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I'm a designer who learned Django and launched her first webapp in 6 weeks (limedaring.com)
490 points by limedaring on Feb 16, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 120 comments

The following really surprised me coming from a designer: Build the web app first, then design it.It was tempting to build the entire interface first but I deliberately ignored the design until I had things 90% working. This got me to constantly work on the code before working on the "fun stuff", plus encouraged me to launch quickly since as soon as the code was finished, all I had to do was quickly "skin" it before getting it live with the assumption that I would be iterating on the design after it launches. Also, if I needed to abandon the project due to some insurmountable code problem, the time wasted wouldn’t include the time spent on design.

I'm impressed that the site looks so good, with design being skinned on afterwards. Was it literally just divs, spans, and lists, and then you did the CSS in one fell swoop (well one fell-iterative swoop)?

Pretty much correct — I built it in plain HTML/CSS to get it working, then retired to Photoshop to build how it would essentially look (which I took a lot from the existing weddingtype.com design, so that helped with the speed), then threw in CSS at the end. None of the extraneous pages, like "About", were built either until the CSS point, so it wasn't all design.

Thank you!

Did you do wireframes or page description diagrams?

I always need something to help me conceptualize what it is that I want to build, more than just a few bullet points or flowcharts. As a designer/developer, I find it easiest to just dive into photoshop and mock a few things up, even if they're not what I would consider final designs. It helps me think about how things will work, and what the user experience will be like.

If I'm working on client work, then I always do wireframes first (giving a choice of three different layout/UX concepts). But for WIL, because I was working for myself and under a self imposed time constraint, I went straight from sketches --> PSDs --> CSS.

I'm going to be revamping the profile pages in the near future, and that process will almost certainly include wireframing, since I have more time to do it "right".

I do both design and development so I'm not really sure what side of the fence I fall under, but in the last year or so I've actually transitioned to writing the HTML first and then designing in photoshop as well. I actually find this method to be far superior to skin first, but then again I am a good enough developer that it makes sense to me to think in this way easily. I'm surprised that this method comes as such a surprise to HN, I thought it was a much more common practice.

The best part is that this leads to very clean and well structured HTML, and a better design because you know exactly what your content is.

Gorgeous design! If I'm allowed a nitpick, the two buttons on the About page are nearly but not exactly aligned vertically, probably as an oversight.

Definitely allowed to nitpick — in Firefox they were aligned but I can see now that in Chrome they aren't. Thanks for passing along!

A nitpick on the linked bio page:

WeddingType, the invitation typography generator, is for non-designer couples looking for a save some money by creating their own invitations.

"...looking for a save..." should probably be "...looking to save..."

Im really impressed to see a person who wont give up and try even if it means to learn something new and not being in the part that they like the most. sidenote: you have inspired me to keep going. I hope you have a bright future in your road.

Hey Tracy, congrats on finally launching! You probably don't remember me, but I was hoping to see a YC11 on that app. Anyway, if you ever need any Django advice, feel free to contact me!

I recognize the name, and due to the power of Gmail, found our convo way back in August. ;)

Alas, not YC but that's not the end of the world. I'm sure the YC folks won't be surprised to see me applying again soon. :P

You definitely should. I was hoping to meet you in this batch but I guess our days were different (I was on the last one). Regardless, good luck!

Django strongly enforces MVC (MVT to be pedantic) programming. The templates and backend programming are kept not just at arms length, but in separate rooms.

My day job is pretty much all Django, but I would like to point out that this overly popular trope about Django templates is unmerited and not unique/interesting.

I would also like to point out that it's not a meaningful feature as templates still cannot be written in isolation by designers without a lot of previous agreed upon structure.

The django apps model is similar in getting an unmerited amount of attention/praise.

"I would also like to point out that it's not a meaningful feature as templates still cannot be written in isolation by designers without a lot of previous agreed upon structure." True. I don't know of any framework that's truly nailed developer-designer interaction, though.

Good, short read: http://alexgaynor.net/2010/mar/29/designer-developer-relatio...

> I don't know of any framework that's truly nailed developer-designer interaction, though.

Never 'appen, icky hoomans are involved.

That's like saying engineers and management will stop fighting over budgets and specifications.

Being a programmer first, this works backwards for me. If I would work on the fun stuff from day one, my sites would never get skinned. :)

Yeah, I think a lot of it might be to target the areas you're uncomfortable with first to make sure you can get them right, and then end with what you're comfortable with and what you're good at.

I think doing the reverse might sometimes end up being a subtle form of procrastination where you might be afraid of doing the part you're not as familiar with.

Ugh, yes. Hitting a problem with my code, I would ignore the site for days until I realized that I was just procrastinating away from the uncomfortable. It sucks when you feel completely out of your element (me, learning design, others, perhaps working on design), especially when I was stuck on a problem and had no idea how to go further.

For long time I've been arguing that code / functionality should come before visual design.

Never found anyone to agree with me.

Depends whether you're innovating in the frontend or the backend. The user interface for the iPhone was completely designed before any of the frontend was coded. There's a great comment by tlrobinson somewhere about how the iPhone was designed and developed but I can't seem to find it.

Also consider New Twitter. I don't understand how you'd start coding the HTML and the JavaScript without understanding the visual design for how the dynamic, two-pane interface was expected to work.

But if you're building a search engine, then you can probably put off the design until later. The analog is that you really wouldn't (or shouldn't) start writing code until you had an idea (a design or an architecture) of what you were trying to write. Same way you wouldn't start to code an interaction (HTML+JavaScript+CSS) if you had no idea what that interaction looked like.

- "Hey can you build me a house?"

- "Sure, how big do you want it? How many rooms?"

- "I'll tell you what. Build the house and we see how it goes".

There's a difference between visual design and architectural design.

1st off I belive this conversation was about building software not houses.

2nd how big, how many rooms, also is it made of bricks, does it have a fireplace, etc are all functional and not visual design.

Seems you just hadn't found the right people yet :)

There's a fair bit of noise for content preceding design in web mockups, same principle.

As a backend developer, I'm more productive with a top down approach instead. In a bottom-up approach I always fall into the trap of making an amazing backend full of cool features, when then I realize that only the 30% of them is required by the frontend.

I think this makes a lot of sense. You have to build the cake before you can put the icing on it. Your CSS is invisible unless it has html to decorate.

Why would you be impressed. That was after all the entire point of CSS; Different skins on the same html.

Congratulations on launching. It is always nice to see startups targeting that tiny niche market "the other half of the world."

Friendly advice from your neighborhood SEO: owning two sites in one vertical gives you cross promotion opportunities, particularly if one is more linkable than the other (gallery is more linkable than commercial offering). That said, I would give a lot of thought to consolidating your offerings into one site with two facets if you can do it without confusing customers.

Something I've thought a lot about, and I'm still unsure on what to do. You mean, consolidate WeddingType and WeddingInviteLove together? It might be a good win for SEO, but I worry on two sites, while both focusing on weddings, are targeting two distinctly different groups. That was my reasoning for making WIL it's own domain, rather than putting it under WeddingType.com. Still think that they'd be better consolidated?

"Nothing kills a new idea better than taking too much time on it."

I feel like this might be true of very simplistic ideas, I don't think it holds in any generally applicable form. Some ideas take time to fully germinate and flourish. Imagine if the original pyramid builder had put down the first level and 'launched'.

I think what is clear and of general applicability is that its important to launch at the right time. Some ideas are timely and need to be synchronized with what else is going on in the internet space. Some ideas are just ahead of their time and premature launch is a waste. Some ideas come too late. Like bringing out a faster fax machine now vs 10 years ago.

The idea that startups should be a frenzy of quickly thrown together systems only holds because they are built using tools that are solid and robust.

That said, your site looks fabulous, it has all the charm and modern design of tumblr and the right colors, the right voice and just a great looking site.

She's talking about personal motivation, not market timing.

Yes, +1 to the site looking great.

I would also say that quote goes hand in hand with this one: "If you’re learning a new language, don’t do tutorials verbatim"

So true, there will never be a tutorial for exactly what your working on because if there is, why are you reinventing the wheel? Also if your busy with tutorials, you might spend to much time on them and never accomplish your main objective. By then your will to finish starts to diminish.

Tracy is one of the best designers I've ever met and incredibly driven. When we were working on WeddingType (I was her cofounder) and trying to get into YC, she jumped head-first into learning to use Django and Python. I'm very happy to see her latest project, it looks wonderful!

Great to have your stamp of approval — I'm sure you remember the WeddingInviteLove idea from my plan of attack back in the day. :)

Yup, sure do. Can't wait to see the rest of the plan come out!

Fascinating to read from the opposite view! It's my belief that the better someone is at designing the worse they are at programming, and vice versa; I think your designing is fantastic, so I can imagine how hard getting technical must have been. Great job! I also notice some popular themes from HN, such as pivoting and getting MVPs out the door fast in your strategy, so nicely done again!

I think you're thoughts on monetizing are right. However, I'd add a couple suggestions. You fit 9 huge designer samples on the front page. I'd shrink those a bit and add a "Featured Designers" section over the standard designers area on the front page which you can charge a premium for. Next, if the picture samples are small enough like here (http://www.weddinginvitelove.com/profiles/little-green-chair...) you have great ad space on the right side of the page. You can geo target visitors location by IP address and charge a premium to local florists, halls, and other wedding related services. Good luck!

It's my belief that the better someone is at designing the worse they are at programming, and vice versa

It's been my actual experience that good designers -- i.e., the ones who actually know more than just how to use Photoshop -- tend to be quite good at picking up programming when sufficiently motivated.

It's the transition in the other direction (programming -> design) that seems to be the killer.

I've seen it go both ways.

Flexible programmers (generalists) have an easy time learning the basics of design an turning out something that will pass snuff. Its not highly creative work for sure, but it will be easily usuable to the standards of Facebook.com, et all.

Flexible designers on the other hand, can do simple coding too when motivated. However, you're not going to see them say coding a Baysian spam filter by hand, or making creative use of minhashing for auto-suggestion.

The problem is with specialists.

It's a pretty good thing you did there: improving your weakness in coding and leaving your strong points for later (design). Thumbs up for you. And your a girl, which makes your story even more awesome!

I've received a lot of backhanded compliments in my life (i.e. you're pretty for a dark skinned girl) and they are annoying but I don't think this was one of them. To me it read like, "you're awesome, and the fact that you're succeeding despite the obstacles is even more awesome!"

I know the goal is equality, but I don't think there's anything equal about having to ignore parts of your identity in order to be respected and valued. We can acknowledge that the OP is a woman without losing sight of that goal.

I've been deliberately avoiding this thread, but I should probably step in and say that I felt no offense at the original comment, and the comment I'm replying to is a great way to explain why.

I did put gender reference in the title — it would garner me more notice since I'm a minority. Therefore, doesn't bother me if someone points out something I was already pointing out. It's feels more ridiculous when people are like, "Shh, don't mention she's female, it'll be construed that you're sexist."

There is a lot of grey area here, but I'm glad the original commenter hasn't been downvoted to oblivion for what seemed a very honest comment.

Spot on!

I understand it's refreshing and promising to see women in programming roles, but (and I say this realizing it may or may not be the intent of such statements) it's a bit condescending when someone comments along the lines of "and she's a woman too!" like its a surprise.

Oh man, down-voted for that!? I wonder what makes you put a negative twist to my congrats. You should check the demographics of genders with such stories.

It's like saying "congratulations on your promotion to CEO, Fred, and even more so because you're black. Cool that we've started to move on from the whole racism thing in America, huh?"

Regardless of what you meant, you're pointing out the difference rather than just treating everyone equally. Just congratulate the OP on teaching herself Django and developing an app within weeks, not because she isn't your gender.

Nope. I'm not changing that. This job is so dominated by guys, it's getting boring sometimes. Diversity gets an upvote from me, even if it's followed by downvotes from futile justice.

You do realize that by demonstrating surprise to the OP that she is a woman, you're directly reinforcing the same gender bias that you hate in our industry?

Wow, I didn't expect you to learn Django! Bravo!

:) That was not the emphasis of my comment. It was a secondary observation.

First of all, I don't have the requisite karma to down vote you. Try not to take it personally.

Second, have you considered the demographics are affected by pervasive sexism in several world cultures? Not to go on a tirade, but walk through a toy store some time and tell me why you think there aren't more female programmers and scientists. The point is, culture- NOT gender, is to account for the disparity between men and women in the field. While numbers may be numbers, its still a backhanded compliment.

Like I stated in my above comment, I realize it may not be the intent of your statement, I am just sharing with you how it may be construed amongst the fairer sex when we "dare" to cross these imaginary gender lines drawn in the sand.

The point is, culture- NOT gender, is to account for the disparity between men and women in the field.

I agree that the original comment is downvote-worthy, but this is far from an established fact.

I got your point about "backhanded compliment".

Things like this make me inordinately proud to contribute to open source (in this case Django). Whenever someone launches something I hope that some small part of what I've done made their job of building something cool easier, be it a designer building her first web app, a startup launching their product, or a journalist building a Pulitzer prize winning site.

I would love feedback about the product and any interesting ideas about growing/monetizing. Thanks HN! :)

First, beautiful design and implementation!

A couple ideas for growing and monetizing:

- partner with wedding planners to help grow your community of designers and users - start subtle (prime placement or pro's choice) advertising relationships with magazines, planners, and other communities - expand to include other aspects of the wedding "package", i.e photographers, florists, dressmakers/designers

Another point - I agree that adding customer reviews would be a nice addition, but how about a twist - allow for "trip advisor" style reviews to show off the designer's end product. This niche has a large emotional buying component to it and so a story and pictures would lend itself better than a 5 star system.

Good suggestion. As well as advertising, affiliate sales could also work well. In both cases the key point is that people looking at invitations will also be looking or other wedding-related services.

I left a comment, but it didn't have to do with monetizing.

You might be able to monetize it by, once having the designs completed, making it a one stop shop for doing the rest of the printing too.

However, this could be a logistical nightmare if you've never done printing before, so... tread lightly.

Yeah... that's a problem I'll be encountering with WeddingType someday. The printing aspect scares me, which is why v1 of WeddingType is PDF generation for print at home. :P

I think it might be a good idea to check out Mixergy's interview of Timothy Chi, one of the founders of WeddingWire.com http://mixergy.com/timothy-chi-weddingwire-interview/

Thanks for passing this on, I'll check it out!

What do you think about this?

Testimonials for each designer. A design someone posts might be beautiful but what if they lack in the delivery department. Some sort of customer reviews would be nice to have and let people know how dependable they are.

-update Going back and playing around with the site a little more its obvious that your the gateway for each of these designers. By incorporating a rating system for each designer you could be the "Angie's list" of wedding desigers

I like the customer reviews idea -- Airbnb- or Yelp-style come to mind, though by no means are they the only models which should be considered for influence -- and it's important to keep in mind opening these flood gates should never be taken lightly.

Interesting. Also creates a "chicken and the egg" problem — if someone wanted to rate their designer who didn't have a profile, what would happen? How would I convince people to rate their designers unless I tracked them finding the designer though the site in the first place, getting into a bigger middleman position that I originally wanted to be in?

Good questions to ask myself, thanks for the comment. :)

You hardly hear of things going the other way. "I'm a developer who learned how to make sexy designs and launched something that looks good in 6 weeks." Good job.

I think this is in part because amateur design is far more apparent (and obnoxious) to the user than inefficient code.

I feel the reason is that there are many very good tutorials and open source code to teach people how to develop applications. However, there are not many good resources for learning design. There are many tutorials on designing simple buttons or photoshop patterns, but there is a huge gap between those tutorials and creating modern and functional website designs.

This forthcoming book ("Design for Hackers") might be helpful: http://www.kadavy.net/blog/posts/d4h-the-book/

I agree. (thanks :)

Congratulations from another fairly new programmer. :)

One UI suggestion: I find it clunky when a site forces me to choose from price ranges that don't overlap (e.g. $5 to 10, $10 to $15, etc.). Generally people making purchasing decisions aren't thinking in terms of those kinds of ranges; they simply have a maximum budget in mind. I think it's better to allow users to specify "under $5", "under $10", etc. so that each successive group includes the previous groups. I realize there may be a case for trying to get customers to purchase the most expensive item they're willing to purchase, but more often than not having to click each range separately just annoys me and I leave the page.

I loved the site and completely agree with the "under $5" suggestion. It makes the user's life easier

It's "duh" moments like this that I'm glad to have HN feedback. :) Going to get that working in the next few days, thanks so much!

Congratulations on your success. The site demonstrates a lot of your characters and it's all looking good :)

My (sincere) question is regarding the help you had. I noticed you credited extensively to a few folks and your boyfriend. Other than Django/Python, there's also server setup (BitCould?)--did you do that yourself as well? Did you work on this full time for 6 weeks or was this an after 9-5 hours project?

I don't mean to pry; just simply want other folks out there who are also self-taught and are working on their own projects to understand the extend of your hard work with great assistance from experts in achieving this great result. In other words, could you explain the "magic" a bit so we can have a deeper understanding of your process?

A lot of time, people gloss over the hard work parts and in some way that perpetuates a misunderstanding which says: "it's easy to create something good." I don't that is the case. Even in The Social Network, Zuck seems to somehow create Facemash or even Facebook in matters of hours while drinking beer. But I digress.

Thank you for sharing.

Server setup was through http://DotCloud.com, who set it up for me (I joined them before they were officially launched so there were a few bumps in the road that were paved out by DotCloud themselves for me). Server stuff would have been a much bigger issue if I didn't have them.

As for hours, I worked full-time-ish. I don't have a "real" job — my real job was WeddingType until things fell apart for a bit. I started work on WIL but was also doing client projects on the side to pump up my bank account a bit. I have no idea how many hours total I worked on WIL — it was one of those things where you wake up at noon and work until 2am on and off on various projects, which was mostly WIL but a lot of client stuff as well.

Any more specific questions? Please pry away if I missed anything!

You should add "...and did this by sleeping 10 hours each day!" to your main title.

Good job in getting this done! Makes me want to tech my wife a thing or two about web-development.

Heh — yeah, I meant, start work by noon, but I will admit I'm a stickler for 8+ hours of sleep at all times. I'm a complete zombie when I get less, and my productivity nosedives.

I'm lucky my significant other, @shazow, is doing the same no-job-working-on-projects thing as me, and with him being a developer and me as a designer, we can work well together to launch projects. It's also a great motivator when you have someone to bug you to work whenever they see you on reddit.com. :P

"If you’re learning a new language, don’t do tutorials verbatim — take what they’re teaching, apply it to a different product, and you will learn a lot faster."

By the time you're done researching how to apply the concept to a slightly different problem, you've learned much more than the tutorial is covering.

What about going the other way? I'm a developer that is intimidated by any kind of ui design... What do I do?

Just do it. I was a shitty designer when I started, and have only gotten better after much, much, much iteration and many different projects. It isn't quick, but it's the only way.

I have a product in the works very similar to your original idea with a focus on businesses.

The directory is good, but it limits your potential unless you expand beyond wedding and include more events (Birthdays, Graduations, etc...). By sending visitors to other websites, you are also letting go of some of your revenue.

I decided to try offering templates (the whole set: business card, LH, ENV, etc..) instead and I think LD can do a great job here for Events. You can differentiate yourself by providing great artwork users can edit on their computer (pdf, ai, psd), or they can also pay you to edit documents properly.

Templates are scalable. Write once, distribute many times. You can also change the price as you please and sell them on your site, the designers' site, inkd.com, graphicriver.net and even through other design-related websites.

I would like to see a site that offers templates with a focus on events. They would have me covered from wedding, to baby shower, to birthday celebration, to girls night out. Basically all things fun. I think this is one area where LimeDaring could do very well. Show me where I can get great document design done for my events, but even better actually be the place where I can actually get them.

I disagree with you that expanding beyond wedding (at least, on one branded site) is a good idea. Niche domains and sites are going to garner more trust from consumers than a giant website that does everything. Look at tinyprints.com and weddingpaperdivas.com — you can start covering more areas, but splitting the sites into different branded areas will probably do more good than doing everything with one website.

Templates are a WeddingType.com area, and will be explored. :)

Data point. In the world of photographing private events, about 70% of the potential revenue comes from weddings. I would expect that something similar to hold for invitations.

Therefore it really makes sense to focus on weddings first.

Great. Is always good for designers to look under the hood of apps then apply function over form. But i am concerned deeply that startup mania is looking for the mantra "Do it first than think how to monetize". It must be opposite. Think about business idea or how to make value for someone than make something. On the other side. I have similar experience with my developers they were so proud of them selves and start to think that i am stupid because i am designer and don't know nothing about programming. After a year dedication what a surprise  - now they don't mess around::))  Programming is not for every designer, but if one can put an effort and be persistent it pays big in t he end.

Beautiful site. Congrats on the launch and getting up to speed so quickly with Django and Python. All of the resources you mentioned are excellent for anyone trying to learn Django/Python.

I'd like to learn the design side more. How did you come up with the nice color scheme for the site, just gut feeling?

I've heard recommendations of sites like http://colorschemedesigner.com/ but if I plug in your maroon flush color from behind "Inky Livie's Workshop", I can't get color scheme designer to recommend any of your other colors no matter which setting I choose.

The WeddingInviteLove scheme was taken from WeddingType.com (tying the two apps together that way), which I believe was taken from http://kuler.adobe.com. No idea where the original color scheme is on there now, but I'm pretty sure I got it from there.

If you're single, you should totally go on a date with this guy: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1891187.

Great job on the site. I prefer to delude myself into believing that you accomplished this so fast because you already had a viable MVP, but a part of me still thinks that you're superhuman.

I think that @shazow might have an issue with that. ;)

By viable MVP, do you mean WeddingType? The two have completely different code, so I wasn't able to redo anything I had before. I essentially had a design framework, but major design is essentially different.

Superhuman? Nice, thanks. :)

Paris (France) is listed in the available cities, but there are no results...? (Why list it then?)

Because if a designer was signing up for a profile, they use that same list – if Paris wasn't on there, I'd have to add it manually when someone needed to sign up.

It's not the best solution – this is where my programming inability shows through. Going to be revamping that soon, but right now, it's on there so people can sign up with it. :)

Oh, ok, but why did you include "Nantes"? It's unlikely Nantes was already there and it just happened that a designer found it?

I don't see why there couldn't be a different list for signup and for search; or the ability to add cities during signup...

Because someone emailed me and asked me to add them under that location. :)

Yeah, probably, I just haven't thought it through yet. I'm still not a rockstar programmer — I figured out that I can make a list in the model which would be referenced by the registration, search, and also apply to the property in the profile model. Initially it seems like having the same list in two different locations and slightly different in each seems like a bad idea, but also having random locations on the search list without results is too. Though maybe I could write something in the search view that will remove listings from the form if they don't have any profiles associated with them...


Minor, but you should rename the big button on your apps homepage from "Submit" to "Search"


I'm not following your reasoning...

I understand that you need a big button for designers to click ("Get Listed") but for the front and center form, if it's going to be there, it makes more sense for the button to Search, since that's what you're doing, instead of a very generic "Submit".

Oh, duh. It's late here in Rome, I thought you meant the top right button. Great point, thank you!

Wow. Thanks for posting this! Besides being interesting, it has inspired me to go pick up a personal project I've sort of abandoned! I'm really hoping to get it working enough to do a Show HN post for some feedback. Thanks! :-)

My company has two people learning Django right now(including myself). Do you have any recommendations for learning resources? One person is used to working with frameworks, I'm not.

What was your take on the learning curve?

Check out djangobook.com its online and free to everyone. It will give you a good understanding of the fundamentals as well as a few advanced topics. Other than that the best advice I could give you is to jump in feet first and don't look back.

any insight as to your YC interview? anything you'd do differently? was your lack of hacking experience part of why you were turned down? advice for those who get an interview on how to survive it?

We were told that we didn't have a magic bullet for getting customers, though I'd think that lack of complete hacking experience (we were missing a crucial back end component) probably didn't help either.

If you get an interview, just let them ask as many questions as possible. 5 word answers. Don't elaborate unless they ask, keep it simple. Stay calm. :P

That's awesome - definitely helps if you've got the help of @shazow lol. Definitely inspired me to stop being such a whiney bitch and just LEARN. Thanks for sharing!

Minor.....but in your About page, the "Get listed..." and "Search for...." buttons would look better if they were vertically aligned. I am using Chrome on Windows.

Yeah, they were in Firefox when I built that page but I (oddly) forgot to check on other browsers.

I'm actually in Rome right now and my laptop was stolen a week ago (sigh...) so fixing errors like this unfortunately have to wait until I can use @shazow's computer.

Thanks, on my list. :D

The site looks amazing. I sent it to my gf who is just finishing up restoring a Kelsey Excelsior letterpress for this exact purpose.

how much programming experience did you have before you started?

I took classes in Computer Science (in Java) back in college but detested programming and switched to Art & Design, so programming logic wasn't an entirely new concept to me. I also worked for 4.5 years at a startup doing Java, no programming, but had to read a lot of code so it kept me at least in the loop. Right when I started with Django and this project, I did Learn Python the Hard Way, which brought me completely up to speed about logic and all that.

Otherwise, I don't even do Javascript (it's a major weakpoint), and much prefer "visual" duties like HTML/CSS/design.

I'm a designer (psd/html/css) going through Python the Hard Way right now, and I'm loving it. What was your main resource for learning Django?

Lots of random tutorials on the internet beyond what was mentioned in my blog post. One thing I forgot to mention is that there wasn't one resource that did everything for me — @kennethlove's tutorial got me about 30% of the way, then it was googling for everything else I needed and learning from StackOverflow/my awesome friends/etc. No Django application really did everything for me as well — every one I installed I had to override in some way to make it fit to my product.

So there wasn't "one" resource — it was a lot of scrappy Googling and asking for help for every problem that got in my way.

even with some prior exposure, that's a steep learning curve. putting the whole thing together by yourself in just 6 weeks is still pretty impressive. major kudos.

also, the site looks great. good luck with it!

hi, had you an experience with relational databases before? did you have any difficultirs with the DB part of your beautiful site, or Django makes everything easy?

i am thinking that relational databases used today may be a problem sometimes..

I am completely clueless about databases. @shazow told me which kind to use when working on WIL locally (Django does make it easy, plus I have the add-on "South" which apparently does a lot of work for you as well), and DotCloud took care of my database problems when I launched.


i am collecting stories about problems with altering schemas while prototyping and while in production (losing data, manual altering tables, relational dbs restrictions, many-to-many relationships and other complexities) but it seems it all went smoothly with the tools you had.

wow!...amazing works, I agree the key is to launch fast...

Congratulations girl!

way to go!

nice work!

It's just so inspiring to read this kind of stories. We are kind of doing the same thing, bootstrap from nothing. I wish there is more help out there for people like us.

hey, you learned the Django so fast,

did you know any other programming language before learning Django - like PHP,

did you know CSS/html before learning Django

isnt PHP easier to learn ?

- Back in the day I knew Java (when I was a CSC major briefly) but I haven't written anything in it for years. - Yes, I'd consider myself very strong in HTML/CSS - So I've heard, but I've also heard it has its major downsides!

Good Job !! Very nice design. All the best.

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