Finding your team

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

Coaches

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 would ideally like them to be based in the same city as your team.

Where do I find coaches?

Great places to start are local learning groups or 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, what coaching a team involves, and ask if anyone there is interested in getting involved.

If you have no luck or live in an area where there are no local learning groups and no user groups, ask via 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 of coaching time per week. We require a minimum of 2 coaches per team 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 in case you get stuck with an issue. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in person and can be done via email or a messaging app such as Slack.

An important note: Start talking to potential coaches about how they communicate and how you can handle possible situations of stress and/or conflict as a team during your application. This will definitely help you down the road, should any tricky situations arise.

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 preparing 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 establishing regular and dedicated team reflection times where you can talk about how you work together, what went well and what didn’t.

Things to consider when choosing a teammate

It might be that your future teammate has different skills than you do. Talk about your skill levels and how to handle possible disparities.

Consider how individual personal situations can have an impact on your work as a team. We strongly suggest mentioning any specific personal circumstance to the extent you feel comfortable, so your teammate can react considerately.

Be aware that people work differently or handle moments of stress in different ways.

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

Where do I find a teammate?

A great place to start is, again, local learning groups. 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 coding-related meetup groups.

If you have no luck or live in an area where there are no learning groups or user groups, ask via 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: Stating where you will be located for the time of the program (city and country) right in the subject line will make it easier for people to find you.
  • Give context: Explain in your post what your background is, what kind of support you’re looking for (coaches, teammate, 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 teammate/student team/coach, please mark the topic as complete. This will avoid people reaching out to you in vain and will help us keep track of who is still looking for whom.

Twitter

  • Mention your location in your tweet, so people know where you are looking.
  • 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!