I consider myself an Advanced/Expert Django developer but I also think that there is always something new to learn and that’s exactly what you expect from a book coming from Daniel and Audrey (authors will forgive me if I call them by name to help the conversational nature of this post). The book “Two Scoops of Django 1.6“ meets the expectations and in most cases it exceed them. There is a great layout and a great use of convention that makes the read really easy and also fun thanks to the nice Ice Cream related examples.
The smell of experience
If you have worked in the IT sector for a couple of years you discern that what is actually forming you as a software engineer, apart of studies, is the experience. Having a problem blowing on your face force you to think and take action to solve it; this is surely the best way to learn because we are human and it’s well known that we recall bad memories more easily and in greater detail than good ones. What you can feel while reading this book is exactly this, the smell of the wounds on the skin and on the soul caused by years of software engineering in diverse and challenging domains, and that’s way it’s so valuable. All the feelings just described together with the fact that the book, as stated in the cover, it’s describing “best practices” and not following a “one project tutorial” helps sculpting most of the contents in your mind leaving you with that pleasant feeling of soul enrichment once you get to the “Made in USA” row on the last page.
The manual to keep on your desk
The book can be really considered as a manual of best practices and that’s why I prefer to purchase this kind of books as hard copy. I already found myself, while in front of my pc, going back to the book for read more in deep about a specific topic. You don’t always found the solution on the book but it’s surely putting you on the right path and helping you to think more deeply about the possible solutions. Someone could say that you can do the same with an e-copy on your screen but honestly for me is different; taking off the eyes from the screen together with the smell of the paper, off course the recycled one, helps my mind to focus. I don’t know if there is something scientific about it but a lot of people do the same so someone in some university should start a study with the money of our taxes.
My favourite topics
The book covers many topics and is really exhaustive, here are few of the topics that really helped me.
Function or Class Based View ? Generic or not Generic ?
This topic is really well covered and for me was always a bit challenging make a choice. Audrey and Daniel are doing a really good job explaining all the Schools and way of thinking around this topic helping you making your own idea.
People have better things to do than hacking us !
You will learn that this is not true, soon or later someone will try to hack in your systems. In the book there is an extensive chapter of security best practices that is really useful for everybody. Taking care of security is one of the thing that you really learn with experience and the authors are putting on paper this holy grail of knowledge just to “make the world a better place” (I just watched an episode of HBO Silicon Valley ).
Signals: Use cases and Avoidance Techniques
With great power comes great responsibility. Audrey and Daniel aware you on how and when use Signal, listen to them.
Is this book for beginners ?
If we define a beginner in the following way:
a person who has just started to do or learn something
And more specifically in the Django world
a person who already went trough the Django tutorial and already knows the basics of a Django web application and is confident with Python and web development in general.
The answer is: YES
Two Scoops of Django is the book that every Django developer should always keep on the bedside table. Overall it covers all the topics, from simple to advanced, related to Django development helping you developing the right way of thinking when approaching problem solving in the Django world. Two Scoops of Django doesn’t teach you only Django it teaches you to think, that’s what a good book should always do.