Meet Team Popcorn

Posted on by Arati and Jessica

Categories: blog and student posts

The warm welcome we recieved from our coaching company [Absolventa]

Photo credit: Jessica

Team Popcorn

We are Team Popcorn based in Berlin, Germany. We met through the Women Techmakers community where we were both looking for opportunities to learn programming. Though our backgrounds are different and we don’t always get each other’s jokes, we share a passion for programming. Having both gotten into tech a little later in life and collected many different experiences along the way, we knew RGSoC would be a blast together!

“You can start late, look different, be uncertain and still succeed.” - Misty Copeland

As soon as we decided to apply for the program, we had to start hunting for coaches and a project. We were particularly keen to find other women to mentor us. After looking through the Nextcloud website we found Camila’s profile. We reached out and were delighted when she invited us to a Nextcloud meetup happening that very evening.

As it turns out, this would be a fateful evening for our team because Camila didn’t come alone to the meetup. With her was a little black dog with a big personality. An adorable rescue dog, Popcorn was our mascot during the sometimes frustrating process of setting up our development environments and we had no other choice than to honour her with our team name!

Popcorn, our mascot

Photo credit: Camila


Some of the best days I had in 2017 were the ones when I got to program from morning to evening. I found my way into programming quite by accident. I did an online Ruby tutorial for fun and was hooked. Next, I scoured the Meetup pages and within days of enrolling in the Women Techmaker’s JavaScript Crash Course here in Berlin, I knew I wanted to do this full time. Through every bug and even the time my code broke just minutes before I was due to present my graduation project, I have been excited by programming. I had heard it was possible for work to feel like play, but I had never actually experienced it myself. And this is why 2018 has been a monumental year for me. I am delighted to say that I am now working as a professional web developer.

Jessica (@sleepypioneer)

Originally from the UK, I moved to Berlin, Germany in 2010 to live with my partner. Programming will be my third career, as I have already worked in the film and television industry and speciality coffee industry. In both, I started in entry-level positions and worked my way up. Each has led me to where I am now and while neither field directly involved programming, I have gained many transferable skills. Since school, programming has interested me, but until now it has just been a hobby. Last year, I quit my job as a coffee roaster to make the change into tech. I have been studying online, attending meetups and workshops and completed a few courses in web development. I have learned a range of languages including Python, Go, JavaScript and PHP. In 2018, I hope to find my first job in tech and RGSoC is proving to be an excellent start to this journey!

Kaja & Victor At our coaching company we have two coaches. Kaja is a Ruby on Rails developer and RGSoC alumni who also had Absolventa as her coaching company. Victor is from Spain and he joined Absolventa as a web developer earlier this year.

Markus Markus was a RGSoC coach last year for Kaja when he also worked at Absolventa. He is now working at Nolte & Lauth as a web developer.

Lora “Lora Vardarova is a Software Engineer at Zalando. Passionate About Front-End Development, User Experience, and Agile Software Development.” (WTMB Meetup)

Camila “Camila is from Brazil and has worked as front-end developer, with C#, Java and even Delphi. She got into open source doing C++/Qt development in the KDE community. After moving to Germany she worked with PHP, Ruby on Rails, AngluarJS, Go and Drupal 7. She’s now a desktop client developer at Nextcloud but just might do other things than C++ sometimes.” (Nextcloud website)

We also are happy to have Jan and Jona as our mentors and Neta as our supervisor.

Project: Nextcloud

Nextcloud’s website says it best. “Nextcloud offers industry-leading on-premises file sync and online collaboration technology. Our expertise is in combining the convenience and ease of use of consumer-grade solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive with the security, privacy and control business needs. Our self-hosted solutions ensure you know where data is, who has access, and that even meta-data does not leak.”

We chose this project because we both felt it was important to work on a larger project and familiarise ourselves with the architecture, communication style and organisation this would required. We also liked that within the project, there are separate apps which we could focus on. Additionally, we felt strongly about working on a project that has a local community, which would enable us to connect with other members in person.

Since reaching out to Camila and Jan at the start of our application process for RGSoC we have been overwhelmed by the community’s support. We were even invited to join them in Stuttgart for their hackweek!

Nextcloud Hackweek

Photo credit: Nextcloud

Roadmap for RGSoC

We will be working on the contacts app, an address book application that links to the calendar and mail apps. Currently written in Angular.js, it is being migrated to Vue.js over the course of the next three months. We will be involved in this process which is a fantastic opportunity to learn Vue and to directly experience how a migration of this scale is achieved. After the app has been migrated, we will begin to work on enhancements and have been encouraged to come up with suggestions of our own :)

You can follow our progress here, on the updates page and also on our Twitter!

Arati & Jessica