Three Fast and Fun Projects for New Django Developers

Django is a sophisticated web platform that uses Python and supports streamlined design and rapid development.

Django is also an excellent foundation upon which to build other web-oriented skills, and perhaps best of all, it is simply a lot of fun to use it to create functioning web objects.

In that spirit, we present three projects that Django developers can learn and grow from and have a blast while doing it.

1. Django Haystack

Haystack is a BSD-licensed modular search component and an excellent learning opportunity for any Django developer.

The goal of Haystack is to be a plug-and-play search module for any Django app. A defining feature of Haystack is its familiar and unified API, and that standardization makes it accessible to the newcomer and a powerful Django learning tool in general.

What makes Haystack so popular among Django users is that you only ever need to write search code for a particular app once, which is the way search should be.

With that code in hand, users can simply plug in any one of the number of search backends, such as Elastisearch, Solr, Whoosh and Xapian.

Django Haystack — https://github.com/toastdriven/django-haystack

2. Piston

Piston is another great Django learning tool and a platform upon which other platforms are built. In other words, Piston is a toolkit for creating an application programming interface (API) for a website.

Building an API from scratch is a difficult undertaking, but Piston makes it practical and relatively simple.

The fun aspect of Piston is that the developer can work on it while also using it to develop the API for his or her site. The developer isn’t limited to just one site/app and can actually develop a personal API that is used for all their sites, which can increase rapid development significantly.

Piston — https://bitbucket.org/jespern/django-piston/wiki/Home

3. Django Easy Maps

Django Easy Maps is a real-world web app that displays a map for a given address.

What distinguishes Easy Maps from other map solutions is that it doesn’t require API keys, Django model changes, manual geocoding, HTML/JavaScript copy-pasting and so forth.

This Django project is a great option for any Django developer because it provides a solution to a common website need. Furthermore, Easy Maps illustrates how a developer can use Django to emulate common web technologies in a way that is less intrusive for the website architecture and much easier to create and maintain for the webmaster.

Django Easy Maps — https://bitbucket.org/kmike/django-easy-maps

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