Django with Frank Wiles


“Don’t be so rigid in your methodologies and beliefs and whatever ecosystem you’re in. Everybody’s gotta be a little bit flexible because that rigidity doesn’t work. The only thing that we do as technologists that is rigid is that the compiler isn’t going to take a syntax error.”

Django is an open source web development framework that was initially released in 2005, around the same time as Ruby on Rails. In many ways, the two frameworks are similar – they expedited web development by modularizing common components of web apps and enabling developers to quickly prototype and launch their products. They both encouraged the use of the MVC architectural pattern, with each respectively acting as the controller, allowing developers to use their own front end and database technologies.

But the path of the two frameworks diverged in other parameters, including mainstream adoption. Ruby on Rails became the sweetheart in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, while Django was loved by a core constituency of pythonistas who had used Python in other applications and fallen in love with it. At the peak of the frameworks’ popularity, there was a common question from new developers asking whether they should first learn Django or Rails – the answer often boiled down to whether you wanted to use Python or Ruby. In this episode, Frank discusses the history and growth of Django, and explains how it evolved in comparison with other frameworks.

Frank Wiles is the President of the Django Software Foundation, and partner at Revolution Systems. He worked at the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper, where Django was initially conceived and created.


  • How did Django evolve from a newspaper office in Lawrence, Kansas?
  • How did your career grow with the evolution of Django?
  • What are the tradeoffs for a new programmer in the onboarding process?
  • What is Django’s philosophy on asynchronous or event-driven programming?
  • What architectural decisions would you make differently if Django was started today?
  • What are some common mistakes you see people make in their Django applications?
  • What does an organization look like once it achieves “DevOps nirvana”?


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