Chicago Djangonauts, reanimated
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Having scheduled the first meeting of the reanimated Chicago Djangonauts, I didn't know what to expect. There were a number of RSVPs on Facebook and a couple through the chicagodjango.com site, but you never know.
We ordered three cases of beer from our favorite brewer and 13 pizzas from our favorite pizzeria and we didn't have to wait long before the door buzzer started ringing.
All in all, there were 30+ who came to the meetup. Our office is a great space but unusually shaped for an event of this size. Thankfully, no one seemed to mind the coziness.
I stood up and talked a little about the motivation behind the meeting. Someone had to remind me that the Imaginary offices played host to the first ever ChiPy meeting. Many years ago, that was.
Ben Rathbone then took over for his cloud demonstration which was well received. A lively discussion ensued about the presentation, the group and what's next.
What I was most impressed with was the vibe. It's hard to tell when the meeting broke up, but the last Djangonaut didn't leave until 10:30. There were a lot of people just hanging out and talking Django. Really great energy. It went a long way towards uncovering the large and engaged Django community here in Chicago.
I strongly believe a cohesive Django users group in Chicago is important for many reasons. It will serve as a local focal point for this technology, a networking and knowledge-sharing opportunity, a social outlet and a foundation from which we can suggest Chicago as Django's hometown.
I've made no bones about my desire to assert Chicago as the epicenter of Django and get DjangoCon US here at some point. This was an important and encouraging first step in that process.
Already, I've fielded four offers for presentations and two offers for locations to host subsequent Djangonaut meetings. That discussion will take place on the Chicago Djangonauts Google Group.
In the meantime, we've started using the Twitter hashtag #djangonauts and will continue to do what we can to keep the momentum moving.
For those who attended, thank you for coming out on a rainy night. For those who missed it, stay tuned for an announcement about the next meeting. And for everyone, please help spread the word. Ultimately, the success and sustainability of Chicago Djangonauts is dependent on each of us.