[portland] django coders?

Jeff Rush jeff at taupro.com
Wed Jun 17 06:17:53 CEST 2009

Rami Kassab wrote:
> Also, I don't know where I hinted that there's strong demand for Python but
> I definitely didn't mean that. We do have to push Python onto most of our
> clients.

Perhaps it was someone else on the list; it may be the level in the
developer hierarchy that matters, in that it is companies like yours
that are seeking Python developers to fulfill projects, not the
downstream clients who don't care about the language.

> For the most part, in fact, clients don't necessarily even care
> what language the application is written in... as long as it functions.
> Larger clients do of course. Nonetheless, rarely is their first choice
> Python. Using Python is our decision and we've made a commitment to help
> excel it. If we supported Django, Pylons, TurboGears, etc and helped other
> web firms adopt Python, Python will become significantly more popular. It's
> the early adopters that influence the rest.

Agreed, and Python does have a lot of advocates in key positions but
we're not the leader in the web nor education market.  Python is very
strong in the scientific sectors as well as sysadmin/infrastructure.

The education sector is weak because of the (relatively) few programmers
except for Kirby in positions to influence it.  The XO was a big hope
but it really isn't setting the education world on fire - more of a slow
simmer sadly.

The web sector is weakened by the diversity of web frameworks we have,
by the difficulty is communicating a focused message along with failure
to educate those coming to Python for the web in how to select the
correct framework.

> It's as simple as this, a particular language needs more advocates before it
> really takes off. You need advocates on the junior and senior level within
> an organization. The more the merrier.

There is good progress with grassroot communities - an increase in
usergroup formation, the rise of regional Python conferences.  Still not
 a lot of progress in cross-pollination of communities though - we're
getting our first Python booth at OSCON, and there are few Python talks
or booths at non-Python events.  Python developers seem to prefer
hanging out with other Python developers.  With the quality video taping
this year of talks at PyCon being placed on the net, we are increasing
our visibility to non-Python folk.

> 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.

I was the Advocacy Coordinator for the Python Software Foundation (and
still am informally) so this topic is important to me.  There is a
python-advocacy mailing list we could discuss further on -- I don't know
if the portland usergroup may mind a long thread like this on their list.


A number of us could descend on that list and inject some life into it.
;-)  It's a low-traffic list but has 147 members on it.

Beware though a problem I encountered with executing a strategy as
Advocacy Coordinator was the difficult in showing statistical
improvement in the adoption of Python.  You can point to whitepapers,
conference appearances, pod/screencasts, usergroups formed and
conferences held but cannot show a correlation between effort and results.

Indeed that is the argument of those opposed to wasting further
resources on advocacy efforts: that Python is becoming popular by its
own technical merits and one cannot truly show how any marketing
activities improve on that.  For them marketing is snake oil that either
does not affect the world or does so in a dishonorable fashion.  They
believe passionately that the better technical solution -should- win.

But I'm persistent and game to push on, to kick off a discussion on the
advocacy list and see what we can do.  If others will join in.


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