TLDR: DjangoCon is a six-day developer conference about the Django web framework. This year, it was held in San Diego from October 16-21. Compared to other conferences, attendance was on a smaller scale (~250 attendees) but the primary audience were Django and Python enthusiasts. Since it was a more “mature” audience, I’d say the majority of attendees have heard of and/or used Twilio.
DjangoCon is organized by the Django community and there were many influential Django contributors in attendance. Some notable attendees include:
- Simon Willison, co-creator of Django
- Andrew Godwin, a core contributor of Django
- Carlton Gibson, one of two Django Fellows
- William Vincent, board member of Django and Django author
- Eric Holscher, co-founder of Read the Docs
During the event, I didn’t give a talk, but I did build a cool TwilioQuest extension and had great interactions with attendees. Plus, I got to interact with Django board members and they shared some valuable feedback (keep reading to find out more).
To my knowledge, this is the first time Twilio has sponsored this event.
|Event Name:||DjangoCon 2022|
|Event Date:||October 16 - 21, 2022|
|Who Attended:||Anthony Dellavecchia|
|No of Attendees:||~250|
|Level:||Gold. Included a booth with a table and TV monitor.|
|Drive Awareness of Twilio||KNOW||Number of booth visitors||~80 visitors||Booth execution with swag and playable TwilioQuest mission on screen.|
|Drive Awareness of Twilio SMS||KNOW||Number of SMS sent via our API||15+ texts sent||When visitors asked what Twilio does or what the TwilioQuest mission is, I showed them via the TQ booth extension.|
|Drive Awareness of Twilio Voice||KNOW||Number of phone calls via our API||~15 phone calls||When visitors asked what Twilio does or what the TwilioQuest mission is, I showed them via the TQ booth extension.|
|Drive Awareness of Twilio Video||KNOW||Number of video chats via our API||~10 video calls||When visitors asked what Twilio does or what the TwilioQuest mission is, I showed them via the TQ booth extension.|
|Drive Awareness of Twilio Quest||KNOW||Number of times TQ was played||~30 people played||Custom TQ extension played on a monitor.|
|Spark the Imagination of Builders||KNOW||Number of times demo app was used||~4 participants||Share a link to a Halloween project which spooks callers when they text it.|
- Community: Although it was a smaller event, the interactions felt more personal and attendees weren’t just looking for swag. I made some great relationships with developers.
- Feedback: Had conversations with Board members of Django and they gave a suggestion on how we could be more closely involved in the Django community. For instance, having an official Django SendGrid library could help us reach more developers.
- TwilioQuest Booth Extension: Made some modifications to Nathaniel’s awesome booth extension and tested it out here. We had many participants and I think it’s a great way to showcase some popular APIs. Link to the repo.
- Halloween App: In the spirit of Halloween, I had some folks text a demo Halloween app.
- Attendance: In-person attendance was less than anticipated.
- Sessions: I wanted to attend some sessions while I was there, but didn’t have an opportunity to leave the booth since I was the only Twilion.
- Lack of Twilio Django: I was asked by multiple people if Twilio has any products built with Django. To my knowledge, we don’t. Maybe this is an opportunity.
- One Unhappy Customer: An attendee voiced their concerns with SendGrid as they were asked to create a new account after 90 days of inactivity. I think it’s good to get customer feedback but how can we bring this to the Product team?
- Met a developer (I think named Marcus) who’s a Twilio superfan! They were really excited to see us at the event. So much so, they pulled out their phone and showed off an Eva (bot) that they use everyday. They are big on journaling, so this developer made a bot that connects SMS to a database and has Eva save their entries (plus some other cool stuff). Below are screenshots of Marcus and their app.
- William Vincent is the Treasurer of Django and was telling me that from the outside people might think Django is doing fine. But it seems like their funding isn’t doing well (they bring in $200k/yr). He explained that most companies assume Django is partnered with Python so they sponsor there. However, none of that money goes to Django because they are separate foundations. It also seems like many team members are stepping down and they are looking for replacements.