WSGI for Web Developers

by Ryan Wilson-Perkin

webdev wsgi

WSGI is the foundation of most Python web frameworks, but there's a good chance you've never had to interact with it directly. In this talk we'll explore why it exists, how it works, and what the heck it's doing in your stack.

A great web framework abstracts away all the low-level stuff so that you can focus on the core functionality of your application. This is helpful for getting you going quickly but can be a source of frustration when you want to start optimizing your application. In the Law of Leaky Abstractions Joel Spolsky makes the case that abstracting away the low-level stuff prevents us from learning important concepts.

So let's learn about WSGI.

WSGI is the Web Server Gateway Interface and it's the foundation of almost every Python web framework. This isn't going to be a talk that you'll walk out of with immediate tips for tuning your web service (don't worry, Graham Dumpleton has that covered). Instead, you'll develop an appreciation for the low-level goings on of your stack every time you handle a request.

This talk is intended primarily for Python web developers, but should be approachable for anyone with an intermediate experience of Python. I look forward to talking to you!

About the Author

I’m Ryan Wilson-Perkin and I’m a full stack developer working at Wave. I’ve been programming as a professional for 5 years and as an amateur for about half my life.

In my current role I work on a Developer Systems team which builds internal tools and systems to help make developers more productive. During my university days I ran a club that helped develop computer scientists into excellent speakers by giving quick, off-the-cuff presentations. My favourite colour is that sort of orangey-green that everything gets at sunset.

In previous years I helped out with PyConCA as a speaker coordinator and I’m looking forward to trying out the other side as a speaker.

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