There are many aspects of learning how to program and at least as many ways to go about it. This is multiplicative with the different problem domains and subject areas where software development is applied. In this episode William Vincent discusses his experiences learning how web development mid-career and then writing a series of books to make the learning curve for Django newcomers shallower. This includes his thoughts on the business aspects of technical writing and teaching, the challenges of keeping content up to date with the current state of software, and the ever-present lack of sufficient information for new programmers.
Hosting your own artifact repositories can have a huge impact on the reliability of your production systems. It reduces your reliance on the availability of external services during deployments and ensures that you have access to a consistent set of dependencies with known versions. Many repositories only support one type of package, thereby requiring multiple systems to be maintained, but Pulp is a platform that handles multiple content types and is easily extendable to manage everything you need for running your applications. In this episode maintainers Bihan Zhang and Austin Macdonald explain how the Pulp project works, the exciting new changes coming in version 3, and how you can get it set up to use for your deployments today.
Your backups are running every day, right? Are you sure? What about that daily report job? We all have scripts that need to be run on a periodic basis and it is easy to forget about them, assuming that they are working properly. Sometimes they fail and in order to know when that happens you need a tool that will let you know so that you can find and fix the problem. Pēteris Caune wrote Healthchecks to be that tool and made it available both as an open source project and a hosted version. In this episode he discusses his motivation for starting the project, the lessons he has learned while managing the hosting for it, and how you can start using it today.
The importance of testing your software is widely talked about and well understood. What is not as often discussed is the different types of testing, and how end-to-end tests can benefit your team to ensure proper functioning of your application when it gets released to production. This week Luciano Puccio shares the work that he has done on Golem, a framework for building and executing an automation suite to exercise the entire system from the perspective of the user. He discusses his reasons for creating the project, how he things about testing, and where he plans on taking Golem in the future. Give it a listen and then take it for a test drive.
Do you know what is happening in your production systems right now? If you have a comprehensive metrics platform then the answer is yes. If your answer is no, then this episode is for you. Jason Dixon and Dan Cech, core maintainers of the Graphite project, talk about how graphite is architected to capture your time series data and give you the ability to use it for answering questions. They cover the challenges that have been faced in evolving the project, the strengths that have let it stand the tests of time, and the features that will be coming in future releases.
Email has long been the most commonly used means of communication on the internet. This week Antoine Nguyen talks about his work on the Modoboa project to make hosting your own mail server easier to manage. He discusses how the project got started, the tools that it ties together, and how he used Django to build a webmail and admin interface to make it more approachable.
In modern work environments the email is being edged out by group chat as the preferred method of communication. The majority of the platforms used are commercial and closed source, but there is one project that is working to change that. Zulip is a project that aims to redefine how effective teams communicate and it is already gaining ground. This week Tim Abbott shares the story of how Zulip got started, how it is built, and why you might want to start using it.
If you have a product to sell, whether it is a physical good or a subscription service, then you need a way to manage your transactions. The Oscar ecommerce framework for Django is a flexible, extensible, and well built way for you to add that functionality to your website. This week David Winterbottom and Michael van Tellingen talk about how the project got started, how it works under the covers, and how you can start using it today.