DjangoCon Europe 2024 Review


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DjangoCon Europe 2024 - Vigo

The excitement had set in early this year. I had previously attended both DjangoCon Europe & US 2023 in Edinburgh and Durham, North Carolina.

These events are very community-driven, supportive and collaborative, a huge celebration of Django. Yes, they have some incredible speakers and it’s a great chance to learn and develop your skills as a developer. However for me - a recruiter - these events are about networking and making new friends in the community, which enables me to love what I do every day.

We were attending this year as a Gold Sponsor again, we have a stand in the networking area or main conference and I was expecting a similar feel to previous events, we had brought new swag to share with attendees and my lightning talk presentation was written, shortened, practiced and all I needed to do was get on that first plane.

Monday 3rd June - Travel Day

Wakey wakey!! My alarm went off at 5am as I was so tired from the weekend that I failed to pack my bags the night before. Rushing around, shouting downstairs to my wife asking where things were, I managed to get ready, help the kids with breakfast and get them dressed for school, before jumping in the taxi for 6:30am.

Foxley Lane

On route to grab Liam before getting dropped off at Foxley Lane (Company named after Jon’s road), I was informed by my cab driver that his father helped design the RADAR used at Heathrow airport. Interesting but pointless fact I will always remember thanks to this article. We then hopped in with Jon to drive to the airport.

The standard airport proceedings then took place, we met a nice check-in attendant (stay tuned for more on this) and went to grab breakfast. Alongside eating, I was able to pass on the great news to a developer that a client was offering them the position they interviewed for - a great start to our DjangoCon!

After walking the full length of the airport to make our gate, we flew from Heathrow to Madrid. We had a short stop in Madrid and had just enough time to grab a drink and ham & cheese baguette after I had to explain to security why I had 20 empty bottles in my carry bag.

Baguettes in Madrid

We landed in Vigo, grabbed our bags and got a taxi to our Airbnb, followed by a shop at the Mercadona opposite the conference venue. After a shower, the three of us decided to explore Vigo! So after some debate about which way we should walk - left or right from our door - we took Jon’s direction and proceeded right.

Well, the man with a bad knee wasn’t impressed with his selection, we all failed to realise (until after this walk) how hilly Vigo is. Thankfully, we managed to ask a local where to find some bars and after a final long hill climb to a church, we reached a square with some bars.

To our delight, after ordering a round of local beers, we were greeted by some tapas (olives, crisps, ham&cheese baguettes) a different piece for every drink. Thanks to Liam we were able to watch the England game and a Trent Alexander Arnold master class, and thereafter continued to enjoy the rest of the evening. We also met another couple of developers who saw our message on Slack and a friend from previous events.


Tuesday 4th June - Exploring Vigo

Day 2 of my Vigo experience kicked off with a ridiculously well priced “late” breakfast at a local bar (drink and 2 choices of tapas for 12 euros each). Jon retired back to the apartment and both Liam and I decided to take a walk - left this time - around Vigo.

This was by far the best decision we made, alongside being a flat walk along the pier front, we managed to see a dolphin playing or eating within the harbor. I had never seen a dolphin before and I was second-guessing myself after the first sighting as Liam originally didn’t see it.

After a couple of minutes, he spotted it too and the dolphin was almost showing off coming up and down out of the water. After admiring this for some time, we continued our walk and tasted some more of Spain’s local beer and tapas (extremely well priced 2 beers for 5 euros).


We ended up finding a sports bar that had multiple TV’s, some pool tables and a darts board. Even though I was thrashed 5 games to 1 in darts, I was still celebrating my 104 check out (T18, 18 & D16). We had a lovely selection of tapas for dinner before heading back to the apartment for an early night.


Wednesday 5th - First Day of the Conference

An early start for me to meet a few attendees for a social walk along the pier front before the conference started. I managed to meet a Spanish developer of a small start-up, Dutch-based developer who we later introduced to another developer from the same city & Chris who gave a jam-packed workshop during the conference.

After this, I headed back to the apartment, showered and got ready for the start of a highly anticipated day 1. We set up early and had enough time to find a local bakery that served coffee and croissants (4 coffees & 3 croissants were 11 euros).


Then the conference kicked off with a welcome talk from the organising committee, followed by a brilliant keynote by DjangoGirls. There were some fantastic speakers throughout the first day.

I managed to meet some new developers and some familiar faces (Django Social regulars). A special one for me was meeting a developer who is studying at a University in Scotland who approached me about the event months back, I explained what it was and where to find tickets and we said hello for the first time in person.

The first night out was a classic and one which will live long in my memory. We were with a small group of people we met at the conference and walked to a beautiful Spanish tapas restaurant. After a selection of everything on the tapas menu and plenty of drinks (which a friend covered everyone's bill for - thank you so much Guilherme), spirits were high and we headed back to a bar we tested on the Monday night.


“20th Century Rock” had a great atmosphere, music, a wide selection of drinks and plenty of space. After teaching the group how to play a drinking game I know from my younger years, my new great friend Martin and I, created the now conference famous Django Roulette (see picture and ask how to play at your own risk). This capped off a wonderful first day and after Liam and I walked home to raid the fridge of food . . . .we slept.

DJ Roulette

Highlights to mention: I introduced myself to some of the speakers I posted about in the build up to the conference. We gained a contract position and Liam introduced developers who interviewed on the day. Met a couple of people we have managed to place in businesses and managers we have helped out. Introduced a developer to an existing client who was in attendance. Made some strong relationships all round.

Thursday 6th - Sore Heads

We all felt exactly as it says above, sore heads! We weren’t exactly the fastest starters either this morning. After a regretful walk to the conference and one man down (he swapped with the other man down later), we were welcomed in with a sweet treat for a coffee before I did a supermarket sweep of every hydrating drink I could see (orange juice, water, energy drinks, Powerade and cold coffee).

Again, Thursday brought some insightful talks and popular workshops, I was able to meet a developer for a 2nd chat after they sent me their CV and we had a 1-2-1 about some tips to help improve this. We also introduced a developer who was relocating to Spain from the US to a potential client, plus further contract interviews.

I was also still managing my UK diary and had some video calls I had booked which went well and before we knew it, day 2 was over.

Conference attendees were then invited to a boat trip, which I’ve heard brilliant things about, however, after catching up with my babies and following up with some UK business to attend to, I missed this and decided to head out and grab some food.

Liam and I found a restaurant that was highly recommended - Don Marco’s. If you want to know just how good this place was, check out the review I left on Google, but it was certainly 5 stars and such a reasonable price vs quality of fresh pasta.

Friday 7th - Final Day

After a good early night, I was feeling energised and oh how I needed to be. My morning started with a circa 9km run with 3 athletes! 2 of which completed Iron Man competitions for fun (good luck on your upcoming event Wil)!! We met at 7am for a run along the pier to find a small beach which was pleasant (the beach not the run) but the great conversation and company made it all worth it.


After making it back to the apartment, I was showered and out the door before I knew it, ready for our final day at DjangoCon Europe 2024. As you’d expect, some great talks and workshops took place throughout the day, Thibaud’s workshop was packed and I saw people running to make Adam Johnson’s talk as well (running late).

At this event, the three of us agreed we wanted to give back to the community in a different way, raise the profile of DjangoCon. We wanted to share why people attend and why people who haven’t before, should, through a series of videos. So I decided to grab whoever was willing to go on camera and ask them some questions about their DjangoCon experience.

We also made a fun video around “where DjangoCon Europe 2025 was going to be held” which Jon has shared through LinkedIn. For those of you who are wondering where, check out the video, but Jon “guessed” it correctly 😉...

After the fun we also managed to convince our new friend Nikhil to look after the stand for us because he was wearing our new Foxley Talent swag (it was a little prank but he was so kind he was waiting for us to leave).

Nikhil in Foxley

The day was nearing an end and it was time to pack up the stand and head into the auditorium for the lightning talks and closing ceremony. Here we go, the moment I had been waiting for, the lightning talks. At this point, the room was packed with everyone waiting for the announcement of the next DjangoCon Europe.

I had said I would be giving a lightning talk around CV / Resume Advice and had prepared for the talk, but nothing quite prepares you for the emotions building up to stepping on stage. A quick shout out to Mia who gave me some amazing advice on execution and has since given me some really supportive and constructive feedback as well. The talk before had now finished, and Cheuk announced I was coming to the stage for my talk . . . .yay!

Lightning Talk

I was nervous, I also was anxious I was massively going to overtalk and not complete anywhere near the presentation as those who know me, know I can talk. Hands shaking, palms sweating, bit of a croaky high voice, I started. Kicked off with a little joke about the correct term for CV (not Resume) and thankfully before I knew it, it was over. I thoroughly enjoyed it and encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zone and give it a go. The euphoric moment after completing it and stepping off stage is incredible and now I can't wait to do it again or even complete a workshop.

Lightning talks over, the next location was announced and it was time for the sponsored glow in the dark party which was excellent (yes it was on a rooftop in the sun, although it did rain). People were in full conversation, enjoying each other's company and letting their hair down by having a social drink.

Before heading out for the night, Jon and I head back to the apartment with a couple of friends to finish some drinks that we couldn’t take home with us (thank you Lewis for the limoncello and cream liquor, and Ben for your strange cocktail). Then we went out, met some of the others, played some Django Roulette and other games, and had a great night.

Saturday 8th - Home Time

Home time, Liam had left the day before as he had to get back after double booking his calendar, so Jon & I were up, packed, showered and cleaned the apartment before 11am to leave the Airbnb. We said goodbye to a few others who were leaving at the same time and even managed to introduce a couple of people to spend the day together so they didn’t need to wait in the airport all day.

We caught our flight to Madrid from Vigo without any trouble (apart from a nervous landing) and then had the joy of racing across the airport again to get on the plane. A novelty Real Madrid baseball cap was purchased for my son and then we had the pleasure of being delayed on the plane for over an hour before it could take off. It wasn’t all bad, I had managed to get a free seat upgrade and then nestled in to watch Blue Beetle (well worth a watch if you like DC / Marvel superhero movies).

We landed at Heathrow and were doing great for time after 2 of the first 3 bags out of the baggage claim were ours. Jon walked to get the car ready and I waited for the 3rd bag, (it couldn’t be far off the others as they were put on together right?) Well an hour and 15 minutes later, no bag and I had to report it missing. It was all good though, I met the same gentleman from BA who checked us in on Monday 😆


That sorted (we have since got the bag back) we were on the road and reunited with our families.


DjangoCon Europe 2024 was amazing! I loved it, to start with I was unsure about the location and accessibility for everyone. Having to take 2 flights or 1 with a transfer and some hilly walks, did have me questioning the choice of city.

But a HUGE shoutout to the organising committee as they did an incredible job and the venue, talks, workshops, set up, food, socializing events plus lots more, were truly amazing. The city was well-priced and had an authentic feel about it and if you are an explorer, I’d recommend having a visit.

Screenshot 2024-06-13 at 15.58.55

For me, as a non-technical attendee but someone who loves the community, I had the best time. I had some great chats with developers and potential new clients, hopefully gave plenty of tips to people throughout the event, gave a lightning talk for the first time and most importantly, left with new friends in the Django community.

DjangoCon Europe 2024 - completed it! DjangoCon Europe 2025 - I will see you next year!


Josh O'Brien

Director of UK Permanent Recruitment for Foxley Talent. An experienced Python & Django specialist recruiter. Proud Dad & Husband. Passionate about Neuro Diversity and a keen Boxer.