Our end of RGSoC,:( !

Posted on by Naggita Keziah and Nanjekye Joannah

Team Echo: Our RGSoC Landing

Like a flight we just landed our RGSoC plane. It has been three awesome months of learning, connecting, coding and changing lives. We pushed, pulled, squashed, force pushed, gave talks, revived Rails Girls Kampala, interviewed, toured, travelled and became official contributors to qutebrowser.

The unforgettable memories of updating teams app, responding to emails and slack messages, having our PRs merged, attending conferences, renewing Rails Girls Kampala and so much more made Rails Girls Summer of Code an amazing experience. The summer is over and we are back to putting what we learnt and our experience to work in our communities.

team picture
Team Echo photo (put together by Keziah Naggita)

Our summer Achievements

The biggest highlight was the fact that RGSoC introduced us to open source software development. We all made our first PRs during RGSoC and have also contributed to other FOSS projects during our summer and intend to continue doing so after such inspired mentorship from Florian Bruhin and Kasia jarmołkowicz not forgetting our coaches Wilson Kiggundu and Augustine Kisitu.

RGSoC has taught us so many things, ranging from writing clean and clear code to soft skills. We have come to appreciate the need to impact our communities as well. We have become better speakers, mentors and coaches because we know exactly how it feels to be on the other side of life. Life is a learning experience and we’re glad on our way we met RGSoC to also teach us.

On qutebrowser

We all made our first PRs during RGSoC. We will never forget this feeling 🙂. We have made a total of ten contributions. Below are our contributions to qutebrowser:

  • We wrote a debug command to change the Ram Handler capacity.
  • We wrote end to end tests for Navigating multiline links.
  • We suggested and also solved this bug in qutebrowser code issue 1867 for validating logger names passed to logfilter.
  • We made the completion font configurable in qutebrowser.
  • We wrote two more commands. One is :debug-log-level, it changes the log levels for the logs in the console. The other is debug-log-filter that changes the filters for the console logs.
  • Worked on Purging UTM data when yanking url Added a new setting and improved the yank command so that it strips away UTM parameters from the URL for convinience when sharing the URL.
  • We also removed –qt arguments in qutebrowser and replaced them with –qt-flag and –qt-arg.
  • Made command keys (:/?) configurable.
  • We made zero a usable count for commands in the browser.
  • We were still working on creating a Global blacklist for URL completion model.

General FOSS involvement

We have made other contributions to other projects during our summer. We have opened three PRs and opened one issue on taskcluster from Mozilla and PyConZA16, a PyCon South Africa website. The future holds many possibilities for us. We have started our FOSS involvement during RGSoC and hope to continue contributing.

Community involvement

Revived Rails Girls Kampala

During summer, we revived the Rails Girls Kampala chapter. A community that had been started by Thoughtworks and died after Thoughtworks closing their Kampala offices. We started an eight-week Ruby on Rails training attended by 25 participants with support of our coaching company the The Innovation Village Kampala. We are still running the sessions and they will end at the end of October 2016. The goal of the training is to impart Ruby on Rails skills to the participants and ensure that they are in position to build something in form of a project at the end of the eight weeks. The participants shall write blogs on the projects they have developed, which we shall tweet about.

team picture Team Echo photo taken by simoen at the innovation village kampala

team picture Team Echo photo taken by simoen at the innovation village kampala

team picture Team Echo photo taken by simoen at the innovation village kampala

team picture Team Echo photo taken by simoen at the innovation village kampala



We received diversity tickets much thanks to PyConZA through RGSoC to attend and speak at PyConZA that took place between 6th and 7th october in Capetown, South Africa. We had a great time networking and listening from other speakers from the python community.

We gave a talk on contributing to Python open source infrastructure and projects. The Talk and Presentation were published.

team picture Team Echo photo taken by Humphrey batua during pyconza 2016, capetown

team picture Team Echo photo taken by the media team during pyconza 2016, capetown

African Women in Technology Conference

We were invited to speak about RGSoC and a give a talk on how drones, sensors and apps are rewriting the rules in agriculture at the African Women in Technology conference that took place in Nairobi 21st–22nd of July 2016. We had good feedback and were also inspired by great talks from different women in technology fron the African tech space.

Day 1 Team Echo photo taken by Ian Yatich at the African Women in Tech conference (East Africa), Nairobi, Kenya

Smart Automation

After speaking at the African Women in Tech conference, we got another invite to speak about drones, sensors and apps at the first smart Automation conference that took place 2nd–3rd September in Nairobi, Kenya. We got another chance to network with automation engineers and got to learn about what technology can do in industry automation.

team picture Team Echo photo taken by Ian Yatich during smart Automation conference in Nairobi

team picture Team Echo photo taken by Ian Yatich during smart Automation conference in Nairobi

team picture Team Echo photo taken by Ian Yatich during smart Automation conference in Nairobi

What we have learnt

We learnt alot during RGSoC , some of the skills which got include the following;

  • We learnt the open source workflow, community engagement and handling code reviews for our own and other people’s code.
  • Lots of problem solving and working with big code bases.
  • We learnt debugging skills as the rescue to finding problems in big codebases.
  • We also improved our python programming skills.
  • Learn about the browser architecture and its development.
  • Team work, this included sharing of tasks and complementing one another and we also learnt how to do pair programming to learn new skills.
  • Building self-confidence.
  • Last but not least, we learnt how to accept and learn from criticism. This helped us grow especially during code reviews.


We cannot say thank you enough to all the people that made RGSoC 2016 a success, for Team Echo at least. You made it possible for us to learn and be better people. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the following people:

Our mentor: Florian Bruhin, it has been a real pleasure working with you! Thank you for being liberal and welcoming to newbies like us but now gurus. I would recommend newcomers to start with qutebrowser because of the welcoming community. You were the best mentor and you made RGSoC a great summer for us; thank you so much. Also before we forget thanks for the stickers.

Our coaches: Wilson Kiggundu and Kisitu Augustine, you are the best coaches we could have! We are immensely grateful for all your help and most importantly for taking your busy time off your full-time jobs. For staying up for calls with the unfavourable time zones. A big shout out to you.

Our supervisor: Kasia jarmołkowicz, thanks for all your support, for attending all the meetings, for listening to us and for always encouraging us, we are forever grateful.

RGSoC 2016 Teams: Cheers to all the 2016 teams. You helped us, guided us, made us your friends and shared your experiences with us. You made RGSoC a loving community to belong to.

RGSoC Organizers: Thank you so much for selecting us from the many to be a part of this incredible journey. We are so thankful for helping us everytime we needed you, for encouraging us and for making RGSoC a great community.

RGSoC Sponsors: Thank you for making it possible for us to ditch everything else for three months and dive full-time into learning! For the swag… you really made these months worth it.

Our friends and community: Thank you for bearing with us and supporting us while we were engaged in our RGSoC. You encouraged and pushed us to continue and pursue our dreams. We shall forever be thankful. Innovation Village, we value all your support, your encouragement, the space you gave us to host Rails Girls Kampala and for giving us a chance to speak at your events.

What are our plans after RGSoC?

We have been started off to FOSS contribution and are not looking back. We are already contributing to other FOSS projects. We shall therefore continue contributing to qutebrowser and other open source projects. We shall also take it upon ourselves to mentor others to begin contributing to open source projects.

We shall ensure Rails girls kampala is sustained and all its activities. This shall act as a mentoring platform for even future scholars. We shall finish Rails Girls Kampala 2016 cohort and prepare for the next cohorts.

Keziah will go back to university to finish her final year in software engineering at Makerere University, but she will continue writing code and mentoring others.

Joannah will continue with her studies in Aeronautical Engineering at the East African School of Aviation in Nairobi, Kenya. Trying to marry code and aviation. She shall continue contributing to FOSS and mentoring others, too.

The RGSoC community we shall still keep in touch because you are an amazing community. Looking forward to future work with you: be it mentoring, coaching, you name it. Always available!!!!

Emotional goodbye from RubyCats

Posted on by Kinga Kalinowska-Materniak and Izabela Komorek

RubyCats goodbyeGoodbye from RubyCats
(Image Credit: Izabela Komorek @izuroxx)

It has been an amazing journey!

We are still shocked how emotional and draining the whole experience was. But mostly it was a dream come true.

We haven’t accomplished what we set out to do. But we are happy of the things we did and what we’ve learned.

We don’t know what the future will bring. We will try our best to learn more and hope for the best. We will continue our path, even if it’s rocky.

Few words from each of us:

Iza: The end of RGSoC was very hard for me. RGSoC was a time I felt I was living the life the way I want to live it. Now I’m trying to pick myself up and collect the pieces of my life’s puzzle. Not sure what the picture looks like, but I’m determined to put the pieces together.

Kinga: The end of RGSoC was like waking up from a beautiful dream into life as usual. I’d like this dream to last forever.

It’s like in Fort Minor song Where did you go:

Where’d you go? I miss you so, Seems like it’s been forever, That you’ve been gone. Please come back home…

I hope I’ll become a professional developer one day (soon!) and then this dream will be back. For now I got back to teaching kids about programming, which I really like. But without being a programmer I won’t be fulfilled.

And now like in a song Oxalá by my beloved Madredeus:

Oxalá meu futuro aconteça (I hope my future will happen)

I still have a lot to learn and do. Mission not accomplished and not aborted. Mission in progress. Some Teams App code still needs to be completed / included into a PR.

RGSoC where did you go?Where did you go RGSoC?
(Image Credit: Kinga Kalinowska-Materniak @Kalinowska_K)

RGSoC is overRGSoC is over
(Image Credit: Kinga Kalinowska-Materniak @Kalinowska_K)


We would like to thank our Coaches, Supervisor and Mentors for giving us so much. Giving us their precious time and hearts, words of comfort and wisdom, sometimes sharing some of their strength in moments of weakness. They gave us emotional support, tools and knowledge that is priceless. They are the real Heroes and we shall name them all:

Coaches: Monika Burdzy, Basia Kłosowska, Magdalena Malinowska, Tomasz Warkocki, Piotr Zientara.

Mentors: Carsten Zimmermann and Ramón Huidobro.

Last but not least the best Supervisor - Rafał Cieślak.

Thank you Code Quest for giving us a warm and comfortable environment and amazing coaching support. We have to acknowledge your company has a strong, smart and cool team. It was a pleasure to meet all of you. We wish you all the best and let coding stay your passion.

Thank you Team Joda for a chance to meet you (Dayana, you are the master of humor and positive energy). Hopefully we will meet again soon.

Thank you RGSoC for this wonderful and unique experience, love, support and a chance to take part in Euruko 2016 in Sofia & first Codemotion Conference in Warsaw. BTW you can watch our Euruko Lightning Talk here.

Team RubyCats signing off.

Live, learn, code!

RubyCat says: live, learn, code! Live, learn, code!
(Image Credit: Izabela Komorek @izuroxx)

Rookies GotoCopenhagen conference!

Posted on by HyeSoo Park

Hey, we are HyeSoo and Tehetena from team Rookies :D

Team Rookies flew to Copenhagen to participate in ‘GotoConf Copenhagen’. It was a huge and lively conference with a beautiful blue color. Tehetena had a personal issue to solve, so we decide that I (HyeSoo) go there on behalf of the team and I shared interesting topics, what I have seen and how was the conference with her. It was a really amazing time to listen interesting talks about speakers’ experiences and cutting-edge technologies. It also gave me a chance to meet several inspiring and friendly people from different backgrounds.

Blue passion towards technologies and people

It is an entrance of the GotoConf Copenhagen. I felt full of bule passions towards technologies and people. It was very exciting time.(Image: HyeSoo)

Wonderful & Interesting talks

On 3rd of October, there were 6 tracks about Effective Deliver, Languages, Deep Learning Analytics, IoT and Robotics, Android and Solutions and Case Studies1. All the tracks had interesting topics and helped me to broaden the horizon to see and hear about not only IT topics of my interest but also new fields of IT beyond my interest.

In the morning, I joined the ‘Exploring RxJava 2 for Android’ talk in Android track and ‘Interoperability between R and other languages’ talk in Languages track. I learned that to explore the data, we can use ‘R’ language and we can mix with other languages such as C, C++, F# etc to improve the performance. Depending on how to use R with other languages, it can improve execution speed or memory management and so on. In the afternoon I participated in talks about ‘Kotlin’, ‘Phoenix a web framework for the new web’ in Language track and ‘Exploring StackOverflow Data’ in Deep Learning Analytics. It was interesting to get to know about the functional way of writing code with Kotlin. Kotlin is a statically-typed programming language that runs on the JVM and it also can be complied into JavaScript. It was useful to learn what functional programming features Kotlin has such as immutable data structure, higher order function etc. In ‘Exploring StackOverflow Data’ talk, I learned playing with data can start from a good question and to explore the data, we can use R, and to visualize the data and compile into JavaScript, we can use ‘F#’. It was also interesting to see which programming languages people like to use for their side project or hobby project during the weekend.

On the second day, there were 5 tracks about Microservices, Tactics for better Teams, Web Frontend, Disruptive Technologies – Case Studies and Solutions and Case Studies2. In the morning, I listened the talks about ‘A Quick Introduction to Angular 2’ and ‘Elm: Friendly Functional Programming for the web’. I learned what are the new features in Angular2 and how we can use it in the project. There was another talk about the functional programming. It was about Elm. Elm does not have runtime exceptions and it has a library of interesting name called ‘Maybe’ which represents value that may or may not exist. It gives clear messages about error or what does not match the syntax. I was happy to know new language for the web. In the afternoon, I was in talks about ‘The Return of Stream I/O’ and ‘Progressive Web app – the Return of the Web’. With progressive web app, we can expect from native apps to the mobile browser experience, using standards-based technologies. It has some of the core tenets such as Services Workers, App Shell and Installability & App Manifest. It was an interesting technology to help programmers who want to launch app in both the web and mobile.

Happy time in GotoCopenhagen

Team Rookies had a happy time in GotoCopenhagen Conference with wonderful talks and inspiring developers(Image: HyeSoo)

Inspiring & friendly people from different backgrounds

There were chances to meet friendly participants in the GotoConf Copenhagen. During a lunch time, I met one engineer from a company that makes an application for visually handicapped people. The application has sounds and tough features to help them find the information in the application. He has used ‘Typescript’ to make it work both in the web and mobile for them. We also talked about ‘high level concepts of the programming languages’. I have been wondering why many people said that programmers might be able to adapt the other language easily, if they know one language deeply. He explained that ‘high level concepts of the programming languages’ (for example inheritance, abstraction etc) embrace the common concepts of the languages, so it can help programmers to understand and use other languages easier beyond the different syntax from different languages.

I met another engineer from Unity. She has been building the Backend in the company. She came to the conference to learn Microservices for her work. ‘Microservices’ seems a buzzword these days. It is a self contained process that provides a unique business capabilities. With Microservices, it takes the capabilities and put them into the separate processes and it focuses on a single business capability. I had a chance to hear how she started to work on Backend after her graduation from her university. She had done internship and she used Python for her work and she has been using Python for the Backend, since then. It was a good time to talk with her to hear her work & how to grow up as a Backend developer and learn what is ‘Microservice’ which was a new term for me.

I met one girl who joined the conference with a diversity grant. She is a student like me and she also had Rails Girls experiences in Vienna. We talked about the Rails Girls communities in each countries and went to listen talk together. During the break, we had a chance to talk one of the conference speakers, Evelina Gabasova. She told us how she started to give a talk in the conference and how she has worked in the Data Science field. Her passion and curiosity inspired me to get interested in playing with data and visualizing data.

It was a really great time to listen invaluable talks and meet all the inspiring developers. While I listened how they explored their fields and how they improve their work and the world, I felt full of their passion and enthusiasm towards making world a better place, sharing their experiences. It was a precious and amazing time in Copenhagen. I am happy to have a chance to share the conference experience with Rails Girls Summer of code communities.

Wonderful and Interesting talks

There were wonderful and interesting 6 tracks on the first day and 5 tracks on the second day.(Image: HyeSoo)

@RailsGirlsSoC, @GOTOcph
Thank you so much all these wonderful opportunities. It was truly amazing! :D

For further information on Goto Copenhagen Conference, please visit Goto Copenhagen.

And the bits goes on...

Posted on by Geisa Santos and Emma Pinheiro

Time to clear the boardTime to clear our board.
(Image Credit: Geisa Santos)

Thinking how to start this post remind us how difficult was to start anything. Some can say that you only have to make the first step, but it’s not so easy and isn’t fits to everything. Sometimes, well, the most of the time, when everyone label you in a category, every single day, it’s hard to believe you can do a first step.

During RGSoC we’re surrounded by inspiring and amazing people from everywhere. Everyday there was not one or two but a lot persons cheering us up. We shared thoughts and feelings with the others fantastic girls.

The credits it was expected to the final but we really want to thanks Ines Coelho, Brena Monteiro and Ana Sofia: thanks to believe in us and helped this amazing experience become reality. <3

Speakerinnen and our own voice

Geisa: The first time I invited Emma to get along with me to the applications of Rails Girls Summer of Code, I told her about Speakerinnen and Ruby Monstas. I don’t remember when or who told me about them, the Rails Girls from Berlin, but definitely was because Rails Girls Salvador. I’d already used their resources to study Ruby. So when we received the news it was shocking: we couldn’t believe it.

We pushed ourselves so much to work and study for hours, even in the weekend. We were so worried to disappoint Ana Sofia and our team (mentors and Ines) that we made some sprints in the first week. Only after talking with them we realized that we forget the most important thing: learning having fun. RGSoC is not about work.

Daily meetingSharing ideas and choosing issues at daily meeting.
(Image Credit: Geisa Santos)

We could talk here about impostor syndrome but we want to tell you about how/when we started to believe in ourselves. Hearing our own voice. RGSoC is a journey about of knowledge, a journey of self discover and the better part is you don’t have to walk alone. There are a lot of people supporting you in every step. That is most important achievement we get from it: we can do whatever we want to because we are capable of. You don’t have to be 100% or an expert from the beginning, in fact you always will be learning.

So we allowed ourselves to learn and get rid of the labels society imposes on us.

Veni, Vini, Vici

BDD is awesome!Learning about Behaviour Driven Development with Coach Aurium.
(Image Credit: Geisa Santos)

Wow! So many new topics we learned and still learning.
We discovered anothers things we’d loved to work with Speakerinnen project: testing, Security, BDD, how to create gems, Postgres and others.

From now on, Geisa is researching about UX and Design Thinking to collaborate with Speakerinnen’s team. Also she started to study more about Security for applications and Javascript. This year Geisa is organizing the 4th edition of Rails Girls Salvador with others mates. Emma is improving her skills in Web Design and also returned to tattoo again. And just to refresh: after RGSoC we will continue to contributing with Speakerinnen. :)

Geisa is working remotely for about six years, so she wants to find a remote job in Tech and Emma want both (remote or not).

A beautiful draw by EmmaOne of great works from Emma.
(Image Credit: See more from at her Instagram)

Roll the credits!

We are afraid of forgetting someone, so we prefer to thanks everyone at the orga team <3 (OMGGGGG! You all are amazing!), everyone that dedicated their time helping us on the Help channel and outside that. A huge thanks for Ines Coelho, our incredible supervisor, and for Coach Brena Monteiro: thank you so much for your patient, help and for be there for us full time. <33333

Teamates from all around the world: it was a pleasure! We wish everyone can achieve news goals.

And the bits goes on…

Geisa: Last week I was at my first Python Brazil. Something I was planning a year ago.
It was amazing. Going back to beginning of our conversation about beliefs and journeys, I want to share with you one more thing.

Some people asks me why initiatives for diversity are so important. I can name some many whys but I will tell you just two: support and representation. Communities like PyLadies and Rails Girls Summer of Code are so welcoming, supportive, cheers you up, empathic, inclusive. If you be part of a minority and you find a group like yourself, a place you can share your worries, you can cry, you can search for help, you’ll be embraced. You can handle obstacles and any other harm that you have to deal being a girl (or a ‘different’ person) in tech (or other place men think you’re not allowed to be) with more strength and energy. This is what it means to be a PyLady for a year to me. One of this amazing persons that is always cheering for you, engaging the community is Paula Grangeiro. This year she received the Dorneles Tremea Award, an important award for her work and support, not only for PyLadies Brazilian community but for the whole Brazilian Python community. YAYYY!

Paula Grangeiro and PyLadies organizers from everywhere in BrazilPyLadies organizers from Brazil with Paula Grangeiro (in the center, between me and Jessica Temporal, who have injured her foot) at Python Brasil 2016.
(Image Credit: Python Brazil organization)

Doesn’t matter that programming language you prefer or if are in Tech, Science, Arts…I wish you find more people like Paula, like Anika, Ines, Ana Sofia, Brena, Emma, Laura. I wish you find a community like a have in Brazil with the PyLadies, I wish could find more representation and inspiring people. I wish you can become this person for someone or for your community.

And I wish more submissions for Brazil next year. Because I will be there for you, as a Coach cheering you up and helping you improve yourself.

Thanks, RGSoC!

Team kindr3d – Saying Bye!

Posted on by kindr3d

[Content Note: again, many animated gifs]

How much can change in just three months?

Apparently quite a lot. We wanted to tell you how in one summer we became better developers and hopefully better humans as well.

BFFsso many memories already!

We feel so lucky to have spent those three months learning, communicating and building things. We suddenly became part of a bigger community of people who care about each other and are ready to give their time to help beginners. It is very humbling and empowering to feel surrounded by amazing people. But at the same time we became aware of giving back our gratitude to the this community. Also we learned the value of beginners. Our enthusiasm and drive are valuable and and needed in the world where innovation is the king.

labyrinth 1beating negativity and self doubt - Source: giphy

We’ve also got to work at a big tech agency and look into the life of “real devs” from the inside (spoiler, there is a lot of free food).

Discourse achievement

We spent a lot of time carefully picking our project for the summer. Having worked on Discourse, with a whole feature just by ourselves was challenging, to say the least. Yet it also allowed us a great deal of creative freedom. Our mentor Robin was so supportive that most times he would encourage us to step out of the road for a while and dig into learning things which were less related to our project just so we would figure out the answers by ourselves.

labyrinth 2so many winding roads - Source: giphy

Building a dashboard for the statistics of a forum is not a simple task and we found ourselves jumping from databases, rails api to d3 to ember, sass and templating engines and trying to make sense out of the connexion between all these elements was probably what took us the most time.

labyrinth 3waaaaait! - Source: giphy

Yet for the first time we were working on the big well organised project, where all perks of best practices were apparent. And it has disciplined us quite a bit.

Because of the visual nature of our project, it was important to have a design in mind, so we tackled a bit of user experience and came up with a visual solution (still very much in progress though). It was a lot of fun brainstorming with paper and scissors.

A week of conferences

Conference “season” felt a bit like field trip for us. We’ve got to be roommates for a while and experience Berlin’s vibrant tech scene while on the project and met many more people involved in the open source community. Everyone was lovely and supportive of us. And we had resources and time to objectively look at our skills and achievements.

last week of summer weatherPhoto by Fiona Castiñeira

We visited two conferences in one week, it was quite an overwhelming experience. But Yay! to learning, meeting tech superstars and a warm Berlin September. The most surreal experience was learning Rust from people who made Rust and were very happy sharing and teaching us.

at the first RustBridgehappy learners at the first RustBridge

As we tried to make the most of our trip we met up with the two awesome RGSoC Berlin teams. On a monday evening, we headed to Ganz Oben office and joined Team Joda at Ruby Monstas meetup (they are all just lovely and do wonderful work exploring code and building nice things).


Without this program we probably would not have gained the confidence to keep on learning and building serious careers in tech. It was really enlightening for both of us to find each other’s support as two women passionate about coding. And then because of rgsoc find more people like us out there. (shoutout to Rails Girls, Techettes, RGSoC, Rubymonstas…). Stepping out of isolation and learning together while seeing other people’s works inspire us played a big role in our road to empowerment. Let’s never stop learning from each other, folks!

last week of summer weatherPhoto by Veronica Jonsson

Right now we are both looking for ways to establish ourselves in tech professionally so we can keep learning and getting better. We had time to learn how to learn, and started building our careers about life-long self-improvement and kindness to others. As far as open source goes, we are totally part of the cult now and hope to continue contributing.

We are no longer living in the same city, but the summer experience keeps us together, we have great things ahead, like a Beyond Tellerrand Berlin Conference in November!

Many Thanks

We are lucky-lucky women who have been surrounded by wonderful people all this summer long. We send love to our patient and supportive supervisor Max and most zen mentor Robin. Thanks to the coaches for sticking with us and showing us more than we expected to find. But most of all we send love to the community of people who spend their time to make other people’s day brighter. We love you Rails Girls! Keep on being awesome!

bright future - Source: giphy

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