Ceci n'est pas un job
2020-09-19, 09:15–09:55, Virtual

More than once I have had the pleasure of being informed that my job (which by the way, is also the job of quite a few members of the DjangoCon audience) is not a “real” job.

In this talk I will try to discover what a “real job” is. I will also find out more about what is “real”, and what is a “job”.

As a person who allegedly does not have a real job, and who comes from a country (Belgium) whose reality some people also doubt, I am ideally placed to make these discoveries. I will enlist the assistance of some famous Belgians, including the famous philosopher-actor Jean-Claude Van Damme (not a real actor, according to some; not a real philosopher, according to others) and the artist René Magritte.

I plan to show that being a web developer is not really a job - it’s much more important than that.


This talk will bring you along for a journey illuminated by some insightful remarks by Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Jean-Claude Van Damme is for some reason not considered a “real” philosopher. We’ll make our own judgements about that, and we’ll see whether what he has to say can shed some light on the business of web development - which some people don’t think is a “real” job.

We’ll make a number of (unexpected) discoveries. Maybe Van Damme has things to say that match Immanuel Kant for depth and insight. Maybe reality isn’t what people think it is, or maybe a job should really be a burden or a torture. Just like Jean-Claude Van Damme himself, these words are hardly giants, yet they contain and conceal a great deal - and have a lot to tell us about what we do, and what we do to the world.

And finally, I will show how all roads lead to Django (Reinhardt, another Belgian).

This is intended to be a funny talk, but my point and my intentions are very serious. I hope to share with other web developers the sense that what they choose to do has serious consequences. Being a web developer may be a job; in one sense it may even be a real job - but in another, it’s not really a job, but something quite a bit more important than that.