Finding your team

Here is some info on putting together your team, including tips on finding coaches and a teammate.

Coaches

What exactly is a coach?

Coaches are developers who sit down with you, guide you through relevant coding steps and troubleshoot with you at regular intervals. This is why we require them to be based in the same city as your team.

Where do I find coaches?

A great place to start with this is with your local Rails Girls chapter or in local user groups relevant to the language of the project you wish to work on. The organisers of these meetups are usually happy to give you a few minutes to do a small lightning talk where you explain RGSoC and what is involved in coaching, and ask if anyone there is interested in getting involved.

If you have no luck, or live in an area where there is no Rails Girls chapter and no user group, ask on the Rails Girls Summer of Code community mailing list, or via @RailsGirlsSoC on Twitter.

How available should my coaches be? How much should they help?

From past experiences, we recommend 4-8 hours per week of coaching time. We require a minimum of 2 coaches so they can share the time commitment, and so you and your teammate have more flexible support.

Coaches should be available to help during office hours at times where you get quite stuck with something. This doesn’t have to be in person, and can be done via email or a messaging app such as slack.

An important note: Already during application time, talk to them about how they communicate and how you can handle possible situations of stress and/or conflict as a team. This will definitely help you should any tricky situations arise.

Teammate

What makes a suitable teammate?

In the process of teaming up, keep in mind that you will be working very closely during the 3 months of the program. There will be situations of stress and conflict; this is nothing bad, it happens. However we strongly recommend to prepare for these situations by being open about yourself and offering self-reflective, constructive ways of communication — and to expect the same from your teammate. We also recommend to establish regular and dedicated team reflection times where you can talk about how you work together, what went well and what didn’t.

It might also be that your future pair has different skills. Talk about your skill levels and how to handle possible disparities. Or you or your pair might be in a personal condition or life situation which could have an impact on your work as a team. We strongly suggest to mention these to the extent you feel comfortable about it, so your pair can react considerately. Also, be aware that other people work differently or handle moments of stress in different ways.

For the duration of the program we require that you work together in the same place, so this is also something to consider when trying to find a teammate.

Where do I find a teammate?

A great place to start with this is with your local Rails Girls chapter. Speak to organisers and coaches from the group as they might know of someone who would also be interested in applying. If you regularly attend a study group, try asking there as well.

Another suggestion is to attend, and speak to people in your local Ruby meetup group — or other user groups relevant to whichever language prospective projects are in.

If you have no luck, or live in an area where there is no Rails Girls chapter or no user group, ask on the Rails Girls Summer of Code community mailing list, or via @RailsGirlsSoC on Twitter. We will happily connect and retweet you!

Guidelines on public posts and tweets

When you post either to the mailing list or to twitter, please follow these simple guidelines. They’ll help you get the best out of our network!

Mailing List

  • Put your location in the post subject. Writing where you will be located for the summer (city and country) right in the subject will make it easier for people to find you.
  • Give context. Write in your post what your background is, what kind of support you’re looking for (coaches, team mate, students to coach), and the programming languages you know and/or plan to use during RGSoC.
  • Mark the topic as completed once you’ve found a match. If someone replies to you and you successfully find your team mate / student team / coach, please mark the topic as completed. This will avoid people reaching out to you in vain, and will help us keep track of who is still looking for whom.

Twitter

  • Write your location in your tweet. That way, we can retweet you easily.
  • Mention our account (@RailsGirlsSoC) in your tweet. We’ll get notified about your tweet and will be able to share it with our network.
  • Try to add some context or give as much useful information as possible. An example of a good tweet would be: “Looking for a coach (remote or local) for @RailsGirlsSoC; we are based in Berlin, Germany and plan to work on a Python or Ruby project!” This shows all the information needed for someone interested in helping you out: who you’re looking for, your location, and your preferred languages.

Good luck!