“Always two there are, no more, no less.”

Posted on by Johanna Lang and Dayana Mick

Categories: blog and student posts

Team Jodajodas at Absolventa, their coaching company (Image: Team joda)

What master Yoda is trying to say here is that until the end of September both team joda members will spend almost every day together on their learning path working on SoundDrop.

The “jo” in joda stands for Johanna:

“I am a philosopher, live in Berlin and started to learn programming more than a year ago. The starting point was a Rails Girls Beginners Workshop, which made me very curious about Ruby and Rails, so that I joined two Berlin study groups, the Ruby Monstas and the Rubynettes. In these groups I have been (and am still) participating in several projects from which I learned a lot. Working full time now on the open-source project SoundDrop for three months, surrounded by professional help, is a great opportunity.”

The “da” in joda stands for Dayana:

“I studied literature in Colombia, worked as a teacher for a couple of years and then came to Europe for a Masters Degree in Media and Culture. I had consistently tried to learn programming and had consistently failed until I went to a Rails Girls Berlin Workshop where jo + da met. I am hoping to learn as much as I can to be able to combine my interests in sounds and arts in general with programming and I am really 😃 to have this opportunity. “

“jo” and “da” decided to dive into code during this summer and learn intensively together taking part in the Rails Girls Summer of Code program as joda, after working in both project groups together. They now have a great team of coaches, mentors and an awesome supervisor, as well as Yoda’s teachings as a guide:

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

We are working on SoundDrop, a project that has participated twice in previous Rails Girls Summer of Code editions and towards which we felt keen on from the beginning: The app lets you record sounds and connect them to a place where they belong, thus allowing users to leave an audible mark - anywhere. At the moment, SoundDrop is only a web app, but it needs to go mobile so that users can find drops wherever they are located. So the next milestone for SoundDrop (but of course also for team joda) is to build an API, which we will try to do this summer.

“You will find only what you bring in.”

In our first week and a half participating in the program, we of course haven’t “brought in” major features yet. We tried to get accustomed to the CSS/front end parts of the app by refactoring some of the code and fixing misplaced buttons and containers. Soon, you will be able to listen to SoundDrops (as the play button works now, yay!) and enjoy the responsive design even on your tablet screen :) Currently we are preparing for the great task of building a JSON API for SoundDrop. For this goal we built our own small API and now practice testing on it. Once we’ve tested the whole CRUD cycle, we want to use our knowledge for the “big” SoundDrop API. Furthermore we profit a lot from the many deep dive sessions by our coaches, that provide us with theoretical “background” input.

Team jodaTeam joda, coaches and one of our mentors, also with team LoadToCode and Yodas at work (Images: Team joda)

“Always pass on what you have learned.”

Almost two weeks into the program, we have already discovered some best practices we would like to share with our readers:

  • Take breaks regularly (e.g. 5 minutes every hour).
  • Try to solve problems on your own before you ask for help. Even though it might temporarily bring you frustration and suffering, it is worth it, as in the end you will understand the solution better.
  • Ask for Deep Dive Sessions on basically any topic, concept or feature you don’t fully understand, because, as master Yoda says: “Named must your fear bug be before banish it you can.”
  • Daily feedback to your teammate: What has worked well today? What could be improved?

We leave the closing words to master Yoda, who describes our current situation quite well:

“In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.”