Django & JavaScript: A long and complicated friendship

Django and JavaScript have co-existed happily for a very long time, with the first JS being added to the Django codebase happening way, way back in July 2005 - with the addition of some JS to make the admin middleware (yep, it wasn't an app yet!) more interactive.

In the years since, JavaScript's ubiquity on the web has been well established, and the ways in which we think about how to use JS in combination with Django have evolved. We've gone from enhancing our templates with a bit of jQuery, through to not even using Django's templating at all. Instead we can use Django's popular REST framework to communicate to a decoupled JS single page web application.

We'll take a tour through that history, learning from the good and the bad alike. We'll consider what the future holds for that longstanding relationship, and think about what the arrival of Node.js as a potential competitor on the backend heralds.

Presented by

Jen Zajac

Formerly a self-described "full-stack" developer back in the days of Django 1.1, Jen transitioned to focusing on the client side full-time many years ago. Working at Catalyst in Wellington, New Zealand, Jen is a senior front-end dev and trainer specialising in React, Angular, Webpack and all (well, ok, some) of the countless other millions of trendy up-and-coming JavaScript frameworks and build toolings. Jen was the co-director of Kiwi PyCon 2014 and the director and founder of the first national JavaScript conference in New Zealand, nz.js(con); 2017.