Advanced Search with django-haystack and solr (Downtown LA)

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Come out and join your fellow Djangonauts in an evening of learning, networking and spectacular views of Downtown LA!
RSVP soon, as limited space is available and this thing is filling up quick!


• This meetup will be in Downtown LA. The location is visible to members.

• We do not yet have a food sponsor. Please contact Marcel Chastain ( if you are interested in sponsoring food.


7:00 – 7:15 Open
7:15 – 7:30 Introductions
7:30 – 9:00 Presentations
9:00 – 9:30 Open / Networking


1. "Building Amazing Search Systems with Haystack and Solr"

Search and information discovery is a huge part of almost any modern site.
Solr is an incredibly powerful search tool that allows us to quickly add advanced search capabilities such as full-text search, faceting, autocomplete and spelling suggestions to our projects without much effort. We will be using 'django-haystack' to communicate between Django and Solr.
(All code for this will be available in the LA Django github repo for this presentation.)

Marcel Chastain ( spent the first half of his career as a senior linux systems administrator in the hosting industry before admitting that fixing systems wasn't nearly as fun as building new stuff. Since then, he's found his calling in developing kickass web applications for agencies, startups, and within his own business.

2. Topic TBA

Kim Scheibel ( has a formidable background in building scalable, fault tolerant systems using a variety of languages and systems. We're looking forward to hearing his well-rounded, expert-level insights in application development, web technologies, system architecture and machine learning.

3. “Making search better by tracking & utilizing user search behavior"

Improving search experience is a very data driven & iterative process. Measuring the quality of search results and having the tools to measure, make sense and then improve your search ranking algorithms is key to the entire process. We’ll talk through some aspects of how to measure quality for given search results and key metrics that the teams need to track to as they make changes to their search to make it better. Later during the talk, we’ll show a very basic example of how one can start to incorporate user behavior as part of the search results to influence the ranking of the results.


Sameer Maggon ( is a search and discovery expert who helps organizations utilize data to offer better search, discovery & personalization products. He led early implementation of search for & other AT&T properties. He’s held various senior level positions and have consulted with companies ranging from Fortune 500 to Startups. He is currently the founder of Measured Search that offers a cloud based zero management solution for Search. You can learn more about his company at

The building is on the corner of Wilshire and Hope in Downtown LA, near the Central Library and about 2 blocks from the 7th/Hope Subway station.

There is no parking at the building, but there is (somewhat limited) street parking and various paid lots. It's also legal to park in yellow loading zones after 6pm. Unfortunately parking is not a strong point of Downtown LA :(

For those of you with access to the Expo/Gold/Red/Purple/Blue Lines, the 7th/Hope Subway station is just a block away!