“Sometimes there's only one thing left to say - P.S. We Loved It... ”

Posted on by Taneea S Agrawaal and Vrinda Malhotra

Categories: blog and student posts

Team TwitchesTeam Twitches at BBQ Nation! (Image Credits: Taneea's Sister)

“As long as we don’t die, this is gonna be one hell of a story.”

We didn’t and it was. Rails Girls Summer of Code 2016 is an experience we’re going to carry in our hearts till we’re plagued by old-age memory loss.

To say we have come far from what we were as programmers and individuals would be an understatement. When we first applied for RGSoC, we never imagined the wealth of knowledge or experience or memories that we would accumulate during these three months. From late night calls with our supervisor, Ramon, to basically being bullied into reading docs by our coach, Kuldeep, to stalking people on GitHub, we tried it all. We learned to work together - not just plan together, but to program as a pair too. We learned that recognising that you don’t know something or don’t understand something is the most important step of learning.

This summer gave a new meaning to try-till-you-succeed for us. Because yes, there were a lot of obstacles. Sometimes we fought over trivial things or couldn’t solve a problem no matter how much we tried and were just frustrated at the end of the day and didn’t want to update our log. But then, there was that pesky little mail that we received the next day about updating our daily log, and we just had to go back and give it another try! With the help of our mentors and coaches, we kept trying to work things out and we’re positive that all this learning and the figure-it-out attitude is going to take us far in life.

Team TwitchesLast Team Call of the Summer! (Image Credits: Team Twitches)

“I’ve learned that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.”

Coming to the most important part, we’d like to thank the following people (in no particular order of preference):

  • Ramon Huidobro: Thank you for being quirky, fun, chilled out, not-nagging, hating the organizational stuff, being supportive ALWAYS, and THANK YOU for being YOU. You were a supervisor (bad choice of word), mentor, coach, and friend ALL AT THE SAME TIME. This summer wouldn’t have been the same without your smiling face staring up at us every weekend of this past summer, and we definitely wouldn’t have made it through without your support.

  • Simon & Rory: You both have been the sweetest, kindest, and the MOST supportive project mentors anyone in this world has ever had. EVER. We appreciate all the guidance and the help that you both gave us throughout the summer, without fail. Simon, thank you for listening to our rants about Hound being annoying, and Rory, you know you’re picture perfect! We have loved every minute of contributing to OpenFarm and we hope to keep contributing for a very very long time.

  • Kashyap, Kuldeep, Sadiksha, Ankur and Akshay (our coaches): From late night Hangout calls to answering our queries while you were at work, you people have done it ALL. And that’s why you’re the best! Seriously, though we just couldn’t have done it without you responding to our SOS calls (“Please save me from Angular!”) and wouldn’t have been able to come this far without you explaining every tiny concept to us in detail. Thank You. So Much! Kashyap, you really do rock with Angular even if you think it’s rusty. Kuldeep, thank you for being there when nobody else was. (Literally, you were online at the oddest of hours!). Sadiksha, you were our first coach and you have been there for us every step of the way - from helping us with our applications to helping us find a place to stay in Berlin! Ankur, thanks for teaching us that the simplest solution is always the best solution - we know we can always rely on you and your advice! And finally, thank you Akshay, for teaching us to think about every aspect of the problem before finding a solution for it.

Team TwitchesTeam Twitches out for tacos! (Image Credits: Taco Bell Server)

  • Fellow RGSoC Teams: Thank you, ladies for being our involuntary support systems when we were feeling low. We have learned more from interacting with you than we could ever imagine. We love every song on our customized RGSoC playlist and we hope to keep adding onto that list. Do keep in touch, because we really will miss all of you!

  • Last but not the least, the RGSoC organisers: You were amazing. Ana, you make beautiful videos! We wish we could make them half as well as you do! Maria, thank you so much for sticking with us and telling us about all the possible conferences! Laura, getting those first few mails from you was life-altering and we hope you deliver as much joy to other teams in the future as you did to us. And thank you, Anika, for starting this wonderful initiative of getting more women into open source. We hope to continue what you’ve started in our own city!

“Shoot for the moon, even if you fail, you’ll land among the stars”

By working with such a diverse community - our own team consisted of people from three different continents and four different countries - we learned to appreciate the little things in life, like when that one hound comment that is haunting you finally gets resolved or that simple ‘well done’ from your mentor or simply being up all night, trying to work but mostly just laughing about random things with your friends. We learned to aim high while still being practical. These are not things anybody can teach you - these are realizations that come from within and strike you like lightening, but stay with you forever (sort of like Flash’s powers).

Team TwitchesTeam Twitches dancing! (Image Credits: Giphy.com)

Key Learnings:

  • Try, try and try till you succeed!
  • OpenFarm’s Hound lacks “practicality” (Simon’s words!)
  • Nothing is unachievable. It’s us who make it so.
  • Pair programming is fun and entertaining.
  • Never go at war with Angular. You won’t make it out alive.

“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”

Disclaimer: A special thanks to John Green, Cecelia Ahern and Paolo Coelho for being amazing writers and providing us with quotes that we'll carry with us till the end of time.