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 as:
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 here.
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 SoundCloud, 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:
Student applications 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. ♥
We hope, this will be one of the next OS projects, they help fund!
“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 source communities.
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 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!
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*: Philosophers talk 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 coding community.
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 here 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 conferences page.
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 visiting!
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
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 will have to step back from working on Rails Girls Summer of Code a little bit starting July and focussing on Travis again. During the first weeks he will still be available about half-time and Anika 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 aren’t available.
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 while.
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 aggregate updates.
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.
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, Readmill, Gnip and with Soundcloud 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 our <3.
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 team: email@example.com
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 students 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 various measures 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.
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.