I've been using the default yaml/jinja combo for most of the time that I've used Saltstack, which can get really frustrating when you're moving away from simple templating and actually starting to develop code in jinja. The biggest issue here: jinja is a templating engine, not a programming language.
Welcome to 'getting started with salt-workspace'. Hopefully this, in combination with the salt-workspace git repo will help you get familiar with Salt and its structure in an easy to follow manner. If you haven't already, follow the Readme instructions to get the workspace pre-requisites done, then come back here for