Open Source Project Submissions for 2017 are now open!

Posted on by Ana Sofia Pinho

RGSoC 2017 OSS Project Submissions (in ALL languages) are open! (gif by Ana Sofia Pinho)RGSoC 2017 OSS Project Submissions (in ALL languages) are open! (gif by Ana Sofia Pinho)

When we said After RGSoC is before RGSoC we really meant it! Just 2 months after RGSoC 2016 is finished we’re ready to announce that Open Source Projects Submissions are OPEN for RGSoC 2017.

You have until January 31st, 2017 to apply in the RGSoC Teams App.

Even though our name has the word “Rails” in it, our Summer of Code accepts ALL programming languages. So, whether your project is in Python, Javascript, Elixir, Go, Django, Ruby, Java, NodeJS, or PHP — you can still apply!

The project submission page on the Teams App (image by Ana Sofia Pinho)The project submission page on the Teams App (image by Ana Sofia Pinho)

If you would like to know more about submitting a project or being a mentor during our summer of code, please take a look at our “Becoming a Project Mentor” guide. You can also send us an email to if you have specific questions.

You may have noticed that this year you will have two full months to submit your project; this will give everyone more time to think things through and will hopefully help us reach as many project maintainers as possible.

Sharing is caring making tech more inclusive

Call to Action: Please share this tweet or facebook post with your friends! Thank you!

Let’s make RGSoC 2017 the year with the most diverse selection of projects!

Intercontinental conference meeting @GOTOber in Berlin

Posted on by Marie & Thea, Taneea & Vrinda, Mayar & Nada

RGSoC goes GOTOberTeam Twitches, Team Ruby's Secret and Team LoadToCode go GOTOber (Image: Team Twitches)

So GOTO Berlin meant two days of conference in Berlin on November 14th & 15th, and it is all about learning, networking and meeting developers. But it was not just another conference. Not only Team LoadToCode from Berlin was attending, but also Team Team Twitches from New Delhi/India and Team Ruby’s Secret from Cairo/Egypt \o/!

Happiness was in the air when Mayar from team Ruby’s secret and Taneea and Vrinda from team Twitches were informed that they won the diversity grant tickets, having already vowed that team Ruby’s secret will always be united, Nada decided to launch a crowd funding campaign to travel to Berlin and in just 4 days the total expenses were raised. For Nada going to GOTO wasn’t just meant to but with a little bit of persistence and the support of the amazing community of RGSoC and GOTO, Ruby’s secret were reunited.

Nada was endlessly grateful for the support: Thank you <3 <3

RGSoC goes GOTOberAll the teams on GOTOber stage with Carina C. Zona (Image: Team LoadtoCode)

Spending time with the extraordinary Carina Zona led to very inspiring conversations you can find out more about her here. Seeing her on stage for the final keynote on Tuesday was definitely one of the highlights. It was about engaging in a critical approach towards algorithms and the unintended effects they might have on users.

RGSoC goes GOTOberNada shared her thoughts on the talk in a tweet

Sal Freudenberg has given a very personal talk about autism, raising awareness of neurodiversity within all the different people and colleagues, especially in tech environments & companies.

Podcasting for #RGSoC

RGSoC goes GOTOberTobi interviewing Vrinda about her Rails Girls Summer of Code 2016 experience (Image: Team LoadToCode)

So we ran into Tobi again, after meeting him at RubyConfPt as a speaker! He joined our second podcasting episode and did a spontaneous interview with Vrinda. Tobi is a coach at RubyCorns, a weekly study group of the Rails Girls Berlin chapter and took part in previous RGSoCs!

With Women Who Code Berlin director

RGSoC goes GOTOberMeeting the director of Women Who Code Berlin Aleksandra (Image: Team Twitches)

We also met Aleksandra, who is one of the directors of Women Who Code Berlin, that are organizing really cool events for women who are coding or who are interested in doing so! We got invited to join the meet up later that week!

Company Stalls At The Conference

Along with the attendees of the conference, there were company stalls that were showcasing their work at GOTO Berlin. Some companies like Thoughtworks and eBay were present. The stall tables were usually laden with give-away stickers or pens or cards that were strategically placed to invite the attendees to visit the stall. What was next was that the people manning the stall would tell you about their company or product and encourage you to use it or visit their site. Some companies were especially helpful for students in giving away internships.

It was the first time Team Twitches was traveling abroad. While we’d expected that the trip to Berlin wouldn’t be easy to forget, we didn’t realize that we would have so much fun! Berlin was a sure highlight, but nothing tops the conference, and the diverse set of people we got to meet. We heard inspiring stories, made new friends and realized that mansplaining happens more often than you’d think (thanks to Carina C. Zona). Overall, pretty productive couple of days, eh?

What we learned

  • Be mindful when it comes to unintended effects of algorithms
  • Meeting other RGSoC teams is one of the best parts of #RGSoC
  • At conferences watch out for possible internship or job opportunities
  • Podcasting is great fun!

And NOW: start you own podcasting episode for #RGSoC


Team kindr3d @ Beyond Tellerrand 16

Posted on by kindr3d

Team kindr3d @ Beyond Tellerrand 16

Team kindr3d were lucky enough to get free tickets for this year Berlin BTconf. We want to say thanks to every member of the RGSoC team who fought for us and got us the golden tickets to this unique event which gave us a lot to think about. We also met Nynne, last year’s alumni and also our supervisor for a week this summer. And we had great conversations and exchanged our experience about our own RGSoC and being a female junior developer.

Don't Panic helpful advice - Source: kindr3d

What is it?

It is a general front-end/web/design conference. This particular instance had an absolute minimum of slides with code. Do with that information what you will. Some may not be happy about the overall softness of talk and topics, but there were definitely ideas worth sharing and pondering on. Ever since ViewSource 2016, where people were friendly, talks were perspective-changing, food and drinks were plentiful and delicious, and the last week of Berlin summer warmed the hearts and MacBooks of attendees (in coalition with a free bar of course), it was clear that what makes a conference good is something elusive: atmosphere, vibe, whatever you want to call it. These events do not exist in the vacuum, they are perceived in their immediate historical context with sprinkles of one’s personal life events. And BTconf this year happened to be a very special snapshot of a very particular way of life.

What was happening?

The moment Sacha Judd made a hall full of tech folk contemplate on One Direction fandom it was on like donkey kong. It is rather unfair to identify this talk as the best, since there were many great ones, but this one hit us and our partner in crime Nynne directly in the feels. For most of the people in that room being shippers, writing a fanfiction or cheesy fansite were not direct life experiences, though they have been for us. But everyone does relate to the small tragedy of people doing things well and being excited about doing them while not appreciating their own skill, effort and enthusiasm. Somehow this feels a lot like being a junior. This talk was wonderful and you should watch it. We will always remember not to be ashamed of our passion and things we’ve made with love.

team kindr3d gif team reunion - Source: kindr3d

There were funny and hands-on talks, where we were scribbling notes constantly. Big themes across them were accessibility, taking care of people outside the bubble of the european/north american high-speed paradise, and relying on simple and robust technologies (so no React love). There was funny, creative (if slightly salty) advice on writing less code by Heydon Pickering (we are tempted to buy his book). Useful and very needed at the moment: a list of refactoring practices. Also notable talks on typography in interfaces and image optimisation

The elephant in the room was the USA election. It’s best identified by a great switch from hopeful and angry talk by Mike Monteiro about taking the responsibility for what you do on the day of the election to a humane and accepting approach to data by Erika Hall the day after. It was an unspoken framework for the event, because so many speakers were americans. Another reminder of how the tech world is obsessed with America.

How did we like it?

All in all this was a very interesting event, which recursively highlighted many problems most speakers were referring to. There is still a feeling that we just like to pat ourselves on the backs. It is pleasant to feel that we are better than the rest of the world because we are woke developers and designers, because we are aware. Sobering talks helped, but these things are still prevalent in tech and especially at tech conferences. And despite the talks about diversity, it was still a majorly white and male conference, though we met some inspiring women as well. As Micaela noted, RustFest was organised by a slightly different group of people and offered an interesting, activism-fuelled DIY alternative to that. I guess it is a good idea to take some of the advice by speakers to heart and be responsible and proactive about our lives just as much as we are about our code.

Overall, several days after the conference we are still pondering over many ideas people on and off stage shared with us, which is the reason why conferences exist! Also we found many new ways to become better developers and improve our code in thoughtful and meaningful ways. And talking to Nynne gave us another angle through which we can view our own careers and life in the future.

team kindr3d and Nynne Nynne and team kindr3d vs unfortunate lighting - Source: kindr3d

Attending the Ruby Conference in Portugal

Posted on by Thea Amanda Kupler, Marie-Luise Kochsiek, Mayar Alaa and Nada Ashraf

Chasing the Sun

During the Rails Girls Summer of Code we obviously spent most of the time, when the sun was shining, inside and in front of the screen. We tried to have as many meetings as possible outside in the sun, but often rescued ourselves again into the cool and shady office to actually see something on the screen or to not melt away. To still be filled up with enough Vitamin D, having the hard Berlin Winter ahead of us, it was great news when we got the approval to join the Ruby Conference in Portugal. Having had all the Rails Girls Summer of Code Support the last weeks and months we already experienced to grow into challenges. Having the “Why Not?”-Mindset additional to this, it was no surprise that not only our team, but also the other Rails Girls Summer of Code Team from Egypt, Ruby’s Secret, wanted to take the challenge of talking on stage on the conference. We got the possibility to have together 40 minutes on stage!

RubyConfPt Schedule: LoadtoCode & Ruby's Secret Ruby Conference Portugal Schedule: LoadtoCode & Ruby's Secret! (Image: Screenshot of RubyConfPt Schedule )

Rails Girls Summer of Code: Falling into Rabbit Holes

Rabbit Hole Tweet Wise words about falling into Rabbit Holes as a Coding-Newbie! (Image: Screenshot of Tweet by @iam_preethi )

The topic we chose for our talk was “Falling into Rabbit Holes”, because this seemed the quintessence of the whole Rails Girls Summer of Code experience. Thea, being a part of LoadtoCode and Mayar, being a part of Ruby’s Secret shared their individual Rails Girls Summer of Code experience with the audience. For a wrap up the other team members had their personal shoutouts: Marie from LoadtoCode, made clear that, now being in the process of changing careers and becoming a programmer, she is not automatically a person with superpowers and remembering everyone of the fact that everybody can learn it and this message should be spread instead. Nada from Ruby’s Secret was presenting really big goals, for example to have 100 female coders in Cairo within 1 year - support this mission with mentioning #1year100women! As this goal wouldn’t have been big enough already she also invited everyone to a Ruby Conference happening in Egypt in 2017. One goal the team from Egypt already achieved though and this is to have the travel expenses to Portugal funded by the crowd - check out the awesome video they made to ask for support!

RGSoC On Stage The Rails Girls Summer of Code Women on Stage at the Ruby Conference in Portugal (Image: Picture taken by RubyConf Portugal )

The People behind the Conference, mainly being part of subvisual, were very welcoming and caring - we were even invited to a super delicious dinner for the speakers, where we were lucky enough to share the table with awesome people like Martin Fowler, Hiro Asari, Pat Allan and Tobias Pfeiffer. The Ruby’s Secret Team even got a Selfie with Aaron Patterson.

The most interesting thing about the conference that we strongly felt is “Diversity”. We met so many people from different countries, with different cultures as well as backgrounds and speaking different languages but having one thing in common which is programming.

Thank you!

We are super grateful for this opportunity and experience. It was awesome to realize how big the Rails Girls Summer of Code community really is, because a lot of people at the Ruby Conference in Portugal participated in some way in the past, and to also have had the support and patience by the rest of the audience.

RGSoC generation-wide Four generations of Rails Girls Summer of Code in one photo! (Image: Tweet by RailsGirlsSoC)

What more to say? Stay tuned, since the LoadtoCode Team will be hitting to the GoTo Conference in Berlin and also write about that experience as well.

Team MitPal - Connect Tech 2016

Posted on by Sherri

Summing up Rails Girls Summer of Code (RGSOC) is not a simple task. True. RGSOC was an opportunity to work on an open source project, but the experience was so much more than that. After 3 months of working together on our project, Open Source Event Management System (OSEM), we had developed our own team vibe. We had our routine down pat. We spent our mornings working through our latest issue. We ate our lunches together outside followed by a walk around the block. These times became as important as our time coding. That was our time to talk about our lives, our interests, experiences, and sometimes fears. We learned a lot about working with Ruby, but we learned even more about ourselves as we worked on our project. Ups, downs, joy, laughter (lots of laughter), learning, frustration, and accomplishment. We went through it all. Together. That was one of the best parts.

Anitha and I (Sherri) are Team MitPal. We are two geeky women who decided to change careers. We had the support of two awesome coaches, Pamela Vickers and Pete Holiday. Their help was invaluable. They guided us when we needed to be guided, nudged us when appropriate, and pushed us when necessary.

Our project mentor, Henne Vogelsang, helped us navigate our project and plan our work. We appreciate his patience, insight, and imput.

Shelly Coen, our supervisor. We hit the supervisor jackpot! Whether it was our weekly calls, Slack conversations, or emails, Shelly was there guiding us and checking in on us. Shelly is a rockstar!

So What Did We Do This Summer, You Ask…

We worked on OSEM, an An event management tool tailored to Free and Open Source Software conferences. The OSEM codebase is pretty large, so we had to spend some time ramping up. We worked to set up our environment (Vagrant, Virtual Box, We spent time learning about the application, the technologies used, and looking at the open issues. Our mentor and coaches helped us a lot with this part. Once we figured out which issues we would work on, our coaches helped us break down each issue and decide how to approach it.

We did quite a bit of TDD using RSPEC, which was great experience for us. Some of the work we did summer included integrating a Twitter feed into the app, updating views, and meta tags.

We Attended Connect.Tech

Team MitPal attended the Connect.Tech conference here in Atlanta. A few weeks have passed since the end of RGSOC, and Anitha and I have been having a bit of separation anxiety. So it was great to see each other again. When we arrived, the venue was already busy with folks from all over. We stopped by the registration desk to pick up our I.D. and t-shirt, and then we were off. As we moved through our days, we often talked about how conferences can be a little overwhelming. We put together a few tips that we think may help those that are new to the world of technical conferences.

Plan ahead

Team MitpalConnect.Tech Conference Check In (Image: Team MitPal 2016)

Check out the conference schedule ahead of time and decide which sessions you want to attend. If you are attending with another person, discuss which sessions you have chosen and if you are not going to all of the same talks plan where you will meet afterwards.

Plan for Swag.

Companies come to conferences with lots of stuff to give, and before you know it your bag will be full. So a good rule of thumb is to pack lightly. Don’t bring a lot of extra stuff with you. It’s just more to carry at the end of the day.

Team MitpalConnect.Tech Conference Sponsors (Image: Team MitPal 2016)

Don’t Miss the Keynote

Team MitpalConnect.Tech Conference Keynote (Image: Team MitPal 2016)

Although you may be tempted to sleep in, resist the urge and attend the keynote talks. YOu’ll find some really interesting speakers and divers subjects are covered during the keynotes. It’s also a good time to meet some new people.

Speaking of new people…

Talk to people. Make some new friends.

If you’re like me, you hate the word “Network”. Trying to “Network” just makes me feel awkward. Focus on talking to new people and connecting. Two of the speakers at this Connect.Tech this year were people that I had met at previous conferences. They are really smart and amazing people, and their talks were very imformative.

Team MitpalErica Stanely Speaking about Web-Based Virtual Reality (Image: Team MitPal 2016)

Team MitpalConnect.Tech Conference Web VR (Image: Team MitPal 2106)

Team MitpalDelicia Brummet Speaking on How to Pick a Tech Stack (Image: Team MitPal 2016)

The last tip I have is to take care of yourself. Conferences make for long days. Drink plenty of water. Pace yourself. You don’t have to attend every session. The slides and/or video will be available after the conference. Have fun and enjoy yourself. We sure did!

Where Did the Time Go?

Rails Girls Summer of Code flew by so quickly. Too quickly. When we started, there seemed to be so much for us to do and learn. How would we get it all done? We felt a little wobbly. Unsteady. Not confident in ourselves or our abilities. As the summer moved along we discovered so much about who we are and what we are capable of. We got to know ourselves and each other so well. We had a community of people who cared about us and looked out for us, and we had our team. Team MitPal. We came. We saw. We killed it!

We are so thankful to RGSOC and the whole community of people who made this experience possible. We are stronger and more confident today because of this experience and we are forever greatful.

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