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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
44
Two Scoops of Django: Best Practices for Django 1.8
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on October 11, 2015
I am not the intended audience for this book and I didn't realize that before buying it. It would be helpful if the authors identified their intended audience on the cover rather than in the very easy-to-miss section "Before you begin" on page xxxi. As the authors state, "this book is not a tutorial." Nor does it contain any tutorials. They state that minimum knowledge is the polls tutorial, but as far as I can tell the book is written for experienced web programmers with a solid background in Django who are looking for tips, tricks, and style pointers. The book is not really useful for beginners (well it wasn't for me) and that would have been nice to have known up front.

Here is a concrete example of what I am talking about. In a total of 7 pages, chapter two covers: SQL database options, pip, virtualenv, vagrant / VM, and version control options. I have made passing use of all of these, but found myself none the wiser after reading the chapter. If you are looking to _learn_ about these kind of things, rather than simply being introduced to the authors' well-informed preferences, this is not the book for you.

I read up to chapter 7 before throwing in the towel. My general opinion is that you have to already know quite a lot about what the authors are talking about before you will get much out of what they say.

Two other shortcomings (but not deal breakers) are (a) the book has so many links to other material that reading it as a hard-copy is a real drag -- it would be much better as an online resource with hyperlinks; and (b) the figures are sometimes cute but rarely helpful or insightful or useful.

That said, the book is well written, the authors certainly know a lot, and it seems like it would be a good reference for an experienced web programmer looking to improve their Django game.
43 people found this helpful
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on July 22, 2015
Django is a great framework for Python-powered websites, but it can be hellishly confusing (ironic considering how intuitive Python is compared with most other major programming languages). It doesn't help that the official documentation is often confusing and unclear. Furthermore, what 3rd party Django books exist are mostly now out-of-date considering how quickly development has proceeded on Django. Consider that just 5 years ago Django was on version 1.2-- and the changes since then have been enormous and render make many earlier Django how-to books, even those covering versions up to 1.5 and 1.6, confusing and occasionally dangerous to use. This new version of "Two Scoops of Django" is updated for 1.8 (the current release) and, even better, is written in plain, comprehensible English, with excellent examples, code snippets, and useful tips. My only word of caution is that this isn't a great book for complete newcomers to Django-- as the authors make clear, "Two Scoops" doesn't intend to be a basic tutorial or comprehensive guide. Instead it's a well-organized collection of 'best practices', lessons learned, practical advice, and informed opinion. That said, any developer who has a basic familiarity with the framework and is planning to do further work with Django would be well-advised to add this book to their library.
15 people found this helpful
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This is a great book for practitioners of Django to learn best practices. This is not a beginner book or a tutorial at all, so if you are new to Django it would be better to learn some Django first before getting this book.

The authors know Django really well and explain concepts in a clear and concise fashion. Both authors being ice-cream lovers decided to do illustrations in terms of ice cream analogies... it sounds crazy for a programming book, but it actually worked pretty well. Additionally, the writing style was lighthearted which prevents the book from being too dry.

As for technical details the book is really solid. The beginning chapters are on proper Django setup and topics such as when to use Class Based Views or Function Based Views. I liked the authors state their own opinion and also present opposing views from other Django contributors. Later chapters cover things like deployment, security, and continuous integration.

I also learned quite a lot about other technologies in the book which they mention. For example, in the deployment chapters they present the trade-offs of Docker, SaltStack, Ansible, Puppet, and Chef. These high level comparisons gave me a better picture of how a real world Django project works.
3 people found this helpful
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on March 14, 2016
There's not much else that can be noted that hasn't already been written by the other helpful Amazon reviewers. This is a superb collection of helpful tips and information about Django 1.8, and is the definitive "second book" you should read after you've read a beginner's text on Django.

For those curious, a very similar book is available titled "Django Design Patterns and Best Practices" published by Packt Publishing. If you prefer text more devoted to framework design choices - or if you're just not a fan of ice cream analogies - Django Design Patterns and Best Practices is also an excellent resource. Otherwise, this edition of Two Scoops of Django is highly comprehensive. In many cases, the Greenfeld's will first display "bad" code and then explain, with "good" code, the reasons for the corrections. Each chapter stands on its own, and is not meant to be a tutorial for Django. If anything, consider this "Effective Django". I highly recommend this book for intermediate Django developers!
5 people found this helpful
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on August 23, 2015
As a polyglot programmer with some familiarity with Python, this book is exactly what I was looking for. I owned the previous version for 1.6 as well and read it cover to cover. When this version came out, I had to get it as well.

This book is not a tutorial. It is a reference or more accurately I guide/hand book. It will not waste time trying to teach you Django.. it expects you to be able to do that on your own. It instead focuses on taking you beyond the "I got hello world to work and I followed a tutorial to build a todo list app".

I find one of the hardest part of learning a new technology is not the language itself, or sometimes even the framework. After all you can always just read the docs/stack overflow as you need to. The hardest part is usually understanding the ecosystem of tools, practices and paradigms. This book deals with that part. What's more is that the information in the book is very clear and easy to read.

If you are already familiar with web development and python get this book.
7 people found this helpful
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on August 26, 2015
I am a long time Django user who found lots of helpful advice in this book. Some of the material was a little too truncated and cryptic for my taste, but that is to be expected given the wide range of topics covered.
2 people found this helpful
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on July 3, 2015
I'm in love with this book. There is so much I wish I'd known when starting my current projects. I come from a .Net/C#/MVC background and initially perceived that Python/Django was more of a prototyping and small app framework. However, we've built all our core now on Python/Django and have steadily replaced Java with Python due to the ease and flexibility of the Django environment. (I've absolutely loved the Django Rest Framework for REST.)

The book is very well organized, following a very clear pattern for presenting concepts. I've only scratched the surface so far, but as I've read and browsed through it I find myself muttering "Wait - what? You can do that?" It is what it says - a best practices guide. But for me it's much more. I've gained insights into areas that I did not already know of and approaches to solving problems (like creating packages - cookie cutters?) that I'd not stumbled upon as yet.

I'd highly recommend it especially for new acolytes to the Django way of life to start on the right path; yet even after spending the past two years in Django I find it illuminating. From following the authors on Twitter to this book I've learned much.
5 people found this helpful
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on June 3, 2016
Bought this for work to help me get started with a Django-based project. The project is in production today, thanks to a lot of help from this book.

It should be noted that this is not a one-stop-shop overview of Django; you won't go from zero to hero with this book alone. This book is focused on best practices (like it says on the cover), so if you're new to Django or Python you'll need some other sources to get you up-to-speed. I've been coding Python for years, so I found the offical documentation sufficient to get me started.

The advice in this book saved me a lot of headaches and got me pointed in the right direction. If you plan on using Django professionally, I'd say this book is a must-read.
3 people found this helpful
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on July 19, 2015
Excellent Django best practices! Can't wait to start building some Django projects, if only I had more time! Still very good preparation for anybody looking for a job doing Django development (which is not something I'm interested in at the moment, but maybe in the future I'll consider a career change).
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on August 7, 2015
Well written. The ice-cream related examples get old pretty quick though, wish there were more real-world examples.
3 people found this helpful
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