EU Hackday 5: Django and Python FTW

Last Thursday, James Broad, Cyril Doussin, Andrew Phillipo and myself started out on the fifth internal hackday at Yahoo! headquarters in London. James had come up with an awesome idea which was to build a tool for sharing code and techniques internally.

To make our lives easier I wanted to use Django as I've been really enjoying using it for a few personal bits and pieces and I thought it would also make it possible to get much more done in the time. Spending 24 hours working with Django and building a fully working site was not only fun but proved how solid and well thought out the framework is. All of the features we had decided on up front were pretty straightforward to implement and get working straight-away. We even managed to start working on some of our wish-list before the time was up.

Another thing about this hack was that we were using modwsgi with Apache. Now I've used modpython before but mod_wsgi really is the way to go if you are doing anything with Python and Apache. Setting it up is very straightforward and the documentation is first rate so I'd not hesitate to recommend it.

After the 24 hours were up James gave a 2 minute presentation on our hack and did a fine job of showing off that it was a fully working site and wowing everyone with his kick-ass graphical design-fu. Some of the other hacks displayed were stunning in terms of being not only great ideas and technically awesome. We thought we didn't stand a chance.

After the judges deliberated, they came back and announced the winners. To our surprise our hack was awarded "Best hack for Quality" and everyone was really chuffed. This was certainly the icing on the cake for myself and Cyril after having had 24 hours of unrestricted time to play with Django and our favourite programming language! Python is certainly not something that we generally use at Yahoo! and I'd personally love be able to use it more where it makes sense to do so.

Now I'm going to have endless fun annoying people around the office with my remote control blimp Darth Vader Transformer that I took as a prize.