Moi, we are Cathy Nangini and Qian Zhou from Helsinki, Finland. This is our first time with RGSoC and we are quite passionate about our RGSoC journey. We are working on Participate frontend, a democratic participation platform based on LiquidFeedback,
an open source system used for internal decision making and policy creation. The platform is built with Ember.js for the front-end and will use Grape (ruby) for the API backend. Oliver Barnes is our project mentor, Miika Pihjala and Mukesh Thakur are our coaches, and Floor Drees is our project supervisor.
Cathy: I am a data scientist who has studied physics, geo- and bio-physics and uses scientific computing for data analysis. I started learning Rails at the first RG workshop in Helsinki in 2011. I loved the idea of being able to create and build web projects. The workshop gave me confidence and motivated me to dive into Rails further. After I completed Code School’s Rails for Zombies courses (Level 1 and 2), I developed my first simple app called the Happy OMeter. Later on, my friends and I built a social network platform that allows friends to coordinate the transport of gifts and other small personal items when they travel. It expanded my Rails knowledge and understanding of the MVC architecture, but many questions still remain. There is no doubt that RGSoC has furthered my skills. I am now quite addicted to open source and figuring out those features, and it’s great to work with Qian to hash out the never-ending mysteries of code.
Qian: I am a computer sicence student whose sepcilization is Networking and Services. I am eager to learn new programming languages in my free time. At the beginning of 2014, I self-studied Ruby at Codeacademy just for fun. This inspired me to learn Rails for Zombies (Level 1 and 2) by Code School. After that my curiosity about Ruby on Rails became stronger. Around February, I joined an event called SomeJam and cooperated with other team members to create a Rails application called Let’s Do It. It was only two days but I wished it was longer so that I could practice more. One day, I accidentally saw Rails Girls news and I became super excited about it. RGSoC exactly provides an awesome opportunity for me. Naturally, the next thing was to find a pair and some coaches. Rails Girls also gives me the chance to know my pair Cathy and coach Miika.
What have we achieved so far?
Emberjs. We both started from zero background in terms of emberjs. At the beginning, we were confused by its multiple models, routes, controllers and templates. Now we have a better understanding and know how to use them properly.
Knowledge of ember testing. We use Mocha and Chai for our testing, which we had never heard of before RGSoC. Now we use it frequently and know how to write tests and apply the idea of TDD/BDD.
App features. Currently we have implemented features on issues, initiatives, and suggestions, i.e., how to create them, how to list them and how to link them to the proper page, and so on. We are also on the way to creating a dashboard soon.
Knowledge of ember cli. We made our app with ember cli, which gives us command-line capabilities.
Knowledge of emblem. We use emblem as template engine, which is built on handlebars. Emblem is an added learning curve because we are not familiar with handlebars, and it is not always easy to translate template code in handlebars into emblem. Now we are getting used to using emblem.
Becoming Github professionals. We are now quite used to performing various GitHub gymnastics such as rebasing, squashing, resloving conflicts, etc. (but sometimes it still acts mysteriously).
Problem solving and troubleshooting ability. When we have problems, we first Google, Google, Google, then read related ember documents and stackoverflow. Later on, if we still cannot figure it out, we ask for help from the coaches, the campfire helpdesk from RGSoC and the emberjs IRC channel. In terms of troubleshooting, we maninly use Ember Inspector. We can also now understand the error messages better than at the beginning, and we know how to react according to the given error.
Good documentation habits. We use a shared Google document to record important information, tips and tricks about the project such as: GitHub commands, useful material and links, code for implementing some feature, and so on. It’s an accumulated treasure for us.
What tips do we want to share about our Participate journey?
Make keypoint notes when learning something new for things that are used frequently. For example, GitHub commands like rebasing and squashing.
Good to review and read the Ember guide, Mocha and Chai documents and other learning materials over and over again. You’ll always learn new things even if you read the same thing many times.
Be patient and it’s ok to slow down. Sometimes you may get stuck on one feature for three days or more. Don’t be panic that you aren’t making progress. Making the code work is the result, but the process of reading documents, Googling and asking for help to solve the problem is also valuable. You obtain accumulated knowledge while searching for a solution.
Good to explain questions clearly when asking questions. Aside from asking for help from our coaches, we also ask for help from the campfire desk and emberjs channel. It’s good to express your problem in clear way, so helpers could give related suggestions and solutions. Sometimes we use gist to post our specific problem.
What will we do next for the project?
- Delegation of votes to other users
- Vote weight processing
And we are always looking for new contributors, so please, join us!
Follow us on twitter or read our blog for the daily details :)
We are Akanksha Agrawal and Sana Khan, Information Technology graduates from College of Engineering Pune. We got introduced to FOSS and Open Source from COEP’s Free Software Users Group (CoFSUG).
Sana: During my sophomore year, MiniDebConf India happened at our college and that got me introduced to Debian Packaging. Met a lot of awesome people in the Debian India community. Learning from them, was able to make contributions to LibreOffice hyphenation packages for Indian Languages. An year ahead, took a few sessions along with other contributors. Love the Debian India Community and would love to make more contributions :) While attending packaging sessions for packaging gem dependencies for Diaspora, I got introduced to Ruby on Rails. Thats how I began to learn Ruby and Rails to package a Diaspora gem dependency into Debian.
Akanksha: Concept of FOSS was introduced to me by our college’s open source group. Attending open source seminars and workshops has always been my passion. I got introduced to Ruby on Rails in the Rails Girls Pune event. Also attended the Rails 4.1 Release Party where I met our coaches Nishant Modak, Vipul Amler and Prathamesh Sonpatki. Got fascinated with the language and Rails and applied for Rails Girls Summer of Code so as to start contributing to open source.
What are we working on
We are working on making a memory visualizer tool for Rubinius. Hence we are called ‘Team Rubinius’.
Heap dump is one of the most important analysis tools for troubleshooting or fixing high memory usage problems by identifying the root cause of memory leaks in Ruby applications. Rubinius provides a heap dump interface which allows for analysis of memory dump of Rubinius. Our project aims at utilizing the information available from the heap dump file and displaying this information in a graphical way through a visualization tool that helps the user explore the memory usage of their application.
Learning so far
Starting with basic concepts of Ruby, we studied the internals of Rubinius such as object structures, how array objects are represented internally, types of objects and their memory layout.
We then went on to read and understand the heap dump code and well as the Gauge Application code. We tried out different example codes to identify memory leaks.
We learned how Garbage Collectors work, what is Mark and Sweep Garbage Collection and how that is different from Generational Garbage Collection.
We also learned about how memory leaks occur. We now know that memory leaks are possible even when you have a garbage collector which does things to avoid leaks whenever possible.
Learned how memory visualizers work. Worked with VisualVM, Jhat and Eclipse Memory Analyzer (MAT).
And there is still so much to learn.. :)
Progress so far
We started with understanding the format of the Json file generated by the heap dump tool to be able to use it to generate visualization in d3.js.
The Json file had too much information for visualization, so we played around with the heap dump code to generate our own reduced data-sets. One major issue we faced was that the number of objects and their related information was too huge that it would either clutter up the visualization or make the browser slow in rendering it.
With inputs from our mentor we started to work on the diff of two heap dumps. We are now working on displaying the instance view in a histogram based visualization representing what percentage of objects are consuming how much memory.
On August 28th, 2014, after almost two months of full-time coding, we recommended to our students that they take a day off. It was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to get their minds off gems, classes, and variables, to take a breath and recharge. Here’s some of the stuff that happened that day.
In Berlin, the lovely people from Applift wanted to do more than sponsoring RGSoC. So they came up with the crazy idea of doing a houseboat trip, since their CEO had just bought himself one. Of course, we immediately jumped on board (pun intended, ba-dum-tsssssh!) the idea to take out the Berlin teams for a spin around Tegeler See. With the weather being on its best behaviour that day, we enjoyed ourselves with food, drinks, talks and gazing across the water. Initially, we planned to have a lightning talk about depression & burn out and a big group discussion about how to handle stress at work and for everybody to share their coping mechanisms. But we immediately felt so relaxed on the boat, that we decided to really take the day off. Also for us organizers. So we hung around, talked a bit with everyone and shared a very relaxing day, which was so wonderfully planned. A big thanks goes to Sarah, Peter, Linda and Therese from the HitFox Group and Norbert, the skipper, for making this a beautiful day to remember.
Over in Bogotá, Paola from Team ARIA had a little chat with the geese at a farm while her pair, Melipao, hopefully had a day that was just as relaxing - in spite of the weather not looking too promising in Barraquilla, by the Caribbean Sea.
As promised, we have a whole new round of great-conferences-you-can-visit-for-free! This time around we have both tickets and scholarships to draw your attention to. We’ve listed what you should do to get either of those in the list below. Good luck!
CSSconf EU (@cssconfeu on Twitter) takes place in Berlin, September 12. We have 2 tickets to give away.
RubyConf Portugal (@rubyconfpt on Twitter) takes place October 13th - 14th in Braga. We have 3 tickets to give away. RubyConf Portugal will also be organizing a Rails Girls Braga in the days before the conference, which you’d be very welcome to attend and coach at.
Oredev (@oredev on Twitter) takes place November 4-7 in Malmö (Sweden) and we have 2 tickets (a ticket costs around $1500) to give away!
For all the above conferences we need you to tweet from your team Twitter account or from your personal Twitter account, what conference(s) you would like to attend - mentioning the conference’ Twitter handle and using the #rgsoc hashtag.
The deadline for claiming your conference ticket is Tuesday, September 9th (up until midnight, wherever you are).
Winners will be drawn by raffle at 07:00(GMT+2) on Wednesday, September 10th, and informed shortly thereafter
rejectjs offers one ticket to their wonderful conference, plus covers travel expenses of up to 150€ via their Community Package. Do mention that you are a Rails Girls Summer of Code student!
Both RailsConf Atlanta, taking place April 22-25 (yes, 2015), and RubyConf San Diego, taking place November 17-19 this year still, have an ‘Opportunity Scholarship Program’ in place. We will share application details with you shortly.
What to do at the conference?
First of all, we want you to be amazed and inspired. A conference is one of the best places to learn heaps of stuff and talk to wonderful people.
Additionally, why not amaze the other attendees? We would love for you to share your Summer of Code story and spread the word to even more seasoned programmers about the great opportunities of the Rails Girls. Many conferences have slots for lightning talks. Not sure how to tackle the task? We have just the blog post for you!
Giving ourselves a Latin team name makes us look pretentious. I know you were thinking it. But it’s way more awesome than you think.
Lyz and I both graduated from what they call The Evergreen State College, which is a smallish hippy alternative college in Washington State. That description makes Evergreen seem very…I don’t know, eye-rolly? But it’s more than just pot clouds and discussing sustainability and driftwood art, while sitting barefoot in a circle. (But, to be clear: these things ABSOLUTELY happen there.) Evergreen is also a really flexible learning environment, and it was really formative for both of us, and holds a special place in our respective and collective hearts.
Here’s why I just waxed poetic about our alma mater (more Latin - we really are pretentious). Omnia Extares is Evergreen’s motto, and it’s way more awesome than boring college’s mottos. Instead of meaning something like “Striving for pompous glory, or whatever”, our motto means, “Let it all hang out.”
So here we are, two Greeners getting letting it all hang out as we hurl ourselves bodily into our Rails Girls Summer of Code project.
How did you hear about the SoC and why did you apply?
Utah: My first exposure to coding was using MatLab for an Ecological Modeling course in grad school. I really enjoyed it, but had to set it aside after the course was over. After finishing my Masters, I was finally able to spend more time learning to code, and I fell in love. After I took my first RailsBridge workshop, I knew that I wanted to focus on web development, and that I had found my people in the Ruby/Rails community. I have been having a blast since, and am so grateful for all of the resources available to women looking to enter tech fields!
Lyz: I have always been interested in software and web development, and tinkered around with coding some while I was in college but I earned my degrees in Anthropology/Archaeology. I’ve been working as an archaeologist for some time now, but am now coming full-circle back to development. The Rails community is what drew me in - there are so many great people and amazing Rails driven sites. I had to find out what all the excitement was about, so I attended RailsBridge last year (and again this year), and have been learning ever since! I’m also really interested in getting involved in the open source community, and in helping to even out the gender ratio in scientific and engineering professions, so RGSoC is one trifecta of awesome to me!
What was your happiest moment?
Merging our first pull request!
What was most challenging moment?
Merging our second pull request.
If you could code anything in the world, what would it be?
Utah: Interactive biology teaching website or lightsaber kittens (in MC Hammer pants) vs laser sharks.
Lyz: Online museum documenting creative ways to destroy a completed Master’s thesis or PhD dissertation…think http://brokenships.com/ for academics….
Hello world, we’re team BrowserSpree. We’re working on a module to integrate the e-commerce engine Spree into BrowserCMS, a Rails content management system. It’s been a challenging, but rewarding, journey so we’re excited to share what we’ve been up to so far.
Hi, Britney here. I started learning Ruby and Ruby on Rails in May 2013. I attended a conference about startups but was quickly sucked into a talk about learning programming, specifically Ruby on Rails, and the active developer community in Washington, D.C. From there I’ve done tutorials, exercises, read books, attended meetups and conferences. One thing I hadn’t done prior to starting Rails Girls Summer of Code is work on an open source project. I’ve been afraid that I don’t know enough to contribute, so Rails Girls Summer of Code is giving me confidence in myself and also giving me experience that I hope will move me closer to working with Ruby and Rails professionally.
Hi – I’m Jam! I’m an IT Project Manager by day– and a Fullstack Rails Dev (in the making) by night. A year ago – learning to program never seemed like a possibility. I – of course thought you had to have a Bachelors in Computer Science and be able to solve some complex algorithm in your sleep for someone to actually pay you to do it. The big decision to go for it anyway came to me when was challenged by an employer who said I wasn’t an ”A” player because I didn’t have a technical degree - which challenged me to prove them wrong. If it hadn’t been for Rails Girls DC and the awesome DC Ruby community, I would have never believed I had what it takes to defy that belief. I attended my first Rails Girls Workshop in June of 2013, having no experience whatsoever. A year later, along with Britney - we planned the June 2014 Rails Girls DC Workshop – which was an amazing experience. Outside of the - my loves: West African Dance, Indie Music (all genres), Fashion and reality tv. My goal: to design and build e-commerce for fashion brands.
I recently enrolled in Tealeaf Academy which managing that, in addition to RGSoC and my full-time job has totally killed my summer social life – but I’m getting closer to my dream – and that’s all that matters. I’ve finally decided to follow the advice of the masses and create a blog to document my journey to learning design and code, with sprinkles of randomness in between. Follow me @justjamonit/@rbywoo and blog: rbywoo.com
Ruby for Good
The first ever Ruby for Good was a few week ago and it was so cool to see so many rubyists, both new and old get together and work projects to benefit others. Since we could break into teams and work on projects of our choosing - I thought what better chance to work on BCMS 4.0 documentation! Luckily, Craig Riecke agreed! Craig came down Ithaca, NY. He is Rails Developer for Cornell University AND published author - Mastering Dojo. When I first made the announcement that I was working on documentation for BCMS… I knew no one would be interested! After all other teams were building sexy apps in AngularJs, for example! But Craig was looking for change from his day to day - programming. So it was a win-win!
It was so great to work with someone of his skill set and background. He brought a very fresh perspective to the user/developer documentation that allowed us to rewrite and restructure the documentation rather than simply update what was there to include BCMS 4.0 features.
Check out what we were able to accomplish here. Craig was able to make a lot of progress with the User Documentation, while I dove into the Developer Documentation. The great news is Craig is on board to continue updating the documentation with us going forward!!
Check some our Twitter <3 from that weekend:
Steel City Ruby
Not long after Ruby for Good, we attended Steel City Ruby Conf in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was a great opportunity for us to visit another community of developers since we’ve mostly just engaged with the D.C. community and those who visit. We highly recommend the conference to developers of all experience levels. The organizers did a great job of selecting talks that weren’t all highly technical. In fact many of them had more to do with self-reflection and community. We also had the opportunity to give a lightning talk about Rails Girls and Rails Girls Summer of Code. We explained what each was about and our experiences. The feedback we received was very positive and helped us start a lot of conversations with other attendees. We were able to explain in more depth how Rails Girls works and make recommendations about putting on workshops and other strategies to engage local communities. It was the first lightning talk for both of us and we’re looking forward to doing more. Our Ruby Conf schedule is far from over - we have RubyDCamp and Nickel City Ruby right around the corner, in October!
Since we are at the halfway point- it’s best we look back at what we have done.
We have actually followed our Project Plan pretty closely:
In July, we primarily spent our time getting familiar with BrowserCMS. We each built our own version of a bookstore. We created our content_blocks, portlets categories and made the our content_blocks and portlets available for public view.
Specifically, we added the following features:
Catalog of all our books that our visitors can browse.
View products pages individually.
Categorize by type of book (Authors, Fiction/Nonfiction, Politics, Economic, Young Reader Vampire Novels, etc)
Authors should have their own pages that list their products.
Author’s other works should be visible even if we don’t have those books for sale.
When I view a book, I should be able to see all the author’s other books for sale.
When i view a product, I should see other related products for sale. I should be able to give discounts codes for an author that would last for a 4th of July weekend.
We also updated BrowserCMS developer documentation and user guide, thanks to Ruby for Good! Check out what we were able to accomplish here.
Key Takeaways so far
Google, Google, Google
This can’t be said enough. Not only when it comes to errors but also when you have a feature you are trying to add, or a how do I go about doing ‘x’ ?” question. It was surprising “how much we found out just by using others people questions. Plus, Googling is a required skill to be a developer – right under using Git or knowing the command line.
Its okay to go over the basics
For one or two weeks, we had to cover some Rails basics - in addition to building our store so that we could ensure we are asking the right questions and learn/apply the fundamentals of Rails and not just BrowserCMS.
Pseudo code is writing in English what you are trying to accomplish in code. It helps to logically map out the steps to get to your desired outcome.
Break large tasks into smaller ones
Start small. When adding a feature, it seemed daunting and often time felt like we had now idea where to start. Breaking one big action into smaller was key because it allowed us to start with what we did know – and take it step by step from there.
Where to From Here
Well we spent the last two weeks diving into Spree and for the last week - we have been tried installing BrowserCMS and Spree in the same Rails app and seeing what breaks. Well - it broke a number of times - but nothing that we couldn’t work through. We figured out which version of Spree plays nicely with BCMS and we are on track to fully flesh out user authenticaton, checkout, etc. by the end of the summer!
We would like to give special hugs and <3 to our coaches, Patrick Peak (@peakpg) and Tanya Bodnya (@tatianabodyna) for all offering their time to make us better devs. Specaial thanks also to Ncud (@nclud) for letting us use their space!
We love coding, we really do. But we also know that during a 3-month-long, hands-on coding program (or cough cough at work if you’re coding all day cough cough) your motivation might start to take a nosedive. This is why we are announcing a
“Rails Girls Summer of Code Day Off” on August 28th!
What that means: exit your terminal, close your laptop and do something awesome or relaxing with your team mate! Some of us are in Berlin, and there will be a small get together for local teams (yes, an afternoon on a houseboat - wonderfully sponsored and organized by Applift); but since RGSoC is a worldwide movement, we won’t let distance stop you from having a great time. We just want you (yes, YOU dearest students; but also coaches, mentors, supervisors..!) to have a fun day, wherever you may be!
our favorite 10 ways to spent your day off
We have gathered list of the best 10 ways to take a day off , feel free to try out some or all or to think up your own. And of course: you’re welcome to DOCUMENT ALL THE THINGS - e.g. sending us funny pictures of you relaxing with your favorite pet or going out for a hike. We love all your tweets.
1. Explore your hometown in an alternative way
The Laboratory of Experimental Tourism has a few fun ways to explore places - even in your own hometown. Some of our favorite examples:
- Counter travel (Travel with a camera, but don’t take pictures of the famous landmarks and tourist attractions. Stand with your back to the sight and snap that view instead.)
- Alternating Travel (Leave your home on foot. Take the first road on the right, then the next on the left, then the next on the right, then the next on the left, etc. Carry on until something, a no man’s land, a building or a stretch of water, blocks your path and you can go no farther.)
2. Organise a picnic
Food, music, blankets, and sunshine. Is there anything more lovely than that (especially the food part)? Find a park nearby, take some homemade sandwiches and cookies, bring a frisbee if you want, and relax! For the ultimate awesome experience, bring a scrabble with you (sorry, but I had to include that in there, as it’s my favourite board-game)
3. Movie marathon
Who said that movie marathons can only be done at night? You’re totally allowed to watch movies all day. Maybe you can each bring your all-time favourite movie - what a great way to get to know your team mate better! For the ultimate experience, we recommend making popcorn and choosing trilogies ;) Our favourite: Back to the Future, obviously!
4. Yoga class
Or any other physical activity, whether to let out all of that energy or to relax. Was there something you always wanted to try but never dared to? Is there a boxing or self-defence class in a studio nearby? Did you always wonder about this strange “pilates” that everyone keeps talking about? Now is the time to try it out. Do you love playing volleyball or basketball outdoors? Go for it! And you know what they say: the more, the merrier - so bring your team mate along!
5. Go swimming
It’s summer! At least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere ;) Need we say more? Maybe you’re lucky enough to live in a place with a lake or the ocean nearby. Run away from the city and go swimming!
This could really be anything - from making your own laptop case to designing some cute birthday cards from all your friends or baking some (non-rgsoc-themed) cupcakes.
Grab a book or go into a newsagents’ shop, buy ALL your favorite magazines and spend the day reading somewhere outside or snuggled up on the couch. It works wonders!
8. Have a “games” day
We’ve mentioned Scrabble already, but there is a ton of other games that you could play, and you probably have a few stacked away somewhere in a box, don’t you? Whether Uno, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Snakes & Ladders.. We’re sure you’ll be having the time of your life!
9. Have a media-free day
Leave your laptop and phone at home, and just head out. After the first few minutes (or hours..) you’ll get used to it. You’ll see, being phoneless for a few hours really isn’t that hard (or bad) at all!
10. Go wild at an amusement park
..because roller-coasters and bumper cars are definitely not just for kids.
Studies show that just “hanging around” and doing nothing and just lying on the couch all day won’t let you feel very relaxed. Your brain wants to do things and experience stuff.
So make the best out of it, and enjoy your RGSOC-DAY-OFF!
P.S. If we find any commits or signs of you working on this particular Thursday, we won’t send you cat gifs in the following weeks! So. There. We are serious about this.
We are Kathi Zwick and Brigitte Markmann, two aspiring software developers based in Berlin. We met in December 2013 at our first Rails Girls Workshop. We figured out that we would make a great team for the Rails Girls Summer of Code - and as you can see - we got accepted as a volunteer team! Yeah! :)
“Remembering back, I always wanted to be a detective (like Sherlock Holmes). But very recently I realized that my skills also happen to fit perfectly to those of a programmer: I’m quick at combining new information, I have an urge to get things done and obviously I LOVE solving riddles (isn’t that what programming is all about?)! Because childhood wishes rarely come true, in reality I’ve been a recruiter for the past two years. Hanging out a lot with IT guys made me realize: being a programmer is the coolest job on earth, I’ll go for it! And here I am :) “
“There must be parallel universes in which I am a volcanologist or a pilot of a very small aircraft in a remote area. In this one I am a media manager who now decided to go an a slightly different adventure - becoming a developer. Why? Because languages are amazing: you can admire the sheer aesthetics and marvel at or be confused about the underlying concepts and values. Using a different one you become another persona!
Besides that I like to be around people what kind of rules out the careers mentioned above.
What else? I love to invent silly taglines and titles, can wiggle my ears (up and down) and can explain movies to my friends, when they again have missed all the subtle hints….
Perfect material for a decent developer, don’t you think? ;) “
Because we learn at a high pace ;) but also because the project we chose to start with is called RapidFTR. It’s a Ruby on Rails/Android application that lets aid workers collect and share information about unaccompanied children in emergency situations, so they can be reunited with their families. We will help upgrading the current app to version 2.0.
Things we learned so far:
how to use a Mac (yap, involving terminal commands and funny symbols )
how to use Twitter (just have to overcome our general fear of actually using it).
learned the English words for all the punctuation marks.
the importance of going to conferences - you get free tshirts there!
real coding stuff like git, GitHub, Ajax, jQuery, RSpec, Slim, DOM, rubocop, Ruby keywords, TDD, code coverage, etymology of foo, bar, etc. ! :)
how to be a good programmer in terms of style, community involvement etc…
Things we are amazed by:
all the hearty support we experienced so far! So many people in the Ruby community as well as SoundClouders have been very kind and super encouraging. From making us feel welcome to offering classes on whatever topic people are experts on!
our coaches/mentors/supervisors obviously! Erik Michaels-Ober (SoundCloud), Klaus Fleerköetter (ThoughtWorks), Steffi Tinder (ThoughtWorks) and Tam Eastley: thank you so much for your dedication and patience! And for motivating and inspiring us!
how much you can learn in 7 weeks!
how many different things you actually have to learn in order to make a Rails Application work
Things we would change about the Summer of Code:
turn the program into “Winter of Code”. We realized that the current “Summer of Code” makes one too excited about coding and thus you spend most of the time in front of a computer, neglecting the beautiful sunshine outside.
we would not choose SoundCloud as an office again. It’s just too fabulous, too cozy, too many goodies for the employees, too good food …. the result being that we’re now totally spoiled.
… if you’d like to stay tuned about our Summer Code, check out our blog!
… and if you’d like to hire us, don’t be shy - message us on Twitter or XING!
The summer is reaching its halfway mark, so we’re hard at work thinking about how to keep supporting our students when it ends. For a handful of selected women, RGSoC has marked a turn in their lives: they have spent hours coding, learning, and discovering a new world of programming possibilities.
But sooner than they (and we!) realize, their summer will be over, and it will be time to move on.
That’s where you come in. We are looking for awesome companies all around the world who are willing to offer internships or junior developer positions to Rails Girls Summer of Code alumni.
If your company was unable to sponsor the summer of code this year, this is a great opportunity for you to still show your support. If you already sponsored this year, keep it coming!
Hiring a RGSoC graduate is a great idea. You’ll gain an employee with real hands on experience in the programming world, and who has already pushed working code to well a known and visible codebase. Your new employee will be an expert at communicating ideas within a team, and will not be afraid to submit code for review. Need more proof? RGSoC students are very excited about learning, and have oftentimes given up a previous career in order to pursue their goal, making them all the more motivated. This past work experience merged together with hard-earned tech savvy just might fit in perfectly with your company, making them an asset to your team.
As this is a worldwide program with students all across the globe, we are looking for exceptional companies in or around the following locations:
Los Angeles, CA
If you’re looking for talented women who are eager to continue learning, or just want more info about how you can help out after RGSoC, please get in touch!
The Spree Girls are Tracy Mu Sung and Catherine Jones, we are working on Spree eCommerce and live in Sydney Australia. There are 2 teams working on Spree this year, and we think this is fine since it is such a massive project. What makes us unique are that we are the first, and so far only, RGSoC team from Australia!
We both work full time, so are undertaking the RGSoC part time outside of our jobs. We meet up one night during the week, all day Sunday, and work remotely from each other the rest of the time. We make good use of Skype and email during the week, and have Google Hangouts with our mentor Trung Le in Melbourne (although we hate Google Hangouts).
We are a volunteer team, and you can find out more about what that means here.
How We Got Here
Catherine is a former fashion designer from the UK, who went back to college to study multimedia design. Once exposed to code she became so enamoured that she went on to study web design. She was taught using C# and PHP, but quickly found out how much better Ruby was.
Tracy became exposed to coding while working in Digital Marketing. She met Catherine at one of the many Sydney Ruby events, and both have become actively involved in the community, attending Ruby Conf, Rails Camps, Hack Nights and ending up being mentors at a Rails Girls event.
Our Hopes From The Project
We chose to work on Spree because one of the core contributors to Spree lives in Australia, the amazing Trung Le, and was keen to take on a Rails Girls team and teach them all about Spree. As Australia is not in a convenient time zone with other countries, it was important for us to have a mentor who was local (even though he is in Melbourne, not Sydney, it’s the same timezone).
As a part time team, our goal is to understand Rails better and learn, rather than make a new feature or add functionality for Spree.
Our Experience So Far
Our original intention was to learn by answering issues from the log or questions on the mailing list, but after a few weeks of trying this we discovered that other people could answer things quicker than we could even understand the questions!
It was very dispiriting to spend a few days trying to work out the problem and come up with a suggestion/solution, only to discover the issue was since closed.
Spree is a massive project that has been around since 2004. It is a flexible ecommerce system that can be used to create online retail stores for products, games, downloads, subscriptions…almost anything because it is so flexible. It has a lot of users and contributers, a very active community and a constantly updated issues log and mailing list.
Although only one repository, it is four separate engines: Front end, Back end, core and API. The complex nature of the Spree gem means it is taking us longer than expected to get our head around even the business logic (even though we started one month earlier to read all the docs and try to understand the project!)
After 3 weeks working on 3 issues and submitting only 1 pull request, we are now changing direction to focus on the business logic using drawings and understanding the concepts of service objects.
What we have learnt so far, and what our mentor keeps emphasising, is that understanding the business logic and being able to explain the business problem, is much more important than understanding the code. If you can understand and explain the problem first in laymans terms, then the coding part will be a lot easier.
Hi everyone :-) It’s time for our short introduction. Team Species+ are: Karolina Kaminska and Magdalena Niedzwiecka.
Karolina was studying Hungarian language at the University of Warsaw. She knows 5 other foreign languages apart of Hungarian. She’s also interested in computer graphics and a wide variety of different things. But when she attended the second edition of Rails Girls Warsaw last year, she finally fell in love with web development. In order to participate in RGSoC she quit her job.
Magdalena graduated in journalism at the University of Warsaw. Until quite recently she was working as a PR officer in one of Warsaw PR agencies. She was specializing in running PR projects for IT companies. Her first experiences with coding took place this year at the end of February - it was Rails Girls Warsaw workshop. Since then she does her best to learn.
Last but not least - we both are mothers :-)
OK, and now a few words about our project.
Species+ is a web service for accessing key information on species of global concern. It’s based on the CITES database (here you can find out what CITES is), but uses CMS data as well - everything in order to protect endangered species of animals.
Species+ has over 20 thousand visits per month. Our task in the project is to analyse users’ behaviour. How do they search for species? Do they browse online or download data? Which bits of species information are most often accessed? After we extract this data, we’re going to create a tool for making the information more readable.
To find out more about users’ behaviour, we use ahoy_matey gem. At the moment we have to add ahoy tracking to Species+ API requests.
Hi everybody, we are the ARIA Team and we want to say hi! My name is Melissa Torregrosa, I am 24 years old, and I’m a graduate in Computer Science. After my graduation I was working in the field of quality assurance and information system audit. I consider myself as an outgoing person, friendly and responsible. Paola Garcia is my teammate, she is 25 years old, she’s from Barranquilla-Colombia and she’s a graduate in Computer Sciences as well. She was working as a Process Analyst before RGSoC. Her goal this year is to become a Ruby on Rails developer. Currently she spend her time studying and researching technology, and enjoying time with her family.
We met at the University 5 years ago and there began our friendship. Guillermo Iguaran is our Mentor, Roberto Miranda and Laura Garcia are our coaches. We met Roberto and Guillermo during University and became good friends. Paola and Laura are sisters, and Laura participated in last year’s Rails Girls Summer of Code, and through her heard of RGSoC.
About our project!
The project name is “Improving Accessibility in Rails through ARIA”, and we chose this idea because right now people with disabilities who are working in development software applications have limitations with the tools they use. Traditional software developer tools weren’t designed with features who are required to be interpreted by assistive technology.
Our goals are:
To add ARIA attributes to error pages thrown by rails, so that developers with visual disabilities can identify the details of errors.
To add support for accessibility attributes to the form helpers (label tag, form tag), so that developers can create web applications more easily.
To add ARIA attributes to Ruby on Rails official website, in order to become an accessibility website.
As you can see, since we are working with ARIA attributes that’s the reason for our name “ARIA Team”. We feel really excited with this opportunity and hope that our project will have a positive impact in the software development progress.
Many of you get to attend a conference as part of your Summer of Code. Else you might also go to local meetups or user goups. For all of these, we highly encourage you to share your story in a lightning talk and spread the Rails Girls word. A lightning talk (usually about 5 minutes long) is a perfect way to show people you’re there, share your knowledge, inspire others with your story and get in touch with many wonderful and interesting people.
Talking to a large group of people, especially those more experienced than you, might feel like a large hurdle to cross. This is completely normal, even the most seasoned speakers still carry that feeling with them when they go on stage. Remember that everyone has to start somewhere, and lightning talks are the best ‘somewhere’. There is even a conference dedicated to lightning talks!
“But what am I supposed to talk about? I only just started!”
Well, the talk could be about your project and your contribution, how you found out about the project, why you decided to take on this task, the overall Rails Girls movement (there are still so many women out there who wanna learn coding and seldom have the chance to do so), the motivations to learn coding and sometimes change your complete life path along with it, … The options are endless!
It doesn’t necessarily matter if you’re talking tech or social. Lightning talks are designed to be a kind of “have a sneak peak at this little thingy” chat.
Alright, let’s talk!
There’s a massive amount of tips & tricks out there how you can prepare for a talk. We gathered those in “How to go to a conference”. There you can also find helpful nuggets on how to prepare your talk. They’re especially useful when that flutter says ‘hi’ again.
In addition to those:
Try out your slides at home or within your team. Get familiar with different projector types, speaker notes (they can come in handy) and timers so you know how much time you have left to convince the crowd of your amazing project!
Try and put as little text as possible on your slides and have them support your chat in a visual way. We are all visual people and like nice pictures of you (two) coding, or a screenshot of your commit bar on GitHub ;)
We will prepare a slide deck with some factoids and numbers about Rails Girls Summer of Code. Shoot us a mail if you'd like to have that as a template!
Sweet, now I only need a time and a place
To get you talk on the agenda, contact the conference organizers about the possibilities. We could also get you in contact with them - just ask us!
Alternatively: many conferences have a CfP (Call for Papers) where you can submit your talk proposal. It should have a choosing where you say how long your talk’s supposed to be. If it hasn’t got a separate checkbox for this, you can also add questions to your description or write an email to the organizers.
A lightning talk is a great way to get some stage experience. And it’s over before you know it - promised ;)
If you know more great tips, please add them in the comments!
Photo Credits (from left to right and upper to lower row)
Get your twitter clients ready and join the rafflemania!
Like last year, a number of exciting conferences have offered free (team) tickets for you - the Rails Girls Summer of Code students. We heard wonderful stories from our students last year about how they made new friends, valuable connections, learned heaps and had tons of fun.
So we couldn’t help but do it again! By now, we have 26 tickets to 13 amazing conferences and we’re still adding more.
Since some of them already take place mid-program, we decided to do an early raffle-out now, followed by a second one later this summer. So, IF you end up empty-handed, don’t worry, you will get another shot! ;)
How to get your hands on those awesome tickets
We need you to tweet which conferences (find out their twitter handles on their websites) you’d like to attend - ordered by 1st choice, 2nd choice etc. - be sure to mention @Railsgirlssoc, so that we can see your tweet and take it into the raffle.
These are two examples, how this could look like:
Hey @Railsgirlssoc We would love to attend @arrrrcamp, @eurucamp and @rulu.
(and alternatively add #wishfulthinking #LOL).
My Conf Wishlist for this summer: @SteelCityRuby and @frozenrails via @Railsgirlssoc.
By sending the tweet you automatically take part in the competition. Make sure you send your tweet by Monday July 28 12:00 (AM) CEST. We’ll announce the winners shortly after.
You can choose from any of the below mentioned conferences. Please keep in mind, that these tickets don’t include travel costs or accomodation, so better chose a conference near you or one where you could afford a travel to.
What to do at the conference?
First of all, we want you to be amazed and inspired. A conference is one of the best places to learn heaps of stuff and talk to wonderful people.
Secondly, amaze the other attendees! We strongly recommend you to give a lightning talk and share the love of programming and your Summer of Code story. This is an important step to help us spread the word to even more seasoned programmers about the great opportunities of Rails Girls. Many conferences have slots for lightning talks, we can help you get in touch with the organizers. In a next post we’ll give you some tips & tricks on how to ace a 5 minute talk like that.
We recently announced how a bunch of awesome Tealeaf students and alumni will help this year’s Rails Girls Summer of Code participants get the answers-they-need. Today we are excited to share that Hashrocket will also be joining our helpdesk team on Campfire. Committing to 10 hours per week for the entire span of the program, at least one Hashrocketeer will hang out in our support room between 14:00 and 22:00 UTC - every day!
Joshua - Josh - Davey from Hashrocket on their involvement:
“Rails Girls Summer of Code is something we’ve been following, and we are really happy to be a part of the program this year. We’re excited to help the students learn more about Rails and see the cool projects that come out of the program.”
And that’s not all. Hashrocket supports Rails Girls Summer of Code as a Silver sponsor AND offered to be a Coaching Company. Hashrocket builds solutions for the Web, iPhone and iPad, and specializes in Ruby on Rails, iOS and Android development. Again, It’s great to have them help us out!
Please join us!
We are always looking for more people to join the helpdesk.
In case you are interested, please register via our Teams application and specify your role as “Helping as a remote coach (helpdesk)”. Then sign in to our Campfire chat room, and you’re good to go!
The Remote Helpdesk was part of the Rails Girls Summer of Code concept right from the beginning. Coaches who are not assigned to a team (or just want to help even more) check in on the Helpdesk chat room to assist students with … any question they might have, should their local coaches not be immediately available.
Because both the students and remote coaches were located all around the globe, at least someone would be online at any time. And it did work reasonably well last year. But we think that’s not good enough. Our Remote Helpdesk wasn’t structured very well, and sometimes coaches weren’t actually available. On top of that we used IRC which isn’t accessible enough to newcomers.
Building a better Remote Helpdesk with Tealeaf Acadamy
So we decided to up the remote helpdesk to another level. We’ll be using Campfire this year, which is not only more accessible and nicer to look at, we can also paste screenshots more easily.
Apart from the tooling we are also very excited to announce that Tealeaf will be managing the Remote Helpdesk this year, and a number of Tealeaf students will be joining and give support on Campfire. The Tealeaf Academy offers Ruby on Rails Online Bootcamps and excels in teaching programming remotely.
We are thrilled to have some of the Tealeaf junior join our helpdesk because we ourselves learned the most when explaining things to someone who is only slightly less advanced. And they are dying to help create useful contributions to Open Source, so we think this idea fits the Rails Girls Summer of Code concepts very well.
Last year a number of conferences offered (team) tickets to Rails Girls Summer of Code students. A few of them even supported the students with their travel costs and accommodation. We heard great stories from our students how they made new friends, valuable connections, learned heaps and had tons of fun.
This year around again 15 Ruby conference organizers offer tickets to their events. As RedDotRuby and Rulu take place before the official program we decided to raffle out these tickets to our alumni of last year (we will send you an email about this shortly, #youknowwhoyouare).
Everything you ever wanted to know about volunteer teams
This year, RGSoC has accepted six volunteer teams in addition to ten sponsored teams. It’s an exciting development, and you may be wondering, what is a volunteer team, and how do I become one?
Volunteer teams, like sponsored teams were hand picked by the selection committee from the pool of applicants. The chosen teams showed enthusiasm and demonstrated that they have a good level of support. We really wanted these teams in the program, but sadly, we couldn’t sponsor them. Instead of leaving them out completely, we took a leap of faith, and asked if they wanted to do it anyway. Lucky for us, six of them said yes!
So what is a volunteer team?
A volunteer team is the same as a sponsored team, with two main differences. First, as the name implies, they do not receive monetary support from RGSoC, so they need to be financially stable enough to support themselves over the summer. Second, because of the financial constraints, volunteer teams are only asked to work part time on their open source project.
Aside from those two points, volunteer teams will participate in the summer of code and have the same experience as sponsored teams. They will:
get access to the same support structure and benefits such as conference tickets
document their daily work on their team log and send in pictures/tweets
give a lightning talk at a conference
be assigned a supervisor
connect to other students via the RGSoC chat
How do I become a volunteer team?
This year’s applications are closed and teams have been selected, ready to kick off on 1st of July. If you want to be considered as a volunteer team next year, send in an application when applications open and show us what you’re made of!
The team behind the teams
Volunteer teams also have a great support structure behind them. Susanne Dewein, Tam Eastley, and Carsten Zimmermann will all be volunteer team supervisors. You may recognize those names from last year: Susanne and Tam were students with the volunteer team Highway to Rails, and Carsten was their coach. They bring with them this summer a wealth of first hand information about what it’s like to successfully complete a voluntary summer of coding ruby on rails.
It’s time to celebrate! After a great spurt in the campaign and with the
incredible support of our students we’re happy to announce: We are able to fund
10 sponsored teams, and there will be 6 volunteering teams, 32 students in
You have met the
first seven teams
a while back. Please say hi to the remaining 3 sponsored teams, and the 6
volunteering teams of this year’s Rails Girls Summer of Code. We’re stoked to
see that much enthusiasm!
Akanksha Agrawal and Sana Khan from Pune, India will work on a memory
visualization tool for Rubinius, which will help to get insights to memroy
usage and find memory leaks. They will be supported by their coaches
Vipul A M, and
Nishant Modak from Pune,
as well as their mentor Dirkjan Bussink
based in Netherlands, and long time core contributor to Rubinius.
Kai Baraka and Valerie Sparks from Atlanta, USA will work on various
improvements to Bundler at the AT&T Foundry and Hypepotamus offices, supported
by their team of coaches Dion Salvage, Shawn Johnson. Roger Mahler and Andre
Arko will be their mentors. See here for the detailed
Britney Wright and Jamela Black from Washington D.C., USA will work on
BrowserCMS and a BrowserCMS integration with
Spree. They will be supported by their coaches
Patrick Peak and
Tatiana Bodnya at the BrowserMedia offices,
also connecting them to the Spree team which both are located in Washington, D.C.
Rocio Paez and Evette Kotze, from Lima, Peru will work on a personal migraine
research and diary tool which will help to collect statistics and insights
about the process of migraines. They will be supported by their coaches
Gustavo Beathyate from Lima, and
Francesco Rodriguez from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Abril Vela and Colleen Masterson from Chicago will work on an LTI (Learning
tool) that integrates with online learning management systems based on
standards. The goal is to build a tool to help children practice reading
skills, with a focus on helping children with dyslexia become more proficient
Liz Abinante from
Girl Develop It Chicago
will be their main coach, and
Paul Hinze will provide additional support.
Katharina Zwick and Brigitte Markmann from Berlin, Germany, will be working on a
Rails backend for an upcoming rollout to Democratic
Republic of the Congo and Syria in November.
from ThoughtWorks and
from Soundcloud will be their main coaches.
They will be hosted at the SoundCloud office with access to a pool of
additional support coaches such as
Duana Stanley (who coached a
successful team last year)
will act as their mentor, supported by Stuart Campo coordinating the project on
We’d like to thank everyone who send in an application, the quality of
submissions was exceptionally high this year. The selection team had a tough 3
days deciding which teams will spend their summer coding on a number of
outstanding Open Source projects. Without further ado, we’d like you to meet
Utah Kate Newman and Lyz Ellis from Seattle, USA, will code on
Diaspora*, at their Coaching Company
Renee Hendricksen (RailsBridge)
will be their primary coach, and Rails Girls veteran
will help out. Fun fact:
Lisa Passing and
took part as a volunteering team in Rails Girls Summer of Code 2013, and will
now be their mentors. Find the project proposal
Paola Garcia and Melissa Torregrosa from Barranquilla, Colombia will be
improving accessibility in Rails by adding
Laura Garcia Casadiego,
Rails Girls Summer of Code 2013 alumni and a Computer Science student, and
Roberto Miranda Altamar,
lead Ruby on Rails developer and coach of the “New Rosies”
team last year, just like
from the Rails Core team, will assist them.
Cathy Nangini and Qian Zhou from Helsinki, Finland will work on a port of
Liquid Feedback to Grape/Ember. Check out the proposal
They will be supported by their coaches
Miika Pihjala and
at their Coaching Company, FlowDock.
from São Paulo will act as their mentor.
Marija Radevska and Magdalena Gulicoska from Skopje, Macedonia will be
an application that helps you learn sign language, supported by the entire
Macedonian Ruby User Group (no kidding!).
Dalibor Nasevic will act as both their
lead coach and mentor. Check out the project propsal
After 60 hours of rating over 100 applications for Rails Girls Summer of Code,
we now are proud to say: we’ve made the first step. We have selected the first
7 teams and will notify them throughout the day via email.
Because this is the second edition of RGSoC and our future students had so much more time to prepare, this year’s average of applications was even richer, more complex and an even higher
standard than last year. So many amazing applications but also, so hard to pick only very few of them.
We still have 3 spots for teams left, which could be accepted, provided that we
are still able to fund the budget.
We are currently at USD 74 K, that means we need only USD 16 K to fund
those last seats. Please help us take on 3 more wonderful teams, and make
their dream of a Summer of Code come true.
We have raised an amazing amount so far but we have so many great applications and every donation counts! We wanted a way to help raise money to get the last 3 teams (or more!) sponsored, so we created http://givie.io.
It’s a pretty simple concept: you create a campaign, decide on a fun pledge you would be willing to do
if you get enough backers, and BAM! Start spreading the word amongst your friends, family colleagues, anyone really and let them know why this is important. Givie redirects your supporters to the RailsGirls Summer of Code site, and after they have donated, the number of backers on your campaign gets updated.
The idea for Givie came from Duana’s personal campaign last year when she promised to go one month without
coffee if she could get 20 people to donate to RailsGirls Summer of Code. For someone whose twitter name
is @starkcoffee, this was something people were curious to see.
We created Givie so that we we can scale this idea!
Duana sent this tweet out a few weeks ago, and fellow Australians-in-Berlin Marc and Sara answered the call:
Please check it out, create campaigns, and help us fund more women for Summer of Code 2014!
Hi there! As the end of the application process is just around the corner (May 2nd), we thought we might update you on the status of the crowdfunding campaign. But let us give you the tl;dr version first:
So let’s see what happened in the last 27 days. We’ve updated our progress bar, with the help of our designer Rebecca and we love it:
… and as you can see we are halfway on the road to support 20 students (10 teams) to work on a Open Source project of their choosing this summer. Help us fund those last teams!
We are detemined to help our students have an amazing experience like for example Laura had. She was a student last year:
“Last summer changed my life. I never expected this and now i’m moving to Hamburg to work as a graduate developer at ThoughtWorks. I couldn’t have done it without the Rails Girls Summer of Code and my mentors.”
Last week we received so much support and kind words from our community - we’re still blushing! The wonderful Ruby Rogues mentioned us in their podcast, and so did Scotty and John from ideveloper.co. Jen Myers (also one of our Trust Comittee members) talked about Rails Girls Summer of Code to Mike from UGTASTIC at RailsConf. We were also mentioned as the ‘web tip’ of the week on fm4 (awesome radio station you should check out nevertheless) and… guess who was featured (twice!) in The Ruby Weekly?! Spoiler alert: it’s us! Plus, we love every single support tweet from you, especially when there’s a lot of hearts in them:
Hi there! We have made some changes to the website and we thought we would let you know!
First off: There is now a Support Chat for the community where you can hop on to give us all your questions - wether it’s about applying, getting involved, sponsoring etc. See you in here:
Rails Girls Summer of Code Campfire Chat.
We also added a Code of Conduct for the project - which was admittedly much overdue. A primary goal of Rails Girls Summer of Code is to be inclusive to the all of our part-takers - participants, coaches, mentors, supervisors and everyone in the organizing team, with the most varied and diverse backgrounds possible. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion (or lack thereof). Our Code of Conduct outlines our expectations for all those who participate in our community and introduces our super-amazing Trust Committee composed of both core organizers and externals.
Anne Wizorek, Jen Myers, Uta Sommer, Anika Lindtner & Sven Fuchs
We added Sponsorship Guidelines to outline what we are looking for sponsors. Spoiler alert: we are looking for companies that can identify with the values of Rails Girls Summer of Code and stand behind our mission to support women in technology and furthermore getting more women into Open Source. Do check ‘em out if you’re curious!
We also had loads of mentions during local Rails Girls events and Ruby user group meetups. Laura Wadden gave a lightning talk during a Rails Girls Berlin workshop in last week, and Laura Gaetano did the same at Rails Girls Ostrava in the Czech Republic. Miss Gaetano also mentioned our ambitious project during a recent vienna.rb meetup (the Ruby user group in Vienna, Austria), as I did at the Berlin chapter. Judging from our Twitter response there are a lot of Rails Girls and user group chapters that will also host a Rails Girls Summer of Code related (lightning) talk. And the beauty is: everyone can do it! Do reach out if you feel you need any extra information, feel free to shoot us an email and we will bring you up to speed: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The historical moment was April 3rd, 12:01 CET, when we tweeted about it for the first time:
First, thank you all for being amazing supporters of our mission and making our dream of more women in Open Source come true more day by day! This is really moving. Haven’t donated yet? Do eet now and join all the other wonderful people: railsgirlssummerofcode.org/campaign/! And while others can’t stop high fiving about this, running around with a big smile in their faces or buying chocolate for everyone, some couldn’t stand still anymore.
WE JUST CAN’T HIDE IT
The whole team has bee so happy about this campaign! We just can’t hide it. Two of our organizers, Floor and Anika, even jumped around out of joy:
And these 7 days truly have been something to jump around about for all of us.
We funded 8 students in 7 days,
got 110 retweets of our announcement tweets,
had 2.233 website visits within 4 hours,
have 64 individual donors, (we found two Tobias’, two Patrick’s, two Jeremy’s in there),
got 17 ♥s in the comments
and have already 11 company sponsors hopping on board!
We are so happy about Travis CI joining as a lead organizing supporter through Travis Foundationand Github as a returning Platinum sponsor, supporting us from the very beginning. We also are super happy to announce SoundCloud again as one of our biggest sponsors, as well as Google Open Source. So great to see the magic happen again.
Magic also always happens in the small moments and one of our favorite was definitely this donation comment from @eljojo:
We also love every single tweet from you and that you help us spread the word.
Another week lays before us, we look forward to having even more amazing people and companies join our great supporters and help us bring our misson forward: Getting more women into Open Source! You all started making that happen and are helping us reach our goal of supporting 20 students: railsgirlssummerofcode.org/campaign/ ♥
6wunderkinder, Envato and Springest support our Summer of Code by being Coaching Companies, a role we defined for this year’s edition as we noticed that some of last year’s most successful student teams have been supported greatly by local coaching companies. Companies like SoundCloud, who provided a place to work and a pool of coaches to help out two student teams at their Berlin office, inspired us to formalize this role.
Having the exposure to a productive work environment and ready access to coaches, greatly helps our students get the most out of their summer! And the other way around, a Coaching Company brings in talented people, excited to learn as much as they possibly can. Their fresh take on projects, and possibly unorthodox questions, are a valuable asset. Plus: you get to actively support the Open Source community.
We are excited to have 6wunderkinder (Berlin, Germany), Envato (Melbourne, Australia) and Springest (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) on board. And all three of them just sent an email to the Summer of Code team about how they wanted to support Rails Girls Summer of Code in a more ‘offline’ way.
Last year, our dear friends at SoundCloud offered coaching and space to our students and besides that it was a big success for everyone involved, they clearly had some fun (and cookies!).
Did you know that being a Coaching Company means that coaches employed by the company will have to prepare one (or many) team’s application together with the students. If you are thinking about applying to Rails Girls Summer of Code, it might just be a good idea to register at our teams app, to find a coach at either of these companies.
Chad Fowler, CTO at 6Wunderkinder:
“We are excited to do anything we possibly can for Rails Girls Summer of Code. Looking forward to this summer!”
Chad coincidentally is also a member of the organizing team behind Rails Girls Summer of Code.
Wouter de Vos, CTO at Springest NL:
“As a learning company, we love this opportunity to share our knowledge and help people find their dream. We think it is opportunities like these that build towards a more equal environment in the developer community, and we are proud to be a part of it.”
Do you have free space for at least a one to two-person team to work? Do have developers passionate about helping newcomers, and working on Open Source? You might just have what it takes to be a Coaching Company. Do register your company by emailing us: email@example.com.
Rails Girls Summer of Code 2013 was a resounding success!
We had over 30 students working on Open Source projects over the summer, most
on a full-time basis, sponsored by the community and our company sponsors. A
significant amount of those students went on to present at conferences, and
meetups, as well as moved onto their own coding projects!
Preparations for this year’s instalment of RGSoC have begun, and we’re looking
for companies to support this incredible program in 2014.
This year we have three options for companies to join and support the program
Coaching companies and/or
financially supporting organizers
While we are going to open our fundraising campaign as soon as possible,
sponsors who sign up early will get a significant amount of exposure, and
publicity, since their logo will already be on the website when the hype goes
off on Twitter.
Sponsors are listed on the site not only according to the size of their
donation, but also their sign up date. Our sponsorship packages will remain the
same as they were in 2013, giving you the opportunity to choose your desired
package early! Take a look at the packages we are planning to offer
Sponsor logos will be listed and linked via the Rails Girls Summer of Code
homepage and on the dedicated “Sponsors” page, with a blurb text that you are
free to choose.
Other perks of sponsorship include: getting your swag in goody bags which are
sent out to our student teams, your logo on students’ slides at conference
talks, mentions in our press kit and newsletters, blog posts dedicated to
sponsors, lots of tweets and of course love from the community.
Some of last year’s most successful student teams have been supported greatly
by local coaching companies,
who have given them a place to work in their offices and a pool of coaches to
help them. We are looking to formalize this support into an option for
interested companies this year.
A great example from 2013 is
who sponsored RGSoC and provided coaching resources for two student teams at
their Berlin developer office.
Their developers were put into a coaching pool and alloted a certain amount of
time to coach the students. Students presented their work during company
meetings, and met with other staff members during lunch breaks. There were a
number of other companies who provided similar setups with great success, too.
Some companies have a policy in place that allows developers to work on Open Source,
or other beneficial projects, during business hours. If you do, ask your team
if they’d be interested in coaching a team of two students onsite.
Please keep in mind that student applications cannot be selected upfront and
being backed by a Coaching Company is not a guarantee for them to be accepted:
will be rated based on the set criteria, and the best ranked applications will
be selected. However, you can greatly improve your team’s chances of getting a
sponsored seat by helping them prepare an outstanding application.
A mammoth amount of work goes into organizing Rails Girls Summer of Code, and
a vast majority of it is done by volunteers. We would like to provide another
paid position for an RGSoC Orga Team Member to dedicate themselves to Summer of
Code organizational activities part- or fulltime.
A great example of financially supporting organizers is Travis CI,
who support Rails Girls Summer of Code by paying Anika Lindtner to work on the
program, through the Travis Foundation.
The second annual Rails Girls Summer of Code is just around the corner! As a potential applicant, you’re probably wondering what makes a good project, workspace, coach/mentor, as well as how to find all these seemingly elusive necessities. We’ve just published this new, shiny Application guide here but we also had Tam Eastley (former Team Highway to Rails member, and 2014 Organizer) put together this post for you with some successful examples from 2013.
RGSoC 2013 had teams from all around the world working on a number of exciting open source projects, with each team tackling their challenges in different ways. Here a few examples to whet your appetites:
Team Spree contributed to Spree, an e-commerce application. They spent a large portion of their time learning Ruby on Rails, which enabled them to implement their small Spree feature towards the end of the summer.
Team Punchgirls created on an open source job-board from scratch complete with twitter and github integration.
Team Inchworms worked on Sinatra, a library for serving HTTP from your Ruby program. It is simple, flexible, and mature. They worked alongside Sinatra maintainer Konstantin Haase, who also acted as their mentor.
Team Bundler worked on Bundler, one of the community’s most widely used gems. They made the documentation easier to access and to read. As the summer progressed, they also worked on small features and fixes as they popped up.
Team Dysania worked on Discourse, a Rails forum software. They focused on extracting oneboxing, a feature of Discourse, into a gem.
The New Rosies contributed to Conductor, a Web-UI for assisting in the development of Rails apps. They decided upon the project after seeing it on the 2013 Rails Girls Summer of Code project ideas page.
The ideal working space has the right number of desks, is close to your coach and/or mentor, has a strong internet connection, and is (in a perfect world) free to use. You’ll be happy to hear that this is not as hard to find as one might think, and many companies are excited about having learners within their midst.
When it came to somewhere to work, Team Species+ simply asked Hackerspace Kraków if they could use their space, and they said “ok”. It’s just that easy!
Team Highway to Rails worked in the offices of Absolventa, where our two coaches and mentor were based. We were supplied with computers and sat within the development team of seven people who were always on hand to help.
The New Rosies worked at their University and met with their coaches and mentor on weekends.
SoundCloud hosted two sponsored teams and one volunteer team in their offices last summer. The teams had desk space, daily access to coaches, and were surrounded by numerous excited programmers who were eager to hold workshops, host book-clubs, and chat over a free lunch. Yeah, we know… Pretty sweet ;)
Team Punchgirls worked from home, and met up with their coaches a few days a week in cafes around Buenos Aires.
As you can see each team found a different solution, dependant upon their needs and location. The main thing they all have in common, is that all were proactive about finding the best solution they could.
For a newbie to the world of programming, approaching someone you look up to and asking them to guide you through three months of intense learning during the summer, can feel like a daunting task. But fear not! There are lots of programmers out there who love teaching and who will jump at the chance to change someone’s life. Go ahead! Ask! We dare you.
Team Species+ found their coach through WebMuses, a women empowered IT community in Poland, of which the team is a part.
Team Inchworms approached the coaches of their local Rails Girls project group.
The New Rosies found their coaches and mentor via their local Ruby community.
Team Spree put out a call on the Spree google group and were met with support, ideas, and enthusiasm from the community.
Team Punchgirls found their coaches from the Rubysur community. They started with a mentor, who suggested a coach, who then brought another on board.
My team-member from Team Highway to Rails approached her co-workers. She found coaches who were excited about teaching, and passionate about helping women succeed in the field of web development.
We hope these examples take away some of the intimidation of getting started on your SoC application process, and highlight how there is no one way to go about sourcing your team, coaches and working space. Now get out there, approach some developers, and find a project you’re excited out! We’re all excited to hear what you come up with.
Good news on a Monday and we want you to know it first:
There will be a Rails Girls Summer of Code 2014! Yay!
Do you want to join our team as an organizer? Wonderful! We are happy about every hand that helps with copy writing or fundraising, getting the word out, improving our apps, improve communication, the campaign or help our applicants find Open Source projects.
Travis launched their Foundation officially last friday and the happy happy news made quite some noise in everybody’s tiwtter feed/ mail boxes. Great news for Open Source, since they launched Open Source Grants and will basically support amazing things happening. ♥
<div align="left">We hope, this will be one of the next OS projects, they help fund!</div>
“Hey wouldn’t that be cool if our sponsors could send us stuff that we can send to the teams?”
This was the beginning of our secret mission keep on coding package. Since June we’ve written to all our sponsors, have tracked down lost packages, unpacked stickers, buttons, sunflower seeds, gummy bears, laptop bags, bike seat covers, note books, pens, magic tricks, t-shirts, bags and fought with german customs over packages, with the post office over declarations and with our printer. Packing, packing, packing.
Three months we collected all these precious things, took up half the Travis CI office with brown packages from bottom to ceiling and trained our arms when bringing the packages all to the post office.
Now nearly all packages have arrived and this is thanks so much again to our accomplices who happily engaged in our surprise mission! We want to especially say thanks to our silver and bronze sponsors like Wooga, DaWanda, Groupon, Aupairworld, Bendyworks, InnoQ, Jumpstartlab, Honeybadger, Gnip… who took the time and effort to send us presents! It was a pleasure being in cahoots with you. We spread a lot of happiness together!
Oh my! I still can’t believe that this crazy wonderful summer is over! Can you? For everybody who wants to help us out and give us something: Your opinion!
To understand what happened this year, to make the next one even better, we want to know how your summer was. Honestly! (You are encouraged to not spare our feelings ;) )
Say what you always wanted to say and fill out these feedback forms. You will make us very happy and help a lot to evaluate our program. Every single feedback is super valuable to us ♥
Last week, we presented the first five of our remarkable silver sponsors. Now you can learn more about the other half. These generous guys make RGSoC possible; we think they’re pretty awesome!
“Envato is the Australian company behind an ecosystem of sites that helps millions of people earn and learn. We love summer, Rails, and supporting women in the tech community, which makes Rails Girls Summer of Code & Envato a match made in Internet heaven.” We agree, thanks Envato, you’ve helped us a lot starting step by step to make the Open Source community even better!
“innoQ is a consulting/software development firm with a focus on technology and architecture, and we maintain a very engineering-oriented company culture among our around 60 people. (…) with our involvement we want to achieve two things: Send a clear message about our attitude towards women in tech (we’re welcoming them), and do a small part in increasing the number of women who consider a career in tech in the first place.” innoQ has also been involved with numerous Rails Girls events by hosting and providing coaches. We are lucky to now also have them as sponsors!
Gnip makes the “ever/expanding universe of social media data available via a consistent and reliable architecture so the world can realize the full potential of this amazing stream of information.” Located in Boulder, Colorado, the company won the Best Place to Work award in 2012, and this summer also won over our hearts with their donation. You rock, Gnip!
At this point everyone knows Groupon, they are “a global leader in local commerce, making it easy for people around the world to search and discover great businesses at unbeatable prices.” But did you know that Groupon also have Women in Engineering and Employee Resource Groups like Women@Groupon and Pride@Groupon in order to **“foster diversity at work”, especially in the tech scene? They donated to RGSoC because it aligned with their core values, those of supporting women and increasing diversity. Groupon is “happy to support dreams coming true” and after such a successful summer, we can say that you have!
“At Shopify, we help emerging small businesses get off the ground and grow into successful companies. We do this by creating great technology and by making it accessible to people that previously wouldn’t be able to afford it.” With their silver donation, Shopify also supports women in tech and helps them grow into successful programmers!
SupaDupa is a “premium affordable boutique e-commerce platform aimed at people with an uncompromising eye for design who have one or many products to sell.” As their story goes, “almost two years ago SupaDupa was a flimsy idea with barely a leg to stand on!” Hmmm sounds like the early days of the RGSoC, and without amazing sponsors like you, we wouldn’t be here! You guys are supa!(…dupa)
Thanks sponsors, and keep supporting women in tech!
In the lead up to the Rails Girls Summer of Code, female coders around the globe were frantically refreshing the RGSoC donate page. Everyone was talking about what an amazing opportunity this summer was, how it would change so many lives, and how it had the potential to jump start the careers of women who had discovered their love of programming a little later on in life.
With each passing day, the amounts donated grew bit by bit, and uncontrollable excitement followed. Tweets from potential students, all in caps locks, circulated, as companies thrilled by the idea of having more women in the vastly male dominated tech scene gave what they could.
Without these constant and impressive donations, RGSoC wouldn’t be what is today, and for this, we have ten silver sponsors to thank. Here is the first half.
“Anynines is an upcoming PaaS written in Ruby. A hosting that grows with your apps!” But Anynines isn’t just about business. the company also “supports selected non-profit open source and charity projects with free hosting.” Non-profit open source and charity projects? The summer of code couldn’t have found a better match.
“Aupair World is the world’s leading au pair agency on the Internet. It lets au pairs and host families make contact with each other and arrange au pair placements directly and independently.” With 24 full-time employees, Aupair World not only helps families find their perfect au pair, but is now also a supporter of RGSoC and female programmers around the world. Thank you!
Rails Girls in Berlin are already well aware of DaWanda. The company has supported numerous Rails Girls workshops, and many happy new programmers have walked away with DaWanda swag following a full day of coding, as well as a newfound love for the company. For those who don’t know, “DaWanda is a marketplace where you can buy unique, customized and handmade products made by talented people, and sell your own creations.” Thanks for the continued support DaWanda!
“Engine Yard is the leading Platform as a Service (PaaS) empowering developers to plan, build, deploy and manage applications in the cloud. Engine Yard was started in early 2006 to meet a genuine need: customers were developing business-critical Rails applications, but they didn’t want to worry about application deployment, management and scaling.” Engine Yard is also committed to community, participating in meetups, user groups, conferences, and parties. As a community for women and and their supporters, we’re thrilled to have Engine Yard on board and a sponsor!
Next week, you’ll read about the remaining silver sponsors and their motivation to support RGSoC. Rock on!
Some weeks ago we met at the Travis CI office and - some days now it’s hard to believe - it was really warm outside. We chatted and I asked her some questions to get to know the woman with the most amazing tattoos and the one who can draw like I always dreamed of. After doing a lot of funny friday-hug-pics, we settled down on the couch and started talking.
How did you do these scribbles for RGSoC? At the computer?
I actually start by plain drawing old fashion in my sketch books. Then I scan it and work on it at the computer a bit.
So, when did you actually start drawing?
When I was a kid and I went with my class to the “Deutsches Technikmuseum”, we had to draw the machines we saw there. I was the only one who had fun doing that - that’s when I first realized, that I had a passion for drawing.
But actually half of my family is creative, my grandpa was an author and stage actor at the “Berliner Ensemble”, grandma would do poster designs and my uncle is a painter, so no surprises there ;)
Later I studied graphic design at the BTK where I also learned everything from comic to aquarell. When I started to understand the different techniques and possibilities I knew that drawing and illustrating will probably be something I want to do for the rest of my life.
Did you always draw for yourself or did you share it?
Well, I always drew for myself in my free time. A lot of the stuff dusted away in my drawers because it used to cost me (and still sometimes does) a bit of effort to share my work with others. But after 5-6 years of drawing regularly, getting feedback from other students, teachers and friends, I grew more confident and eventually created a website.
Which kind of has a weird name, right?
Yeah (laughs) - ejaculesc.com. I wanted to combine creative ejaculations (or “Künsterliche Ergüsse”) with escaping since drawing, painting, crafting is always a bit like a getaway for me. You spend hours concentrating on pen and paper, just letting the ideas pour out and forget about time and the world around (and the pizza in the oven). It´s a bit like mediation, or programming? So I just merged those 2 things together and this is how it came to the name for my website. Perhaps it´s weird, I guess, but I like weird. The downside is that I get lots of corny spam mails.
What do you like to draw best?
Usually something that doesn´t require a masterplan. Spontanious scribbles. I like those abstract telephone call sketches a lot. I really have troubles keeping any sheet of paper blank.
I also like crafting things, things you do with your hands: Pyrography, pottery and old fashion techniques like lino cut. I like to experiment a lot and always have phases I go through, so my favorites always change.
*Sounds really fun! You also experiment with programming, right? *
In one of my former jobs, I sat in a room with two programmers, and I got more and more curious what mysterious number thing they were talking about so I went to find out. I attended a JS course from Open Tech School and was intreagued. I wanted to start solving this mysterious world of code. Then I read about Rails Girls Berlin and from there on everything took it’s way.
Now I’m meeting up with the ruby monsters (the first study group that formed out of Rails Girls Berlin) at the Travis CI to program every week, but you can’t leave it at that. You have to do that at home too and learn regularly, repeat and repeat to feed the progress bar. It´s not always easy to stay focused and motivated. Have to admit I get lazy sometimes and level down. But I am super grateful for this study group and the experiences. Also watchig the whole railsgirl´s movement develope is exciting. I am happy to play a little part in it. :)
Did you have any goals when learning programming?
At first I did it because it was fun, to do something that had nothing to do with drawing. But I found also similarities. programming is also creative, meditative and abstract, so it’s actually not THAT far away. ;)
I have this idea of a little app and it would be great to build it on my own eventually.
What kind of app?
Just a tiny thing, some sort of trend indicator for your feelings. You would be able to push three emoticons buttons to document your every day mood.
Then have some kind of data visualization for it so you can easily see your ups and downs over the year.
Or maybe a fart app and you could record your own sounds. ;)
Are you going to continue coding?
*Born and raised in Berlin. Grew up at Tempelhofer Ufer 32, in the apartment german singer Rio Reiser was living a few years before with his band “Ton Steine Scherben” (OMG!).
Worked 4 years as a graphic designer for toonpool.com, a website for cartoons and illustrations.
Then switched to fab.com Europe to work as a production designer.
Currently looking for new opportunities. \o/ *
1) An abbreviation used in Medieval Latin Documents 2) A developer-centric, developer-run company who MAKE PRODUCTS WORK 3) The nickname I gave my cat
Okay it was a trick question. Tilde is actually all of the above, but today let’s focus on Option
2- our wonderful sponsors of Summer of Code!
Founded in August 2011 by Leah, Tom, Carl and Yahuba, Tilde is an open-source focused
startup in San Francisco and Portland. Led by current leaders and alumni of projects like Ruby on Rails, jQuery, and Ember, Tilde is quickly building a profile as ‘the hostess with the mostess’. Just like that one friend who
seems to be able to do everything right when they throw a party – food, music, ambience
– Tilde are a multi-talented team of developers, with an impressive and varied portfolio.
They’ll build your product, deliver you a marketing strategy and train you up on the
software you need to DIY in the future.
Oh and Tilde Co-founder Leah Silber ran the first (and only) Ruby Summer of Code in 2010,
where fellow Co-Founder Yehuda Katz served as a Mentor. So they’ve got a history with
this particular initiative, and we’re big fans of the resources they’re putting back into open
If you want a piece of their magic for yourself, learn more here and check out their first
developer product, Skylight, launched recently. You can also chat to them at the SF Ember Meetup (which they run)as well as at annual events that they work on like the Golden Gate Ruby Conference and RailsConf. By night (and when else should it be, cause they are already involved in so much amazing stuff) they worked on getting devswag running - an Open Source merchandise project you should definitely check out.
In short, Tilde ♥ open source ecosystems and we ♥ them for helping our Summer of Code
Students turn their dreams into a reality-
Thank you for your support Tilde!
Some of our teams are still rocking their projects, some have already finished, but this doesn’t mean the coding needs to be over. There are some opportunities! We got offers for internships from companies:
Amazon OpsWorks and and-is a.k.a. Aupair World offered each 2 spots. Which is pret-ty cool!
If you are interested in these two, drop us a line!
Also - and this is the important part - please rock on and start looking for opportunities. Be active!
Look around and ask your local communites to help you. Get involved with your local user groups, start or join a study group, help to coach newcomers. You already know your coaches and mentors, who can surely recommend something to you. There are so many wonderful companies out there who would be glad to have enthusiastic coders like you at their side. We will try to help you in any way to turn your summer into something more!
Sponsors, Companies, friends
If you want to give our talented students the opportunity to work with you and your team or have a recommendation: drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Way back in April our coach, Jessica, had organized Rails Girls LA. Jen was coaching and Joyce was in attendance. Joyce really connected with her pair and coach while Jen was inspired by the new crew of women.
Post Rails Girls workshop, we were both part of the same weekly Ruby/Rails study group which really kept us rolling. It’s nice to have people tell you to calm your horses when you have freak out moments. A few of us started working on an app. together when the word went out about RGSoC.
As part of the Bundler core team, Jessica already had Bundler in mind as a project so we jumped at her offer. This allowed us to take what we already knew and apply it to a real open-source project, one small edit at a time. We were happy to get the opportunity to delve more into coding with the help of a coach and mentor!
We ended up working on the most used gem in Ruby/Rails: Bundler! It is not glamorous, but very important. It is probably something you don’t even think about much past bundle install or bundle update because it is just part of the fabric of Rails. In the dark ages of Rails, developers would have to stand in the snow, manually installing the dependent gems for each project and then hope their project didn’t fail as gems were updated to newer versions. Now bundler “magically” makes sure everything is working in your favor. We have been working to help keep that seamless effect still seem magical.
We have worked on the bundler website, http://bundler.io, to make the documentation easier to access and to read. Lately we have been working on adding features and fixing problems that users have encountered. One of the happiest moments was seeing our fixes merged into Bundler! It is incredibly satisfying especially our first merges! Our mentor Andre Arko has also been incredibly helpful in our pursuits. Plus, he gave us awesome Bundler t-shirts when we met him at the Distill conference in San Francisco. Thanks so much to everyone who has made this possible. XO Rails Girls LA - Team Bundler
37signals creates and maintains web-based applications for collaboration, project management, and information sharing. In their own words, they build ‘frustration-free web-based apps for collaboration, sharing information, and making decisions.’ They proudly work backed by their customers and buyers and without any external funding.
But beyond developing applications to help us get things done, they maintain a popular company blog and job board, write insightful books, and their developers contribute regularly to various open source projects.
Productivity on Rails
In 2004, 37 Signals launched Basecamp, a web based project management app. Since then they have focused on building productivity applications, like Highrise, a CRM app; or Campfire, a business oriented online chat service. These apps are used by millions of freelancers and smaller and bigger businesses around the world (including myself!). Their apps are the white T-Shirt of web apps: uncomplicated, neat and clean and always a fit.
In 2004, they made public Ruby on Rails, an open-source framework that was created by David Heinemeier Hansson for the Basecamp project that they had been using internally for a while. Without this Random Act of Kindness we wouldn’t be here today. The maintenance of Rails is now in the hands of the Rails Core Team with the assistance of the rest of the Rails Community.
Sharing is caring
37 Signals sponsor Ruby on Rails and other projects, like our Rails Girls Summer of Code, and play their part in fixing the job crisis by helping programmers and other smart people to find a job.
In their free time (I’ve never been good at maths but something doesn’t seem right) Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson also wrote two books: REWORK, a must read if you’re thinking of getting into business or already working on a project; and Getting Real, a great (and free) handbook for building web apps that shows the full picture and is written in plain English.
If you plan to spend a while in the world of technology, these are some good guys to learn from and look up to. Join us in sending them a lot of mental thumbs up!
We have been offered no less than 49 free tickets at some of the best Ruby conferences on 3 different continents. Behold, the conferences that so kindly sponsored tickets to their events (and in some cases even flight tickets!) for our Summer of Code participants:
September 19-20, Hamburg
September 27, Amsterdam BubbleConf aims to inspire you to reach for the stars. It’s about Design, Technology, and above all Entrepreneurship. And: Henrietta - part of the global Rails Girls team - and yours truly share a speaking slot! Also Anika will pour all her Rails Girls Summer of Code story telling qualities into a lightning talk.
October 3-4, Ghent
A 2-day, dual track Ruby, Rails and web related conference with plenty of good speakers, loads of free rum and a free pirate twist. That sure sounds like Arrrrcamp! MeetTeam Oana and Team Unicorn there!
Quite probably the awesomest conference logo EVER!
Wicked Good Ruby
October 12-13, Boston Wicked Good Ruby is a two day, double track Ruby conference at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. AND: it’s Boston’s first annual Ruby conf! MeetTeam Unicorn at Wicked Good Ruby!
October 18, Paris dotRBeu is the largest Ruby conference in France and truly a conference made by developers for developers, with exceptional speakers on stage, like the maintainers of the most popular Ruby projects, the implementors of Ruby runtimes, … Just great hackers all-around. There will also be a Workshop Day on October 19! MeetTeam Species+, Team inchworms and Highway to Railsin Paris!
October 24-25, San Francisco FutureStack is: “tomorrow and the day after—and right now—all at the same time”. Join your fellow Sys Admins, Leads, Devs, and Data Analysts and learn how FutureStack will help revolutionize the world you’re helping to create!
October 25-26, Santiago
Awww, such good times we had at…
August 8-9, San Francisco Distill developer conference featured over 25 speakers (like Summer of Code coach Konstantin Haase) showcasing best practices from application architecture and user experience to testing and security. Team Bundler attended the SF conference.
August 14-15, Berlin JRubyConf is a two-day, single track conference, completely devoted to JRuby. This year JRubyConf celebrated its second birthday. Team Spree Girls and Team D* were at JRubyConf.
August 16-18, Berlin eurucamp 2013 was far more than a conference: a week of Ruby goodness in Berlin. Geek camp ftw! The days before the conferences were an official part of the program, with activities planned for locals and first-time Berlin visitors alike.
Team Spree Girls and Team RailsGrrls attended eurucamp!
Rails Girls Berlin
Madison Ruby Conference
August 23-24, Madison Madison Ruby Conference did a pretty awesome job bringing together two great communities showcasing the assets of the local Ruby community and allowing Madison visitors a chance to experience one of the best, brainiest, and least-expensive places in the United States to live and work. Plus: Madison Ruby Conference hosted a RailsBridge Womens Outreach Workshop! Team Hackety Hack and Team Unicorn were at the Madison conference.
September 13, Berlin CSSconf.eu is a conference dedicated to the designers, developers and engineers who build the world’s most engaging user interfaces. From the community, for the community. Our design heroes Lisa and Rebecca attended CSSconf.eu.
The Strange loop
September 18-20, St.Louis Strange Loop is a multi-disciplinary conference that aimed to bring together the developers and thinkers building tomorrow’s technology. And boy, did they succeed! Team New Rosies was at The Strange Loop.
Our friends at Phusion and Nedap announced on Wednesday that they’re giving away tickets to Bubbleconf to Rails Girls (Summer of Code) alumni & supporters! We had a jury go through the crazy pictures you guys tweeted. And the winners are:
If you want to make sure to get a ticket for BubbleConf, you can also buy one via http://bubbleconf.com. Students only pay EU 60 (incl. VAT) per ticket, and Standard Tickets are EU 300 (incl. VAT) a piece. For Rails Girls members however, we’re able to provide a nearly 50% discount on the Standard Ticket pricing, making them EU 160 (incl. VAT) per ticket. You can order these tickets via https://bubbleconf2013.paydro.net/event/bubbleconf-2013/railsgirls!
SoundCloud is a long and dear friend of Rails Girls, especially here in Berlin.
Right from the first workshop, the guys and gals supported us. With their help it was, amongst others, possible to arrange a thank you dinner for our coaches or get a band for the legendary winter party of Rails Girls Berlin. And there’s even more: Duana, working as a software engineer at SoundCloud, is a coach since the very beginning up until now, where she’s coaching Team RailsGrrls at the Soundcloud office. She also encouraged other SoundCloud developers to help raise the next generation of programmers.
SoundCloud is a social sound platform where you can create or upload your own music or anything sound-related for that matter and then share it with the rest of the world. It all started off with music, the heart of Soundcloud. By now, the simple way of distributing sound files made it a great place-to-be for storytellers, teachers and artists, too.
We want to say THANK YOU!!! ♥
A Summer of Code Mixtape
But that’s only the beginning. As the saying goes: A song is worth a thousand words. And a mixtape is a wonderful novel.
We are putting together a SoundCloud “Rails Girls Summer of Code Mixtape”.
Everybody who participated in Rails Girls Summer of Code can send her or his favorite “Summer Coding Song” to us via tweet. Like this one, for example:
Here’s that snippet again:
“Hi @RailsGirlsSoC here is my song from @SoundCloud for the #rgsocMixtape: “
We are going to collect all of the wonderful pieces here and together we will create the sound of this fantastic summer. Great? Great! Let’s go!
Our friends at Phusion and Nedap are giving away 10 tickets to Bubbleconf to Rails Girls (Summer of Code) alumni & supporters! And YOU want one. Why? BubbleConf is THE conference on design, development and entrepreneurship. It differs from all the
other conferences out there in that it focusses on a myriad of topics instead of just a single one. This
is only made possible due to its stellar speaker line-up which consists exclusively of field experts and
founders of the hottest startups currently out there. Let us hear your best ‘WOW’!
Last year’s edition had over 300 attendees come down to Amsterdam from all over the world. On September 27th 2013, developers, designers and founders from companies such as Dribbble, GitHub, Facebook,
SoundCloud, 6Wunderkinder, Apple Design Award Winners and many more will be sharing their stories in the gorgeous the Beurs van Berlage (in itself a reason to visit Amsterdam). Fun fact: it’s where the Dutch Royal Wedding of King Willem Alexander and his Queen Maxima took place.
Phusion and Nedap have followed the Rails Girls initiative with great interest for quite some time
and would like to help remove barriers whenever it can to welcome diversity in the fields they are active in.
To that end, BubbleConf has invited Pia Henrietta Kekelaïnen and yours truly - respectively member of the global Rails Girls team and Rails Girls veteran - to take the main stage to share their story. And additionally they want to provide 10 tickets to Rails Girls (Summer of Code) students, mentors, coaches and organizers.
How do I win this thing, you say?
Tweet “Hope to see you at #Bubbleconf” with a picture of you waving / a cute kitten / something fun and bubbely attached from the account that you’d want to score a ticket. You can also participate as a Rails Girls Summer of Code team, securing a ticket for you AND your team mate. A special, super unbiased Summer of Code jury will look over the submissions and pick 10 lucky winners (to avoid bribery the judges remain anonymous). So: tweet, tweet, tweet!!
Seeing as BubbleConf will take place in about 2 weeks from now, the winners will be announced on Friday at 12:00 Berlin time.
With already over 300 registered attendees, this year’s edition will only be more awesome with your presence. Hope to see you this September 27th at BubbleConf 2013!
If you want to make sure to get a ticket for BubbleConf, you can also buy one via http://bubbleconf.com. Students only pay EU 60 (incl. VAT) per ticket, and Standard Tickets are EU 300 (incl. VAT) a piece. For Rails Girls members however, we’re able to provide a nearly 50% discount on the Standard Ticket pricing, making them EU 160 (incl. VAT) per ticket. You can order these tickets via https://bubbleconf2013.paydro.net/event/bubbleconf-2013/railsgirls!
The story of Rails Girls Summer of code is just crazy, amazing, inspiring and actually hard to believe (the idea stated only in May this year and now we are actually doing this!). So to tell other people about this, other Rails Girls students who are just at the beginning of falling in love with Rails, I visited Rails Girls The Hague.
I gave a talk about our program, Travis’ role, our teams and the wonderful things that are going on in our Summer of Code. Here you can check out my slides. (Spoiler altert: it includes more than one cute gif!)
My favorite moment was when I met Nila. She was helping with the event and told me that the Rails Girls Workshop she attended 6 months ago actually changed her life.
She jumped and had a whole carrier turn and now she works in an IT firm coding more and more. It always feels so wonderful to meet somebody who benefited from something you helped with. To see these Rails Girls stories popping up all over the world always makes me kinda sentimental. ♥
All in all a wonderful weekend.
Big eyed students, the beach, viking hats, not much sleep, hagelslag and lots of beginning coding stories.
Recognizing the vital role that open source software plays at Google, the Open Source Programs Office heavily supports the open source software development community. Google Open Source do this by releasing code created at Google, providing infrastructure, supporting open source organizations, handling internal open source compliance, and by running student outreach programs such as Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in.
Google Open Source send us these goodies, for the Rails Girls Summer of Code participants (soon, in a mailbox near to you!).
Google Summer of Code is a global program that offers student developers to write code for various open source software projects. Since its first edition in 2005, the Google Summer of Code program has brought together over 6,000 successful student participants and over 3,000 mentors from over 100 countries worldwide, all for the love of code. Through Google Summer of Code, participants are paired with a mentor or mentors from the participating projects, gaining experience with real-world software development scenarios, just like we aim to do with Rails Girls Summer of Code.
Thanks for supporting us, Google Open Source, we love you back!
Hello, we are Laura and Adriana, two college students from Colombia and we are the New Rosies. We met each other one year ago in a computer networks class at college.
¿Why New Rosies? We call us New Rosies in honor of the group of women programmers in World War II whose story is told in detail in the documentary “Top Secret Rosies” and like them we want to contribute in the field of computer sciences and programming.
We heard about RGSoC from Guillermo and Roberto, our current mentor and coach whom we thanks for giving us all the tools needed and the knowledge acquired in this summer and specially for working with us during this months while we were developing the project, Conductor.
Conductor is a original project from DHH (creator of Rails), the idea behind the project is create an assistant for the Rails applications development. Conductor allows to do through its web interface many of the actions that we normally do in the command line and that are often very hard to remember for beginners.
This project has been a chance to improve our Ruby skills, to learn more about Ruby on Rails and how some of this internal parts work, also we learnt about other common tools used in Ruby community like Bundler, Rack and Sinatra. We learnt to take advantage of all the benefits of version control systems, about Git and the advantages that Github offers as a repository hosting. Finally and maybe more important than the other lessons, we learnt to have more interaction with the developer community and be part of an open source project.
One of the happiest moments until now, after receiving the news of being chosen within many students to participate in this summer program, was to know that we will go to StrangeLoop conference and we will have the opportunity not only to hear experts in different topics but also to talk about Rails Girls and Rails Girls Summer of Code.
If you could code anything in the world, what would you work on?Adriana would create a program that would prove theorems. -
Summer is almost over but we don’t want it to leave.
Travis CI is an open source company, based in beautiful Berlin. They build a hosted continuous integration service which is integrated with GitHub and supports a multitude of programming languages, like Python, Go, PHP, Java, C++… and of course Ruby! And I think it’s fair to say that without Travis, there would not have been a Rails Girls Summer of Code, as they took on lead support and organization.
Anika - from now on referred to as ‘Chief Spread the Word’ of Rails Girls Summer of Code - wrote a cool post on the Travis blog the other day, on how our ‘founders’ went from ‘dream to 19 scholarships in under 3 months’. Which is indeed a huge accomplishment and worthy of a BIG thank you!
It’s truly amazing what happened after Sven gave a lightning talk at a Rails Girls Berlin workshop at Wooga in late March. The idea to organize a Summer of Code to get more women in open source spread like wildfire. Sven has been working on getting RGSoC off the ground and the whole Travis team contributed - Konstantin is even a mentor of Team Inchworms, who work on Sinatra.
For me coding is freedom. Freedom from the corporate world, from being tied to one city, from an office, from a 9 to 5 lifestyle, and most importantly - freedom TO be creative. This is why I started coding - to be able to live the life I’ve dreamed about without resigning from my professional aspirations while expressing my creativity.
For the last two months I had the opportunity to write some juicy JS code. I was developing new features for impress.js - plugins for automatically generated layouts, substeps and more. And then came the idea to create an application for end users to create presentations. I created a Rails application that generates the code for a presentation based on the user’s choices. The prototype is already working, but my imagination for additional features is endless. Luckily, I still have some time to make it more awesome. You can read about the progress on my blog.
If I could code anything in the world I would bootstrap my lucrative startup. This is not a dream, it’s a plan :).
A big thanks to the people who rescued me from beginner frustration and helped me understand what is going on: Bartek, John, Chris, Mateusz - you saved my passion for coding. Thank you!
A few days ago, we put together a conferece survival kit for you, dearest students.
Now you know almost everything there is to know and we are sure, you’ll return from your adventures safe and sound and unharmed.
But we also have a cherry on top for you (what’s a survival kit without, right? ;)
Here it comes.. say ahhh!
Rails Girls Summer of Code Slides for you!
A big thank you to Floor, who put them together and a lot of love into them.
They look amazing and include everything you need to have for your talk. Wonderful, right?
Important here is that these slides include slides with our sponsors at the end. If you use your own slide (which you still can, of course!) please mention the platinum sponsors Github, Travis and our gold sponsors Tilde, 37signals, SoundCloud and Google Open Source at the end of your talk on an extra slide, since they are the reason we can have this georgeous Summer of Code! ♥
Speaker Coaches coach you to speak
Of course, that’s not all! We want to thank these awesome people who have offered to be your speaker coaches.
They will help you review your slides, practise your talk, give feedback and any other magic trick they have up their sleeves for giving a great talk. Some of you already met them, some we still have to connect for the upcoming confs:
★ Tiffany Conroy
★ Juliane Peterson
★ Caroline Drucker
★ Chad Fowler ★
★ Josh Kalderimis
★ Patrik Huesler
★ Tim Lossen
★ Arne Brasseur ★
★ Dirkjan Bussink
★ Paul Klipp ★
Put your hands up for them, because they are just awesome for doing this! And we are very very sure, you’ll now not only survive your conferences, but make them to the best of your summer!
We are Pallavi and Sakshi Team Diasbits from India. The name Diasbits, as we are contributing a bit to diaspora*, the privacy-aware, decentralized social network. Also, Diasbits, came to our mind as assembling bits of diaspora* to enhance its developement.
Sakshi: I had started coding in Ruby a few months before I got to know about RGSoC. The Rails Girls Summer of Code was introduced to me by our coach Arihant. I applied for RGSoC to get in touch with the open source and do wonders.
The Rails Girls Summer of Code encouraged us to get hold of Ruby, Rails, Git workflow, Jekyll.
Already 2 months of the summer of code have come to an end, and we are now in a situation to stand confident and present our work of this entire duration.
So far, we have been able to finish our project on Rails Girls Rails App Generator. We created a Jekyll Bootstrap based website that contains the links to some cool Rails tutorials.
The mid-July to mid-August, was a period of workshops, seminars, meetings, interactions and what not. :) We attended the Rails Girls workshop, Mysore, Rails Girls event, Bangalore, Jaipur Ruby users group meetup, FSMK (Blender sessions, 9 days workshop).
We chose to work for Rails Girls App Generator as it seemed to be easy for the beginners and diaspora* because it gives us immense exposure to open source and to the concept of decentralization of data.
Our happiest moment was when we got selected for RGSoC and we are the only team from India who made through :)
If we could code anything in the worldPallavi: I would love to code a phone book app for my Dad because he writes in his diary and keeps searching for it.
Sakshi: I’d code to make a machine that would insert the whole book into my memory in one sec, so that I don’t have to cram anything during exams :P
Hands up, who hasn’t heard of GitHub? We probably won’t see that many raising theirs. For those who are new to all these development details, here is what GitHub writes about themselves:
“GitHub is the best place to share code with friends, co-workers, classmates, and complete strangers. Over three million people use GitHub to build amazing things together.”
What this really means is that more than _three million people_ store their code in one place. This is neat because cooperation on projects suddenly becomes so much easier. You can search for projects, learn from other users’ code, fix their bugs or finish their features. And you can do all of this without having to ask for write access to the repository first or sending patches via email.
At the same time, GitHub is also a bit of a marketplace. It’s great to be able to take a look at the source of a gem or library when you think about what you want to use. You can find collections of useful snippets, and share your own. And it’s a fab place to show the world what you’re tinkering with.
For some, GitHub now almost equals open source development. That’s also because GitHub has made git much less intimidating, and turned it into something accessible to mere mortals. Just check out their help section!
Of course, all Rails Girls Summer of Code teams have public repositories on GitHub to securely store – and version control! – their hard work.
Most importantly for us, GitHub generously supports Rails Girls Summer of Code with a platinum sponsorship which helps a bunch of dedicated women to get deeper into coding and open source projects - how wonderful is that!
Alicja & Wictoria from Team Species+ have something special to say:
Thanks and hugs to -the Octocat- all GitHubbers, you’re awesome! ♥
We’re Hester and Victoria. We live in the Netherlands but Hester lives in Groningen (north) and Victoria lives in Eindhoven (south). We met by chance in June just few days before the application for Rails Girl Summer of Code was closing and also by chance we ended up doing this amazing Summer of Code together.
Victoria was still living at that time in Helsinki, at the same time moving to the Netherlands and it was great surprise to meet people even before arriving to the new country.
We didn’t get selected for the sponsored teams but still we wanted to make a team and we wanted to do something with Ruby on Rails during summer. We started on July 1st with a super intense session of more than 6h. Our brains were dead… and we continue from time to time.
Find time to do this voluntarily after work is very hard. Victoria works at Startupbootcamp with Dutch Expansion Capital and Ernst & Young in Eindhoven. Hester is running her own business, Noordwijs, in Groningen.
Why Team Unicorn? It is there something cuter than unicorns? That is why!
We first heard about RGSoC through @railsgirls and Facebook. That is also how we found each other to start the project. Hester already had been in contact with Peter, our super coach, who is helping us a lot!
Our project is Spree an open source e-commerce platform. Our coach was already working with them for a while and he introduced us to them. We decided to go for it and also Spree team were supporting us since the beginning.
Our goal for the summer is basically to improve our Ruby on Rails skills, give something to the Spree project, make Peter proud of us, and of course, have a lot of fun!
So far, we have been working in tutorials and recently started to do our baby steps in Spree. So far, very happy!
A few of our happiest moments so far are when things work after a few tries, when big problems become easy(or at least easier) and also seeing RGSoC brought us more than just programing skills.
If we could code anything in the world… Victoria will code an application to order breakfast delivered home on weekends, and Hester will code more one to make more time!
Last weekend was eurucamp weekend and I sort of promised to write a recap for you summery coders. So here we go, my personal highlights and other (fun) stuff:
Friday was dubbed ‘workshop day’ and a Rails Girls course was hosted, next to sessions for the more advanced conference attendees. I attended the beginners course as a coach. Txus was my co-coach and he drew the most comprehensible MVC - webserver - browser graphic I have ever seen, for our incredibly eager team. We even figured out a way for one of the girls to attend the eurucamp conference for free, so she could continue to learn, how cool is that?!
hello, MARS! (borrowed from RubyMonsters’ super fun intro to the terminal)
Joseph Wilk’s Creative Machines keynote was up after the workshops. He’d take the talk descriptions of eurucamp’s speakers and have a machine create haiku’s. We then needed to guess which one was his, and which one was from the machine. You guess*:
Humans boil ruby for fun
Clickety click love
I loved how Joseph, senior developer at SoundCloud, stressed the social aspect to recognizing and defining what creativity is. After the keynote all of us rushed to the SoundCloud party, for an evening of BBQ, drinks and good tunes.
Arne is a Rails Girls Berlin regular (coach). His talk was basically a call to “stop using strings to handle structured data”. Why? Well, Arne referred to the The science of insecurity talk of the 2011 CCC conference, saying how much of a security vulnerability it really is. Thank glob, Arne is working on his pet project HEXP, a Ruby API for creating and manipulating HTML syntax trees. You can check it out on GitHub.
Ashe’s talk was titled ‘Programming Diversity’. Ashe is known to be vocal about the lack of diversity in tech. And with diversity, she means more than just gender (like age, ability, sexuality, language, race).
She got the attendees to realise how priviliged we all are, and how harmful stereotype threats (‘wow you’re bad at math’ vs ‘girls are bad at math’) and marginalizing are. On the bright side, Ashe mentioned that in Bulgaria 73% of the women graduating, do so in (computer) science. Pretty cool, huh? She also had som nifty tips for people who want to increase diversity in their teams. Like: take a look at 100percentmen.tumblr.com and review your about pages, make sure the interview is as close to the actual day-to-day workflow as possible and offer mentoring.
Matt Patterson showed us how he parsed real-world ‘fuzzy’ dates with Ruby, transfering it from unstyled Word documents and turning it in a website. Say WUT?! Well, Matt struggled to order 31 march 1933 versus 1930s vs c1973, early 1946, from, by, after… But he solved it (and he promised to publish his slides shortly).
Matt co-coaches the Ruby Monsters, a study group born out of Rails Girls Berlin, with Sven Fuchs.
lauratryingoutkeyboards.tumblr.com (just kiddin’)
Joanne Cheng is a developer for thoughtbot in Denver, CO. In her spare time, she runs Colorado Code for Communities, an organization of developers and designers dedicated to making important local government data easily accesible through better interfaces. And: she plays arouns with Ruby-Processing, a simple wrapper for the Processing framework that combines the visual-driven environment of Processing with the fun of writing Ruby. Joanne pulled of some live coding, showing us a basic example of Ruby-processing. It certainly got me hooked! And though you’ll definitely not be asked to do this at your day job, Joanne claims she notices more she gained more confidence and code fluency, and she adapts the trying-out-first-and-refactoring-later at the work place.
Drawatars, it’s a thing (this one is from RGSoC mentor/supervisor/hero Andy)
Ellen König tought us to take all the cool stuff we learned during the conference and take it to our hobby projects and day job. Ellen is a professional software developer and part-time psychology student. She loves learning and teaching about technology-related topics, having learned more programming languages and technologies than she cares to remember. She has taught them to others at various opportunities such as university, work and most recently as a Rails Girls student and coach. She put her slides online ♥
Harry Brundage leads the Performance Team at Shopify! They have an “enormous Rails application who’s traffic at least doubles every year and processes a whole whackload of money for real people running real businesses”. Harry talked about what happens when a user is mashing the f5 key and how they (barely) handle cyber Monday, the online equivalent of retail craziness Black Friday.
Joshua Ballanco shared how one can get their Ruby EGOT (Emmy Grammy Oscar Tony). How? By submitting patches (that then get accepted) to MacRuby, IronRuby, Rubinius, JRuby, or some other Ruby implementation. Slightly unrelated: Joshua recommends to read a surplus of code than what you’re writing on a daily basis. Because it will help you become a better programmer, as you learn from others (mistakes).
Jan Krutisch, a freelance web developer from Hamburg, summed up (at least) 10 things you didn’t know your browser could do. Did you know for example that your browser can make music (and I don’t mean by playing back sound files)? I’m definitely going to play around with the CSS Filters and CSS Regions he mentioned!
There were some super fun lightning talks. Like about this difficult machine called baby (really!). Or about ‘Fuby’. It’s a thing. Or at least according to Txus - who had hand-drawn ALL his slides! Tobias would encourage everyone to start using Shoes (4), as it’s as fun as “putting sunglasses on your dog”.
And Laura Wadden talked about Rails Girls Summer of Code, Rails Grrls, their work on Rubinius and their plan to write a new programming language! Which is the coolest thing ever.
So. I guess that wraps it up. I got little sleep. And I did not once come close to the lake. I was too busy blogging, I guess. Anyhow… on to the next conference! ;)
The first time is always special. And the time after that. And the time after that.
Going to a conference - and maybe even giving a talk - can be loads of fun, scary, exhilarating and exhausting together.
So here we have a small conference prep package for you! We stuffed it with the best tips & tricks especially on how to give great talks and in general how to make these couple of (conference)days to the best of your life.
Rock that Conference
Lucas Pinto: “My biggest tip would be not to be shy and go talk to people, make connections. A lot of people go to conferences not for the talks but mostly to meet fellow devs. It is always very inspiring and you always meet nice people. So if you come in gang, try not to stick with them 100% of the time plus it is easy to find an opener at a conf “hey, where do you come from, are you here alone/with your company, who do you work for, do you know the city well, etc. etc.”
Anika Lindtner: “Most important for me was to keep in mind, that the people around are eager to get to know you, too. Conferences are great for meeting people and mingle. Always check out the hashtag for the conference, so you’ll stay in the loop with what’s happening. Have your phone always with you and do a lot of funny friday-hug-pics. It’s a great way to spread the joy, have some fun with others - and it’s a super cool souvenir. Oh and don’t forget this last thing: Enjoy yourself!”
Floor Drees: “Definitely check out presentations by other programmer-speakers like Konstantin Haase, Patrick Huesler… Make it a fun and interesting experience for you and for the audience and pick a topic you have special affection with, so you can speak from experience.
Make sure your audience can identify with your problem right at the beginning, so you got them hooked for the solution (read: the rest of your talk) ;)
Test running your talk by your friends or (if you have the chance) a local ruby developer meetup thingie, is also a smart idea!
AND: don’t do a live demo unless you’re absolutely certain it (/ wifi) will work / you pre-recorded it (cook show style).”
The truly amazing girls of Unerdwear released a limited edition of a Rails Girls Nerdies. AND they donate all the profits to RGSoC to make your summer even better! True Story. The Nerdies will probably sell out in a minute, so be quick as a cat!
But there’s nothing that couldn’t be sweetened with a delicious lunch. And thus started another week full of monster coding and learning many and more new things.
Some wonderful people from the Rails Girls universe (Berlin, Brno, Rotterdam and RGSoC)
After the raffle of the conference tickets last week, two of our students dived right into their first tech conf.
Jen and Joyce were part of this week’s Distill 2013 in San Francisco. And they didn’t just hear some talks and met many new people, they also held their first lightning talk! Congraz you two!!! We are very proud ♥
No rest for the wicked, though. The conferencing continues stroke upon stroke. Next week will see Nina and Julia at JRubyConf as well as
Maja and Laura at eurucamp both happening in Berlin.
In case you haven’t seen this one yet: Tiffany put together everything you have to think of when giving a talk - including all those little bits and pieces that can go wrong when you enter the stage. This makes for a perfect cheat sheet on upcoming talks. Yay!
Team New Rosies is attending the Strange Loop Conference in St. Louis on Sep 18-20th and Laura and Adriana can’t wait to meet fellow attendees. So if you know anyone attending Strange Loop or you’re going there yourself, just drop them a line.
News from the teams
It is simply jawdropping to follow our students along their way, watching and working on all kinds of tutorials, implementing feature after feature and, of course, testing testing testing ;) Here are a few highlights and interesting reads from this week.
Alicja and Wiktoria of Team Species+ wrote an encouraging and insightful recap of their week:
Life on a rollercoaster. Facing problems in all areas of their coding work, there was this terrible feeling of constantly getting stuck. But they kept calm and eventually found a way out for each of their problems. Here they are in the middle of understanding AngularJS:
Team Punchgirls reached a milestone in their app development. They have implemented all the must-have features to have a minimal viable app. Congraz!
The word “dysania” is defined as the state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning…which we found to be fun and appropriate for our team name since we both suffer from this condition.
We first met at Rails Girls Los Angeles in April 2013 (hosted by Jessica Lynn Suttles, coach of Team Bundler), which was the first time either of us had ever started learning Ruby/Rails. After that, we were hooked, getting more involved in the LA Ruby/Rails community, and attending local meetups and study groups.
We first heard about RGSoC through @railsgirls and immediately wanted to participate. We were both aspiring software developers interested in starting to contribute to OSS, and we considered RGSoC to be the perfect introduction. We were excited about the idea of immersive hands-on learning while contributing to a real project. The fast pace and sheer amount of information would keep us on our toes, but we would have each other, our coach, and our mentors to keep us on track.
Our project is working on Discourse, a 100% open source Rails forum software. Kurtis (aka Captain Kurt) first introduced it to us, and we found it to be the most interesting out of the Ruby OS projects we considered. We believed in its cause, and were especially drawn to the fact that Discourse is so welcome to contributors.
Our goal for the summer is to extract all oneboxing into a Ruby gem. Oneboxing is a feature of Discourse where if you include a link to a site (e.g.Twitter, Wikipedia), it will try to create a usable snippet/preview for you automatically. By extracting this feature into a gem, it can be used by projects other than Discourse, and will also make testing much easier since the code will be more modularized. If time permits, we’ll also be implementing oneboxing for other popular sites that aren’t supported yet.
So far, we’ve been working on the beginnings of our discourse-oneboxer gem. We pulled in all of the oneboxer files and specs from Discourse and restructured them to work within the gem, removing Rails dependencies and fixing tests using RSpec. We’re now rewriting some methods that we don’t have good tests for. We’ll be registering our gem on rubygems.org soon (possibly today!), which is pretty damn exciting. And of course, we like to think we’ve been getting better at Git and pair programming a little bit every day.
We’d say our happiest moments so far are at the end of every session with Captain Kurt, when we realize we’d been focused and in the zone for 2-3 straight hours.
If we could code anything in the world… Vyki would build OSS applications for city governments to improve workflow and transparency in the city planning process. JZ would invent teleportation.
We are so happy to announce that Tiffany Conroy
poured her wisdom into this article for you.
Tiffany, interaction designer and developer at
Soundcloud, started the project
where she aims to motivate women in tech to get more visible and speak at
conferences. Being a speaker herself, she has started a wonderful collection of
resources to help you with that - from articles on how to be a role model to
practical tips on how to make good slides.
A simple formula for talking about your project
On an opening slide, have your name(s) and Twitter handle(s).
Introduce yourself using 30 words or less. You don’t have to mention RailsGirls.
Using one or two slides and less than 2 minutes, explain the problem that your project addresses.
Show a slide with your project name or logo, and introduce your project by name. Maybe mention RailsGirls if you want, if you have not already.
Using four or less slides, explain how your project addresses the problem.
Optionally, use one slide to talk about difficulties you encountered.
As a conclusion, discuss any future plans for the project, or how people can learn more or follow your work.
Close with a “thank you” slide that shows your names(s) and Twitter handle(s) again.
Basic tips for short talks
Here are some tips on how to look and feel like a pro while giving your talk:
Show how excited you are about your project
Bored speakers are boring. Enthusiasm is contagious.
Be prepared and practice
Know exactly what you want to say, and practice it out loud a few times. You don’t have to memorize word for word. At least once, you should practice your talk while standing and advancing your slides.
If you and a partner are presenting together, then rehearse together. Only switch speakers once or twice, and don’t interrupt each other.
Slides are for illustration purposes only
If your slides have more than a few words each, no one will listen to you talking. Bullet points are very tempting but are almost always a bad choice.
Demos! Have a backup plan
So you want to do a live demo.
The internet will fail. Your code will break. Always make screenshots or a video as a backup plan.
Also, if you are going to do a demo, then rehearse switching from the presentation mode to the demo and back again.
Test your tech setup before your talk
Find a time before your talk to test your laptop with the projector. Make sure your notes are showing on the laptop and the presentation on the big screen. If you need audio, make sure the audio is connected.
Just before presenting, make sure you CLOSE all applications that you do not need for the presentation, especially messaging apps like Twitter, Skype and email clients. Under your Energy Saver options, change the timeout so your computer won’t fall asleep while you talk. Put your phone in Airplane Mode.
Stay calm, and don’t rush yourself
If you need a moment to find something on your computer, or find your place, or remember a thought, go ahead and take the moment. I like to have a bottle of water with the cap kept on so that if I need to think or slow down, I can take the cap off, take a sip, and put the cap back on to give myself time.
Never apologize, even when it is your fault
If you have technical problems, or forget something, or made a mistake, do not apologize.
Never apologize for being unprepared. If you are unprepared, be as confident as you can be with what you do have, and keep it short, so you don’t waste people’s time.
End before your time limit
If no one is timing you, time yourself. In the very worst case, if you start to run over, jump to your final slide, thank everyone and say “Unfortunately I have used all my time, so please talk to me afterwards”.
What a week! We can’t even decide what to tell you first.
Well, okay first things first. First, you’ll get a hug! This week from Team Unicorn ♥
This week could have been called the week of ultimate conference raffling. As you probably know already, we got some tickets from awesome confs and this week the raffle fairy picked some winners! Wohoo! This means no less than that beginning with eurucamp next week, our students will start to rock the tech confs of this world! ♥♥♥
Hammertime, terminal tools and congratulations
Okay, let’s have a log ;) at our Teams:
Carsten, the coach from Team Highway to Rails
had a special day and Team Inchworms revealed how to make your co-workers do something ugly into their ASCII with a terminal tool:
As you know, we rolled up our sleeves to get you some
free conference tickets to make your summer even better and send you out into the
We have been offered no less than 49 free tickets at some of the best Ruby
conferences on 3 different continents. Most conferences offer free
tickets, which is really fantastic, but some of them will even cover flights
and accomodation for you. And all of them are really worth visiting!
You are invited you to attend, talk, mingle and meet some of the most awesome
members of our community.
A very warm thank you to all of these amazing conferences!
You sent us your wish lists.
We made our brains fume by thinking about how to implement the raffle and and our
conference raffle fairy has written some code. If you want to look at our
cards you can find the logic behind all this
The gist of it: We made sure that everybody who applied had a good chance of winning a ticket and that
nobody came away empty-handed. We also applied the rules announced on our
We are so grateful for all those fantastic conference organizers pulling all
these free tickets out of their magic hats for you. And we couldn’t be more
happy: You get to go to fantastic conferences and in most cases
meet other RGSoC students to rock the conference days with!
Oh, how we wish we could be there too and see you all spread your wings and
fly into the community … but we hope, you’ll keep us in the loop and tell
the world how your first conferences have been!
Now we even have
a few tickets left …
that calls for another raffle! We will let you know what happens next soon.
We are team Highway to Rails. We chose the name because of the ACDC song “Highway to Hell”. When you replace the word “hell” with “rails”, it really sounds like we’re doing something incredibly exciting, which, of course, we are!
“Don’t need reason, don’t need rhyme
Ain’t nothing I would rather do
Going down, party time
My friends are gonna be there too
I’m on the highway to RAILS.”
We heard about RGSoC first and foremost on twitter, but we’re also members of a weekly Rails Girls project group in Berlin, so news quickly spread. We applied because we’re both at a sort of turning point in our lives: we want to change career paths, we’re interested in coding and technology, and it sounds like fun.
Unfortunately we weren’t accepted to the summer of code. However, we had already found a place to work (tables in the IT department at Absolventa) and a couple coaches (Carsten and Felix, developers at Absolventa). Luckily, the company was as sad about us not getting in as we were, and were nice enough to create two internship positions for us. So now we’re summer of code volunteer students, working full time on a project called event_girl that Absolventa will hopefully use when it’s done.
Event_girl is the brainchild of the Absolventa IT department. Since they’re sponsoring us, it makes sense to work on something they have knowledge about/is useful to them. But don’t worry, it’s still open source! (painfully so… our commit history at this point is insane). Event_girl is a way for an individual person or company to keep track of a bunch of tasks happening in the background of a system, set restrictions such as date/time/frequency, and check to make sure various tasks are being fulfilled, or (and this is the hard part) aren’t being fulfilled.
We’ve started our our app from scratch, and so far we’ve laid the foundations with twitter bootstrap, a couple models/view/controllers, set the restrictions, nested our resources, and done some testing with Rspec. This week we started looking into Action Mailers and our app actually sent us an email!
Tam’s happiest moment so far isn’t anything specific, but rather, a kind of ritual. Carsten writes various things for us to do on index cards, and then when we finish them, we rip them up and put them in a glass. It’s a great feeling to look at that index card, know we’ve done the somewhat confusing thing written on it successfully, and then rip it up and put it away. At the end of the summer we’re going to throw them in the air and dance around in the ensuing mess (and then clean it all up).
Susanne’s happiest moment so far was when Absolventa said they’d sponsor both of us as RGSoC volunteers! She also enjoys the feeling of finally being able to (kind of) understand what the model-view-controller is all about.
If you could code anything:
Tam loves audio and making podcasts, and has a mini dream of making an app where users can upload field sounds they record directly onto a corresponding map. Things like this already kind of exist, but not to the extent she’s looking for.
Susanne still wants to program an app where people around the globe can add favourite bakeries onto a map. They could add specifications like “sells dark bread”, “sells pretzels”, “sells gluten free bread” and so on. (Susanne is German, so whenever she travels she really missed German bread.)
Because it’s weekend, we have a very special hug for you - a mix between a crocodile hug and a dragonball-power-spell. We figure, everybody can use one of these once in a while (especially while coding!;)
Do you love this as much as we do? The video is proving once again that we have nothing to prove: Women can be geeks, too! Make sure to check it out! Maybe some of you want to submit your own crazy picture to http://geekgirlvideo.tumblr.com/ (and represent Rails Girls Summer of Code!).
At Rails Girls Summer of Code you work hard and learn new stuff every day, for
3 months, a summer full of love and code.
To make this an even more complete experience for you we’d like you to join a
nice conference. Enjoy the great vibe, learn a few new things from the talks, chat with fantastic people and get to know the lovely community!
For this we have been offered no less than 55 free tickets at fantastic
conferences on 3 different continents for you. On top of that some conferences
even include free flights and hotel, too. And all of them are very worth
Everyone who has applied for Rails Girls Summer of Code as a student can apply for this, no matter if your application has been selected.
We are Laura and Nicole, a.k.a. Team Rails Grrls. We started our Summer of Code in Mid-June at the Soundcloud HQ office in Berlin.
After the first few weeks of getting more familiar with Ruby, Rails and programming concepts in general, last week we couldn’t wait to get started with our first project, the Rails Apps Learners Directory. So far, we’ve set up an authentication system through GitHub and added a rating feature (without using a gem!).
Why ‘Rails Grrls’? What does the name mean?
It’s a reference to the Riot Grrrl punk rock movement that started in the early 90’s. Feminism isn’t dead and we want to spread the word that feminists rule.
How did you hear about the SoC and why did you apply?
We both heard about the SoC at the RailsGirls Anniversary Workshop on May 4th this year.
Laura: I want to apply my coding skills to projects for social justice - coding websites and other tech things that need doing. My background is in nonprofits working with queer and gender non-conforming youth, and I want to be able to go back to those movements with more skills to offer.
Nicole: I applied because I want to become a software developer and think the project will give me a good foundation to get started with.
What are you working on?
The first project is to build a crowdsourced directory of Rails-learning resources within RailsApps. The open source community will be able to post, rate and categorize the resources.
The second project will be to build our own programming language using Rubinius and document the process as a tutorial for others.
What is your happiest moment so far?
Everytime we fix something we get an adrenaline rush (and do a high-five). And sometimes we get cookies from our coaches…
If you could code anything in the world, what would it be?
Nicole: I would use my skills to contribute something meaningful to this world. Sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s the truth.
Laura: I would code an app that would swallow Facebook and Google and make them less evil. Kidding, kind of :P
This is our favorite FRIDAYHUG so far from Team Species+. On their [blog] (http://dalach.blogspot.de/search/label/RGSoC) you can find other friday hugs, read about if working in cafés … well works and how they use d3.js.
We are the inchworms and we chose that name because the coding process for us is like crawling inch by inch. Also we like this video.
We’ve been working with Rails Girls Summer of Code for two weeks now and here is a short review…
In the first week we tried and managed to get the hang of the Ruby framework Sinatra. In the second we were busy with screencasting our newly acquired knowledge for other beginners. The first week went pretty fast, the second was a bit exhausting because we had to review and redo everything on a Mac with an older version of Ruby (previosly we both worked with Ubuntu). But also we learned a lot! Primarily how to cope with failure.
We’re both in the rubymosters project group, where we meet once a week and learn how to code. It was there we first heard about the Rails Girls Summer of Code. Since we both enjoyed learning how to code so much we thought RGSoC would be fantastic to participate in: we could spend every day, not just one evening a week, learning.
Our RGSoC-goal is to understand how to build a couple of sample apps with Sinatra, produce some screencasts for installing and working with Sinatra, refactor some Sinatra tests, and in the last month build a web application for the visualization of a large public dataset of EU farm-subsidies. We will do this together with the open knowledge foundation.
We choose the Sinatra project as it’s a ‘lighter’ and more basic framework than rails. We thought it would help us understand on a deeper level how rails and all other web application frameworks operate. The motivation for the visualization-project was to build something useful that helps make sense of a large dataset about an important EU program. We also want to help the open source community and give something back.
The happiest moment was when we got code working on a first attempt without resorting to google or asking for help.
If we could code anything in the world Anja would like to code a new internet without surveillance, or at least a mail program with easier encryption, and Carla would like to recode her own brain.
We have learnt that work isn’t finished in one day, that you have to think a lot about the code and how it could work (or work better), and that you have to get used to failure :-)
Our journey has begun and we’re right on track, code island starboard ahead!
Since July 1st we wrote 222 emails, 133 blog posts have been posted by the teams, they spent more than 99 hours of coding - and this is only the beginning!
It’s been now 12 days since the summer of code officially started and here are the students of 12 teams saying hello world and obviously being super happy about their Summer of Code! Thanks to everybody who made this happen ♥
They will produce a limited Rails Girls Edition of unisex Nerdies and donate all the profit to RGSoC. WOW, this is such a wonderful idea. We just can’t decide, which of the wonderful designs we should pick - so we need your help:
Vote for your favorite design!
Two teams have already blogged - Read about their first day:
Got some spare time and a knack for PR, community management, Sponsoring or Coding? Awesome!
We could use some helpful hands and can offer a wonderful summer of experience and of course cat gifs ;)
Part of the reason is that [Sven] (http://twitter.com/svenfuchs) will have to step back from working on Rails
Girls Summer of Code a little bit starting July and focussing on [Travis] (http://travis-ci.org)
again. During the first weeks he will still be available about half-time and
[Anika] (http://twitter.com/langziehohr) will continue to be available full-time, sponsored by Travis.
These teams would love to have you:
1. Campaign and Sponsors management
Sponsors need to be paid special attention to until after the program as much
as possible … eventually they’re the ones who allow us to pay so many people!
2. Helpdesk and Team Supervision
The idea is to organize remote support
(answering questions on IRC etc) for when teams get stuck and local coaches
3. Blog, Newsletter and Press
This team writes up news in order to keep our community in the loop, and tell
the world about how the teams are doing, whats going on and share some nice stories.
This team takes care of the website and makes sure it stays up to date with the
progress of RGSoC.
The team is still looking for someone with design skills and others who’d
like to help out.
5. Teams App
The app should be mostly done before July, but might need updating once in a
Sven can still take care of this for the time being, but it would be cool if
someone with solid Rails dev skills could take this over.
This application is meant as a central place to aggregate activity at
Rails Girls Summer of Code, and it now can be used to register your team (we’ve
already added all sponsored teams), add team members and profile information.
Here’s how to use it:
Your own account
Signing in through GitHub will create a user account on our side. If your account
has already been added by one of your team mates then you’ll claim your account
by signing in through GitHub.
Once signed in you can update your profile information. Please tell the
community a little bit about you, maybe tell why you’re participating, what you
hope to get out of this, etc.
Your team’s profile
On the teams list check if
your team has already been added. If you’re already part of this team then you
can update your team’s profile.
If you haven’t been added to your team, yet, then ask one of the members to
sign in and add you. They will need your GitHub handle for that (the GitHub
handle is your user/login name, the one that appears in the URL when you go to
your GitHub account).
Please work with your team to make sure that your team’s profile tells the
community about your project plan, how and where you plan to work, … everything
that might be useful or fun to know :)
If your team has a GitHub organization (you might want one and they’re free
for Open Source) then please add the handle. If your team has a Twitter
account, then please add it, too.
Your team’s sources
Your team can register “sources” from which this application will try to
Please add your team log and any other blog that is relevant for your team,
by registering its RSS or Atom feed URLs. Read more about the
team log here …
Please also add all the GitHub repository URLs that you are planning to
work on as sources. Currently this won’t actually do anything, yet, but we
plan to aggregate information from there, too.
<div align="left">image: polyvalentimago.tumblr.com</div>
It’s getting really warm outside in Berlin. And Rails Girls Summer of Code is getting closer and closer!
Team Number 10
We are super happy to announce that with the support from [Front Foot] (http://www.frontfoot.com.au/), Readmill, [Gnip] (http://gnip.com) and with [Soundcloud] (http://soundcloud.com) becoming a gold sponsor plus extra donations from our amazing community* … we can now offer
another sponsored team-spot for RGSoC!
And that spot goes to this amazing team:
Jaqcueline Homan (USA) and Angela Ebirim (UK) working on Hackety Hack.
With this we are also welcoming our first remote team on board! Hello you two,
wonderful to have you!
Plus 10 Volunteering Teams
Also, we are thrilled that the following students have registered as volunteering teams!
Aileen Alba & Candy Jimenez
Carolina García & Julia Döring
María del Carmen Berros García
Melanie Murray & Tina Kumar
Michelle Brideau & Nicky Owen Victoria Martinez & Hester van Wijk
Oana Sipos & Maria Iloaie
Tam Eastley& Susanne Dewein
This is so awesome! We will do everything that we can to support you with all
Hopefully, many more students will follow and we can have a really great
Summer of Code together. Let us know if you want to join as a volunteering
We are so happy that you are joining RGSoC and we are looking forward to a fantastic time.
May the ☼ be always with you!
We are both very much thrilled and equally humbled about how Rails Girls Summer
of Code over the last few weeks has grown into a huge program that is very
likely to make a real difference.
This community just rocks!
We are proud to say that we have received 80 applications from over 140
students from all over the world.
Among them some are outstandingly well prepared, some come with an amazing
support network from coaches and local communities, some include outright
moving personal stories.
We have reviewed all of these applications and they have been rated by a
committee of 9 members. This was quite some work, but we are very happy to say
that we have finalized this process yesterday. So we can now announce our first
group of participants.
Congratulations for being accepted into Rails Girls Summer of Code go out to
the following teams!
Carla (Australia) and Anja (Germany) to work on: Sinatra and Farm Subsidy
Open Government Data
Cecilia (Argentinia) and Mayn (Norway) to work on: Open Source Job Board
Jen and Joyce (both USA) to work on: Bundler
Laura and Adriana (both Colombia) to work on: Rails (Conductor)
Magdalena (Poland) to work on: impress.js
Maja and Nina (both Slovenia) to work on: Spree
Nicole (Germany) and Laura (USA) to work on: RailsApps and Rubinius
Saskhi and Pallavi (both India) to work on: Diaspora
Wiktoria and Alicja (both Poland) to work on: Species+
(ordered alphabetically, not by ranking)
If you have applied and your team is not on this list - don’t worry. That does
not mean your summer can’t be a Summer of Code!
Here’s what you can do.
About the selection process
We have tried very hard to make the selection process as fair and objective as
possible. We also want to be transparent about this, so here’s how it worked:
Applications were rated by the criteria given on the
page. Ratings were given by 9 members of the committee individually and
collected in a simple Rails app. This allowed us to compare ratings based on
of central tendency (fancy term from statistics for different ways to
calculate averages, means etc.).
Even though ratings were given individually, for each application individual
ratings were pretty close most of the time. In the few cases where they
differed more we’ve had a short discussion, looking out for potential
misunderstandings or missing information, and gave the opportunity to amend
ratings if applicable.
After completing this process the top rated group was already very obvious. For
the remaining few slots we have looked out for applications that added extra
diversity to the list, especially in respect that haven’t been caught by the
rating system well. E.g. we added one application for the fact that it was the
that could afford coming on board for a reduced stipend easily.
From what we know this process was similar to how many conferences select
speakers: identifying a pre-ranking based on a system that tries to ensure
objectivity as much as possible. Then balancing the end result with regards
to criteria that could not be captured by the system easily.
Sponsors for last-minute seats
The sheer number of fantastic applications that we have received has blown us
away, and we were sad about every single application that didn’t make it in.
We are still actively looking for sponsors so we can hopefully add at least
a few extra last-minute seats.