitting idle on this topic (nyah nyah Chicago -- oops,
sorry, you said "maturely").

My thanks to Dylan et al for keeping the pot bubbling.

Kirby Urner (PSF 09)

Hawthorne District
(birthplace of the Silicon Forest)

** the new O'Reilly book is out on Google App Engine, me listed as a
technical consultant ahem ahem (my thanks to Dr. Chuck and O'Reilly
both, for this opportunity to weigh in a little, appreciated!).

> --
> *Rami Kassab* - Chief Executive Officer
> M 503.888.8605
> rami at typethink.com
> LinkedIn Profile <http://www.linkedin.com/in/RamiKassab>
> *Typethink* - Creative Web Firm
> P 503.626.6231
> F 503.626.6233
> 111 SW 5th Ave., Suite 1000
> Portland, OR 97204
> www.typethink.com
> On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 6:24 AM, Dylan Reinhardt
> <python at dylanreinhardt.com>wrote:
>> On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 9:33 PM, Jeff Rush <jeff at taupro.com> wrote:
>> > Rami Kassab wrote:
>> > > Jeff, was mainly referring to marketing itself better to developers.
>> > While
>> > > we work to get our clients to agree to having Python development, it's
>> > not
>> > > something that our clients come asking us to do right off the bat.
>> >
>> > It is an interesting issue but I think you're in conflict ;-) with
>> > Dylan's viewpoint:
>> That's not how I read that comment.
>>  Very few clients go looking for Python, but it's easy to get clients
>> to *evaluate* Python.  Most people are open to hearing about a key
>> tool used by Google, et al.
>> The tough part of the sell comes when the client wants to know who they can
>> turn to for support if you get hit by a bus.  There's not a lot of excess
>> capacity out there and if you're a solo practitioner, the lack of available
>> support can be a deal-breaker.
>> So it may be the case that we're individually busy and individually able to
>> create Python gigs... but none of that activity seems to create the
>> impression that there's much reason for Java or VB coders to make the leap.
>>  That's where some decent marketing would come in.
>> But slow and steady growth will eventually work too.  It looks like PCC
>> will
>> be offering a class in Python this Fall.  I forget if it got posted here or
>> not, but MIT is now teaching Python in their intro class.  Over the long
>> run, we'll grow.  It's just that the way we're doing it,
>> it's going to take a lot of patience.
>> $.02,
>> Dylan
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