Wagtail Space 2018 (Netherlands): Day 1

Tony Yates

VIX Digital have contributed to a previous Sprint for Wagtail. This time, at Wagtail Space was the first time I personally have had the availability to attend. This one is being held in the Netherlands in the beautiful city of Arnhem, hosted by the lovely folk at Four Digits. I didn’t know what to expect but I can say it has been a brilliant experience so far.

For us, being part of the Wagtail movement, contributing and learning from the people that built it and now manage the development is an opportunity too great to miss. I rarely get to work on products with a tendency to focus on architecture, scaling and all that kind of stuff. I fully expected to be the least smartest person in the room when it comes to Wagtail and I felt totally comfortable with that, as it meant I could learn so much from everyone around me.

Getting Involved

When picking a topic/team to work with I decided to not do something I would feel comfortable with, I stayed away from Python/Django and all things backend related and spent my time fixing a bug introduced with the recent move to draft.js. I never go client side with code, but it was an opportunity to learn and hopefully shape the roadmap by becoming someone who cared enough to learn, think about the problems we see with our clients and come up with suggestions and resources to fix them.

It was thrilling, I picked a small issue, one that would have taken better developer less than an hour to fix, but instead I plugged away for a few hours understanding the code base, setting up the pipeline, learning and ultimately issuing a pull request for the next release of wagtail. Possibly 2.0.1. It’s at this point I realised two important points. Sharing knowledge and helping others ultimately empowers them to contribute more, which will make the product better. Picking small problems to solve so you can obtain a feeling of accomplishment is much better than coming up with grand new ideas that are too big to solve in three days, to start them only to never finish them.

If you are reading this and your imposter syndrome is going crazy like mine did in the first hour, shut it down, it has no place here as the people, the community, the project will not feed it, they will instead be patient, helpful and extremely knowledgable without ego. It’s a humble crowd, I urge you to take part if you can, this is the end of day 1, I can’t wait for day 2.

Further reading from our friends at Torchbox and Four Digits

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