What to expect during Rails Girls Summer of Code
Below you’ll find everything you will need during the summer. The suggestions and best practices from previous years will help you set up a good working environment and support you in having a successful and fulfilling time on the program.
Rely on your RGSoC support network
The most important part of any community is the support people give to each other. Rails Girls Summer of Code provides a comprehensive support network that will help you and your team pair in all project related aspects.
Coaches and Mentor
The core team will be made up of you and your teammate, along with your coaches and the mentor of your Open Source project.
The coaches will work side by side with you during the program, explain coding steps, teach you troubleshooting skills and generally support you in your day-to-day programming work. During application time, coaches may assist you in finding a suitable project and project issues that fit your skill level.
The project mentor functions as a product owner of the Open Source project you’ll work on. They have insight into what issues need to be worked on and at the same time, guide you in finding the right issues for you.
Communication should always take place as a team so everyone is on the same page. Set up schedules for coaching times and calls with your mentor at the very beginning of the program!
Each team will have a supervisor who keeps an eye on the general well-being of the project’s progress and assists you in the non-coding aspects of Rails Girls Summer of Code. As such, the supervisor will constantly stay in touch with you and will be the go-to person whenever you have a question or problem your coaches or mentor can’t solve. You will have weekly calls with your supervisor. At the beginning of the program, agree with your supervisor on a time and day for the weekly calls.
Sometimes, your coaches won’t be immediately available to help, but that one code snippet just won’t work. For these cases, we will provide a help desk chat where experienced developers will remotely help you make headway with your issue.
Since Rails Girls Summer of Code is a community event, we also want to connect the students amongst each other so they can share their experiences. There is a Slack channel just for current students, a community channel for all students, current and alumni, as well as regular virtual meetups where students can chat about specific topics.
A primary goal of Rails Girls Summer of Code is to be inclusive to the all of our participants — students, coaches, mentors, supervisors and everyone on the organizing team — with the most varied and diverse backgrounds possible.
As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental health condition, socioeconomic status or background, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, clothing, race, or religion (or lack thereof).
We have a Code of Conduct in place and a trust committee that consists of both people involved with organizing RGSoC and externals. You can choose to contact the person you feel most comfortable reaching out to.
We are always here to support you. Simply send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll figure out the rest together.
Set up solid organisation and communication procedures
Most of the tools mentioned here will need to be set up at the beginning of the program. Follow these steps and you’ll have a great starting point.
RGSoC-Orga Slack Team
All RGSoC participants will be invited to our RGsoC-Orga Slack team. This is currently our favourite channel of communication and we’ve set up several channels with different purposes so that you won’t miss any important information. You can also chat with each other via private messages.
We recommend that your supervisor set up a channel for your team so that you can talk to each other on a daily basis. If your team doesn’t like Slack for internal communication, you can, of course, also use email or any other apps. However, we advise you not to lose track of the general RGSoC-Orga Slack channels, as most of the communication (with the organisers and other students, coaches, mentors and supervisors) will take place there.
The daily log is a short list of things you have done each day. A summary in the form of bullet points is perfectly fine.
Besides keeping your team in the loop, it’ll help you get familiar with good team practice and with the high level of transparency that is typical for Open Source development. It will also help you with self-reflection.
We also recommend establishing a daily morning standup meeting.
Set up a shared calendar for you and your teammate and schedule regular, dedicated meetings for mapping out your plans. Once a week is a minimum.
Aside from recurring events such as check-ins with your mentor and supervisor, there will be one-off social events (see below) that you should keep track of.
Please make sure you have a Twitter account. It can be either your personal one or a team account which you and your teammate will be setting up for the program.
We will use Twitter for some social and fun events. Besides, it’s a great place to get news and updates from the RGSoC world.
Optional: Your Own Team Blog
If you enjoy writing about stuff that interests you anyway, why not set up a dedicated RGSoC team blog? A blog can be a great place for a more general recap of your project work, reflections about your learning time and experiences, or reports about events you took part in.
We very much support blogging about your RGSoC experience, but we would also like to state explicitly that a blog is not mandatory — apart from the two blog posts every team should contribute to the official RGSoC blog (see below).
Social Events and Conferences
Rails Girls Summer of Code is a community-based program. So, of course, we want to tell the community what happens here. While we naturally want you to focus on your coding, Rails Girls Summer of Code includes getting in touch with the community and spreading the word.
Here we need you. Tell people about what you’re doing and learning, and you’ll start giving back to the community right away. By spreading the word, more and more people will learn about the program and this will help us reach out to supporters and contributors in the upcoming years.
Blog Posts for the RGSoC Blog
We will ask you as a team to write two blog posts for our official blog. The first one will be an introduction and is done at the beginning of July. The second post is due at the end of August and will be a summary of your project experience. You can write whatever type of post you like, using text, images, a video, etc.
Community Events and Conferences
At Rails Girls Summer of Code, you work hard and learn new stuff every day. To make this an even more complete experience for you, we’d like you to join your local developer community and, if possible, even attend a great conference.
We’ve gathered more information about this topic in the Conferences section.
If you have any concerns or questions about anything, please contact us at email@example.com before the start of the program.