Introducing Exercistas

Posted on by Mixolidia & Sarah

Categories: blog and student posts

##Introducing Exercistas! exercistas with mentor and NIRD coaches

Image: Team Exercistas)

###Who are we? Sarah: I am a biologist turned bioinformatician turned developer. I studied marine biology (coral reefs genomics) in college and grad school, and eventually decided that computers were more fun than endless nights in the lab. I am the organizer for Geek Girls Carrots Seattle and run a free project-based programming workshop for women, called Code Carrots. I’m originally from France, lived in Texas for a while, and am currently enjoying life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Recently, I have been learning to make my own cheese. The way to my heart is through puns, Star Trek quotes, and facts about obscure invertebrates.

Mixolidia: Miami transplant to Seattle, move to Seattle to become full-stack developer. I have a Bachelor in Fine Arts Photography. I’ve also worked in fundraising for the arts and community based organizations. Before deciding to become a developer, I worked in marketing and advertising. Software Development brings together the two things I love to do: problem-solving and making things.

###What project are you working on? We are working on (Github), a platform for crowd-sourced coding mentorship. Our mentor is Katrina Owen, . Our main goal for Rails Girls Summer of Code is to streamline the onboarding process. We are making help and information pages on These pages will inform users of the available languages on and how to access them.

###What have we achieved so far? We’ve implemented a drop-down menu on’s home page. This drop-down menu lists all the languages available on and links to their corresponding help pages. This was a very interesting process. Our first week, we had to dive in, head first into’s code base. We learned how to make our logic work with the existing code. We learned about’s various APIs, how to use them to create the drop-down menu and link to each of the language’s help page. The new languages drop-down menu is dynamic. Meaning as adds more languages, they will automatically appear on the languages menu.

###What will we do next for the project? We are currently working on two things: a detailed roadmap of the on-boarding process and language information pages for each language. For the road map, we are working through the steps a new user would take to start using With this exercise, we hope to find what will work best for users. For the information pages, we are again working with’s APIs to dynamically create the information pages from the APIs.

###If we could code anything in the world, what would it be? Sarah: An easy-to-use collaborative lab notebook platform for scientists, with functions like data import/export, data visualization widgets in R, maps, and sample and protocol tracking.

Mixolidia: An app that visually interprets sign language to sound for those who don’t understand sign language. This app would make conversations between sign language users and non-users more organic.

###What are you most looking forward to this summer? Sarah: Getting experience working on a live project with a team, dealing with existing code, and the freedom/limitations of open source.

Mixolidia: Completing the goals we’ve set for this summer. Working with the open-source contributors supporting and the Rails Girls Help Desk has been amazing. I think I’ve already achieved some of my goals which are to understand the open-source community better and learn how to contribute. Work with a live app that has checks and balances (Travis!) Learn how to take features from ideas to being live on an app or website.

We’re also looking forward to attending conferences. Rails Girls Summer of Code is helping, by giving us tickets to Madison+ Ruby! But we still need help with travel and accommodations. If you would be so kind to visit our GoFundMe campaign, we’d really appreciate it. Every bit counts. Sharing is caring, so please share it with your friends. Thanks!

exercistas with mentor and NIRD coaches

(Image: Team Exercistas)

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