The Deep Lens Survey (DLS) is a deep BV Rz' imaging survey of seven 2°×2° degree fields, with all data to be made public. The primary scientific driver is weak gravitational lensing, but the survey is also designed to enable a wide array of other astrophysical investigations. A unique feature of this survey is the search for transient phenomena. We subtract multiple exposures of a field, detect differences, classify, and release transients on the Web within about an hour of observation. Here we summarize the scientific goals of the DLS, field and filter selection, observing techniques and current status, data reduction, data products and release, and transient detections. Finally, we discuss some lessons which might apply to future large surveys such as LSST.