Volunteering

The following was written on 8/16/09 though I did not have Internet access at the time.

I am at the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) retreat house; we are doing a personal time session and I have decided to write this entry for my blog. I am the only engineering and the only IT person here. The complete lack of relevance to my chosen profession makes me wonder what I am doing here, as do the strange bugs that roam the area at all times. I am also in the midst of like minded (go social justice!) individuals. Something unexpected are the type of people here. I am surprised by the number of frat people who have come here, which is maybe from my own ignorance. I will be placed into the only all male JV house, which to me seems strange since I have lived often with girls and was expecting it here. As always I am both in and out of my element.

In a few weeks I will start working at the Cristo Rey High School in NYC. After being informed I would be taking care of filing there, I immediately determined in my own head I would independently digitize their records keeping system. We’ll see if that happens. I am already leaning the Django, a python based web development language. Django attempts to remove duplicate and inelegant work from web site construction. Data objects and classes are defined once in a model and used in a database, front end view, and automatically creates an admin view. This will extend a site’s ability to be maintainable by even less than technical people, as a web interface can let them add or change content. Since I’ll be working past full time and be kept busy with community nights, I’ll need to develop things very quickly. Also I always pick a different language for every project I do. I am excited to start, and probably their only volunteer anxiously waiting to know what servers they use.

1 thought on “Volunteering”

  1. I understand where you’re cmonig from, but I have to disagree with your statement that Django tries to be everything, as I find the exact opposite to be the case.Django is amazing for what it does, and that is help you quickly develop dynamic websites. If I have a new project, and it fits within the scope of Django’s mission, I’ll use Django every time. If I’m bolting on functionality to an existing site, the Django probably isn’t the right choice. Likewise, if I’m using data from several sources, or trying to share a DB with another app, I’m not likely to go with Django.I’ve not used Pylons, as my first experience with Python was Django, but I’m surely looking for something more generic. As it stands, if a site doesn’t fit the mold, I’m falling back to PHP (CodeIgniter). I like Python very much, though, and I will soon get around to deciding on a more all-purpose framework. That could be Pylons, it could be TurboGears, Zope Who knows? No matter what I chose, though, Django will still be my go-to tool for rapid development.

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