Becoming a Rails Girls Summer of Code Coach

Note: There will be no RGSoC in 2019 as we focus on our rebranding and a restructuring of the program. Even though we will not organise a 2019 edition, we’re still committed to connecting contributors from underrepresented groups who want to work on open source through our network and social media. If you’re interested in supporting contributors from underrepresented groups in your community, send an email to our community mailing list stating that you are offering your help as a coach. You can also spread the word by mentioning us on Twitter (@RailsGirlsSoC); we’ll retweet and help you connect with prospective contributors. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us by email if you have any questions!

Coach Guide

Why should I be a coach?

We firmly believe that coaching will not just help our students but will also help you

  • give back to the community,
  • share your knowledge, and
  • improve your work as a programmer.

There are a lot of good reasons to become a coach. First and foremost, you will be giving back to the community by empowering women and non-binary people to contribute to open source. It’s a great way to share your knowledge!

We also believe that coaching can be really rewarding for your own work, that it can improve the way you write code and help you grow as a developer, as well as make you think about concepts you tend to take for granted.

And above all, it will be incredibly satisfying for you to see the happy faces of your students when they succeed and reach their goals.

Should I have in-depth knowledge of the project(s) chosen by my team?

In-depth knowledge of the project(s) chosen by your team is not required. However, it would make sense for you to have some expertise in the technologies used in the project. We also recommend getting acquainted with the project’s technical design and codebase.

How much time does coaching take?

The actual time investment varies from team to team, depending on how much time your prospective students want to spend on their contributions. We recommend talking to them and figuring out when and how often they will need you!

Ways to find a team and register as a coach

  • Register as a coach on our Teams app
  • Reach out to local Rails Girls/PyLadies/WomenWhoCode/etc. chapters
  • Get in touch with local developer user groups and study groups
  • Write an email on the RGSoC community mailing list
  • Spread the word on Twitter

As a first step, you can register as a coach on our Teams app; log in with GitHub and, under “My Account > Edit”, select what you’re interested in helping with: as a coach or as a remote coach/helpdesk. This step is entirely optional and only there for networking purposes — so contributors can e.g. add you to their team.

You can also reach out to your local developer initiatives like Rails Girls, PyLadies or whatever is available in your city and fits your technology stack. We also recommend reaching out to local developer user groups, as well as study groups if there are any in your area.

We also have a Rails Girls Summer of Code community mailing list: send an email introducing yourself, specifying your areas of expertise and location, and offer to become a coach. Additionally, you can spread the word on Twitter mentioning @RailsGirlsSoC and we’ll retweet and help you connect to contributors.

If you have any further questions, drop us a line at