Application Guide for Students

If you’re thinking about participating in this year's Rails Girls Summer of Code, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Note: This year’s program will look a little different as we focus on our rebranding. For this reason, we will not have any sponsored teams, but we’re still committed to connecting volunteers who want to work on open source through our network and social media. If you’re interested in participating, you can find an overview of potential projects here. You can also spread the word by mentioning us on Twitter (@RailsGirlsSoC); we’ll retweet and help you connect with prospective team mates or coaches. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us by email if you have any questions!

When does RGSoC take place?

In 2019, RGSoC will be self-paced and volunteer-only. This means you can participate for 3 months from July to September, but you can also start later or finish earlier, depending on how much time you (and your coaches, project maintainer, and teammates) can and want to invest this year.
We will not be able to offer support in the form of supervisors, but we will try to use our network to help you find a team and make this a great experience!

Who is eligible to participate?

All people with non-binary gender identities or who identify as women (transgender or cisgender) are welcome to participate in 2019. While we’re not doing an application or submission process this year, our goal is still to support and encourage underrepresented people in open source. Aside from this, we don’t have any hard requirement for this year’s program, as it’s voluntary, self-paced, and flexible based on your schedule. You can even participate without a teammate!

You do not have to be a student at a University to participate, and there are certainly no degree or age limitations.

How much is the scholarship?

Unfortunately, we will not be offering scholarships in 2019, as we don’t have the time to run a crowdfunding campaign or offer organisational support as we rebrand.

What do you need to participate?

Another student to pair with

We would still recommend finding a teammate before reaching out to a project because it will help you to learn, plan your goals, and will allow you to be the first point of support for one another — but it’s not mandatory.

It is possible to participate alone, or to have a team that consists of more than two students.

If you don’t know how to go about finding a teammate, check out our detailed guide here.


Coaches are developers who help you with your project. They sit down with you at regular intervals, guide you through relevant coding steps and troubleshoot problems you may run into.

Our guide for coaches will give you insight on what’s required of them and help you explain what is needed to prospective coaches. For further information on how to find coaches, we have also prepared a detailed guide here.

A place to work

Working at a desk right next to your teammate and your coaches is the ideal scenario. You will need a work environment beneficial to dedicating yourself to your project. This could be your home, a co-working space, your current work office or a Coaching Company. As long as you are safe and productive, you can freely choose from where you will work.

The ability to self-manage and motivate

This is a very important point for us, as the program is self-guided. There won’t be anyone next to you at all times, telling you what to do. While you will have time with your coaches regularly, you won’t have them by your side 24/7.

As a team, you will probably have to define your goals for the program and plan together how you will meet these goals. It’s up to you to stick to your plan and achieve your goals.

A project

Your project can be selected from our list of projects approved for RGSoC 2019. We always have a wonderful variety of interesting Open Source projects, so we understand that it can be tricky to know how to choose!

Ask your prospective coaches for their input on which project they feel would be suitable, and talk to other people in your local community — in particular, people who are familiar with your level of experience. We also recommend getting in touch with the mentor of the project you want to participate with to introduce yourself, talk about the project features you’d like to work on, and see whether they think you’d be a good fit.

Submitting your application

The program is a bit different this year, which means we will not accept applications in the traditional sense; however, if you plan to participate as a two-person team, you are more than welcome to create a team on our Teams app. Click on “New Team” on the Teams page and add all your team members (teammate and coaches). After saving your team, you’re ready to go.

Requirements during the program

Rails Girls Summer of Code focuses on students learning to code, but it’s also a community event. This means we welcome participating teams to interact with each other. In this year’s format, we don’t have any specific requirements, but we still recommend the following:

  • Being clear with your teammate (if you have one), your coaches and your project mentor about how much time you can invest between July 1st and September 30th
  • Keeping track of your work with a short, daily summary
  • Keeping in regular contact with your mentor and sticking to previously agreed upon reaction times for answering communication
  • Agreeing to have team information published on our website and blog (e.g. a team introduction or post about your project); this could include a photo or other likeness of yourself

More questions?

If you have more questions on this year’s format, you can also hop into our Student Support Slack channel or send us an email.