Self-promotion by RapidRailsGirls!

Posted on by RapidRailsGirls

Categories: blog and student posts

About us:

We are Kathi Zwick and Brigitte Markmann, two aspiring software developers based in Berlin. We met in December 2013 at our first Rails Girls Workshop. We figured out that we would make a great team for the Rails Girls Summer of Code - and as you can see - we got accepted as a volunteer team! Yeah! :)

Kathi: “Remembering back, I always wanted to be a detective (like Sherlock Holmes). But very recently I realized that my skills also happen to fit perfectly to those of a programmer: I’m quick at combining new information, I have an urge to get things done and obviously I LOVE solving riddles (isn’t that what programming is all about?)! Because childhood wishes rarely come true, in reality I’ve been a recruiter for the past two years. Hanging out a lot with IT guys made me realize: being a programmer is the coolest job on earth, I’ll go for it! And here I am :) “

Brigitte: “There must be parallel universes in which I am a volcanologist or a pilot of a very small aircraft in a remote area. In this one I am a media manager who now decided to go an a slightly different adventure - becoming a developer. Why? Because languages are amazing: you can admire the sheer aesthetics and marvel at or be confused about the underlying concepts and values. Using a different one you become another persona!
Besides that I like to be around people what kind of rules out the careers mentioned above. What else? I love to invent silly taglines and titles, can wiggle my ears (up and down) and can explain movies to my friends, when they again have missed all the subtle hints…. Perfect material for a decent developer, don’t you think? ;) “

Why Rapid?!

Because we learn at a high pace ;) but also because the project we chose to start with is called RapidFTR. It’s a Ruby on Rails/Android application that lets aid workers collect and share information about unaccompanied children in emergency situations, so they can be reunited with their families. We will help upgrading the current app to version 2.0.

Things we learned so far:

  • how to use a Mac (yap, involving terminal commands and funny symbols )
  • how to use Twitter (just have to overcome our general fear of actually using it).
  • learned the English words for all the punctuation marks.
  • the importance of going to conferences - you get free tshirts there!
  • real coding stuff like git, GitHub, Ajax, jQuery, RSpec, Slim, DOM, rubocop, Ruby keywords, TDD, code coverage, etymology of foo, bar, etc. ! :)
  • how to be a good programmer in terms of style, community involvement etc…

Things we are amazed by:

  • all the hearty support we experienced so far! So many people in the Ruby community as well as SoundClouders have been very kind and super encouraging. From making us feel welcome to offering classes on whatever topic people are experts on!
  • our coaches/mentors/supervisors obviously! Erik Michaels-Ober (SoundCloud), Klaus Fleerköetter (ThoughtWorks), Steffi Tinder (ThoughtWorks) and Tam Eastley: thank you so much for your dedication and patience! And for motivating and inspiring us!
  • how much you can learn in 7 weeks!
  • how many different things you actually have to learn in order to make a Rails Application work

Things we would change about the Summer of Code:

  • turn the program into “Winter of Code”. We realized that the current “Summer of Code” makes one too excited about coding and thus you spend most of the time in front of a computer, neglecting the beautiful sunshine outside.
  • we would not choose SoundCloud as an office again. It’s just too fabulous, too cozy, too many goodies for the employees, too good food …. the result being that we’re now totally spoiled.


… if you’d like to stay tuned about our Summer Code, check out our blog!

… and if you’d like to hire us, don’t be shy - message us on Twitter or XING!