Call for Organizers and Helpers

Posted on by Anika

Rails Girls Summer of Code 2016 is coming closer and we are looking for you to join our orga team. We are a group of people who are working behind the curtains to make RGSoC happen again and can use every helping :raised_hand: We are looking for people who either

  • like doing PR stuff (#allthesocialmediathings) or
  • like getting in touch with the community and students or
  • have ideas on how to improve our website or
  • can help out on the development of our teams app or
  • can help out with design / illustrations or
  • organize events or
  • help packing up care packages or
  • help us get in contact with other initiatives or
  • help with guiding students through the application process or
  • help with the teams selection or
  • can post hedgehog gifs in the random channel

If you like doing at least one of these things, we already love you and would be super happy to have you on board and build an amazing RGSoC 2016 together with you. It’s going to be a wonderful adventure!

We have a global organizers call on Wednesday evenings (6 pm CET) that you can join if you want to know more or set up a separate chat with us. So drop us an email, tweet at us or hop into Slack and ping @alicetragedy or me @anikalindtner. We can’t wait to meet you.

Thank you Team Alpha Ruby

Posted on by Ramya and Ariane

Thank You Rails Girls Summer of Code for providing us an opportunity to work in a multicultural environment. Rails Girls Summer of Code allows to meet like-minded people and is a great opportunity to expand our knowledge.

Team AlphaRuby

Goal of Our Project

Ruby is the programming language that we use for our project.
The goal of our project (the Official Ruby Documentation Redesign) is to design an attractive and useful template for reading Ruby documentation, made available as the official ruby-lang.org language reference documentation: http://docs.ruby-lang.org/.

How we worked for Our Project

First registered online courses, probably you know some of them:
- Codecademy (HTML, CSS, JS, Ruby and RoR, the whole package)
- HTML/CSS/JavaScript
- Ruby on Rails
- CodeSchool (Git and Ruby are some of the free courses)
- 30 Days to learn HTML and CSS
- Perfect Workflow in Sublime
- Coursera

Weekly

We cannot forget to mention the amazing kick-off with all students and mentors in the first moment of this project.

We had an opportunity to study and explore the Ruby programming language.
We worked daily and also had an opportunity to work using Trello for Activity updates within our Team.
We also had an opportunity to explore and work in Github: Update and contribute source code using Git.

What did we learn from the project?

When we study individually we do not have an opportunity to explore all the concepts. We had an opportunity to learn and write code by following the Software Engineering Process in a real environment with support from our team. We had an opportunity to work for Official Ruby Documentation Redesign, and whenever we had issue during our coding and testing, we were guided by our coaches and mentor. They helped to contribute and explore this Open Source Project, making it an amazing team.

Our heartfelt thanks to our coaches, mentors and supervisors.

The team had positive support for Rails Girls Summer of Code from the beginning and have been understanding; this helped us during difficult times, by guiding us into the right direction.

Thanks to Rails Girls Summer of Code for providing us with such an opportunity to implement new skills, knowledge and experience in the Information Technology and Internet services area.
We consider that it is great to have a project that supports women’s empowerment and provides interesting projects for women to show their potential to work in all the areas.

We learnt to organize our tasks and maintain schedule of activities completed on a daily basis: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/

Our team was very positive and we will certainly continue to empower women in coding and technology and contributing to Open Source.

Coaches

Barbara and Stella: Our coaches worked with us throughout the Summer Project and also supported on weekends to fix issues in our project. They have been supporting us and helped us during any issues by providing advice on the project, helping to understand and resolve issues, helping to implement our goals and giving valuable guidance. Learning has been a very important and valuable aspect of this project.

Mentor

Zachary is a great project maintainer and Ruby core contributor. He was our inspiration and we had an opportunity to work under his guidance. At any point of difficulty in the project, he always provided support and helped us to fix the issues with our project.

Our experience and our learning

We had a wonderful time, learning and coding, that allowed us to explore and gain knowledge in Open Source. We are stepping out with so lots of positive experiences and gained knowledge which help us further to shape our career.

Organizers of Rails Girls Summer of Code have been inspirational: We have no words to express our love for the organizers. They have been supporting us during the most difficult phases of our project and Rails Girls Summer of Code would definitely not be possible without such amazing people: Thank You from Team Alpha Ruby!

CocoaGems gets strange at Strange Loop

Posted on by Karla and Emma

What is Strange Loop?

Strange Loop took place in St. Louis, Missouri. The same county where Ferguson is located. The conference, like the attendees themselves, were anything but conventional. I heard more than a few attendees who described it as a conference with equal amounts of heart and brain. So what makes it so that a conference has head and heart? Speakers who talk about society and about how software affects society – some talked about inclusion, the technical divide, what it means to be a person of color in tech and what we can do about it, and also about cognitive biases. The lightning talks and sessions at Strange Loop were plentiful; by plentiful I mean there was a total of 20 workshops to choose from the day before the conference began, and then there was a total of 36 talks over two days plus 12 evening un-sessions on Friday after day one of the conference. Strange Loop has a wide range of talks, many of them had a inter-disciplinary vibe to them. As an attendee you get exposed to a lot of different languages and techniques.

Team CocoaGems
The pre-party was held at the City Museum. (Photo: CocoaGems)

Take Aways

A main take away from Strange Loop was the great value of connecting computer science with other interests or subjects. Carin Meier played around with building programs in Clojure based on chemical reactions. Since all living organisms information systems are based on chemical processes, there is a lot we can learn from it; by showing the audience demos she wanted to give an eye opener for more innovation and new ways of thinking about computer problems.
Amy Wibowo’s talk was about how she and a group of Airbnb engineers hacked a knitting machine to be computer-controlled so that it could print images in yarn. She and her team learned a great deal of electronics using the problem-solving skills that computer science requires in an engineering day job; by applying these skills to a hobby project, they experienced the joy of being new to something as well as getting yarn print outs.

Team CocoaGems
Carin Meier talks about Chemical Computing. (Photo: CocoaGems)

Team CocoaGems
Amy Wibowo shows the yarn print out from the hacked knitting machine. (Photo: CocoaGems)

Favorite Talks

Out of the sessions I attended some of my favorites included Abby Bobe’s Keynote: From Protesting to Programming, Becoming a Tech Activist, Morgan Marquis-Boire’s Security for Humans: Privacy Coercion Resistant Design, and Brian Lile’s, Cognitive Bias: A reflection, Evelina Gabinova’s How Machine Learning helps Cancer, Beating Threads - live coding with real time by Sam Aaron, and No, Really… Robots and JavaScript?! by Raquel Vélez. Morgan Marquis-Boire’s talk was eye opening because it debunked conspiracy theories and proved that many science fictions alluding to a big brother surveillance system are as real as the built-in function SpyCore featured in iOS. Boire’s talk made me and I’m sure many other rethink our loyal attachments to our phones and our trust with all of the personal info we share. As the world goes mobile, he said, so does the surveillance state.

Sam Aaron talked about his invention Sonic Pi which allows him and many more to create music with code live in real time. He created Sonic Pi to teach kids about programming, but the program is really for anyone. We were so inspired that we immediately downloaded it and played with it the same night.

Team CocoaGems
Sam Aaron talks about Sonic Pi. (Photo: CocoaGems)

Team CocoaGems
A group of us playing with Sonic Pi. (Photo: CocoaGems)

Farewell, Summer of Code, farewell

Posted on by Ania&Basia

Unfortunately the summer is over and we have to move on. Those were an amazing three months that completely changed our lives. At least we hoped so!

With Matz
L-R: Ania, [Yukihiro Matsumoto](https://twitter.com/yukihiro_matz), Basia (Image: Piotr Szotkowski)

First of all, we wrote a lot of code.

Working on our training apps:

Anna: 89 commits / 4,350 ++

Basia: 75 commits / 7,692 ++

And working on RubyClerks:

Anna: 38 commits

Basia: 29 commits

in total: 221 commits / 352,287 ++

What’s more, we’ve been to two great conferences, seen 30 talks and we’ve met many amazing human beings.

What we were working on?

RubyClerks is an e-commerce web application built from rails engines. Before RGSoC, we had no idea how to build an engine like that. But now we have our contribution into open source, we succeed in building our own engines as well as adding one to the RubyClerks. The engine that we made is named Stripe Clerk. It’s a payment module for charging money with Stripe app. We also added some features to the RubyClerks, like a rake task for adding an English sample database and buttons for invoice printing. We also learned Test-Driven Development and Behaviour-Driven-Development, which was rather something new for us. We are very proud of ourselves when we see that our changes will be used in the app. It makes us sing:

Like an engine, built for a very first time!

Like an e-e-e-engine, when your app runs next to mine!

What we gained?

When you study alone at home, you know nothing about working on a project, collaboration, git or code reviews. Rails Girls Summer of Code was a great opportunity to try work on a real project, but in a very friendly environment and with great support. We couldn’t imagine a better start into IT. That was a very intense time, we’ve learned a lot. About rails, html, css, js, rails engines and testing. We also used a lot of gems and spent long hours on stackoverflow. During the first month we’ve learned more than during half a year of self-study. This is an invaluable advantage.

What we feel?__

This feeling when you see your contribution in an open source project is really good, and we want it more. We are also very impressed with the energy of the organizers. We want to thank the whole Rails Girls Summer of Code Core Team and all of the grantors. We are super super grateful for this amazing time and commitment of so many people. Without them it wouldn’t have happened. Our roots are in the Rails Girls movement and we will support this initiative as much as we can.

What we are doing now?

Ania: I am preparing some apps for my portfolio and started looking for my first job as an intern or junior developer. When I look back, I can see all the things that I learned, but I can also see all these things that I don’t know yet. That’s why I keep on learning. But if I failed, I can always continue writing IT-pop songs… ;)

Basia: I was lucky to get a job without a break after RGSoC. I was lucky but I worked hard on this for 1,5 years. This is it, this is my place, this is what I want to do: constantly learn new things and build interesting software with great people.

Summary

Being part of Rails Girls Summer of Code was a great adventure. We strongly recommend to try it. Just get involved: as a student, supervisor, mentor, coach or sponsor and give the best of yourself.

Our big team
L-R: Piotr, Tomasz, Ania, Basia, Jarek, Łukasz, Tomek. (Image: Magda, CodeQuest)

Binary Say Goodbye :(

Posted on by Lina and Angela

It is the end of an incredible summer. We improved our skills so far and attended our first conference, RubyConf Colombia. We are very grateful with the program of Rails Girls Summer of Code.

Team Binary

L-R Alfonso Mancilla, Angela Guette, Laura Garcia (alumni), Lina Torres, Sebastian Sogamoso

At the beginning of this summer we had high expectations about what we might do. We read, did so many tutorials, we investigated and especially, we coded, considering that practice is most important thing when you are learning to code. So we decided to absorb all the necessary knowledge of our supervisor, mentors and coaches and see for ourselves the satisfaction to see our complete project and that’s priceless.

Team Binary

Sarah Mei with Is Your Code Too SOLID?

We can say that this is a new beginning, although three months were not enough now we have more confidence to start new projects and be more active in the open source community. We want to express our gratitude to the program’s organizers, our supervisor Ramon Huidobro, our coaches Sebastian Sogamoso and Alfonso Mancilla, and mentors Nick Quaranto and Benjamin Fleischer, who were always willing to help.

Team Binary

Sandi Metz with Nothing is Something

Last week we attended the RubyConf Colombia, which was amazing! Especially Angela, who lived this experience as an organizer.

Team Binary

Registration

The atmosphere in an event like this is indescribable. You’re surrounded by great people, from whom you can learn a lot. All you want is to just hear everything they say and not miss a word. There were four women speakers (Woohoo!!) with very motivational talks.

Team Binary

The people who made possible this conference

This year the conference was held in parallel with the JSConf Colombia at the same place, we also had the opportunity to attend, and were very excited after the last keynote. In it, the organizers made a homage to the women in tech, exalting all the work we have done to make progress in this sector.

Team Binary

Friday Hug!

Finally, we want to thank all the organizers who made these conferences possible, especially RubyConf Co, which is the first time that was realized in Colombia. All speakers were very excited and were saying they definitely would come for a second edition, to which we also look forward!

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