The Art of Web Development

During the last few moths I’ve kept myself busy with Web development work. Dividing my time between running a company, music hobbies and my two cats, most days seem to run out of hours. But no matter how hectic my days get, I’ve still got the passion.

Finding a passion is important. There is no equally powerful driving force than ones passion. Recent discussions with an artist friend made me think about the choices I’ve made in my life. I realized that much in a same way that my friend has chosen to not sell out and paint something that everybody would buy, but instead express herself the way she wants to, I’ve chosen to employ myself and work only on things I really want to. It’s a road that seldom leads to big money, but for us being able to work on projects that we are passionate about is much more important than money.

I’m often impressed by the way the folks at 37signals design the details in their apps, and how Adrian Holovaty always finds time to tweak even the smallest changes to Django documentation to meet his high standards. This kind of commitment only comes from people who are passionate about what they do.

A programmer friend of mine once said that to him programming is poetry. I’ve come to understand that Web development is as much art as it is engineering; you have to have love in your product. And when you do, your users will feel it.

Speeding With Django

The past few weeks have been quite Djangofull. We’ve gradually started converting our customers’s sites to Django — and what a fun it has been!

Nordic Bandwagon (in Finnish) was the first site we did fully with Django. The whole site is roughly about 100 lines of Python, with a very nicely working content management system, RSS-feeds for news and very clean templates to present the data. Very compact, very elegant and unbelievably fun to code.

I’ve had very interesting feedback from my Django demos. In fact, building Django models and starting up the automatic admin site in front of the customer during a sales meeting may be the best pitch ever:

“This is production ready. You can start working with this right now, while we’ll get working on the technical stuff.”

I’ve considered hiding a small video recorder somewhere in my suitcase; what would be better material for company Christmas parties than watching the executive face expressions from tape?-)

We’re also cooking up some Really Cool Shit with Django and AJAX. Most, if not all, of it will be published with an open source license, so there’s definitely more Python code coming up in this blog. Stay tuned 🙂