Introducing team Highway to Rails

Posted on by Tam and Susanne

Categories: blog and student posts

We are team Highway to Rails. We chose the name because of the ACDC song “Highway to Hell”. When you replace the word “hell” with “rails”, it really sounds like we’re doing something incredibly exciting, which, of course, we are!

“Don’t need reason, don’t need rhyme
Ain’t nothing I would rather do
Going down, party time
My friends are gonna be there too
I’m on the highway to RAILS.”

We heard about RGSoC first and foremost on twitter, but we’re also members of a weekly Rails Girls project group in Berlin, so news quickly spread. We applied because we’re both at a sort of turning point in our lives: we want to change career paths, we’re interested in coding and technology, and it sounds like fun.

Unfortunately we weren’t accepted to the summer of code. However, we had already found a place to work (tables in the IT department at Absolventa) and a couple coaches (Carsten and Felix, developers at Absolventa). Luckily, the company was as sad about us not getting in as we were, and were nice enough to create two internship positions for us. So now we’re summer of code volunteer students, working full time on a project called event_girl that Absolventa will hopefully use when it’s done.

Event_girl is the brainchild of the Absolventa IT department. Since they’re sponsoring us, it makes sense to work on something they have knowledge about/is useful to them. But don’t worry, it’s still open source! (painfully so… our commit history at this point is insane). Event_girl is a way for an individual person or company to keep track of a bunch of tasks happening in the background of a system, set restrictions such as date/time/frequency, and check to make sure various tasks are being fulfilled, or (and this is the hard part) aren’t being fulfilled.

We’ve started our our app from scratch, and so far we’ve laid the foundations with twitter bootstrap, a couple models/view/controllers, set the restrictions, nested our resources, and done some testing with Rspec. This week we started looking into Action Mailers and our app actually sent us an email!

Happiest moments:

Tam’s happiest moment so far isn’t anything specific, but rather, a kind of ritual. Carsten writes various things for us to do on index cards, and then when we finish them, we rip them up and put them in a glass. It’s a great feeling to look at that index card, know we’ve done the somewhat confusing thing written on it successfully, and then rip it up and put it away. At the end of the summer we’re going to throw them in the air and dance around in the ensuing mess (and then clean it all up).

Susanne’s happiest moment so far was when Absolventa said they’d sponsor both of us as RGSoC volunteers! She also enjoys the feeling of finally being able to (kind of) understand what the model-view-controller is all about.

If you could code anything:

Tam loves audio and making podcasts, and has a mini dream of making an app where users can upload field sounds they record directly onto a corresponding map. Things like this already kind of exist, but not to the extent she’s looking for.

Susanne still wants to program an app where people around the globe can add favourite bakeries onto a map. They could add specifications like “sells dark bread”, “sells pretzels”, “sells gluten free bread” and so on. (Susanne is German, so whenever she travels she really missed German bread.)

Tam and Susanne