This week I had the pleasure of chatting with one of the DjangoCon US 2023 Conference Co-Chairs, Adrienne Franke, about her role as a conference chair and her experience with Django.
How do you balance your responsibilities as a conference Chair with your work as a software developer?
Adrienne: “I typically plan my work day out by the hour so I’ll just ‘schedule’ an hour or two here or there throughout the week to focus on DjangoCon US specific work like reviewing talks, checking Slack, and doing various conference tasks.”
Can you tell us about your experience with Django and what inspired you to become involved with the Django community?
Adrienne: “Prior to getting into software engineering, I worked in data science. I knew Python and had completed the Django tutorial once before, but never fully committed to learning web development. So when COVID started, I began to learn Django in earnest. I had so much downtime with the lockdowns that I just made an app for fun. I also would talk about Django quite a bit with a coworker and eventually built an entire Django app from scratch for the data science/analytics department at that company. After I did that, I knew I wanted to get involved with the Django community and move into software engineering full-time. I gave a talk at DjangoCon US 2022 and now, I’m a full-stack engineer working in Django every day! It’s the best.”
What motivated you to apply for the role of DjangoCon US conference chair, and what do you hope to achieve in this position?
Adrienne: “I was actually approached by Peter, the conference chair, about the co-chair position. I was initially hesitant because I’ve never organized a national conference before. I’ve done smaller local meetup organizing and I spoke at DjangoCon US in 2022, but that’s about it. Peter [Grandstaff, the other co-chair] was very encouraging so I felt good about taking on the role. In this position, I’m aiming to be someone that can step up in any capacity where needed. Basically, I’m great at executing tasks. If you need something done, contact me. Whether it’s leading meetings, reviewing rough drafts of things, discussing talk proposals, or talking on stage at the actual conference, I can do it.”
What hobbies do you enjoy when you’re away from the computer?
Adrienne: “When I’m away from the computer, I’m most likely making music. I’m one half of a Nashville-based electronic duo Eardrummer so I spend a lot of my creative energy on that project writing music and playing shows. I also love quilting, running, and hiking.”
Adrienne: “Jump right in! This community is very welcoming so don’t worry about being a newbie (we all were at one point). Join some meetups, ask questions, read blogs, and browse forums. I always learn the most by building real apps so I’d recommend trying to build something that would be useful to you. That type of project will expose you to a lot of things all at once and it can be overwhelming, but just take it piece by piece.”
Adrienne: “Happy to chat! They can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org”
We organizers would like to thank Adrienne for her leadership and work with the planning of DjangoCon US 2023!