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Developing Web Apps with Django (and Powerful Women)

Posted in Python, Web-Development, Tech-Events, Django

It was a Saturday well spent. Doing hands-on with powerful women who are redefining standards in the technology scene was a great experience to have. I always have loved joining into tech workshops but I must admit that it’s my first time joining a workshop with participants that are mostly women. My heart is jumping with joy knowing that there are now a lot of women engaging into tech and that are willing to inspire other women, too, to fall in love with programming.

A month ago, Ms. Freilla, who is currently the community manager of Django Girls CDO, had mentioned about a Django workshop that will be happening in June. I always have wanted to learn Django as I want to learn developing a web app for my Machine Learning project. I met her last February at PyConPH 2018 and I already have expressed interest in joining Django Girls CDO events should they conduct one. I signed up at Django Girls CDO website even though I already knew I only had a few chance on being selected. But that didn’t stop me.

June came and I was expecting for the confirmation e-mail to come. A week after, I was able to receive an e-mail stating that I was accepted to join the workshop. It’s also in the e-mail that my teammates and coach was introduced. I was really happy that I will be joining a team of powerful women who could turn coffee into code; women who are redefining standards in the technology scene. Setting up Django in my laptop (it’s powered with Linux, Ubuntu specifically if you’re asking) was never hard as I am already into Python and installing Python packages as well.

That week when the Django workshop was to be conducted, I had two options as to what tech event to join. There were two tech events that will be happening on that same week (same day to be exact) and one is Django Girls CDO Workshop. I am a volunteer of that other community that conducted the other tech event but I had to give up that responsibility to be able join Django Girls CDO. I knew that after joining Django Girls CDO Workshop, I will be able to impart my knowledge and skills gained in the activity to my geek girlfriends.

Django Girls CDO Workshop

Django Girls CDO Workshop

That big day came and I was very excited to be at the venue. There I met different women of diverse tech background and origin and I’m very enthused to be joining with them. We are originally seven in the team including our coach but there were only five of us who were present that didn’t matter though. The first thing we did was to install Django and its dependencies and to also learn basic Python stuff. I no longer had to do them as I already have properly set them up in my laptop and ready to get going.

Django Girls CDO Workshop

The task that we did was to create a simple blog app with functionalities such as being able to view, add, delete, and modify blog posts. Provided was an online tutorial made by Django Girls and I must say it was really easy to understand because of its orgzanization and detail. Coding in Python was never a problem but working with a Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework for the first time was challenging but worth it. I finished the task after five hours and I also was able to teach my teammates a little about my progress. Here’s what I did at the workshop:

Homepage preview: Website preview

Blog details preview: Blog details preview

New blog post preview: New blog post preview

Edit blog post preview: Edit blog post preview

In order to generate random phrases and paragraphs, I used a random text generator tool. I was really happy because I was able to finish all the features seamlessly working. I also was able to publish the working site at Heroku and it was very simple as the steps were very detailed to follow. I also included a functionality wherein a user must be authenticated first so that he/she will be able to add and modify new posts. Amazing right? A really big achievement because I have accomplished a lot in just a single day of course with the mentorship of our team coach.

After the workshop, I still have a task that I have to do. I have to use my learnings to create a web application for my leaf disease classification project (powered with Machine Learning). I used TensorFlow for the algorithm, training, and model development. The web app that I created has an upload image link, and when an image is uploaded, it will redirect to a page that will show the disease detected on the uploaded leaf image. It also has a functioanlity that could export the detection report in PDF. Using the skills that I learned from the workshop, here is the web app that I created myself (super proud, yay!):

Upload image preview: Upload image preview

Detection page preview: Detection page preview

Exported PDF report preview: Exported PDF report preview

I am really thankful of the opportunity of being able to join the workshop because my dream of being able to develop a Django-powered site was now turned into reality. I must say that joining Django CDO’s workshop was a life-changing experience. Not only that I was able to develop a Django-powered site of my own, but because I knew that I could be able to use the opportunity to be able to encourage other women to fall in love with programming and start developing apps of their own. I know that there are a lot of women who wish to develop apps of their own or be part of the technology industry but they are afraid of being judged and put to standards that are far very illogical. I want to be part of that movement and encouragement that tech industry needs women and there are powerful women out there that already have proved many people wrong. I am willing to be part of the challenge and will willingfully inspire more women to engage in tech.

Django Girls CDO Workshop

I hope that this is not the only Django Girls workshop that I will be able to join, and I would bring my geek girlfriends, too. And my geek girlfriends will bring their geek girl friends, and so on (like rippling waves) and it would be off to a great start to more women in tech. Thank you so much again, Django Girls CDO. This is truly an experience I will never forget.


Photos other than the screenshots courtesy of Django Girls CDO. The blog site I created can be forked at https://github.com/marcreyesph/djangocdo-workshop/. The leaf classification web app can also be forked at https://github.com/tanumbotics/umabot-web. Django and TensorFlow are free and open source Python libraries for download.

Hi! My name is Marc and I'm a student developer from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, and building interfaces and developing Machine Learning and AI applications for various causes are some of my skills as an up-and-coming developer. I'm also occasionally invited to speak at tech conferences to share my knowledge and experiences as a budding front end web developer-turned-data scientist.

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PyCon Philippines 2018