4 places to get help when you are stuck with your Django project

The most important skill in programming is to get unstuck. You can solve a lot of problems by googling, but at some point, you will get stuck and won’t get any further without interacting with another human being.
There are several places where you can find help, but they are not all created equal.

1. StackOverflow

If you have ever googled for a programming problem, you have probably come across StackOverflow. It is a Q&A site that seemingly has an answer to every question. However, not all questions are a good fit for StackOverflow. Questions should have a definite answer and not lead to open-ended discussions. The site boasts a massive number of users, so if you put some effort into asking a good question, you can often expect an answer in mere minutes.

If you ask a Django-related question, don’t forget to add the “Django” tag!

2. django-users mailing list

Another place where you can find a lot of helpful people is the django-users mailing list. To subscribe, send an email to django-users+subscribe@googlegroups.com or visit https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/django-users. Unlike StackOverflow, you can ask any kind of question here (as long as it is related to Django). If you want to discuss an idea or need help figuring out what your actual problem is, the mailing list is a good choice. A lot of the core developers are active on the list, so you can get answers to the most technical question. The turnaround time is a bit longer, you might have to wait a couple of hours before an answer.

Note: there is also the django-developers mailing list. If you have a question about the development of Django itself go there, if you have a question related to your Django project, django-users is the place to be.

3. #django IRC channel

If you expect some back and forth, try the #django IRC channel. The audience here is a lot smaller than on the mailing list. Due to the real-time nature of IRC it is very well possible that there is nobody online who can answer your question. Usually, you get an answer immediately or not at all.

4. a Django/Python meetup or conference

Sometimes, it can be helpful to discuss things face to face. A Django or Python meetup is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people, who usually don’t mind having a look at your problem. Check on meetup.com if there is one nearby. There are also many Python and Django conferences all around the world. Many of them offer financial help for people who can’t afford to attend.

5. Bonus: here!

If everything else fails, drop me an email. As my reputation points on StackOverflow show, I’m happy to help.

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