Rails Girls Summer of Code Roles

While the students are, of course, at the core of Rails Girls Summer of Code, there are plenty of ways for you to get involved with the program and help bring more diversity to Open Source.

Our role descriptions are a handy starting point to help you understand who does what, and where you might fit in based on your skill set or interests.


RGSoC centers around teams. A full team consists of a pair of students, two or more coaches and a project mentor.

Every other role at Rails Girls Summer of Code is dedicated to supporting students in completing their projects and enjoying a great learning experience.


Students work in teams of 2 on an Open Source project full-time for 3 months, from July to September. By offering students a monthly stipend during this time, we aim to provide career-changers and those just starting in the technical field opportunities to develop their skills and find a footing as coders.

The program is open to anyone who identifies as female or non-binary, is 18 years old or over, and can code to an advanced-beginner level. In 2018, we began offering places for part-time teams with paid stipends instead of selecting volunteer teams. You will be able to choose your preference for full- or part-time when applying.

Students are the only people who will be remunerated if accepted into the program.

Become a student: Take the first step in your coding career.


Coaches are experienced developers who work closely with a pair of students. They help their students learn and accomplish project tasks, supporting them in their day-to-day work.

Coaches do not have to be experts on the Open Source project, but they do need to be able to support their students’ learning process, and have the skills to understand the project and the mentor’s directions.

This can take up a lot of time. Coaches often team up and work in a roster to provide students with the best possible support.

Ideally, students and their coach(es) share the same office space. Some companies allow employees to spend a predetermined amount of time on coaching during business hours. Should a coach not be available to help with an issue, students can always reach out to a team of remote coaches.

Coaches can simultaneously be mentors. Their employer may also wish to be a coaching company.

Become a Coach: Achieve greatness; work side-by-side with students on their project.


Sometimes known as a project maintainer, this is the perfect role if you are a core contributor to a great Open Source project and want to give students the opportunity to work on it.

A mentor’s workload is not as extensive as the coaches who directly support students. That said, you will play an essential part, guiding them when it comes to the project itself, as you are:

  • experts on the team’s Open Source project
  • the decision-makers behind the project (or working closely with decision-makers)
  • in a position to set general goals for the project, give directions and provide feedback
  • available throughout the summer to review pull requests, help with concepts and generally support the team

At the beginning of the program, mentors help students design a roadmap for the project. Mentors can also assume the role of a coach.

Become a Mentor: Support underrepresented people’s work in Open Source.

Support and Organization

These roles take care of running the program as a whole and make sure the teams progress as planned.

Remote Coach

Students can reach out to a team of remote coaches via a central Slack channel when:

  • a local (team) coach is unavailable
  • they need specific technical help (e.g. figuring out an error)

This channel will be open to all students.


Every team (made up of two students, plus the coach(es) and a mentor/project maintainer) is assigned a supervisor. They are the link between the team and the program organizers.

It’s the perfect role if you’re skilled at providing moral support and are keen to help 1 or 2 teams with their organizational and non-coding issues, such as scheduling blog posts.

Supervisors check up on the work progress via the team log and regularly communicate with their teams to:

  • see how everyone is doing
  • ask if there is anything they need help with
  • motivate them through the rough patches they will inevitably experience

In rare cases, the Supervisor may need to escalate issues to the organizer team, e.g. when work has halted completely.

Become a Supervisor: The perfect role for a people person with a penchant for programming.


In the past, our team of organizers has been made up of a pretty multi-skilled bunch: developers, designers, content writers, community managers, business owners… you name it!

Each playing to their strengths, meeting the needs of the organizational workload, they keep the website up-and-running and sponsors rolling in, they answer your emails, select suitable projects and applicants, they create the graphics and monitor social media feeds, interview applicants (and break the good news when someone is successful) and basically ensure everything runs smoothly.

If this sounds like your kind of thing, drop us an email and let us know how you’d like to be involved.


Without the resources and financial support provided by our generous sponsors and donors, Rails Girls Summer of Code simply could not take place.

Your incredible donations make it possible for us to offer students a supportive working environment and paid scholarships. This means they can participate in the program and focus on learning without having to worry about how they’ll pay their bills.


Sourced from all over the world, Sponsors represent a wide cross-section of the tech industry and support our mission of empowering women and non-binary people working on Open Source projects.

Sponsors receive a great deal of publicity and exposure as a result of the program but are not often directly involved in the projects themselves.

Become a Sponsor: We have a package to suit your budget.

Coaching Companies

A coaching company hosts an entire student team for the duration of the program, providing them with office space and a supportive work environment. They allow their employees to coach participants on company time.

This can, of course, be combined with the sponsor role.


Crowdfunding is vital to the success of RGSoC. Our official campaign is open between January and April, but donations can be accepted at any time. We invite you to contribute whatever you can.

100% of donations directly fund participants’ stipends. Put simply: the more we raise, the more teams can be accepted onto the program.

We’re equally delighted with donations from individuals or companies not wishing to purchase a sponsorship package.

Become a Donor: Help make RGSoC a reality.