Call for Projects

Posted on by RGSoC Team

Happy post-Superbowl-weekend Tuesday!

Is this the superb owl everyone keeps talking about? (Photo: funelf)

It’s only February, but the whole team is already hard at work to make the upcoming Summer of Code the best one yet! In order to do this we need you. Yes, you, awesome-project-maintainer! Last year we had a huge variety of projects our students got to work on such as Bundler, Spree, Species+, and Rubinius; for each project, one or more maintainers were “project mentors”: the go-to people if students had questions that were specifically about the project. We want to make this happen in 2015, too. For this we want you and your project on board! We’ve made it super-duper easy for you and put together a small and handy guide to submitting your project for the Summer of Code. Here it is! It will hopefully answer most of your questions; and if it doesn’t and you are still confused about something, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Start right now and read how to propose your project - we simply CAN NOT WAIT to get your submissions!

Last days of Rails Girls Summer of Code 2014

Posted on by RGSoC Team

It’s real. We can’t believe it, it’s been such a wonderful journey. These were the last days of the Summer of Code!

The program came to an official end as of the 30th of September, so we took a few days to think about the things we enjoyed most about this year’s proceedings. We asked the people behind RGSoC to take some selfies to share their favorite moment/lesson/thing of their summer or a message for you.

If not me, then who

As awesome as it sounds, RGSoC is not just willed into existence by the magical powers that be. It’s achieved through the hard work and dedication of organisers, supervisors, coaches, mentors and helpdeskers. It’s achieved through the incredible financial support of sponsors and the wider community and last, but not least, the Travis Foundation.

So, scratch that. There was a whole lot of magic happening. Everyone involved spread their unique mix of fairy dust on whatever they took on, from blog posts, to tweeting, to finding sponsors, and gathering conference tickets, to answering queries on the helpdesk in the middle of the night.

It’s this spirit of working together as a community that reminds us why we make RGSoC happen. All of you are the magical spark who made this fairy tale come true again.

Emma Watson made a very eloquent and timely observation in her speech for the launch of the ally-campaign, #HeforShe, a few weeks ago; “If not me, then who? If not now, then when?”

To everyone who said “It’s going to be me.” - to supporting RGSoC, to supporting more women and more diversity in Open Source - you deserve no less than a standing ovation. You are our heroes and heroines, and have made it clear the sort of place you want the Open Source community to be.

32 new beginnings

With the help of the wonderful community we raised $95 k, and with that money we were able to provide sponsorship to 10 teams - that’s 20 participants. We also had 6 amazing volunteer teams this year, wich brings us to 32 students in total. 32 stories to tell, 32 new beginnings.

The teams worked on projects such as Rubinius, Spree, Bundler, Diaspora*, BrowserSpree CMS, Speakerinnen, Species+, created a tool for documentation testing or started a migraine tracker - to only name a few. Meet the teams here: http://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/teams.

Something to remember the summer

To fight any post-summer-of-code-blues, we began to creating a mixtape dedicated to this year’s RGSoC, and we want your song to be on it! Which song made your summer? Just tweet to us with the link to the song on SoundCloud and we will make it a part of the mixtape.

https://soundcloud.com/railsgirlssummerofcode/sets/rails-girls-summer-of-code

This is something to remember us and your summer of code by. To listen to and rock your post-RGSoC-blues away. Enjoy!

Because these last days are not the end, they are the beginning of 32 new stories.

Meet The Standard Librarians

Posted on by The Standard Librarians

The Standard Librarians

team picture

The core RGSoC team was Jen Diamond and Stephanie Betancourt. We had a lot of friends in our study group and other people who wanted to contribute as collaborators so we opened up the project to them as well. Omowale Oniyide and Josh Loper joined on as core collaborators from the inception of the project and presented with us at Rocky Mountain Ruby 2014. We had other contributors throughout the summer including Rob Wilkinson, Jalil Mohammed, Ashok Modi, Kobi Levy and Eric Mathison.

Feats of Daring - A New Way to Explore The Ruby Standard Library

The Standard Librarians have been creating a new learning tool for the Ruby community over this summer called Feats of Daring. A user will be able to go to our site and learn about the Ruby Standard Library in a very similar way as you would go to TryRuby to learn some Ruby. The user will go through a series of adventures where they will learn about the top twenty libraries. The libraries are also broken down into chapters so you can easily browse through and see what is available.

We Built it, From Cali to Texas

When we started on this project all members and collaborators were based in or near Los Angeles, CA. Midway through we had one member work remotely. The rest of us met in person from 4:00 - 9:30pm, Monday through Thursday at Pivotal Labs Los Angeles from July to September.

Mr. Chips and Cuddy the Cat

Solving A Need while Learning Ruby

A good way to learn Ruby is to explore the Ruby Standard Libraries. The libraries however can be a little dense for people new to programming and Ruby. We decided to make learning about the libraries a fun experience by creating a tool that breaks them down by using common, real life experiences and relating those experiences to the functions of the libraries.

How we did it

From developing user profiles, to building features centered around our user’s experience, and to creating stories that our users can actually relate to - this was a massive project. We are grateful for the amazing support we had from our sponsors and coaches at Pivotal Los Angeles, our mentor Pat Maddox, and our story coach Mike Bonifer. We had an inception of our project where we broke our ideas down into stories, identified our users and created wireframes. Pivotal LA coaches worked with us four nights a week from 6-9:30. We worked with a different Pivot each night so we were able to see many different teaching styles and methods. Everyone had their own git tricks and ways to break stuff down so we could understand it. They were also great at standing back and letting us work on the project ourselves until we had a question or were about to fall into a giant hole. We did retrospectives and iteration planning meetings to keep us on a roll with the project. We all know how lucky we were to be able to work there and are so incredibly grateful to have had that experience. Not only did we make progress with the project but we learned their Agile/XP ways of working.

The Standard Librarians at Rocky Mountain Ruby

Rocky Mountain Ruby 2014

After we finished our proof of concept for Feats of Daring we presented our experiences with Summer of Code at Rocky Mountain Ruby in Boulder, CO. It is an amazing conference full of great speakers and discussions. We met a lot of other developers who have inspired us throughout the years including Sarah Allen and Sarah Mei. For a few of us it was our first professional conference. It was great to see professional developers in action gathered from all over the world, sharing their creations and learning from each other.

Our Mentors

Our amazing mentor Pat Maddox really changed the shape of our project by suggesting that we use mob programming. It helped us even the playing field between people with different levels of programming knowledge, helped stay on the same page and accelerated our learning. He took us on a field trip to San Diego to meet the pioneer of mob programming, Woody Zuill, who let us work with his team. We experienced a well oiled machine of a team working together seamlessly. They allowed us to join in their mob rotation. Each of us worked on a C# project for the first time ever and actually made contributions. Mike Bonifer was our story coach who helped us define the scope of the stories that we are using to accompany the code as Emerald moves along in her journey through the Ruby Standard Library. He also came to San Diego with us to mob and dropped by Pivotal to give us some team building techniques. Pat, Mike and Woody all really helped shape how we worked together.

Our Coaches

The coaches we had from Pivotal Labs Los Angeles are some of the greatest teachers we have ever had the opportunity to learn from. We can’t thank them enough for taking time out of their busy schedules to share their knowledge with us. Special thanks to Ross Hale for opening up Pivotal LA and allowing it to become our second home during the summer, and thank you to our coach Mike McCormick for being our lighthouse throughout this process. He helped us through various hurdles and was our main advocate. Also thank you to our main coaches John Ryan, Ryan Moran and Eric Hu. who worked with us tirelessly as we build the project. Others Pivots who helped us along the way: Mariana Lenetis, Ian Ornstein and Peter Alfvin who worked with us a few nights, Abby Sturges who helped us with our UX, Nikki Thayer who helped us with our CSS, Dave Belotti, Zachary Girshman who joined in on our inception, our Director of happiness Elizabeth Miller.

Thank you to Rails Girls Summer of Code for this amazing opportunity.

We have all individually grown from this experience in so many ways. We hope to coach a team to work on Feats of Daring next year for RGSoC and pay it forward. Continue to watch as Feats of Daring grows at our blog where we will be continuing to post updates on our progress.

GitHub and Travis CI: Our Platinum Sponsors

Posted on by RGSoC Team

GitHub and Travis CI are major supporters of Rails Girls Summer of Code

The program, in the magnitude we have reached for our second year, would not be feasible without the lead support from organizing partner, Travis CI, and continuing support from founding sponsor, GitHub.

Over six million people use GitHub to build amazing things together, and no doubt our students will add to this vibrant development community. GitHub is big on education, offering Web-based Classes and In-person Training, for people of all experience levels. GitHub Explore allows you to browse topics like design essentials, CSS preprocessors, machine learning, and learn a thing or two about topics you’re curious about. To top it off, the GitHub Guides help to understand the GitHub workflow, from writing the first ‘hello world’, to mastering issues, to playing with markdown and deploying with GitHub pages.

John Britton and Kate Guarente at GitHub on their support:
“We can’t wait to see what the Rails Girls participants build and ship this summer. The entire Open Source community is going to benefit from these women joining and contributing to meaningful projects, and we’re honored to be a part of the program!”

Inherently and always an Open Source company, Travis CI builds their hosted continuous integration service integrated with GitHub, and supports a multitude of programming languages. Followers of the Rails Girls Summer of Code no doubt recall the huge role Travis CI played in getting this program off the ground.

Konstantin Haase at Travis CI on their support: “Rails Girls Summer of Code is an amazing opportunity for diversifying the open source community. It paves a path from your first Rails Girls workshop to becoming an open source developer. We love to support women and open source at the same time with this project.”

Google, SoundCloud and Basecamp Take The Gold!

Posted on by RGSoC Team

All are repeat sponsors for second year in a row.

This year’s gold supporters are all returning sponsors. We’re so happy to have their continued support, both financially and for their continued interest in making the program the best it can be!

Recognizing the vital role that open source software plays at Google, Google heavily supports the open source software development community. One of the ways they do this is by running student outreach programs such as Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in. It’s no secret that Rails Girls Summer of Code is loosely based on Google Summer of Code, a global program that offers student developers to write code for various open source software projects. Since its inception in 2005, the program has brought together over 7,500 successful student participants and over 7,000 mentors from over 100 countries worldwide to produce over 50 million lines of code.

The wonderful people at SoundCloud get real excited about the challenge of bringing all the world’s sounds to the internet. With everyone at SoundCloud being a hacker at heart, they host company We Hack weekends as well as Hacker Time (much like the 20% time concept made famous by Google) for their engineering team. SoundCloud believes that life gets boring if you don’t keep learning - and we couldn’t agree more! We bet that’s why they are the biggest evangelists for our program and offered to be a coaching company no less!

Erik Michaels-Ober and Duana Stanley from SoundCloud on their support: “SoundCloud is incredibly proud to support the Rails Girls Summer of Code for the second year in a row. We’ve already started to see the impact that sponsoring and coaching Rails Girls can make in these womens’ lives and careers. For us, this is an investment in the future of our industry.”

Last year (back then still under the 37signals flag) Basecamp was on early in the program. Spread out across 26 different cities around the world, Basecamp is a distributed community of designers, programmers, tinkerers, writers, speakers, analysts, … a bit of everything really. 2014 marks their 15th year in business (happy , Basecamp!), yet their goals remain the same - and fit amazingly well to Rails Girls Summer of Code: “Have fun, do exceptional work, build the best product in the business, experiment, pay attention to the details, treat people right, tell the truth, have a positive impact on the world around us, give back, and keep learning.”

Oh, and we love their team page.

Andrea LaRowe from Basecamp on their support: “Basecamp is the world’s #1 project management tool. For the last ten years, companies have been switching to Basecamp because it’s famously easy to use, reliable, and it has the best customer service in the biz! We’re sponsoring RGSoC because we are excited to help a worldwide community of women “learn by doing” while meaningfully contributing to quality open source projects.”

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