A Django Journey (2/3)

It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.-Confucius

This will be the second of the three of my blog posts. On my first blog post, I wrote about how I ended up at ChiPy Mentorship Program, what my goals are and what was my first impression of the ChiPy community.

  1. How did a graphic designer end up being a mentee in Chicago Python User Group (ChiPy)’s Mentorship Program?
  2. A Django Journey
  3. The Code, the Error and the DeBug

What happened since my last blog post?

When I first started the Mentorship Program, I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, because I got into something that I’ve never experienced before. Even though I was a part of the development team as a designer, I’ve never involved in Back-End. As time goes by I started to see the different aspects of web development.

My mentor Chris started our first meeting with Django crash course, and we created a basic web app in about 2 hours. Since then we decide on a topic for our meetings and cover that. However, nothing was going as smoothly as I was expecting. On my every step I have another problem, and I still have a lot to do.

What is my project?

The project that I am working on is an application which gives alternative recipes for the people who have allergies. I got the idea from my nephew who has multiple allergies. In our family we never had allergies, and we’ve never needed to worry about what to eat.

My mentor Chris and I decided to start this project with a small step. Our primary goal right now is to create a classic recipe app where people write and share their recipes. Below is the list what we accomplished so far:

  • Creating a recipe
  • Showing a list of created recipes
  • Assigning tags to recipes
  • Searching tags and key words
  • Forms

Project Hurdles

The first hurdle that I encountered was the language. I am not a native speaker. English is my second language. At first, I didn’t want to study Python and Django in my native language to be able to learn coding terminology and jargon in English. After a while, I noticed that I was lost in translation. I could not use my knowledge in cohesion. That’s why I stopped being stubborn, and for a week I studied Django in Turkish. It didn’t make a huge difference, but I am more conscious than before.

The second one is time. After I read “Beau Carnes”’s Medium post [How I got a second degree and earned 5 developer certifications in just one year, while working and raising two kids], I created a study calendar for myself. On paper I almost have as much as time to study as Mr. Carnes but, I didn’t notice a tiny difference between him and me. I am a working woman who has responsibilities at home too. However, this is not an excuse. Instead, it will be an achievement for me if I can improve myself to his level in a year.

The last one is debugging and solving issues. When I run across problems, the first thing I do is try to solve it by myself with the help of All Mighty Google. Because of my lack of experience, I usually make it worse, or I cannot use the correct keywords to find the right solution. For now, the story usually ends with Chris stepping in.

What is next?

So far we created the recipe project within the boundaries of Django. Since we tried to keep it as simple as possible for the first draft and we didn’t use any external Django Packages. Depending on what we’ll do for the finishing touches this may change.

My project goals until the next blog post are:

  • Creating a user account
  • A personal profile
  • Editing/deleting/sharing recipes
  • A draft list for recipes
  • Adding different languages


Other than technical aspects of this project I also need to do more research on food allergies and cross-reactivity. Allergies are not as simple as we think. It is much more than eggs, milk, soy or nuts.

I hope the app that I create will be a guide for people who have allergies and it will make their cooking easier & fun.