Meet our Session 1, 2024 Djangonauts!

In preparation for our next session starting in January 2024, we wanted to share some updates and introduce our new Djangonauts.

In the midst of sorting through a pile of amazing applications, we found ourselves facing the challenging task of selecting just 18 outstanding individuals for this round—no small feat given the 172 impressive applications we received.

These 18 Djangonauts caught our eye for all the right reasons: their applications were a standout mix of experience, genuine passion, and undeniable motivation. They are truly shining stars in a field of remarkable talent.

Now, let’s extend a heartfelt welcome and congratulations to our exceptional crew for the 2024 Djangonaut Space Session 1. Their unique journeys and contributions are set to make this Django adventure truly special. Kudos to each one of them! 👏👏👏

Mohammad Alsakhawy
Jessie Auguste
Pradhvan Bisht
Elineda Ferreira Lannic
Adrienne Franke
Emmanuel Katchy
Velda Kiara
Marijke Luttekes
Nina Menezes
Juliana Nicacio
Elijah Oklello
Priya Pahwa
Keanya Phelps
Eliana Rosselli
Raffaella Suardini
Lilian Tran

These wonderful folks are joining an 8 week program where they will work toward contributing to Django or a third party package. With the support of their small team in weekly meetings along with a one on one every other week with their Captain, they will work through the contributing process from choosing a ticket to work on, and addressing feedback on their pull requests.

Although the merged pull requests are nice to see, they are not the main goal of the program. They are instead a tool to reach and continue forward with our organization's objectives of increasing sustainable and regular contributions and community involvement with Django, providing an actively accessible and inclusive space for the development of Djangonaut, and empowering others to progress into Django leadership roles.

To ensure we are setting up our Djangonauts for success, we've implemented some changes based on lessons learned from our pilot program. These enhancements include:

📈 Scaling up: Our pilot program, by design, was at a smaller scale of 5 Djangonauts, this first session we’ve scaled up to accept 18 Djangonauts. This also means we have scaled to onboard 12 new volunteers as well.

📝 Weekly Workbook: We've introduced a workbook for Djangonauts, providing weekly tips and recommendations. This tool also features a space for notes, enabling them to track progress and jot down questions for future reference during team meetings or when revisiting similar challenges.

🗓️ Session Timeline: In response to feedback from the pilot program, we've condensed the session duration from 3 months to 8 weeks. This adjustment aims to maintain motivation and enthusiasm throughout the program while allowing volunteers ample time for proper debriefing and planning for the next cohort.

👥 Team Meetings: Building on the success of team and one-on-one meetings, we encourage Captains to participate in team meetings. This broader involvement allows them to gain deeper insight into the challenges Djangonauts discuss during individual sessions.

💬 Collaboration: Emphasizing the importance of community, we encourage Djangonauts to collaborate with their peers. This collaborative approach fosters a sense of community, facilitates peer mentorship, and provides opportunities for valuable rubber duck debugging, or problem-solving sessions.

🌐 Public Events: Continuing the trend of the past few months, we aim to host more public events, such as live coding and co-working sessions. These events offer networking opportunities, a chance to learn in public for the leader, and provide more impact to the broader Django community to join and participate.

👉 We invite you to connect with us on social media to join in celebrating the achievements of our new Djangonauts. Your support means a lot, and together, we can amplify the successes within our community.