Students 2016

Posted on by Maria

This year we have 20 amazing teams: 40 students from all over the world of different age and origin, with different backgrounds and skills. Imagine this: 11 countries on 6 continents (Bummer! Haven’t got any applications from Antarctica this year!); we can’t help enjoying this feeling of the united world.

The students are more than 65% through the program. They have already experienced a lot, really. It’s not just about programming (that, obviously, too!), it’s also about getting along with a team, sharing fun moments and conflict solving, celebrating achievements and coping with frustration. Sometimes it feels like you are facing a problem which shouldn’t have come up on the program, and that you / someone else must be doing something wrong. That’s absolutely ok, we all deal with such issues regularly at work, and the best we can do is to learn and may be share solutions with others.

Yet so much to come. Our students will attend conferences, some of them will give their first talks. Wooo, we are so excited!

Click on the pictures to read students’ stories!

RGSoC Students 2016 (images: Students 2016; collage: Ana Sofia Pinho)

As always, we would like to say big Thank You to all the people who help our students participate in the program: sponsors, donors, coaches, coaching companies, mentors, supervisors, organizers and volunteers. Without you we wouldn’t see these happy faces and wouldn’t read their inspiring stories.

Want to get fresh updates from our students? Check out these Twitter lists: RGSoC Teams 2016 & RGSoC Students 2016. Stay tuned!

RGSoC in a Coaching Company - Part 2

Posted on by Ana Sofia Pinho

Now that you saw a bit where Echo, RubyCats, LoadToCode, Vegemite and KaUlah work (if you missed it, the blog post is here), it’s time to show you the rest of the coaching companies’ spaces!

Thank you so much for being part of the program! <3

Hackbrighters and GitHub

(San Francisco, USA)

Hackbrighters at GitHubPatricia and Melissa at GitHub! (Image: Patricia and Melissa)

Patricia and Melissa

“Our Coaching Company is Github, located in San Francisco’s South Beach neighborhood, close to San Francisco’s AT&T stadium. The best part about being hosted at a Coaching Company for RGSoC is to be surrounded by fellow software developers. Being immersed in an environment where we’re able to discuss and learn from other developers is priceless to our growth as software engineers. Githubbers have been so warm and welcoming! Githubbers are so willing to lend their expertise. To illustrate, our team gets impromptu seminars from Sam Lambert (https://twitter.com/isamlambert) about distributed systems. We’ve spoken to Ian Olsen about JavaScript and ES6, as well as Lizz Hale about Ruby on Rails. Both Michelle Tilley and Katrina Uychaco have assisted us with learning React. Overall, it’s been a wonderful experience to jumpstart our careers.

As coding apprentices, the technical help and support we’ve gotten has been incredible. The senior engineers also have been really open about how to navigate the culture of the tech industry. They all sympathize with how hard it is to break into industry without a CS background from a fancy school. But they’ve been really helpful with advice about how to meet and introduce yourself to people, as well as point us toward different meetup groups. This is information and insight that you can’t get online or in a classroom. Being explicitly welcomed by a coaching company goes a long way toward feeling welcomed by the industry.”

joda and ABSOLVENTA

(Berlin, Germany)

joda at ABSOLVENTADayana and Johanna at ABSOLVENTA! (Image: Dayana and Johanna)

Dayana and Johanna

“You don’t necessarily need a coaching company to learn how to code but if you have one, you get a lot of insights you wouldn’t otherwise: You can experience how those coding skills you learn are applied in every day work life. For us, it is very motivating to see that professional developers work in a similar way as we do (of course much faster ;)

We learn a lot of useful terminology, but most importantly how a day in a programmer’s professional life really looks like: In stand-up-meetings, you overhear and observe a lot which tools, frameworks and programming languages the professionals are using and thus get an idea of the manifold problem solutions there are.

Apart from having this great environment, we of course are very lucky to have such supportive coaches, which are ready to jump in when we are stuck or when we don’t know how to continue.”

Carsten from ABSOLVENTA

“The learning curve is steep at the beginning of the summer: There’s new lingo left and right, a project whose complexity might be intimidating, there’s lots of new people, and the team has to find their own workflow. But as the weeks pass, mysteries dissolve into knowledge and the once foreign codebase has not only lost its scariness, but feels a bit like home. Three months of working on Open Source builds a tremendous amount of developer self-confidence!”

kindr3d and Namics

(Frankfurt, Germany)

kindr3d at NamicsElvina and Micaela at Namics! (Image: Elvina and Micaela)

Elvina and Micaela

“It wasn’t easy for us, team kindr3d, to find coaches in Frankfurt, but when we did we lucked out big time and scored an entire coaching company. They provide us with safe space and technical support, but also allow us to be close to our coaches, hence we resolve most of the issues directly on the ground, which allows us to be self-sufficient and low-maintenance within RGSoC. We find office environment rather motivating, since we have enough free space, quiet and meeting rooms where we can isolate ourselves and use white boards, projectors etc.

Namics has daily fruit delivery, unlimited coffee and drinks, so there is enough fuel to go through a hard day’s work. But there are also leisure areas, kicker table and sofa, where one can wind down and experience a home-like environment. We also had a chance to observe real-life team software development (agile style) in progress with its shortcoming and advantages. Seeing a team from the inside gives us confidence, that there is a place in a team for a junior, apprentice, and that fresh perspective and enthusiasm are assets worth rewarding in IT.”

Perifericas and Raul Hacker Club

(Salvador, Brasil)

Perifericas at Raul Hacker ClubEmma and Geisa at Raul Hacker Club! (Image: Geisa)

Emma and Geisa

“The best part of having a coaching company during RGSoC is to learn directly from professionals who are running projects all the time and share with us mistakes they made so we can learn from that too.

We choose the Raul Hackerspace as our host not only because we’re members, but also because RaulHC is a place that embraces diversity. Since the beginning we knew we wanted to work during RGSoC here. There’s a kitchen, so we can prepare our food and snacks, and the best part is the dazziling view.

*As seniors, coaches are helping us to thrive in this path. Rather than giving us the solutions right away, our coaches are giving us tips and advice, guiding us and enabling us to find the answers by ourselves.

Brena Monteiro is the co-founder of UpriseIT, a software company based in Gov. Valadares in Minas Gerais state. She has large experience in software projects and development with Ruby and Rails. Daniela Feitosa and Aurélio A. Heckert are from Colivre, a cooperative service company that supplies solutions for Internet, development and consultancy in free software. Victor Flores aka User_X, a senior development represents LampiãoSec, a security research group.* “*

MitPal and Elevator Factory

(Atlanta, USA)

Mitpal at Elevator FactorySherri and Anitha at Elevator Factory! (Image: Sherri and Anitha)

Sherri and Anitha

“The support that we have received in RGSoC and the Coaching Company is invaluable. We have an amazing team that has donated time and resources to help us be successful during RGSOC. Our co-working space was donated by the Elevator Factory, which has allowed us to come in and work together every day. Our coaches, Pamela Vickers and Pete Holiday, have given countless hours of their own time to help us work through any issues that we may be having. Without this support system in place, learning and accomplishing all that we have would be difficult at best. Our skill set along with our confidence continues to grow, and we know that our career goals are definitely within our reach.”

Hello from Team Crackers!!

Posted on by Nikita and Nishtha

Team Crackers
image taken by Nikita Bhagat

Hello everyone!! This is team Crackers. We are nikita and nishtha from Gandhinagar, India.
We study at DA-IICT. We are in same batch and we have a fine tuning due to which we decided to apply for rails girls summer of code. Earlier we used to team up for coding competitions held online as well as in our college. We got to know about rails girls summer of code from one of our seniors and from then we looked out for coaches, teamed up with them and applied for this. This is our first time in open source community and our project is WeCare.

NISHTHA

I like to define myself as an hyperactive, happy go lucky, borderline geeky, your friendly neighbourhood foodie. Intrigued often with more than how a phone looks, I like to keep up with consumer electronics, and the strides and fads of developer communities. However, my knowledge and love for technology was not more than skin deep back when I started my undergraduate studies as B.Tech in ICT at DA-IICT. I like being a proactively communicative and contributing member of the communities that I am a part of.
Being in a close-knit community, surrounded by technology enthusiasts, and talented developers, these two years have given me immense exposure and driven me to expand my horizons in many dimensions. From sweating when asked to print the fibonacci series on the console, to have successfully written data based Android apps, and I like to see my journey as a good one. However, it has a long way to go. In fact, I am currently pursuing a nanodegree program on Udacity, supported by a scholarship from Google and Tata Trusts.

NIKITA

I am currenty studying in 3rd year(undergrad) for the course Information and Communication Technology. I started coding with basic C and HTML since my high school. Later I got to know about web development, attended various workshops and discussions which acted as an ignition to working with web applications. Then I started studying various online courses and making informal projects. Later last summer I had my internship on educational web applications where I met very great people who taught me advance techniques in this field which is quite helpful for the project. In my free time I go out and play football with my team or fiddle around arts and crafts. Also I like travelling and mountain hiking.

Team Crackers image taken by Nishtha Boda

ABOUT OUR PROJECT

WeCare is a digital platform that will help NGOs to get onboard with technology to promote their campaigns. It will also help people in discoverability of various campaigns as well as provide detailed information about them. Volunteers can also contribute towards ongoing campaigns, run by different NGOs, via this platform. The best part about the platform is the ease of use and its effectiveness so that anyone can easily promote and market their campaigns to increase their visibility. It is a free service. We plan to create a console for NGOs once they register on the website to manage their campaigns.

WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED SO FAR?

During initial days there was a bit miscommunication between the team and the mentor, as she was a bit into travelling and we were taking some time in understanding the project. But once she was back, we arranged calls every week discussed on 2-3 issues and how should we approach them. Our first issue was which we decided to take a basic one is login/signup page. First we made it having two different pages but then we planned the structure and layout of the whole website nd figured out that merged tabular look would be much better with passport in its back end part. Second task which we are working on is a console or portal type where the NGOs can register their website or add upcoming campaigns for other people in world to view them or publish new information they get. For addressing this issue we went through some advance topics in node and also we planned out a layout for console. We are done with a parrallax style home page for WeCare, added an “About Us” page to it with its content and partially done with console task.

What are our future goals?

Our present focus is on console task as it cannot afford to bring or have any sort of error because that would result in problems in publishing any information live. Later we will focus on following tasks provided by mentor:

  • Update API Documentation
  • Add validation on user input
  • Use service workers in the website to improve performance
  • make a map which will pin point locations of NGO/campaigns that are registered

Follow us at :)

Twitter
Github

RGSoC in a Coaching Company - Part 1

Posted on by Ana Sofia Pinho

Every year, our students work from the most varied places: university campuses, coworking spaces or coaching companies… Even though you can work on RGSoC from anywhere, coaching companies not only provide the space for our students to work, but also coaching support. We could be here talking about all the benefits from being a coaching company or a student at a company, but we thought it would be best for you learn from the students’ and the coaching companies’ own words. And to make things more interesting, there are pictures of the workspaces too! :)

Before we jump into that, we just wanted to announce our new Coaching Companies page on our website. This is the least we can do to show them how much we appreciate their support. Thank you!

And now, time for the sneak peek! :)

RubyCats and CodeQuest

(Warsaw, Poland)

RubyCats at Code QuestIza and Kinga at Code Quest! (Image: Iza and Kinga)

Iza and Kinga

“There are some nice work spaces in Warsaw, for example Google Campus, which we truly admire, but none of them could compare to the coaching company. And we are honored to have an amazing one - Code Quest! It’s not only about having a desk to sit at and coaches nearby. It’s a boost of energy in the morning, when you meet all of the amazing people, that are a part of Code Quest. It’s a chance to see, how a software house works. It’s an amazing opportunity see everything from the inside, not just look in from the outside. Thank you, Code Quest!”

Magda from CodeQuest

“We love Rails community and we’re proud to be a part of it. That’s why at codequest we support events like Rails Girls workshops and Rails Girls Summer of Code. Next to open source collaboration, such events are our small brick to build awesome environment we are working in. And it’s a pleasure to work with such people as RubyCats Iza and Kinga!”

LoadToCode and SoundCloud

(Berlin, Germany)

LoadToCode at SoundCloudThea and Marie at SoundCloud! (Image: Thea and Marie)

Thea & Marie

“Being part of a Coaching Company means:
- Having real-life support
- Seeing and being surrounded by rolemodels (on the way to being a programmer, being surrounded by programmers). Also, you are surrounded by so many experts and you can find them all over the work place! :)
- Having structure and a well separated work/learning and living-place for more effective learning. This makes a big difference concerning motivation and for a better work life balance.
- Contacts (having small or longer talks in the cafeteria with people from Soundcloud is not only inspiring but also a way to get to know more people working in the field).
- Best possibility to check whether you really want to spent your days like this, even though 3 months is a little short, it is good enough to find out if you like what you are doing.
- What could only be better? having a RGSoC-3-month-Hackathon instead of a coaching company ;)”

Duana from SoundCloud

“RGSoC is a way for us to address diversity issues in our industry, contribute to open source and sharpen our mentoring skills-but the biggest reward is seeing how people from such different backgrounds can thrive in code and help us forge a more inclusive and diverse tech culture.”

Echo and The Innovation Village

(Kampala, Uganda)

Echo at The Innovation VillageNaggita and Joannah at The Innovation Village! (Image: Naggita and Joannah)

Naggita and Joannah

“Coaching companies undoubtedly play a big role for the teams doing RGSOC. They give teams the right visibility, mentorship to jump start their career , guidance on the projects they are working on and help them to easily reach the technology community because they already have avenues to great tech meetups , gatherings and communities. The innovation village Kampala has given us incredible visibility in Kampala and without doubt Africa as a whole, we have appeared on one of their TV stations, ( IdeaT V), talking about our involvement in RGSoC and community outreach . We also have access to a tech community that inspires us to jump start our development. We have been introduced to a very significant network of very inspiring people. These people have given us ideas, encouraged us and mentored us. Some have inspired us to chase our dreams and become better engineers. It has helped us in becoming better speakers by giving us a platform to speak at an event. They have given us for all events we want to do as a team. It has really bent its programs to accommodate our suggestions on possible tech gatherings and involvements so that we can fully achieve one of our goals for RGSOC, community involvement.”

Japheth from Innovation Village

“Supporting the RGSoC defines why we set up The Innovation Village as a destination of ideas. Supporting RGSoC becomes a perfect opportunity for us to collaborate globally with partners who have significant experience that we can customize locally as we give an opportunity to brilliant girls to bless the world with their ingenuity.

All beginnings have the potential of immense possibilities. As we interact with the RGSoC, it might appear as if they are benefiting from us and yet we are benefiting more from them by giving them an environment they can bring ideas to life. Out of a simple conversations with the the ladies I could see possibilities of a series of projects they could bring to life with the proper mentorship.

The best thing about being part of RGSoC is being in the presence of possibilities. My experience so far is this is about raising to challenges through viable solutions driven by tech. Being part of RGSoC brings the best opportunity for this given it allows the global perspective to local talent who can be inspired to become local change-makers to everyday issues.”

KaUlah and Rebased

(Warsaw, Poland)

KaUlah at RebasedUla and Katarzyna at Rebased! (Image: Ula and Katarzyna)

Katarzyna and Ula

“We meet our coaches every day, not only when we need some advice, but also just to say hi. Thanks to that we can learn not only from our experience but also by watching real developers at work. We have our own working space, with our desks, whiteboard and some fun stuff. We can see how IT company works from inside, how everyday job looks like. Moreover, we can take part in companies internal trainings which is very insightful.”

Piotr from Rebased

“Rebased is super happy to be an RGSoC coaching company for the third year running; we strongly believe in helping underrepresented people find their way in tech and fostering diversity in open source. Being able to help a team discover the joys of programming in a welcoming, non-stressful atmosphere on a worthwhile project (and shipping the code to production!) is always a great experience.”

Vegemite and Culture Amp

(Melbourne, Australia)

Vegemite at Culture AmpRamya and Kylie at Culture Amp! (Image: Ramya and Kylie)

Ramya and Kylie

“The best part of having a coaching company is that we get to experience working in a professional environment. We’ve had the opportunity to pair program with coaches, which helps with understanding the requirements of what we’re working on, and how to make code more efficient. Our coaches have such amazing brains, we’re wondering when do we start thinking like that?

How Rails Girls Summer Of Code helps us to learn to code is that it is not just about learning code, it’s about having best practices such as daily standups, test driven development, well maintained code, and elegant solutions. One of the things that we love about Culture Amp is that they’re big on fostering community - the people who work here organise, take part in and speak at events. Culture Amp have been very welcoming, and we’ve taken part in their Conference Culture X Design, which was the first conference Ramya has ever been to.

Culture Amp have helped us jumpstart our career in software development by challenging us to ask the right questions in order to get the answers we need, and to learn how to find essential information. Their lunchtime Brown Bag sessions on tech topics such as Github and Docker have given us real world education in issues that affect them. We’ve also noticed that our open source contribution graphs on Github are so much greener! It’s been a great opportunity for networking and meeting people within the company, and finding out about the culture of a company that cares greatly about what culture is.”

Jo Cranford, coach from Culture Amp

“Diversity is a huge issue in technical teams - women are generally underrepresented, particularly in engineering roles. Our research shows that more diverse teams not only perform better, but are more inclusive and generally nicer places to work. In our own teams, we are very conscious of what we can do to create an inclusive work environment for everybody, and we also carry out research into diversity and inclusion across other companies. It’s a really important issue for us, and one that we actively work on!

As an organisation, Rails Girls is making a real difference - one of our engineers got her start in Ruby at a past Rails Girls event. We have sponsored Rails Girls events in Australia over the last eighteen months, and our engineers are encouraged to join both the local events and summer of code as coaches, and supported in doing so. We have also supported other local events including SheHacks. As a company we are continuing to look for opportunities to support and help encourage diversity within the community.”

Introducing Team Fedex++

Posted on by Mansi and Sahar

Team Fedex++

Play in pain, Play in problem and Play in all sorts of conditions.
- Roger Federer

Team-Fedex++
image taken by Sahar Siddiqui

Die hard Roger Federer Fans, our team name itself reveals our first common interest to join hands together to form a team in the first place. We are Mansi Goel and Sahar Siddiqui from IIIT-Delhi, India, in our 3rd year of Undergrad School and ready to take this journey of learning something new for the benefit of society with full energy and enthusiasm.

Our first exposure to the Rails Girls Summer of Code was when a team from our institute (Jayasi Mehar and Megha Arora) got selected for it. To us, it seemed like a great achievement that you get to work with one of the finest developers in open source. Frankly, we couldn’t really understand the real essence of ‘Open Source’ until we got affiliated to the development society of IIIT-Delhi i.e. Byld. Our seniors became our mentors and guided us through all the terms. This way we realised the enthusiasm within ourselves to code for the community.

Mansi: When I first heard that the application process is going to begin soon, first and last person to cross my mind was Sahar. There just couldn’t have been anyone else for this.
Sahar: I was introduced to RGSoC by Mansi herself. I’ve always been interested in taking up challenging tasks but at the same time hesitant in applying for some. And Mansi asking me to pair up for RGSoC’16 was just a blessing in disguise.

We both knew it is going to be tough considering the academic workload we have in the Institute. But the desire within us to learn something and the fact that we would be working with people all over the world who will guide us superseded all our fears.

Why PyDSA?

Project ‘PyDSA’ is an Open Source Python Library for the implementations of various Data Structures and Algorithms. Along with this, it provides a visualisation tool for beginners to have a deeper understanding of working of Algorithms.
We are Python lovers. We get a problem and the first way that comes in our mind to solve it is through Python. Choosing PyDSA over any other project was comfortable for us and at the same time challenging considering our ardent love for Algorithms and Python. We have got to give it our best :p

Team PyDSA
All images have been taken from Rails Girls Team App with permissions

First Pydelhi Conference
  • We attended our first ever conference in March when we found out that one of biggest PyDelhi conferences was happening very close to our institute.
  • Amongst most amazing talks on latest tools and technologies, we realised that participation of women is drastically low in these kind of events.
  • We were so disappointed by the fact that there is such low awareness amongst women and we realised the importance of initiatives like RGSoC to promote girls into this environment.
  • It also happened to be the place where we first met our Mentor, Amit Kumar who also introduced us to two of our coaches, Anuvrat Parashar and Saurabh Kumar.
Coaches, Mentors and Supervisors
  • We got introduced to our mentor in the PyDelhi Conference who did an amazing job at encouraging us to apply for RGSoC. He even helped us find out coaches.
  • We found another coach amongst our friends, Ankit Sultana and the other one being our professor at IIITD, Dr. Rahul Purandare.
  • All our Coaches form a highly enthusiastic group of programmers who never fail to encourage us, are available 24/7 for help and are more than willing to motivate us to continue our journey in Open Source that we have started with RGSoC.
  • We have been fortunate enough to have Vaishali Thakkar and Sophia Takeva as our amazing supervisors throughout this journey of RGSoC.

Team-Fedex++ at Work
image taken by Sahar Siddiqui

What we have achieved so far?

  • We designed the basic draft of PyDSA visualisation website. Link to wireframes : https://goo.gl/8paaNx
  • We learnt about Pep8 format, Python Tests, Travis CI and a few issues and their solutions.
  • We set up a Django server and made a Test App in it.
  • As guided by our coaches, we started learning more about d3.js library and tried to code a few visualisations in it.
  • We learnt how does the interaction between the frontend and backend works using d3.js in frontend and Django framework.
  • We learnt about classes and objects in Python and Design Patterns that should be implemented in order to structure the PyDSA library.
  • Completed the list of algorithms mentioned in the list of algorithms required for the first official release.

In the process, we have reviewed some Pull Requests made by others and we have sent a few of them ourselves.

Our Goals for the Future

  • To set up the official web app on Django platform.
  • To implement all the basic visualisation algorithms using d3.js.
  • To complete the documentation of the algorithms such that they are easily understandable.
  • To prepare further algorithms in such a way that the code is reusable in the Open Source Community.
  • Keep helping others and spreading the word about Open Source :D

With Love
image taken by Mansi Goel

We are so glad to be a part of Rails Girls Summer of Code’16 and Open Source itself and really hope this journey doesn’t end with the Summers. We wish to contribute to the community as much as we can! :)

Follow us at ;)

Twitter
Github

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