Team ifPairElseUnknown

Posted on by ifPairElseUnknown

Categories: blog and student posts

Hello World!

Team Banner

Images created at

We are Jenny and Sophie from Melbourne, Australia. It’s winter here! For us it is Rails Girls Summer Winter of Code! We are working on a community for mental health experiences. We can’t believe it has started and we are already in our third week.


Our First day at Zendesk

Photo taken by Sophie and Jenny


Hot Wheels and Nexo Knight Advocate, learning ukulele, eating chocolate, fruit lover, curious about the world

Why coding? I am interested in languages and communities. For me coding is an interesting language that has the ability to create something of value to the community. I feel that this could be a way that I can contribute positively to the community.


Domestic household engineer & Tantrum and Meltdown negotiator. Unwinds by creating handmade cards and the occasional glass of white wine

Before becoming a full-time mother, I worked in the beauty industry, in some of Australia’s top spas, as a Beauty Therapist. I am now making a career change into web development and have been doing so by self-directed learning.

Programming is something that I enjoy and find great pleasure in. As a mum, I find it is a great way to escape from my everyday mother duties and focus on something which I find rewarding. I love the mental challenge that programming presents and the possibility of being able to conceive a new idea and bring it to life.

Simon helping us set up our Dev Environments

Photo taken by Sophie and Jenny

How we met?

We were both interested in applying for the RGSoC and were connected via a 2016 participant, Ramya. We organised to meet at a cafe and straight away clicked, as we shared many things in common. To get the ball rolling, we presented at a Ruby meetup one night and asked for volunteer coaches and had awesome experienced Rubyists approach us, offering to coach.

Why if me?

When we were looking through the open source projects, we instantly said it was the project for us. We believe passionately in the app and the aims of if me. Mental health is really important to us and we want to contribute to something that will have a positive impact on the world.

About our Project and Mentor

if me is a mental health communication app that allows people to share their mental health experiences in a safe and private space with their loved ones. If me is a free, not-for-profit open source software project.


Photo taken by Sophie and Jenny

Julia Nguyen, the founder of the project, started it in 2014 as an undergraduate student studying computer science at the University of Waterloo. During this time, Julia started writing and giving talks about her struggles with OCD, depression, and anxiety.

The idea for if me came from Julia’s experiences being a Vietnamese-Canadian struggling with mental illness and having conversations about it with her family. A main focus of the project is to increase conversations in communities lacking mental health education, including minority, immigrant, and English as a Second Language (ESL) communities. The site is offered in Spanish and the plan is to continue internationalization efforts. Julia, who was raised in a low-income family by a single-mother, believes it is important that the project remains free and not-for-profit.

Julia is so excited and honoured that if me is part of Rails Girls Summer of Code.

Coaches & Coaching Company

We work in the heart of Melbourne at our coaching company Zendesk, which is located in a beautiful building, which used to be an old bank.

Adel teaching us about Git

Photo taken by Sophie and Jenny

At Zendesk, we are lucky to be working amongst an awesome team of Developers, with a wide range of experience. The team is really friendly and we feel at home here. They also have yummy snacks, coffee and lots of chocolate and avocados on hand, to help keep our minds focused and our tummy’s happy. We are so lucky to have such a generous Coaching Company.

Team meeting over Zoom

Photo taken by Sophie and Jenny

We are blessed to have the support of our local Ruby community and RGSoC organisation. Thank You to our wonderful coaches; Adel Smee, Adam Rice, Simon Hilderbrandt and Tim Moore, our Project mentor Julia Nguyen and RGSoC Supervisor Vi Nguyen.

Our Goals (for the winter)

  • To gain as much experience working as part of a team on if me that we can contribute positively towards
  • During our time with RGSoC we would both like to develop our Ruby and Javascript concepts and testing
  • Build our network of peers in programming
  • Pair programming
  • Learning about dev tools
  • Have FUN!