My First Year in the Django Community


This year I have committed to sharing at least 4 articles/blogs, which when you are “time poor” isn’t easy and is most certainly my excuse for sharing this article ”My First Year in the Django Community” late!

I wanted to get this out in January (a year after I joined Foxley Talent) but it wasn’t to be, so here we are. I hope you enjoy reading this and I look forward to sharing some of my plans for 2024 towards the end.

Where it all began …

Before I start, I think it would be nice to explain why I joined Foxley Talent, to make you aware of my reasoning and why I am so invested in the company and our culture.

I knew Jon from a previous job in a recruitment agency where we worked in different teams. Jon of course ran the web frameworks team; Python, Django, Flask, FastAPI and I worked opposite him in a different team but managing the high level desktop programming languages; Python, C++, C#.

We shared engineers who had experience in both areas and built a good relationship through this. It helped that he had kids, liked football, sport and he was (still is) an all round nice guy (I am sure you will agree). From this relationship, Jon was able to see how I approached my job day to day, how I managed clients and developers, and most importantly, who I was.

Down the line I left that agency and joined a recruitment startup to build something for myself, which after a successful and thoroughly enjoyable year - where I learned a significant amount - the business closed down and I was left looking for my next role. I shared this news on LinkedIn and Jon saw my post and got in touch.

He mapped out his vision for Foxley Talent, stressed the importance in giving back to the community and building long term relationships, really caring for the people we work with, whilst having face to face contact through various channels.

This is what really hit me, yes recruitment companies host the occasional event, sponsor and attend conferences too, but they are fads, they never last and after they do not see ROI (return on investment) they quickly pull the purse strings and withdraw.

On top of this, I am yet to see recruitment companies that donate to the framework they recruit for. I then met Liam - who Jon hired due to a similar situation as myself - again, we got on really well and knowing Jon’s judgment of character, I was set on the business.


Q1 - January, February, March

My first day stepping into my new career, the future was exciting. I was greeted by a smiling Jon, a laptop, some Foxley swag and then the standard “let’s get a new picture for the website and LinkedIn”.


As a whole, January really was getting used to Jon & Liam’s way of operating, understanding their clients and processes. I was introduced to the Django.Social and over the first quarter I attended the Bristol event for a Board Games Night (soooo much fun) and their Movie Night, where we didn’t watch a film but mainly spoke about every film, series and TV that we liked.

The Django.Social London events were great, the one which stands out was the Shuffleboard in a BrewDog which was a laugh and some great relationships established from this date. I also attended & helped Jon run a London Python event which had some interesting speakers and met some familiar faces.

Outside of work, I completed my FA Level 1 coaching course in order to be able to manage my sons football team and lost in a Boxing fight which ended up winning "Fight of the Year 2023"

on youtube here if you want to watch it - 23:30 onwards

Q2 - April, May, June

My day job was now in full swing, I was fully aware of the team's process, as they were mine, communication was good and I was building strong relationships within the community.

I was delighted to share in the success of the team and managed to place a hatrick of developers into new roles within a month. My community involvement resulted in me attending the Cambridge Social on my own where I met with Andy and a few of the regular attendees for a picnic in the park.

I learned I hadn’t watched as much TV in common as with my Bristol connections and left with a list of movies/series to catch up on. It was also my first time in Cambridge and thanks to the lovely weather, I really enjoyed it. I attended my first Django London Meetup to watch Jon win some lovely Octopus Energy socks and again listen to some great speakers.

In May Django Social celebrated its first birthday! Then for June, both Liam & myself hosted the London Social picnic where we also brought along some garden games which were a great success.

On top of this (in hindsight I should have written its own article - you can read Jon's here) I attended my first DjangoCon event - Europe which was hosted in a delightful sunny Edinburgh - I know this is unusual!


The City was stunning with beautiful architecture, we loved the place we stayed in and the social scene outside of the event. I also managed to fit in a couple of runs (very early) which led me to witnessing some of the beautiful views of the castle and from Arthurs Seat which I recommend to people who visit Edinburgh.

josh run dceu

The event was simply remarkable and I managed to make some amazing friends, who since I have gone on to help find new roles.

Outside of work, I flew in and out of Weddings around the event which was busy, managed my boys first football tournament and balanced a number of family days out thanks to School Teacher Strikes (Legoland was a blast with Jon & his daughter).


Q3 - July, August, September

Q3 is always a bit quieter for business with it being summer, holidays being enjoyed, kids off school and a lot of people recuperating from a busy 1st half of the year. That being said, we enjoyed a good 3 month period and launched the new Foxley Talent website.

Jon spent a lot of time planning the design and highlighting key areas we wanted included, of course it is built in Django and we had some amazing help from developers we now call friends. Included are upcoming Django events, our advice, articles, blogs and news, some live roles (always best to get in touch) and of course the “about” section.

I met with a friend who I knew through the Django London Meetup for a run around the Olympic Park - which hosted the London 2012 Olympics - which was nice. Followed by a couple of casual drinks back in London for those who weren’t on holiday and didn’t fancy a run.

Finally in September, Liam & I hosted the Django.Social which was a Co-Working Day hosted by our friend's over at Wazoku. They have a great space with a beautiful view over London Bridge and the young TikTok stars liked to show off their dance moves just outside the windows too.


This event is a favourite with developers who tend to work alone remotely, having the chance to be surrounded by others and share code, challenges and bugs which they are experiencing. Lunch is shared together and put on by our hosts before finishing the day with a social drink at a nearby establishment.

Personally I enjoyed a delightful family holiday in Turkey - my first since 2019 due to covid - where the children had a great time learning Turkish, playing in the waterparks at the hotel and eating lots of sugary food/ice cream.

We also went camping (a huge fav for all of us) and oh, I turned 30 but we can glaze over that.

Q4 - Oct, Nov, December

The final quarter of the year brought my strongest. I feel I have firmly found my place in the community, team and now division to help the Django community.

Both Liam & I were written into the company as Directors and as a business, we defined our markets for the foreseeable future.

I am now the Director of all UK Permanent business. An area I feel best suited to. I am able to continue to build on the existing relationships formed and have the chance to meet people in person to generate new ones.

This was followed up by helping to find 5 Django developers new roles within 4 different clients and one who I met at DjangoCon Europe.

Again (should have its own blog) we attended DjangoCon US in Durham, North Carolina. My first time in America and it’s safe to say, I loved it. The event was truly incredible, the food and social scene outside was so much fun, again I managed to fit in a run which was great and also watched my first American Football game (I have now adopted it as an additional sport to follow) GO DUKE!

Screenshot 2023-12-22 at 13.15.20

Finally, I attended a Django Social Christmas Dinner with the Cambridge group, took a couple of clients out and thanked them for their business throughout the year, along with hosting our own Foxley Talent Christmas night out.

I can not fail to mention the success of the initially “dreaded” Karaoke event for our final London Django.Social of the year. When we announced it people were confident they didn’t wish to sing and were happy to put up with mine and Jon’s terrible singing. However, after some free flowing beverages, I think everyone jumped up on the mic and had a great night! Definitely a future event in 2024.

dk and cc

We closed our door after renewing our DSF membership (read all about that here) and then enjoyed some well deserved rest over Christmas with our families to re-energise for a busy and successful year ahead.

Overview & Goals

And that's all folks! There we have it, a quick overview of my first year in the Django community and here at Foxley Talent.

How would I summarise it? A tough year of learning, establishing strong bonds with clients and developers alike throughout a recovering job market and economy. But paving the way to help support our community better and bigger in the future.

I enjoyed all the ups and downs and it’s helped me to be a better person in my role and as a friend outside of work.

Now in 2024, I’ve set resolutions/goals to add to the 1 article I posted last year - give a lightning talk at future events, take full control of the London Social and now help organise and run the London Python, as well as provide developers with jobs and help our clients to find some amazing djangonauts!

Thanks for reading this, if you have any questions or want to know more about My First Year in the Django Community feel free to add me on LinkedIn and get in touch.

Likewise, if you’re looking for work or if you are looking to add developers to your team, establish new relationships with a Django recruitment partner or understand a bit more about what we do here at Foxley Talent, please drop me an email on


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.