2015 Kickoff Day

Posted on by Anika

Happy Rails Girls Summer of Code Kickoff Day, everyone!

Today is the beginning of a three months adventure we are going on with all 20 teams of this RGSoC 2015! All in all over 130 people - coaches, mentors, supervisors, organizers, helpdesk coaches, designers - are excited to start this journey today. ALl over the globe there are going to be hangouts and “LET’S DO THIS!!”-outcries and a lot of love through twitter.

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We are collecting all the team’s twitter accounts in a twitter list, so you can follow them there as well.

Timezone fun fact: The first ones to kickoff their Summer (or actually Winter ;) ) of Code were Team Melbourne from Australia (UTC+10) and they have written a wonderful blog post about their first day!

The last ones to start into the day are our Teams from the US, Team Expat from Seattle and Team CocoaGems from San Fransisco (UTC-7).

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Another fun fact is that today is also the birthday of Shelly from Team Tessie. What better way to start your Summer of Code with an awesome cake and confetti! We are working on shipping all the confetti gifs we can gather to Austria today (be sure to wish Shelly a happy birthday in our RGSOC Community Slack channel if you are around) - in the meantime, Team GirlsCodersWarsaw are doing great on the cake front and are kicking off their summer with the most delicious looking cake.

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This is looking to be a wonderful start to a magical three months adventure! Stay tuned for blog posts about the teams, more fun facts and a lot of magic. So, hop on over to our teams app to see all our teams and what they are working on during the summer.

LET’S DO THIS!! Have a happy happy happy summer everyone. Let’s change the future of Open Source together ♥

Closing the crowdfunding campaign

Posted on by Laura

Whoohoo! They said the third year will be the hardest – but in the end, we broke all records with our crowdfunding campaign. We still can’t wrap our heads around the fact that we can fund 16 teams this year: that’s 6 more than in the last two years.

As our goal for the summer has been met and all the teams have already been selected, we’ve decided to “close” our crowdfunding campaign for the summer. What this means: you will still be able to donate on our donation page and all the money will go towards next year’s efforts. You can never really start early enough ;)

Thank you so much!

Donations in numbers

We’re glad so many of you, sponsors and private contributors, have donated. We would not make it without your support and the support of our lovely community – and for that, we simply can’t thank you enough. Before we start thinking about the next step (getting ready for the kick-off), here are some fun facts from the campaign.

With 53 sponsors on board this year, we’ve hit the jackpot (and our highest number of sponsors to date). Hooray!
After last year’s Tobias’, Jeremys and Patricks, this year’s most common supporter first name is… *drumroll*… CHRIS! We counted 3 of them, and an additional Christoph, as well as a Christopher. We’ve also had contributions and visitors to our campaign page from all over the world: Berlin to New York, Helsinki to Philly. Now that’s what we call global!

We love emojis

As always, our private contributors were always very creative with their comments – we counted 14 messages with emojis alone! Our favourites: a story, an overload of hearts, a panda and even.. some code! And because we love kittens, someone also posted a nice little kitty face for us. =^.^=

We <3 User Groups

We’ve also received donations from user groups: vietnamrb (thank you Trung!) and Ruby Slovenia, who have set up a donation system for their attendees with beautiful Ruby Slovenia stickers for every donation. How amazing is that? Thank you so much, Miha and the whole of the Slovenia User Group! You rock! And so do your beautiful stickers.

A very special supporter

One of our most recent newcomer sponsors is the James Golick Grant for Women in Computology. We are incredibly touched by their support and most importantly, by Jill’s decision to set up a grant to honour her son’s memory. If you can, please take a minute to read more about the story behind the grant and consider donating, too.

Once again, THANK YOU from the whole RGSoC team – we couldn’t have proved that “third year is the hardest” saying wrong without you. Now let’s get this summer started – so we can prove those other stereotypes wrong.

(Image: Anika Lindtner)

(Image: Katrin Kampfrath)

(Image: Claudia Gehn)

You're all awesome! (Image: Ramón Huidobro)

Meet the 2015 Teams of Rails Girls Summer of Code

Posted on by Anika

It’s finally today! The day we can proudly introduce you to this year’s edition of awesomeness and Open Source coding power. Please meet the official 2015 teams (and yes! we could sponsor 16 (!) teams this year, thanks to this most amazing community we are all part of). Thank you all for making this happen:

Our 2015 sponsored teams are spread all over the globe!

Delta Quadrant (Julia & Maren)

Location: Berlin, Germany
Project: diaspora

Tessie (Shelly & Pilar)

Location: Vienna, Austria
Project: Hoodie

Fanxhe (Angelina & Estefania)

Location: Colima, Mexico
Project: LivingStyleGuide

GirlsCodersWarsaw (Anna & Barbara)

Location: Warsaw, Poland
Project: RubyClerks

Binary (Angela & Lina Marcela)

Location: Barranquilla, Colombia
Project: RubyGems Adoption Center

Techylite (Esther & Resla)

Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Project: Speakerinnen

DEIGirls (Inês & Rosa)

Location: Coimbra, Portugal
Project: Lotus

Expat (Mixolidia & Sarah)

Location: Seattle, USA
Project: Exercism.io

Rubyherzlein (Franziska & Nynne)

Location: Berlin, Germany
Project: SoundDrop

Hackrgirls (Anjaly & Nidhiya)

Location: Kochi, India
Project: impress.js

Cheesy (Roos & Maud)

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Project: RGSoC Teams App

Alpha Ruby (Ariane Paola & Ramya)

Location: Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Project: Official Ruby Documentation Redesign

Cocoa Gems (Emma & Karla Isabel)

Location: San Francisco, USA
Project: CocoaPods

Rails Girls Enthusiasts (Sophia & Boryana)

Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Project: RubyGameDev

Melbourne (Sarah & Vi)

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Project: Discourse Advertising Plugin

The Tremors (Mercy & Nelly)

Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Project: RapidFTR

Volunteer teams

Ruby’n’Bugs (Raluca & Thuy)

Location: Berlin, Germany
Project: Open Source Event Manager

Alster Hamburgers (Anke & Aya)

Location: Hamburg, Germany
Project: LEAP Encryption Access Project

CodeBenders (Jayasi & Megha)

Location: Delhi, India
Project: RailsAdmin

Ruby Girls Quito (Claudia & Evelyn)

Location: Quito, Ecuador
Project: LEAP Encryption Access Project

Welcome to the summer, everyone! We are so happy to have you on board and are looking forward to a wonderful experience. It was extremely hard to select the teams out of 58 teams that applied, since everybody basically put in a great application. We will publish a blog post about how we selected the teams and what we were looking for this year soon. So stay tuned!

CHEERS to a wonderful summer. We can’t wait for July 1st to come - only 27 sleeps to go!

Your Summer of Code

Posted on by Laura

We love it when people contribute to Open Source, and hopefully someday there will be no need for a “Rails Girls Summer of Code”, or similar programs, to make that happen. With that in mind, the fact that your team was not selected for this year’s Rails Girls Summer of Code doesn’t mean that you can’t have your own Summer of Code! And it certainly shouldn’t stop you from contributing to the project you had chosen (or to any other one, really).

Take a look at platforms such as Open Hatch, Code Montage and Code Triage, which list Open Source Projects actively looking for more contributors. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the code of a couple of projects there, and then ask if you can contribute. See if your coaches are still able to help you, and maybe check if a coaching company or local co-working space is able to host you for the 3-month period.

Dear (coaching) companies - you should definitely take up this opportunity and offer internships or other possibilities to these awesome, motivated women!

Whichever way you decide to work, make sure you find a safe environment for yourself and your team mate, and that you set up a professional relationship with everyone on your team. We can only recommend having a Code of Conduct; here is ours, if you need inspiration. You can invest as much time into your project as you have available this summer (or winter, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere!), and it might be a good base to apply again next year. You could also get in touch with the project maintainer of the project you applied with and see if they are able to take on one more team – but be aware they might be quite busy with their RGSoC team already.

If you’re a beginner at the language of the project you’ve chosen, you can give yourself time to learn the basics at your own pace until the program starts – or, take the first couple of weeks to get learning before you make your very first contribution. Either way, we suggest you talk to the project maintainers at some point before the summer to figure out if there are some beginner-friendly issues you can help out with. Trust us, a lot of maintainers really appreciate having newcomers around, and they’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

We’ll try to give you appropriate support – unfortunately we cannot be there for everyone, which is why we cannot take on an unlimited amount of volunteer teams, but we’re hoping to provide guidance when needed and a dedicated communication channel where you can chat with the community.

Start contributing to Open Source and make this summer your Summer of Code! <3

We've survived the selection process!

Posted on by Laura

Les jeux sont faits – The chips are down!
We know most of you were eagerly and almost compulsively checking your email last Friday – on the day we said we’d send all acceptance letters to applicants. Choosing wasn’t easy: We received more than 60 team applications in April, and our selection committee took a lot of time to rate every application according to several criteria.

During the selection process, which spanned over two weeks, every single member of the committee looked at every application and at the learning history and skill level of each student and made notes and comments, to later be discussed within the whole group. Part of our google hangout conference call for the selection discussion was even done from an airport – if that’s not commitment, then we don’t know what is..

What we looked for, among other things, was an involvement within the community, a strong motivation to learn, and a solid project plan that showed initiative and understanding of the project. As stated in our requirements, we also strongly gave preference to two-women teams and non-remote teams that have found local support in the form of coaches and study groups. In spite of our criteria and requirements, we also understand that every applicant is an individual with different personal histories and goals, and that it being a global program, not all the criteria might apply everywhere. This is why we attempted to get to know the applicants through their applications and carefully read each one several times.

It truly breaks our hearts not to be able to accept everyone, as we have limited funding and resources. In spite of all the students we had to reject, we also have some good news. This year we broke a personal record by having the highest amount of sponsored teams to date!

To all the students who did not make into into the program this year: we encourage you to try again next year. If you’ve sent us an email about wanting extra feedback regarding your application, you will hear from us soon, but please be patient. We are truly hoping that you will not give up – there are a ton of great initiatives and programs out there, and we encourage you to get involved in your community and find like-minded people who will join you on your learning path.

We’re looking forward to an amazing summer with all of you: students, coaches, supervisors, volunteers. Thank you for being a part of this – here’s to the Rails Girls Summer of Code 2015!

dance party Looking forward to the summer! (Image: reactiongif.com)

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