Code with these open source projects this season

Posted on by RGSoC Team

Even though we’re not organising RGSoC in 2019 in order to focus on our rebranding, we still want to support more diversity in open source and use our network to connect awesome people together. This is why we’re happy to share the following list of projects with our whole community! All 18 of them were submitted to us over the last months. Some of these projects are newcomers to the RGSoC community and some have been accepted into past editions; some are established, with a large community, while others are smaller and newer. What all of these projects have in common is their support of initiatives like ours and their interest in making their community more diverse and inclusive.
To get started contributing, read through the submissions, find a project that appeals to you, and contact the maintainers using the information provided or the commenting feature.

Name: Algo_Ds_Notes
Technologies: Algorithms, Data Structures
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/230-algo_ds_notes

Name: Anna Assistant
Technologies: Javascript, CSS
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/231-anna-assistant

Name: Codebadges
Technologies: NodeJS, HTML, CSS, VueJS
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/248-codebadges

Name: Codeuino Website
Technologies: React, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Markdown
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/242-giving-new-look-to-codeuino-website

Name: Competitive_Coding
Technologies: C++, Java, Python, Algorithms, Data Structures
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/237-competitive_coding

Name: Cosmos
Technologies: C, C++, Java, Python, Django
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/239-cosmos

Name: Cynthesize
Technologies: Angular, NodeJS, Python, GraphQL
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/226-cynthesize

Name: dev.to
Technologies: Ruby, Rails, Javascript, Preact, HTML, CSS
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/241-dev-to

Name: Donut
Technologies: Vue.js, Node.js, HTML, CSS, JS
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/246-donut

Name: Free UK Genealogy
Technologies: MongoDB, Ruby on Rails, CSS, HTML
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/234-free-uk-genealogy

Name: H2
Technologies: NodeJS, ElectronJS
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/229-h2

Name: LatexGo
Technologies: NodeJS, Emscripten, LaTeX
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/250-latexgo

Name: Mathball
Technologies: Javascript, NodeJS
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/232-mathball

Name: MentorFix
Technologies: NodeJS, JavaScript, MongoDB, React
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/252-mentorfix

Name: Nextcloud
Technologies: PHP, Javascript, jQuery, HTML, CSS, SQL, Android
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/249-nextcloud

Name: Probot: build your own GitHub app(s)
Technologies: NodeJS, JavaScript, GraphQL
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/251-probot-build-your-own-github-app-s

Name: Ruby 2D
Technologies: Ruby, OpenGL, C, iOS, WebAssembly
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/244-ruby-2d

Name: ScienceMotions
Technologies: HTML, CSS, React, Rails
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/227-sciencemotions

Name: Voice Enabled Chatbot
Technologies: Python, HTML, CSS, Javascript
Link: https://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/projects/236-voice-enabled-chatbot

If you’re interested in even more projects, on our Teams app you can find an overview of our past projects from 2016, 2017 and 2018. For a deep dive into some of our past projects, you can also read the Open Source Project Spotlight posts on our blog.

How you can submit your open source project — and what is different this year

Posted on by RGSoC Team

This year most of our efforts will go towards our rebranding, but we are still committed to connecting awesome projects and underrepresented people in tech. For this reason, we’re opening submissions for open source projects! After reviewing them as we’ve done in the last years, we’ll publish a list with the accepted open source projects which we think are a good fit for underrepresented people from our community. While we cannot offer organisational or financial support this year, we hope that leveraging our network can help some motivated open source contributors find their match in the form of an inclusive and supportive project.

What will this look like?

Our project submission form is just like the form from the past years; once the deadline has passed (April 22nd, 23:59 UTC), we’ll review all project submissions and “accept” the ones that seem fit for our community. This list will be officially published and shared at the end of April. Interested contributors from underrepresented groups can get in touch with maintainers by using the contact information provided or using the commenting feature. We’re also making our community message board available to community members to find a team or a coaching company to support them.

Submit your project

Are you a project maintainer with some time to support open source newcomers? That’s awesome! You can find more information in our project mentor guide. If that seems like something you’d like to do this year, you can submit your project as follows:

  • Sign up for the Teams App (you will need to authenticate with GitHub)
  • Click on “Submit your project” under “Summer of Code” in the navigation bar
  • Enter the name and information of the primary mentor
  • Add the project’s name, website, repo and a description
  • To make sure prospective participants can get in touch with you, please add your preferred contact information (e.g. an email address) to the project’s description
  • Add features, tasks and requirements
  • Add keywords, the name of your license, and a link to your Code of Conduct
  • Flag your project as “suitable for beginners” if necessary
  • Click Submit!

We can’t wait to share some of our favourite projects from the last few years and get to know new ones. We’re looking forward to your application — and if you’re not a maintainer, but can think of a project you’d like to see on our list, ping them to apply or help us spread the word!

The future of RGSoC

Posted on by RGSoC Team

Dear friends! As some of you may have noticed, this year’s RGSoC will be a bit different for all of us. Here is how and why.

It took us a long time to get to where we are today. We’ve successfully organized RGSoC 6 times and over the last years we noticed more and more that the name Rails Girls Summer of Code does not fit our program anymore: We are not focused on “Rails”, but are language agnostic; we are no “girls” anymore and never have been, and although we still fiercely love the Rails Girls community we grew out of, our program has become so different that we want to find a more suitable name for it. A name that tells the world exactly what we stand for, tells sponsors what they can support and applicants what they can expect.

Time time time

To do this, we need some time. We need to not only think about what name our program should have but also take some time to review all the feedback we’ve collected and implemented over the years, and take time to make our organizational structure better to prevent burnout of organizers, rewrite our guidelines, and make our support better for everyone.

Did you know that RGSoC has always been organized by a very small team? That team handles everything — the application phase for open source projects, communicating with the mentors, supporting the teams’ applications, the selection phase (hello 48-hour shifts of going through all applications in a short amount of time), developing and maintaining the app for all this, reaching out to sponsors and handling finances, finding and onboarding supervisors of the teams, organizing all the weekly calls and catch ups, updating our website, writing blog posts, reviewing pull requests, sending out newsletters, finding a trust committee, all the way through how to offer fair stipends to teams in every corner of the world and collecting swag from sponsors to then lovingly pack them into (not so) little care packages for each and every applicant. What a list! (And not even close to complete)

Make it simple

We want to make it easier for us to run the scholarship program and easier for everyone else to understand what we do and to get on board. During last year’s edition, we started planning our rebranding phase, what we would need from it, what we wish for the future and how much time we’d need for it. We started defining our target audience, rethinking our content and brainstorming on a name. But we realized quickly there was no way we could do both — run the program this year and also rework, rebrand and redesign it on the fly.

After jumping into this wild adventure 6 years ago and running ever since, we will take a breather, drink some water, get out our thinking caps and paper and pens and will fix the things that needs fixing and keep the things that work. In the end, we hope to present you with the program you know and love, but better organized. A program that still wants to fund underrepresented people working on Open Source projects. But one that we had time to create. And one with a new name.

Where you come in

Do you want to help us? RGSoC was always a community-focused program and as such, we’d love to get your feedback of what worked and what didn’t over the years, what you’d like to keep and how you’d want to see us grow. We’ve put together a feedback form to collect your input below.

Give us your thoughts

But that’s not all. We still want to make sure we connect great and beginner-friendly open source projects with people who want to work on them; our goal is to publish a list of approved open source projects in April that aspiring open source contributors can work on. You can submit your project here. We also plan to publish a guide for companies on how to host teams this year. So if you are one of these companies wanting to get involved — let us know! We’ll do our best to connect you with people who want to work on open source projects.

We are looking for sponsors who want to fund our rebranding work and keep our organizing team going this year, so that we can soon announce that we will be back in 2020 with a brand new name and ready to change lives again! If you’re interested in supporting us this year, please drop us a line: campaign@rgsoc.org

Thank you everyone for making the dream RGSoC a reality until now! Thank you for being part of a wonderful journey. We are so excited to work together with you on a new chapter of our dreams.

You Are Accepted To RGSoC 2018! from Rails Girls Summer of Code on Vimeo.

Team Sectumsempra at GHCI 2018!

Posted on by Avneet Kaur

We are so thankful to the RGSoC organizers for giving us the opportunity to attend Grace Hopper Celebration India 2018, which was held in Bengaluru, India from November 14 - November 16th 2018. With the ever so encouraging keynotes, life transforming stories of prominent women paving their way in technology, the much celebrated career fair, it was definitely an experience of a lifetime and I couldn’t miss it for the world. Unfortunately my teammate Rupal was unable to attend due to personal reasons. The 3 days of the conference were full of learning, networking, and some fun and games too! There was so much to take back and to realize that there is so much more to learn as we tread forward in our journey in tech. And as I put this down in my words, I feel so elated to cherish the experience yet again, with the dewy memories of time well spent. So here goes how my days at the conference were spent.

Day 1: Inspiring Keynotes, Envisioning the future, Mottos to live by and much more…

As I arrived at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, the first thing that caught my eye was the huge queue in front of all the registration booths. So many women from varied technological backgrounds and at different levels in their career paths had gathered for the Grace Hopper India rightly termed as a ‘Celebration’. More so because, it was a celebration of the amazing journeys each and every attendee their had gone through, and how proud it made them feel to be there at that time. The excitement from their cheery voices, planning on how they are going to spend the much awaited three days, surrounded the conference ground.

While standing in the queue, I was amazed to see how some of us could bond over the the simplest of things such as when they would commence the registration. Uponreceiving the badge, all the women, with their smiles as wide and eyes as bright as they could ever be, swarmed towards the main hall. And that itself was a sight to behold.

After finally gathering in the main hall, all of us eagerly waited for the keynotes to begin. As the welcome presentation by Geetha Kanan, the organizer of the conference commenced, all of us cheered and hooted with excitement while she walked us through the beautiful journey of GHCI through the years, as well as the women behind it all. We all were so thrilled to see an all women team behind such a reputed and well-appraised conference. Soon after, the first keynote by Lori Beer took place, and she gave us such important lessons while undertaking our journey in technology. She emphasized how its so essential to dream big. With her talk, we all envisioned to carry forward the dream of achieving the “Fifty Fifty ratio in tech by 2025”.i As I write this down, I reminisce her words, which ring repeatedly loud and clear, in my head: “Be bold, be brave, be yourself, be unstoppable.”

One of the talks that stood out, and for me, it definitely was the highlight of the day was by Vaishali Kasture,one of the keynote speakers. She educated us on the importance of the art of selling, and how crucial it is to be able to put yourself out there, to be able to derive the best for yourself, your company as well as your clientele. Citing her own example, she mentioned proudly and just as casually , that she came from a non-tech background herself but was in the tech business for quite long now, and to top it all, she was addressing a gathering of 5000 female engineers, which was quite unconventional, thereby highlighting the essential need for all of us to learn how to negotiate well, and to sell as well. While talking about unconscious bias, she pointed out how it is common for us it is to assume that selling and negotiating are associated with masculinity its time to eliminate that. Moreover, she engaged the audience through interesting anecdotes from her experience so far. An interesting thought she provoked, stuck with me. “Out west they say the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but here we say that the nail that sticks out gets the hammer.” And that was one of the key takeaways for me, that is, mastering the art of ethics, as well as negotiation, and doing it with a lot of empathy and ethics.

All the speakers shared their experiences from their tech journeys, and left us with thought provoking words and all the more encouragement to be engaged with tech as a career, and do things right. Their words, energy, conviction and most importantly, the motivation with which they spoke, spread infectiously and so quickly among the crowds and while young girls quickly soaked their minds with all that was pouring in, I too, not falling behind gathered it all to take back home with me, not only to cherish, but to carry it forward in my journey in tech. As the day concluded, with happy hearts and craving minds, and we looked forward to know what’s in store for the upcoming days.

GHCI 2018

GHCI conference 2018 (source: Avneet Kaur)

Day 2 and Day3:

It marked the beginning of the career fair, and so many women joined the conference on the second day.There was a great lineup of speakers everything ranging from Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, to talks on Career advice, Emerging technologies, Using Tech for Social Development and Innovation, and so much more.

I was really intrigued by one particular talk on “Analyzing Gender Stereotypes in Bollywood movies” by Nishtha Madaan, who is a researcher at IBM. It was interesting to know about the prevalent bias in AI, because of the kind of data that is fed into systems, and what the outcome is. The talk was based on the study of bollywood movies data and images data from wikipedia and analyzed the differences between the appearances, introduction, role portrayal, dialogues, actions of the male vs female actors and highlighted the much prevalent bias.The goal of this study was to methodologically analyze this and find ways to remove this kind of bias. The talk concluded with a well deserved applause roaring through the entire audience. I too enjoyed the talk thoroughly.

Next up I attended various talks centred around various applicationsof deep learning. One of them was about Fake Article Detection from Multilingual Documents using deep learning, which was again quite engaging. Another interesting talk was on Vision Based Railway Track Monitoring Using Deep Learning. Both these talks opened up my horizon of knowledge on things, applications that deep learning plays and possibly can play an essential role in, and how it is being used as an extensive tool in research.

Apart from attending various talks, I also attended the career fair, which was definitely the highlight of the day. Unlike the quiet conference halls, the career fair hall, was brimming with cheery noises, fun and games at various booths, people networking in groups near booths, and ofcourse, girls gathering up to solve quizzes and puzzles to win goodies was a common sight to behold. On both the days, I visited the various booths in the career fair, which had interesting opportunities for all women.

All in all, GHCI18 turned out to be a great experience, full of learning, exploring new things, learning about new tools and technology and most importantly their applications. The highlight of the event was definitely the keynotes on the first day, which filled within us great waves of enthusiasm and encouragement to not only carry forward, but to lead our journey in technology with pride.

DV Team Farewell

Posted on by Violeta & Diana

Time’s up!

What an incredible experience!

While most of people went on summer holidays to unwind, we decided to do the opposite. Working throughout summer, combining our full time job with a part-time Summer of Code experience. After an intensive three months of 60+ hours work, it’s hard to believe this Rails Girls Summer of Code experience is coming to an end. Read what the DV Team learned during this coding summer.

Living Style Guide - PIMD

Living Style Guide is the Open Source project we have been selected for. It helps developers to create front-end style guides easily with SaSS and Markdown. The project is created by Nico Hagenburger (designer and software programmer) with the help of Jen Geacone-Cruz (Content Director). Our main tasks were linked to the porting of the project from Ruby to JavaScript: to refactor and enhace code, implement plugins, test code in Vanilla Javascript and improving the documentation.

Our main targets:
- Easy to use in JavaScript projects – in build tools and within the browser
- Extendible: The main API is the DOM tree known from the browser
- Compliance with CommonMark specs – Markdown files render perfectly on GitHub; all additional commands will be CommonMark compliant and won’t leave ugly artifacts when used in README.md files on GitHub

It resulted in a new plugin on npm packages, called PIMD. PIMD stands for “Processing Instructions for Markdown” and is the base for the JavaScript version of LivingStyleGuide – an API to extend Markdown by DOM manipulations as known from the browsers.

How did we work on it?

Before the project began, we gathered to organize ourselves and created a list of desired outcomes. Our summer would be successful, if we achieved the following:

July: plan, learn as much as we can, connect with the RgSoc-community and start contributing to Living Style Guide making our first contribution to open source
August: keep working hard and make the best out of the summer!
September: finish the Javascript version & test Living Style Guide.
October: finish the last issues for PIMD project and hopefully be ready to find and start a new tech job as Junior Front End Web Developers in Barcelona when the summer is over.
From the beginning, we tried to stay organized and clearly communicate our goals. Yet, with no timeline in hand, opposite time schedules, no real idea about how the code worked and no instructions, we worked on random issues. One month gone, we lost the excitement without the inputs from the mentors. That changed when we discussed it with our supervisor Lucas and met our new mentor Bright. Things went much better from that moment on, we were lucky to have coaches that are very talented, no only in coding but also in explaining and lifting our spirits.

Daily log

Once the project started, we made a daily log with what we did that day.
Each day we had at least one sit-down where we’d ask about each other’s progress and maybe even teach each other what we learned or how to build something.
After three months of research, tutorials, building and deploying, we finally built the minimum viable product of our project. The last month, we refactored, tested and added new features to each component.

Lessons and Challenges: Things we learned along the way

One of the best and worst parts of our project is that we were given freedom to build using whatever stack we wanted. It was very freeing and made us feel like our mentor really trusted us with making the right decision.

However, as newbie developers sometimes we would spend days or even weeks researching different technologies, not knowing if we could overcome the steep learning curve. It was a challenge itself to know when to ask questions and ask for help, to manage frustration and to know when to stop and get proper rest.

The best parts of the experience were the small victories, the aha moments, sharing the journey with really caring people, admiring Nico’s work and hoping we can be at that level some day.

Spending three months, peppered with lots of success and failure, we loved every minute of it! Which is the best lesson of all from working on the RGSoC project this summer.

What RGSoC taught us

Besides contributing to open-source, we learned new tools and technologies and improved our skill-set. This is how Rgsoc helped us kickstart our careers and grow a lot as individuals. We learned…
it is really hard to predict and allocate time for building a new page or feature - because a lot can go wrong, and can totally derail the project.
good communication is a huge part of a developer’s job and keeping everyone posted about our progress made a huge difference on our contributions and the team’s spirit.
how to work with code that doesn’t have an immediate visual result, as we have been working before with websites and games and never with a so complex project.
a lot about unit testing and the different frameworks and assertion libraries.
how to work remotely with different people and how to collaborate to other people’s projects
to back up our code if we are going to experiment Dr Frankenstein style with Git and Github
advanced Git and Github uses, getting to a proficient level
how to use Gulp and implement plugins
more advanced ways of using npm and modules
about lint, prettier and other code formatting tools
how to create better documentation and how important it is
the importance of paying attention to detail, syntax and style
how amazing and helpful the dev community can be!

Achievements

We learned a lot during summer. Among others how to spent hours working on the same problem, freaked out,miscommunicated, lost our code, worked with complete opposite work schedules, were stuck, tried pair coding, coded alone, changed mentors, shifted projects, went to an incredible JavaScript conference, met awesome people, learned the open-source world, faced our fears and doubts and just kept going. Step-by-step. And our hard work paid off, we are celebrating with a few milestones:
- The PIMD-project was released as an npm package.
- We created a PIMD Live Demo and documentation file.
- We implemented new plugins

Thanks

We would not be able to thank RGSoC enough for all we learned through this summer. A big big thanks to RGSoC and all the Sponsors for giving us this opportunity and the organizors for their constant support. And of course, this summer would not have been so amazing without…

Our mentors: Nico and Jen. We could not have hoped for better mentors. Thank you Nico for all the patience, guidance and kindness you received us with. We won’t forget the experience of being part of your great project. We hope we can meet you both soon!
Our Coaches: Tobias (React developer-based in Düsseldorf, Germany), Tetiana (Ruby Developer-based in Kharkiv, Ukraine), Cristina (full-stack-developer-based in Barcelona), Bright (React mobile developer- based in Berlin, Germany) and Bogdan (JavaScript Developer-based in Kharkiv, Ukraine), thank you so much for all you help, time, energy, patience, source-code sessions, exercises, positive vibes, laughs and so much more
Our Supervisors: Lucas Pinto you had a big impact on our summer of code, thank you for caring for our well-being throughout the summer and always being there for questions, support and for sharing your own experiences. Srishti thank you for taking over when Lucas went on holidays and for continuing supporting us. RGSoC-Community: Thank you for being so responsive and helpful. We loved to meet you all and have the opportunity of sharing our journey with so many amazing people.

The Journey Continues…

We will for sure continue to code. And are planning to find a job in tech in Barcelona by the beginning of 2019. We want to finish our Front-End Nanodegree, learn React and build up our portfolio with projects built the past months. We also want to learn more about some of the technologies, frameworks and tools we discovered during our journey with Living Style Guide.

We don’t know yet what the future holds for us but we have some idea of where we want to go next. We both want to keep working very hard to become full time Front End Developers. Diana wants to build up her skills on technical writing and Violeta will continue improving her current skills on UI and UX Design.

Our Medium Account: we wrote during the Summer of Code about our journey and the conferences we attended.
Diana’s Github
Diana’s Linkedin
Violeta’s Github
Violeta’s Linkedin
Violeta’s Twitter
PIMD Project Repository
Living Style Guide Github
RGSoC daily logs: a history of every team hard work during the summer

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