Rails Girls Summer of Code

Being a Volunteer Definitely Has Its Perks

Posted on by RGSoC Team

On the last day of the Summer of Code, we presented a special surprise to our six volunteer teams.

If you remember, volunteer teams are teams that showed great potential and support, but couldn’t be offered a sponsored spot in the Summer of Code.

Working on an Open Source project for 3 months without any pay is a huge feat, and one which didn’t escape us, as we observed them over the Summer.

With the help of O’Reilly Verlag, and Code School, we were able to send the Volunteer Teams of 2014 something special to thank them for being a part of the program, and spur them on as they dig deeper into code.

From O’Reilly, each volunteer team member was given a free e-book of their choice from the German or English online stores. This should help our volunteers find some terrific reading material.

Code School kindly gifted volunteer participants each a three-month subscription, for full access to the Code School library of videos and tutorials.

How amazing, is that?!

When we let O’Reilly and Code School know we would be writing this blog post to thank them, they let us know how happy it made them just to contribute.

We hope this small gift makes a lasting impression on our volunteer teams as they finished up the Summer/Winter, and that they will enjoy some tools for extra learning.

Last days of Rails Girls Summer of Code 2014

Posted on by RGSoC Team

It’s real. We can’t believe it, it’s been such a wonderful journey. These were the last days of the Summer of Code!

The program came to an official end as of the 30th of September, so we took a few days to think about the things we enjoyed most about this year’s proceedings. We asked the people behind RGSoC to take some selfies to share their favorite moment/lesson/thing of their summer or a message for you.

If not me, then who

As awesome as it sounds, RGSoC is not just willed into existence by the magical powers that be. It’s achieved through the hard work and dedication of organisers, supervisors, coaches, mentors and helpdeskers. It’s achieved through the incredible financial support of sponsors and the wider community and last, but not least, the Travis Foundation.

So, scratch that. There was a whole lot of magic happening. Everyone involved spread their unique mix of fairy dust on whatever they took on, from blog posts, to tweeting, to finding sponsors, and gathering conference tickets, to answering queries on the helpdesk in the middle of the night.

It’s this spirit of working together as a community that reminds us why we make RGSoC happen. All of you are the magical spark who made this fairy tale come true again.

Emma Watson made a very eloquent and timely observation in her speech for the launch of the ally-campaign, #HeforShe, a few weeks ago; “If not me, then who? If not now, then when?”

To everyone who said “It’s going to be me.” - to supporting RGSoC, to supporting more women and more diversity in Open Source - you deserve no less than a standing ovation. You are our heroes and heroines, and have made it clear the sort of place you want the Open Source community to be.

32 new beginnings

With the help of the wonderful community we raised $95 k, and with that money we were able to provide sponsorship to 10 teams - that’s 20 participants. We also had 6 amazing volunteer teams this year, wich brings us to 32 students in total. 32 stories to tell, 32 new beginnings.

The teams worked on projects such as Rubinius, Spree, Bundler, Diaspora*, BrowserSpree CMS, Speakerinnen, Species+, created a tool for documentation testing or started a migraine tracker - to only name a few. Meet the teams here: http://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/teams.

Something to remember the summer

To fight any post-summer-of-code-blues, we began to creating a mixtape dedicated to this year’s RGSoC, and we want your song to be on it! Which song made your summer? Just tweet to us with the link to the song on SoundCloud and we will make it a part of the mixtape.


This is something to remember us and your summer of code by. To listen to and rock your post-RGSoC-blues away. Enjoy!

Because these last days are not the end, they are the beginning of 32 new stories.

Meet The Standard Librarians

Posted on by The Standard Librarians

The Standard Librarians

team picture

The core RGSoC team was Jen Diamond and Stephanie Betancourt. We had a lot of friends in our study group and other people who wanted to contribute as collaborators so we opened up the project to them as well. Omowale Oniyide and Josh Loper joined on as core collaborators from the inception of the project and presented with us at Rocky Mountain Ruby 2014. We had other contributors throughout the summer including Rob Wilkinson, Jalil Mohammed, Ashok Modi, Kobi Levy and Eric Mathison.

Feats of Daring - A New Way to Explore The Ruby Standard Library

The Standard Librarians have been creating a new learning tool for the Ruby community over this summer called Feats of Daring. A user will be able to go to our site and learn about the Ruby Standard Library in a very similar way as you would go to TryRuby to learn some Ruby. The user will go through a series of adventures where they will learn about the top twenty libraries. The libraries are also broken down into chapters so you can easily browse through and see what is available.

We Built it, From Cali to Texas

When we started on this project all members and collaborators were based in or near Los Angeles, CA. Midway through we had one member work remotely. The rest of us met in person from 4:00 - 9:30pm, Monday through Thursday at Pivotal Labs Los Angeles from July to September.

Mr. Chips and Cuddy the Cat

Solving A Need while Learning Ruby

A good way to learn Ruby is to explore the Ruby Standard Libraries. The libraries however can be a little dense for people new to programming and Ruby. We decided to make learning about the libraries a fun experience by creating a tool that breaks them down by using common, real life experiences and relating those experiences to the functions of the libraries.

How we did it

From developing user profiles, to building features centered around our user’s experience, and to creating stories that our users can actually relate to - this was a massive project. We are grateful for the amazing support we had from our sponsors and coaches at Pivotal Los Angeles, our mentor Pat Maddox, and our story coach Mike Bonifer.
We had an inception of our project where we broke our ideas down into stories, identified our users and created wireframes. Pivotal LA coaches worked with us four nights a week from 6-9:30. We worked with a different Pivot each night so we were able to see many different teaching styles and methods. Everyone had their own git tricks and ways to break stuff down so we could understand it. They were also great at standing back and letting us work on the project ourselves until we had a question or were about to fall into a giant hole. We did retrospectives and iteration planning meetings to keep us on a roll with the project. We all know how lucky we were to be able to work there and are so incredibly grateful to have had that experience. Not only did we make progress with the project but we learned their Agile/XP ways of working.

The Standard Librarians at Rocky Mountain Ruby

Rocky Mountain Ruby 2014

After we finished our proof of concept for Feats of Daring we presented our experiences with Summer of Code at Rocky Mountain Ruby in Boulder, CO. It is an amazing conference full of great speakers and discussions. We met a lot of other developers who have inspired us throughout the years including Sarah Allen and Sarah Mei. For a few of us it was our first professional conference. It was great to see professional developers in action gathered from all over the world, sharing their creations and learning from each other.

Our Mentors

Our amazing mentor Pat Maddox really changed the shape of our project by suggesting that we use mob programming. It helped us even the playing field between people with different levels of programming knowledge, helped stay on the same page and accelerated our learning. He took us on a field trip to San Diego to meet the pioneer of mob programming, Woody Zuill, who let us work with his team. We experienced a well oiled machine of a team working together seamlessly. They allowed us to join in their mob rotation. Each of us worked on a C# project for the first time ever and actually made contributions. Mike Bonifer was our story coach who helped us define the scope of the stories that we are using to accompany the code as Emerald moves along in her journey through the Ruby Standard Library. He also came to San Diego with us to mob and dropped by Pivotal to give us some team building techniques. Pat, Mike and Woody all really helped shape how we worked together.

Our Coaches

The coaches we had from Pivotal Labs Los Angeles are some of the greatest teachers we have ever had the opportunity to learn from. We can’t thank them enough for taking time out of their busy schedules to share their knowledge with us. Special thanks to Ross Hale for opening up Pivotal LA and allowing it to become our second home during the summer, and thank you to our coach Mike McCormick for being our lighthouse throughout this process. He helped us through various hurdles and was our main advocate. Also thank you to our main coaches John Ryan, Ryan Moran and Eric Hu. who worked with us tirelessly as we build the project. Others Pivots who helped us along the way: Mariana Lenetis, Ian Ornstein and Peter Alfvin who worked with us a few nights, Abby Sturges who helped us with our UX, Nikki Thayer who helped us with our CSS, Dave Belotti, Zachary Girshman who joined in on our inception, our Director of happiness Elizabeth Miller.

Thank you to Rails Girls Summer of Code for this amazing opportunity.

We have all individually grown from this experience in so many ways. We hope to coach a team to work on Feats of Daring next year for RGSoC and pay it forward. Continue to watch as Feats of Daring grows at our blog where we will be continuing to post updates on our progress.

GitHub and Travis CI: Our Platinum Sponsors

Posted on by RGSoC Team

###GitHub and Travis CI are major supporters of Rails Girls Summer of Code

The program, in the magnitude we have reached for our second year, would not be feasible without the lead support from organizing partner, Travis CI, and continuing support from founding sponsor, GitHub.

Over six million people use GitHub to build amazing things together, and no doubt our students will add to this vibrant development community. GitHub is big on education, offering Web-based Classes and In-person Training, for people of all experience levels. GitHub Explore allows you to browse topics like design essentials, CSS preprocessors, machine learning, and learn a thing or two about topics you’re curious about. To top it off, the GitHub Guides help to understand the GitHub workflow, from writing the first ‘hello world’, to mastering issues, to playing with markdown and deploying with GitHub pages.

John Britton and Kate Guarente at GitHub on their support:
“We can’t wait to see what the Rails Girls participants build and ship this summer. The entire Open Source community is going to benefit from these women joining and contributing to meaningful projects, and we’re honored to be a part of the program!”

Inherently and always an Open Source company, Travis CI builds their hosted continuous integration service integrated with GitHub, and supports a multitude of programming languages. Followers of the Rails Girls Summer of Code no doubt recall the huge role Travis CI played in getting this program off the ground.

Konstantin Haase at Travis CI on their support: “Rails Girls Summer of Code is an amazing opportunity for diversifying the open source community. It paves a path from your first Rails Girls workshop to becoming an open source developer. We love to support women and open source at the same time with this project.”

Google, SoundCloud and Basecamp Take The Gold!

Posted on by RGSoC Team

All are repeat sponsors for second year in a row.

This year’s gold supporters are all returning sponsors. We’re so happy to have their continued support, both financially and for their continued interest in making the program the best it can be!

Recognizing the vital role that open source software plays at Google, Google heavily supports the open source software development community. One of the ways they do this is by running student outreach programs such as Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in. It’s no secret that Rails Girls Summer of Code is loosely based on Google Summer of Code, a global program that offers student developers to write code for various open source software projects. Since its inception in 2005, the program has brought together over 7,500 successful student participants and over 7,000 mentors from over 100 countries worldwide to produce over 50 million lines of code.

The wonderful people at SoundCloud get real excited about the challenge of bringing all the world’s sounds to the internet. With everyone at SoundCloud being a hacker at heart, they host company We Hack weekends as well as Hacker Time (much like the 20% time concept made famous by Google) for their engineering team. SoundCloud believes that life gets boring if you don’t keep learning - and we couldn’t agree more! We bet that’s why they are the biggest evangelists for our program and offered to be a coaching company no less!

Erik Michaels-Ober and Duana Stanley from SoundCloud on their support: “SoundCloud is incredibly proud to support the Rails Girls Summer of Code for the second year in a row. We’ve already started to see the impact that sponsoring and coaching Rails Girls can make in these womens’ lives and careers. For us, this is an investment in the future of our industry.”

Last year (back then still under the 37signals flag) Basecamp was on early in the program. Spread out across 26 different cities around the world, Basecamp is a distributed community of designers, programmers, tinkerers, writers, speakers, analysts, … a bit of everything really. 2014 marks their 15th year in business (happy , Basecamp!), yet their goals remain the same - and fit amazingly well to Rails Girls Summer of Code: “Have fun, do exceptional work, build the best product in the business, experiment, pay attention to the details, treat people right, tell the truth, have a positive impact on the world around us, give back, and keep learning.”

Oh, and we love their team page.

Andrea LaRowe from Basecamp on their support: “Basecamp is the world’s #1 project management tool. For the last ten years, companies have been switching to Basecamp because it’s famously easy to use, reliable, and it has the best customer service in the biz! We’re sponsoring RGSoC because we are excited to help a worldwide community of women “learn by doing” while meaningfully contributing to quality open source projects.”

Get to Know our Silver Sponsors

Posted on by RGSoC Team

Our friends from down under at Envato are passionate about the web, and about enabling creators to make a living doing what they love: teaching. Envato is founded on the idea of community and are passionate about putting the community first. Which explains their continued support for Rails Girls Summer of Code.

DigitalOcean offers ‘simple cloud hosting’ - how simple? Well, they claim to be able to deploy an SSD cloud server in 55 seconds. With ‘community’ and ‘love’ making up for two of their core values, there’s no doubt that their support keep learning - love learning

Etel Sverdlov from DigitalOcean on their support:
“We love the community that Rails Girls Summer of Code is building with their mentorship initiatives. The best way to learn is by doing, and this gives many students a fantastic opportunity to jump in there and get coding. Can’t wait to see the awesome projects that come out of the program this year!”

EngineYard’s technology is used and loved by thousands of customers. Its team loves exploring new technologies and standards in automation, deployment, cluster management and all aspects of the cloud. What’s more is that EngineYard love Open Source - and so do we! EngineYard sees the communities they work with and for as their lifeblood, and aim to do everything they can to stimulate them and keep them healthy.

Orcas Net is the golden oldie amongst the silver sponsors. Their team began building relational database applications back in the 1970s and became an early leader in using the Internet as a platform for business applications. Through ongoing innovation inhouse and stimulating projects such as Rails Girls Summer of Code, Orcas Net continues to have a finger at the pulse of the Tech world.

Hashrocket builds solutions for the Web, iPhone and iPad, specializing in Ruby on Rails, iOS, and Android development. Their Rocketeers aim to design, build, train, and learn and are always looking for ways to contribute to the development & design community. Exactly the reason why they sponsor a number of meetups and support Open Source projects that bring value to the community. Hashrocket will also help manage our remote helpdesk.

Marian Phelan from Hashrocket on their support:
“Hashrocket is thrilled to sponsor Rails Girls Summer of Code this year – we’re always looking for ways to help the Rails community evolve and expand, and Rails Girls is on the forefront of that progress. We’re excited to see all of the great code (and coders) that will come out of this year’s program!”Hashrocket is thrilled to sponsor Rails Girls Summer of Code this year – we’re always looking for ways to help the Rails community evolve and expand, and Rails Girls is on the forefront of that progress. We’re excited to see all of the great code (and coders) that will come out of this year’s program!”

Cognitect design products and services specifically designed for the requirements of the cloud environment. Cognitect is positioned to advance the platform and engage the community to continue improving it for all developers. We build simple tools to solve complex information problems.

Justin Gehtland from Cognitect on their support:
“The programming community as a whole benefits from having the most possible participation within it. Ideas are only tested when exposed to new brains. We love programs like RGSoC because they don’t just swell the ranks of programmers, they grow the diversity (and therefore quality) of thought within the community.”

Meet our 2014 bronze sponsors

Posted on by RGSoC Team

Rails Girls Summer of Code’s Bronze sponsors make up the most numerous contingent in our roll call for 2014. Listing them out doesn’t really do them justice, so here’s a little about each of them.

For social gaming giant Wooga learning and working go hand in hand. They support (their team to attend) meetups and conferences.

Maike Kronenberg and Jesper Richter-Reichhelm from Wooga on their support:
“Technology is something that everyone should be able to participate in. There’s an increasing amount of attention paid to diversity within tech companies, particuarly when it comes to engineers. The numbers still aren’t up to scratch. Projects like RailsGirls will change that.”

Honeybadger is exception, uptime, and performance monitoring for Ruby. Built as the honeybadgers needed a better way to track errors in their own projects.

Planio is engineered to make your projects more successful and fun! How? Well, with great project management of course.

Jan Schulz-Hofen from planio on their support:
“What you do at Rails Girls Summer of Code is absolutely amazing! Developing in Ruby and being part of such a welcoming and inspiring community has benefited us so much, both as a company and as individual team members here at Planio. Hence, we’re always happy to help and give back as much as we can. It is awesome to see more and more women and girls joining over the years since we started doing Ruby and Rails back in 2006. Thanks Rails Girls for making this happen. Much <3 from your friends at Planio!”

Carbon Five has more than 10 years of experience building great software for startups, non-profit organizations and enterprise companies. And they like to share.

David Hendee and Courtney Hemphill from Carbon Five on their support:
“So much of our ability to learn and progress in our craft comes from an inspiring and supportive environment. RGSoC has created a program that brings together all the necessary elements for success and Carbon Five is honored to support that initiative and help it grow.”

With Articulate anyone can create online and mobile courses with great e-learning authoring tools.

Arlyn Asch from Articulate on their support:
“We love that Rails Girls Summer of Code is inspiring more women to experience the power of coding and embrace careers in technology. We’re thrilled to support this life-changing program.”

With Shopify you don’t need to have any technical or design experience to easily create a beautiful online store. Yet Shopify supports learning fully.

John Duff from Shopify on their support:
“Rails Girls gives Shopify the opportunity to help drive communities we care about forward. We get to help open source projects, which we depend heavily upon, and at the same time help aspiring developers learn and gain experience. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Tealeaf offers professional grade Ruby on Rails online bootcamps. They are all about teaching. Plus: Tealeaf helps us (wo)man our remote helpdesk.

Chris Lee Tealeaf on their support:
“RailsGirls is one of the shining examples of what makes the Ruby and Rails community amazing. Of course, the mission of introducing women to web development is important and critical to the long term health of our young field. But what makes RailsGirls truly amazing is the people involved with it. The organization is filled with smart, passionate and caring do-gooders. This is exactly the type of organization Tealeaf Academy aspires to become. We’re a business, but we’re not a profit-at-all-costs organization. The first and foremost value at Tealeaf Academy is being an organization centered around helping people and being a positive force in the world. RailsGirls has shown us what an organization that values ‘goodness’ first looks like.”

Nugg is Europe’s largest targeting platform with cutting edge real-time technology for audience targeting, efficient brand advertising and data management. Powered by machine learning.

Stephan Ziep, Director Development at nugg.ad on their support:
“At nugg.ad we believe it is important and necessary to have more women in IT-related jobs and to close the gender gap in this industry. We are really happy to be part of the Rails Girls Summer of Code 2014, as we believe that putting professional coaches at the side of female beginner students and providing them with a full time scholarship will have a great impact. We are excited to enable students to expand their knowledge and coding skills and look forward to seeing the many great developers and Open Source projects that will arise out of it!”

Site5 believes that our students have a lot to offer the development community and hope to encourage other companies to surround these potential, future web developers with a sense of community and help them gain confidence in their skills.

Justin Mazzi from Site5 on their support:
“Site5’s legacy of using and creating Open Source software on a daily basis gives us strong motivation to invest in the future of these projects by supporting programs like Rails Girls Summer of Code, who are expanding the diversity in the Open Source community.”

Zweitag is technology consulting and software development since 2008. Their team of 25 smart arses can’t wait to see a ‘neue welle’ in the tech world.

Did you know that the Deutsche Messe has been around since 1947? Neither did we.

Agile Animal specializes in iterative software development and consulting with a focus on web-based and mobile applications and APIs. And they have a loving working history with Open Source software.

HitFoxGroup is a fast growing incubator with over 200 professionals in Berlin, San Francisco and Seoul. HitFox is committed to grow companies within the fields of Big Data, Advertising & Game Distribution and puts a strong focus on professional and personal growth opportunities.

New Relic knows it: we are all data nerds. A Software Analytics company that makes sense of billions of metrics across millions of apps, New Relic cares about learning.

Noelle Daley from New Relic on their support:
“New Relic is thrilled to support Rails Girls Summer of Code and the amazing work they do in the community. The Rails Girls mission to increase diversity within Open Source is an imperative cause - one in which New Relic is proud to stand behind. We look forward to seeing the projects that students come up with!”

In 2008, Malwarebytes was founded on the belief that you and everyone have a fundamental right to a malware-free existence. And we couldn’t agree more!

Rebecca Kline from Malwarebytes on their support:
“Malwarebytes from founders on down is comprised of people who are self-taught and have the desire to learn. We believe education should be available for all and not come at a hefty price. aaand we love open source! The Rails Girls Project is an awesome opportunity to learn something new and break out of the mold. Have a blast this summer!!”

Keen IO believes that custom analytics shouldn’t be a pain in the backend. That’s why Keen IO’s powerful APIs do the heavy lifting for you. Yay.

Josh Dzielak from Keen IO on their support:
“I met Sven Fuchs (Travis-CI) on a developer evangelism trip to Berlin. He told me all about Rails Girls Summer of Code, and the very next day Keen IO became a sponsor! Why wouldn’t we? Rails Girls SoC is an opportunity for Keen to support several movements we’re passionate about: open source advocacy, mentorship, and the empowerment of women and all less-represented groups in technology. Good luck this summer, coders!”

innoQ offers technology consulting, software development, architecture know-how and trainings and is keen to share.

Phillip Ghadir, CTO at InnoQ on their support:
“We strongly believe that tech careers begin with curiosity and love for programming. We support Rails Girls Summer of Code because we’d like to help the participants to discover their passion for coding like we did ourselves. In the long run, everybody will benefit from increasing diversity in IT.”

ThoughtWorks is a bunch of passionate technologists. Providing software, pioneering tools and consulting for organizations with ambitious missions. Thoughtworks has provided a welcoming workplace for at least one of our former SoC participants.

Dawanda is no-doubt THE marketplace for unique and handmade items. Not only were they Bronze Sponsors, they also hosted us for our awesome kickoff BBQ, and made sure we got the program off to a great and memorable start!

Carnes Media is a five strong group of designers, developers, and troublemakers with secret lives as jugglers, archaeologists, dancers, and novelists. Hanging out around Bellingham, Washington, they follow our program closely.

Cloud Control supercharges development with their European Platform as a Service.

Elizabeth Osterloh and Philipp Strube at Cloud Control on their support:
“We think this is the perfect way to get more women involved in software development – and we’re proud to be one of the sponsors for such an excellent initiative.”

They even wrote a blog post on Summer of Code!

Paymill makes online payments fast and easy. With a diverse international team, and a passionate drive to bring even more diversity to tech, the wanted to help make Summer of Code of code happen.

Jörg Sutara, Co-Founder PAYMILL on their support:
“We believe that developer communities help us in improving our products through their interaction & curiosity. We support Rails Girls Summer of Code as it is an great initiative for awesome people and for the future - we’re wishing everyone a great time and that you’ll never stop being curious!”

Groupon needs no introduction.

Shannon Welling from Groupon on their support:
“Groupon is a company built largely with open source software - from rails, ruby, java, node, and others, we rely heavily on open source technologies to innovate in our daily work and encourage our engineers to give back to the OSS community. Community matters to us on an internal, local and global scale. It’s fundamental to our company’s growth, and to the well-being of the world at large, which is why we’re excited to once again sponsor Rails Girls Summer of Code.”

Our bronze sponsors deserve a huge thank you for coming out in number to support Rails Girls Summer of Code. We salute them for the contributions. Next up, our silver sponsors!

Introducing Team Migraine

Posted on by Rocio Paez

About Me

My name is Rocio Paez, I’ve been working in technology related logistics my entire professional life (I was very bored). And I always loved working with computers. In November 2013 I took a 3-month course in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and I loved it. I discovered how a website is built, and the proper way to give styles to a page.
It made me want to keep learning, so I quit my job and decided to learn Ruby and apply to the Rails Girls Summer of Code in 2014.

One of my hobbies is dancing flamenco, I’ve danced every night (Mon-Sat) since 2007, it’s my passion.
At 32 years old I discovered that I have a second passion; programming. It came at a time in my life I felt discouraged because I did not love my job, and I did not know what it was that I really wanted to do in life. I know now that it’s programming.


My Project

I suffer from migraines, so I thought it would be interesting to develop an application for tracking migraines, and learn how to program by developing this application. The app attempts to help understand the causes of migraines more clearly. There are inputs and outputs. Inputs are what you put in your body (like food and beverages) or the way you feel (your mood, physical symptoms). You can configure your input types, too. Outputs are the headaches, with a way to measure a pain score and duration.

My Coaches and Supervisor

I have 2 coaches. One is my husband, Gustavo Beathtaye and the other one is Francesco Rodríguez. My supervisor is Susanne Dewen.
Originally our way of working together was through Campfire, but we have now discovered Gitter. Gitter is very cool; it works with Github, and you can even write code in the chat window. I really recommend it!

This photo is one of the meetings (to talk about the plan for the app, in Barranco, Lima - Peru)



This app was initially made ​​with Rails, but we wanted to try a different framework: Cuba. It was quite interesting to learn Cuba, and how it operates, but it has also given me a great interest in learning how Rails works (go figure!). So, after I finish my app, I’ll rewrite it with Rails.

My Training

I applied initially with a partner, but she had a problem and could not continue. This means I have completed most of the program by myself, but I would have liked a partner; I think would have been more fun and the app could be more complete.

I remember my early days, the slow progress I was making and posting about it. One of the things I loved was when I did my first pull request, it was pretty exciting to contribute to open source. I had to use a great deal of my newly learned CSS skills, dtoo.
What has taken me longer to learn is to know the difference between class and instance methods.

While my Summer of Code ends next week, I’ll keep learning. I have heaps of plans in mind, and the skills I need to achieve them thanks to the program.



Take a look at my blog, and project repository

RubyConf AU Gifted Us Two Tickets...

Posted on by RGSoC Team

… and The Spree Girls are going!

The wonderful RubyConf Australia organizing team decided to gift our Sydney-based volunteer team, Tracy and Catherine of The Spree Girls tickets to their conference, taking place early February next year.

All the conference sessions will be held at the amazing Deakin Edge theatre in Federation Square Melbourne CBD.

With Rails Girls very own Linda Luikas, the amazing Rachel Myers and Sarah Mei amongst the currently confirmed speakers, we’re certain our team down-under will have a great time.

Fun fact: RubyConf Australia is hosting a Rails Girls workshop as part of their program. Follow @railsgirls_au for updates on that.

Travelling to Australia for RubyConf? Make sure you give those SpreeGirls a big hug from us!

A Summer full of Code

Posted on by Code_Padawans

Hello from the Code_Padawans

I’m 28, living in Berlin since Oct 2011. After obtaining degrees in Psychology(MA) and Cultural Studies(BA) in Poland I’ve been working mainly in cultural management and non-profit sector in London and Berlin. While in Tactical-Tech Collective, 2013, (organization teaching online security, targeting especially human rights advocates), surrounded by researchers, developers and hackers I became familiar to some security tools, gained some more insight into the technical world, its importance and various implementations in a range of fields. There I also had my first peer-to-peer HTML and CSS classes. Nov 2013, I joined Rails Girls Berlin organizers team, finding the idea behind Rails Girls worth supporting. Also, although I still thought of myself as being far from the programming world, I wanted to get closer to it. I participated in Rails Girls workshop in Dec 2013 and with my study colleagues formed a project group the very same day. It was new and exciting. We began meeting regularly in January. I started taking online courses in HTML, CSS , Javascript, Ruby and Rails, focusing mainly on Ruby. At times I was getting puzzled in that ‘new world’, as it seemed a little overwhelming, but I received so much support and encouraged, and got inspired by Rails Girls and Ruby community members, that in March I decided to go for it fully. And here I am, learning, getting frustrated and excited daily, applying for the program, that being a part of will empower me and give me strong basis to pursue a career in software development.

I am a Computer Science student living in Berlin since 2009. Technology and programming have been my passions for a long time now. After several years of working in the pharmaceutical sector I decided to follow my heart and go back to university to study Computer Science. Although changing my career path was a very good decision, I realized that the university is not the best place to learn how to program; it provides not that many possibilities for gathering hands-on experience. Joining the Rails Girls in 2012 has changed everything. I’ve found such a lovely, supportive community and helping hands to really get into the world of coding. Thanks to Rails Girls and the Ruby developers I met through Rails Girls I’ve found a way of learning that is fun and motivates me to go further. I was doing online courses after work and studies covering several topics. I became a Rails Girls Berlin organizer to share this passion with as many women as possible. In January 2014 I quit my job as a personal/project manager to focus on my goal to become a developer at the end of the year.

And now, I am a proud Code_Padawan. <3

Our Passion Project: Ataru

Form IV: Ataru, also known as the Way of the Hawk-Bat, or The Aggression Form, was the fourth of the seven forms of lightsaber combat. The history of Ataru stretched back through the Old Republic, to at least as early as the Mandalorian Wars, where it was commonly employed by Jedi of that day. Ataru continued to be a common form among the Jedi in the latter stages of the Republic, and was also known to be employed by the Sith. Wookiepedia

Ataru is a gem that can be used as a command line tool for documentation testing. You can check if the code samples in your software documentation are correct. You can also use Ataru during your CI at Travis. You can find more infos here: https://github.com/CodePadawans/ataru

We released the first version (0.1.0) of gem Ataru on Rubygems.org You can install and run it on your documentation.

The life of a Code_Padawan

Being a Code_Padawan means that there are rules to guide us on our path to become a Code_Jedi one day. First of all, we have a group of really awesome coaches who are teaching us a lot of things. Most of the week we are working at Asquera , our main coaching company. One day a week we ware going to Fyber , our second coaching company.

We have a lot of amaaaaaazing people as coaches <3

Sebastian, Matthias, Kacper, Arne, Bodo, Jan

Dirk and Lucas from Cologne are our volunteer coaches

Ernesto is our drawing master

Jedi Power of the Week

During our journey we unlock some secret Jedi Super Powers every week. They are like a „quintessence“ of what we learned in this week. By remembering this word we can bring back all those amazing memories. But they are also some principles that are needed to be a good Code_Jedi. Here are some examples, but you can find all Jedi Powers on our blog

From our Padawans Diary

We hat a lot of amazing moments in the past weeks. It would be too much for this blogpost to tell them all. So we are just list some highlights and if you want more, read our blog

the moment when we had our first non-coach contributor on github

having this awesome logo <3

giving a keynote talk about our journey at RedFrogConf

having a lot of fun together

Writing (and deleting) a lot of code

And then the summer ends…

There are almost 2 weeks left working on Ataru. We had (and still have) an amazing time! And we learned a lot. About programming, about learning itself, about ourselves. We learned that programming is more than writing code. It has also a lot to do with creativity and communication with the people you are working with. Sometimes it’s important to be patient with yourself and to be not afraid to ask questions. There are no stupid questions!!!

We want to encourage everyone who is thinking about applying for Rails Girls Summer of Code or an internship or some other programming course: Do it! It will change your life. Maybe not the way you were expecting it but in a positive way. Challenge yourself and find your passions.

…but our journey is not finished yet

The Code_Padawans will still follow the path to become Code_Jedis one day. We will continue with maintaining Ataru and learning to code.

So, if you want to help the Code_Padawans on their way, hire us. :)

Run and Validate! (a traditional valediction of Code_Padawans following the path of Ataru)

You can read our blog

Follow us on Twitter

Visit us on Github

For The Goodness of Swag

Posted on by RGSoC Team

The Rails Girls Summer of Code cohort for 2014 have almost made it to the finish line of the program. Some who finished early, have now moved on, and some are battling through the final days to achieve their project goals.

Before the gray days (or the bright, sunny days depending on your hemisphere) of post SoC were upon us, we had to remind participants just how much we love them, with a little care package.

To the surprise of, hopefully, all of our participants they would have received a big yellow box in the mail, filled with all sorts of delightful swag, from our sponsors. From t-shirts, to stickers to pens, to notepads to ballons - the packages were chock full. Unfortunately, unicorn eggs are strictly prohibited from being posted internationally, but we will work on that for next year.

a swag pack in the making

Why We Like To Send Goody Bags

In and of themselves, the monetary value of the swag we send is pretty minimal. But the monetary value is not what counts.

Our goody packs are an opportunity for us to remind teams that someone is thinking of them, and sending them love from afar.

We hand packed every package so, if you happen to be a team that did not receive your swag package, please just drop us a line…. After all mistakes can happen, and sometimes they can take a while to get delivered.

It’s a chance for sponsors to make themselves present in the lives of the participants. Sure, it’s only a sticker or notepad to an outsider, but it’s intrinsic value to the person who receives it is priceless.

Getting that bright yellow (DeutschePost) box in the mail and getting to crack it open, is like being a kid on christmas morning; likely you have an idea what’s going to be inside, but it’s still fun on a bun.

The stickers recipients put on their computers, and around their houses remind them of their time in the program, and who made it possible; our sponsors, and volunteers.

So, again, why? Because it’s nice, it’s fun, and most of all everyone likes getting a present. What makes Rails Girls Summer of Code special is the spirit behind the program. Open Source is about community and contributing to make things better, and we try to remind participants of that every step of the way.

Thanks so much to our sponsors for sending all of the swag!

Stay tuned to the blog over the next few days as we close up the program for 2014. We’ll be posting the last remaining Team blog posts, and thanking our sponsors for their generous contributions this year.

WARNING: Gratuitious selfies may be involved.

Introducing Team Mutants India

Posted on by Aayish and Akshata

About Us

Yeah Mutants. We hit upon this name because we’re huge fans of X Men :-P We’re studying Information Science in our third year of engineering in Mysore, India.

Aayish: I got introduced to Ruby on Rails when I got curious and attended the local Ruby User Group in January; and I started learning Rails using online resources since then. Later on, I attended the Annual RubyConf held in Goa, and heard about RailsGirls Summer Of Code, and thought of giving it a shot. The rest is history :-P

Akshata: I attended Garden City Ruby Conf beginning of this year in January. And from then on meetups, more conferences and blog posts helped me get introduced to Open Source. I came to know of Rails Girls Summer of Code in March and thought of giving it a go. Started learning Rails using online tutorials and applied to RGSoC! And you know the rest ;-)

team picture

##What we are working on

We are working on RailsGirls Summer of Code Teams app. Remember the teams app you used to register yourself, lodge an application and make a team after being selected? Well, we’re working on tweaking the process to make it better! First we started off with writing specs for the code to understand the code base better. The best part was when we made our first pull request. The thrill of creating one and making the necessary changes after taking feedback from our mentor Sebastian was an experience on a whole new awesome level. Then in month 2, we started working on a new feature that helps students make teams during the application process so that an application can be lodged as a team. Now we’re currently trying to implement the save as drafts feature for our application form. Refactoring and integration testing next up on our to-do list!

##Awesomeness appreciated :

MAVENHIVE These folks we tell you! Amazing set of coaches we’ve got! Pavan and Monika are the best kind of coaches we could ever find and we’re so grateful to them. They’re always there to guide us. Be it right software engineering practices or some bug we just cannot seem to get the hang of, they’re there. Sebastian is our mentor and he’s been really helpful too! Tam, our supervisor! The best! She’s an inspiration to us. The last few months in our Summer of Code have been awesome! It feels so good to have people around you who inspire you, make you feel comfortable and are always there for you. Great job by the organisers in pulling together this really awesome program! :-)

You can have a look at our blog

We are Team Speakerinnen, yeah!

Posted on by Team Speakerinnen,

As we are both graduates from technical studies, we have first hand experience of how scarce women in technical studies and jobs are. The Rails Girls Summer of Code has given us the perfect opportunity to have some great first hand experience as developers.

We really stand behind the Rails Girls Summer of Code. We have never heard of or experienced a better way to get started as a woman developer. Often we hear from CTOs that they want to employ more women, but none have applied. Obviously, we hope to change that!

We appreciate the opportunity we were given very much. Through the Rails Girls Summer of Code, we not only have had the opportunity to get to know the exciting start-up scene of Berlin a little better, we also see the actual day to day work of a great IT company and their development teams. It is a bit like Christmas. We can ask as many questions as we want and always get amazing help from professional developers.

The support of all the different organizations and generous people have been overwhelming. We have very involved mentors, Anja and Maren, who can tell us all about the Speakerinnen platform. And Erik and Duana from Soundcloud who volunteered to do code reviews with us. Also, we have our great coaches from 6Wunderkinder, such as Chad, Duncan, Nathan, Ryan, Hans, Bruno, Aditya, Stefan, Dennis and many more. A team of at least 20 excellent developers and other supporting co-workers who know it all ;-)

Our supervisor in Sweden, Björn, who is available to us for all matters around the RGSoC. And the RGSoC organizers who are the ones that have been at our side the whole time and held up good spirit and opened up networking possibilities by e.g. handing out tickets to conferences, organizing parties and a boat trip. We are so glad they picked us and thereby allowed us to have this great experience.

As you can see, the Rails Girls get all possible support.

How did you hear about the SoC and why did you apply?

We read about the program over the internet. And were both excited from the start. Participating would give us the opportunity to take time explicitly reserved to find out what the magic about developing is all about.

What was your happiest moment?

Writing code that actually contributed to the Speakerinnen project for the first time. Since this project is enabling our fellow women to speak at all kinds of events independent of their origin and their education. The speakerinnen platform supports women and event organizers to get together and network directly and easily.

What was most challenging moment?

Figuring out what tasks would fit best for the RGSoC - ones that were not too difficult, but which are interesting enough to challenge us. In our first few weeks we jumped right in Test Driven Development. This was exciting because it was our first experience with Behaviour Driven Development and it gave us our first steps into the codebase.

If you could code anything in the world, what would it be?

The speakerinnen_liste project is quite amazing, since it enables women to stand up and talk about their interests and competences. I guess we are very lucky to be in a project like this. And we plan to contribute to it, even after our RGSoC is over.

Follow us on Twitter: @thesaheba @chatulli

Time to Meet Team Participate

Posted on by Team Participate,

Who are we?

Moi, we are Cathy Nangini and Qian Zhou from Helsinki, Finland. This is our first time with RGSoC and we are quite passionate about our RGSoC journey. We are working on Participate frontend, a democratic participation platform based on LiquidFeedback, an open source system used for internal decision making and policy creation. The platform is built with Ember.js for the front-end and will use Grape (ruby) for the API backend. Oliver Barnes is our project mentor, Miika Pihjala and Mukesh Thakur are our coaches, and Floor Drees is our project supervisor.

Below is our team:

team picture
Supervisor Floor Drees (top left); coach Miika Pihjala, coach Mukesh Thakur, RG Qian Zhou, RG Cathy Nangini (bottom); mentor Oliver Barnes (top right)

Cathy: I am a data scientist who has studied physics, geo- and bio-physics and uses scientific computing for data analysis. I started learning Rails at the first RG workshop in Helsinki in 2011. I loved the idea of being able to create and build web projects. The workshop gave me confidence and motivated me to dive into Rails further. After I completed Code School’s Rails for Zombies courses (Level 1 and 2), I developed my first simple app called the Happy OMeter. Later on, my friends and I built a social network platform that allows friends to coordinate the transport of gifts and other small personal items when they travel. It expanded my Rails knowledge and understanding of the MVC architecture, but many questions still remain. There is no doubt that RGSoC has furthered my skills. I am now quite addicted to open source and figuring out those features, and it’s great to work with Qian to hash out the never-ending mysteries of code.

Qian: I am a computer sicence student whose sepcilization is Networking and Services. I am eager to learn new programming languages in my free time. At the beginning of 2014, I self-studied Ruby at Codeacademy just for fun. This inspired me to learn Rails for Zombies (Level 1 and 2) by Code School. After that my curiosity about Ruby on Rails became stronger. Around February, I joined an event called SomeJam and cooperated with other team members to create a Rails application called Let’s Do It. It was only two days but I wished it was longer so that I could practice more. One day, I accidentally saw Rails Girls news and I became super excited about it. RGSoC exactly provides an awesome opportunity for me. Naturally, the next thing was to find a pair and some coaches. Rails Girls also gives me the chance to know my pair Cathy and coach Miika.

What have we achieved so far?

  • Emberjs. We both started from zero background in terms of emberjs. At the beginning, we were confused by its multiple models, routes, controllers and templates. Now we have a better understanding and know how to use them properly.
  • Knowledge of ember testing. We use Mocha and Chai for our testing, which we had never heard of before RGSoC. Now we use it frequently and know how to write tests and apply the idea of TDD/BDD.
  • App features. Currently we have implemented features on issues, initiatives, and suggestions, i.e., how to create them, how to list them and how to link them to the proper page, and so on. We are also on the way to creating a dashboard soon.
  • Knowledge of ember cli. We made our app with ember cli, which gives us command-line capabilities.
  • Knowledge of emblem. We use emblem as template engine, which is built on handlebars. Emblem is an added learning curve because we are not familiar with handlebars, and it is not always easy to translate template code in handlebars into emblem. Now we are getting used to using emblem.
  • Becoming Github professionals. We are now quite used to performing various GitHub gymnastics such as rebasing, squashing, resloving conflicts, etc. (but sometimes it still acts mysteriously).
  • Problem solving and troubleshooting ability. When we have problems, we first Google, Google, Google, then read related ember documents and stackoverflow. Later on, if we still cannot figure it out, we ask for help from the coaches, the campfire helpdesk from RGSoC and the emberjs IRC channel. In terms of troubleshooting, we maninly use Ember Inspector. We can also now understand the error messages better than at the beginning, and we know how to react according to the given error.
  • Good documentation habits. We use a shared Google document to record important information, tips and tricks about the project such as: GitHub commands, useful material and links, code for implementing some feature, and so on. It’s an accumulated treasure for us.

What tips do we want to share about our Participate journey?

  • Make keypoint notes when learning something new for things that are used frequently. For example, GitHub commands like rebasing and squashing.
  • Good to review and read the Ember guide, Mocha and Chai documents and other learning materials over and over again. You’ll always learn new things even if you read the same thing many times.
  • Be patient and it’s ok to slow down. Sometimes you may get stuck on one feature for three days or more. Don’t be panic that you aren’t making progress. Making the code work is the result, but the process of reading documents, Googling and asking for help to solve the problem is also valuable. You obtain accumulated knowledge while searching for a solution.
  • Good to explain questions clearly when asking questions. Aside from asking for help from our coaches, we also ask for help from the campfire desk and emberjs channel. It’s good to express your problem in clear way, so helpers could give related suggestions and solutions. Sometimes we use gist to post our specific problem.

What will we do next for the project?


  • Voting
  • Delegation of votes to other users
  • Login


  • Login
  • Vote weight processing

And we are always looking for new contributors, so please, join us!

Follow us on twitter or read our blog for the daily details :)

Introducing Team Rubinius India

Posted on by Team Rubinius,

About Us

We are Akanksha Agrawal and Sana Khan, Information Technology graduates from College of Engineering Pune. We got introduced to FOSS and Open Source from COEP’s Free Software Users Group (CoFSUG).

Sana: During my sophomore year, MiniDebConf India happened at our college and that got me introduced to Debian Packaging. Met a lot of awesome people in the Debian India community. Learning from them, was able to make contributions to LibreOffice hyphenation packages for Indian Languages. An year ahead, took a few sessions along with other contributors. Love the Debian India Community and would love to make more contributions :) While attending packaging sessions for packaging gem dependencies for Diaspora, I got introduced to Ruby on Rails. Thats how I began to learn Ruby and Rails to package a Diaspora gem dependency into Debian.

Akanksha: Concept of FOSS was introduced to me by our college’s open source group. Attending open source seminars and workshops has always been my passion. I got introduced to Ruby on Rails in the Rails Girls Pune event. Also attended the Rails 4.1 Release Party where I met our coaches Nishant Modak, Vipul Amler and Prathamesh Sonpatki. Got fascinated with the language and Rails and applied for Rails Girls Summer of Code so as to start contributing to open source.


What are we working on

We are working on making a memory visualizer tool for Rubinius. Hence we are called ‘Team Rubinius’.

Heap dump is one of the most important analysis tools for troubleshooting or fixing high memory usage problems by identifying the root cause of memory leaks in Ruby applications. Rubinius provides a heap dump interface which allows for analysis of memory dump of Rubinius. Our project aims at utilizing the information available from the heap dump file and displaying this information in a graphical way through a visualization tool that helps the user explore the memory usage of their application.

Learning so far

  • Starting with basic concepts of Ruby, we studied the internals of Rubinius such as object structures, how array objects are represented internally, types of objects and their memory layout.
  • We then went on to read and understand the heap dump code and well as the Gauge Application code. We tried out different example codes to identify memory leaks.
  • We learned how Garbage Collectors work, what is Mark and Sweep Garbage Collection and how that is different from Generational Garbage Collection.
  • We also learned about how memory leaks occur. We now know that memory leaks are possible even when you have a garbage collector which does things to avoid leaks whenever possible.
  • Learned how memory visualizers work. Worked with VisualVM, Jhat and Eclipse Memory Analyzer (MAT).
  • And there is still so much to learn.. :)

Progress so far

We started with understanding the format of the Json file generated by the heap dump tool to be able to use it to generate visualization in d3.js.

Gave a short presentation about our work at Pune Ruby Users Group Meetup.

The Json file had too much information for visualization, so we played around with the heap dump code to generate our own reduced data-sets. One major issue we faced was that the number of objects and their related information was too huge that it would either clutter up the visualization or make the browser slow in rendering it.

Attended Deccan Ruby Conference and gave a lightening talk.


With inputs from our mentor we started to work on the diff of two heap dumps. We are now working on displaying the instance view in a histogram based visualization representing what percentage of objects are consuming how much memory.

To track our progress, follow our blog.

A Boat, a Forest and a Cupcake – The Day Off at Summer of Code 2014

Posted on by RGSoC Team

On August 28th, 2014, after almost two months of full-time coding, we recommended to our students that they take a day off. It was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to get their minds off gems, classes, and variables, to take a breath and recharge. Here’s some of the stuff that happened that day.

In Berlin, the lovely people from Applift wanted to do more than sponsoring RGSoC. So they came up with the crazy idea of doing a houseboat trip, since their CEO had just bought himself one. Of course, we immediately jumped on board (pun intended, ba-dum-tsssssh!) the idea to take out the Berlin teams for a spin around Tegeler See. With the weather being on its best behaviour that day, we enjoyed ourselves with food, drinks, talks and gazing across the water. Initially, we planned to have a lightning talk about depression & burn out and a big group discussion about how to handle stress at work and for everybody to share their coping mechanisms. But we immediately felt so relaxed on the boat, that we decided to really take the day off. Also for us organizers. So we hung around, talked a bit with everyone and shared a very relaxing day, which was so wonderfully planned. A big thanks goes to Sarah, Peter, Linda and Therese from the HitFox Group and Norbert, the skipper, for making this a beautiful day to remember.

boat-tour-collage (Pictures by Therese)

Over in Bogotá, Paola from Team ARIA had a little chat with the geese at a farm while her pair, Melipao, hopefully had a day that was just as relaxing - in spite of the weather not looking too promising in Barraquilla, by the Caribbean Sea.

In Vienna, our organizers Floor and Laura gave up on trying to find a house boat to celebrate the day off, and put their baking skills to good use for a cupcake feast instead. Proof below!

Meanwhile in Warsaw, Team Species+’s Magdalena went for a walk in the forest and Karolina spend the whole day reading (we know what you’re thinking, but no: no coding related literature was involved). Apparently, the day off has come just at the right time for them: “Yes, it was really necessary day. Now we feel as if we have more room in our brains…

And to all the other students: We hope all of you had a wonderful day, too! <3

Winners of 2nd 2014 Conference Raffle

Posted on by Floor

We have raffled and re-raffled. Here are the winners of the tickets our befriended conferences decided to give away:

Speakerinnen’s Sara (who will also be attending Reject.JS via its Community package) won a ticket to CSSconf EU.

Team Participate’s Cathy and Qian will attend RubyConf Portugal.

Oredev will get a visit from ‘code padawans’ Magdalena and Ute.

And Lyz & Utah from Team Omnia Extares get to go to Keep Ruby Weird.


A big thank you to ALL second round raffle-out conferences:

CSSconf EU, The Strange Loop, RubyConf Portugal, Oredev, Keep Ruby Weird, RubyConf Philippines, and rejectjs

Claim a ticket to the conference of your choice (and learn tons)

Posted on by Floor

As promised, we have a whole new round of great-conferences-you-can-visit-for-free! This time around we have both tickets and scholarships to draw your attention to. We’ve listed what you should do to get either of those in the list below. Good luck!


CSSconf EU (@cssconfeu on Twitter) takes place in Berlin, September 12. We have 2 tickets to give away.

The Strange Loop (@strangeloop_stl on Twitter) takes place September 17-19 in St. Louis. We have 2 tickets to give away.

RubyConf Portugal (@rubyconfpt on Twitter) takes place October 13th - 14th in Braga. We have 3 tickets to give away. RubyConf Portugal will also be organizing a Rails Girls Braga in the days before the conference, which you’d be very welcome to attend and coach at.

Oredev (@oredev on Twitter) takes place November 4-7 in Malmö (Sweden) and we have 2 tickets (a ticket costs around $1500) to give away!

Keep Ruby Weird (@keeprubyweird on Twitter) takes place Friday, October 24th in Austin. They set aside 2 tickets for Rails Girls Summer of Code.

RubyConf Philippines (@RubyConfPH on Twitter) takes place March 27-28, 2015 on Boracay Island and we have 2 tickets to give away.

For all the above conferences we need you to tweet from your team Twitter account or from your personal Twitter account, what conference(s) you would like to attend - mentioning the conference’ Twitter handle and using the #rgsoc hashtag.

The deadline for claiming your conference ticket is Tuesday, September 9th (up until midnight, wherever you are).

Winners will be drawn by raffle at 07:00(GMT+2) on Wednesday, September 10th, and informed shortly thereafter


rejectjs offers one ticket to their wonderful conference, plus covers travel expenses of up to 150€ via their Community Package. Do mention that you are a Rails Girls Summer of Code student!

Both RailsConf Atlanta, taking place April 22-25 (yes, 2015), and RubyConf San Diego, taking place November 17-19 this year still, have an ‘Opportunity Scholarship Program’ in place. We will share application details with you shortly.

What to do at the conference?

First of all, we want you to be amazed and inspired. A conference is one of the best places to learn heaps of stuff and talk to wonderful people.

Additionally, why not amaze the other attendees? We would love for you to share your Summer of Code story and spread the word to even more seasoned programmers about the great opportunities of the Rails Girls. Many conferences have slots for lightning talks. Not sure how to tackle the task? We have just the blog post for you!

And now go, go, GO for those tickets. Good luck!

Introducing Team Omnia Extares

Posted on by Lyz and Utah

We are Team Omnia Extares.

Giving ourselves a Latin team name makes us look pretentious. I know you were thinking it. But it’s way more awesome than you think.

Lyz and I both graduated from what they call The Evergreen State College, which is a smallish hippy alternative college in Washington State. That description makes Evergreen seem very…I don’t know, eye-rolly? But it’s more than just pot clouds and discussing sustainability and driftwood art, while sitting barefoot in a circle. (But, to be clear: these things ABSOLUTELY happen there.) Evergreen is also a really flexible learning environment, and it was really formative for both of us, and holds a special place in our respective and collective hearts.

Here’s why I just waxed poetic about our alma mater (more Latin - we really are pretentious). Omnia Extares is Evergreen’s motto, and it’s way more awesome than boring college’s mottos. Instead of meaning something like “Striving for pompous glory, or whatever”, our motto means, “Let it all hang out.”

So here we are, two Greeners getting letting it all hang out as we hurl ourselves bodily into our Rails Girls Summer of Code project.

How did you hear about the SoC and why did you apply?

Utah: My first exposure to coding was using MatLab for an Ecological Modeling course in grad school. I really enjoyed it, but had to set it aside after the course was over. After finishing my Masters, I was finally able to spend more time learning to code, and I fell in love. After I took my first RailsBridge workshop, I knew that I wanted to focus on web development, and that I had found my people in the Ruby/Rails community. I have been having a blast since, and am so grateful for all of the resources available to women looking to enter tech fields!

Lyz: I have always been interested in software and web development, and tinkered around with coding some while I was in college but I earned my degrees in Anthropology/Archaeology. I’ve been working as an archaeologist for some time now, but am now coming full-circle back to development. The Rails community is what drew me in - there are so many great people and amazing Rails driven sites. I had to find out what all the excitement was about, so I attended RailsBridge last year (and again this year), and have been learning ever since! I’m also really interested in getting involved in the open source community, and in helping to even out the gender ratio in scientific and engineering professions, so RGSoC is one trifecta of awesome to me!

What was your happiest moment? Merging our first pull request!

What was most challenging moment? Merging our second pull request.

If you could code anything in the world, what would it be?

Utah: Interactive biology teaching website or lightsaber kittens (in MC Hammer pants) vs laser sharks.

Lyz: Online museum documenting creative ways to destroy a completed Master’s thesis or PhD dissertation…think http://brokenships.com/ for academics….

Team BrowserSpree

Posted on by Team BrowserSpree

Hello world, we’re team BrowserSpree. We’re working on a module to integrate the e-commerce engine Spree into BrowserCMS, a Rails content management system. It’s been a challenging, but rewarding, journey so we’re excited to share what we’ve been up to so far.

##Britney’s Background##

Hi, Britney here. I started learning Ruby and Ruby on Rails in May 2013. I attended a conference about startups but was quickly sucked into a talk about learning programming, specifically Ruby on Rails, and the active developer community in Washington, D.C. From there I’ve done tutorials, exercises, read books, attended meetups and conferences. One thing I hadn’t done prior to starting Rails Girls Summer of Code is work on an open source project. I’ve been afraid that I don’t know enough to contribute, so Rails Girls Summer of Code is giving me confidence in myself and also giving me experience that I hope will move me closer to working with Ruby and Rails professionally.

##Jam’s Story!##

Hi – I’m Jam! I’m an IT Project Manager by day– and a Fullstack Rails Dev (in the making) by night. A year ago – learning to program never seemed like a possibility. I – of course thought you had to have a Bachelors in Computer Science and be able to solve some complex algorithm in your sleep for someone to actually pay you to do it. The big decision to go for it anyway came to me when was challenged by an employer who said I wasn’t an ”A” player because I didn’t have a technical degree - which challenged me to prove them wrong. If it hadn’t been for Rails Girls DC and the awesome DC Ruby community, I would have never believed I had what it takes to defy that belief. I attended my first Rails Girls Workshop in June of 2013, having no experience whatsoever. A year later, along with Britney - we planned the June 2014 Rails Girls DC Workshop – which was an amazing experience. Outside of the - my loves: West African Dance, Indie Music (all genres), Fashion and reality tv. My goal: to design and build e-commerce for fashion brands. I recently enrolled in Tealeaf Academy which managing that, in addition to RGSoC and my full-time job has totally killed my summer social life – but I’m getting closer to my dream – and that’s all that matters. I’ve finally decided to follow the advice of the masses and create a blog to document my journey to learning design and code, with sprinkles of randomness in between. Follow me @justjamonit/@rbywoo and blog: rbywoo.com

##Ruby for Good##

The first ever Ruby for Good was a few week ago and it was so cool to see so many rubyists, both new and old get together and work projects to benefit others. Since we could break into teams and work on projects of our choosing - I thought what better chance to work on BCMS 4.0 documentation! Luckily, Craig Riecke agreed! Craig came down Ithaca, NY. He is Rails Developer for Cornell University AND published author - Mastering Dojo. When I first made the announcement that I was working on documentation for BCMS… I knew no one would be interested! After all other teams were building sexy apps in AngularJs, for example! But Craig was looking for change from his day to day - programming. So it was a win-win!

It was so great to work with someone of his skill set and background. He brought a very fresh perspective to the user/developer documentation that allowed us to rewrite and restructure the documentation rather than simply update what was there to include BCMS 4.0 features. Check out what we were able to accomplish here. Craig was able to make a lot of progress with the User Documentation, while I dove into the Developer Documentation. The great news is Craig is on board to continue updating the documentation with us going forward!! Check some our Twitter <3 from that weekend:

##Steel City Ruby##

Not long after Ruby for Good, we attended Steel City Ruby Conf in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was a great opportunity for us to visit another community of developers since we’ve mostly just engaged with the D.C. community and those who visit. We highly recommend the conference to developers of all experience levels. The organizers did a great job of selecting talks that weren’t all highly technical. In fact many of them had more to do with self-reflection and community. We also had the opportunity to give a lightning talk about Rails Girls and Rails Girls Summer of Code. We explained what each was about and our experiences. The feedback we received was very positive and helped us start a lot of conversations with other attendees. We were able to explain in more depth how Rails Girls works and make recommendations about putting on workshops and other strategies to engage local communities. It was the first lightning talk for both of us and we’re looking forward to doing more. Our Ruby Conf schedule is far from over - we have RubyDCamp and Nickel City Ruby right around the corner, in October!

##Reflecting## Since we are at the halfway point- it’s best we look back at what we have done. We have actually followed our Project Plan pretty closely: In July, we primarily spent our time getting familiar with BrowserCMS. We each built our own version of a bookstore. We created our content_blocks, portlets categories and made the our content_blocks and portlets available for public view. Specifically, we added the following features:

  • Catalog of all our books that our visitors can browse.
  • View products pages individually.
  • Categorize by type of book (Authors, Fiction/Nonfiction, Politics, Economic, Young Reader Vampire Novels, etc)
  • Authors should have their own pages that list their products.
  • Author’s other works should be visible even if we don’t have those books for sale.
  • When I view a book, I should be able to see all the author’s other books for sale.
  • When i view a product, I should see other related products for sale. I should be able to give discounts codes for an author that would last for a 4th of July weekend.
  • We also updated BrowserCMS developer documentation and user guide, thanks to Ruby for Good! Check out what we were able to accomplish here.

##Key Takeaways so far##

  • Google, Google, Google This can’t be said enough. Not only when it comes to errors but also when you have a feature you are trying to add, or a how do I go about doing ‘x’ ?” question. It was surprising “how much we found out just by using others people questions. Plus, Googling is a required skill to be a developer – right under using Git or knowing the command line.

  • Its okay to go over the basics For one or two weeks, we had to cover some Rails basics - in addition to building our store so that we could ensure we are asking the right questions and learn/apply the fundamentals of Rails and not just BrowserCMS.

  • Pseudo code Pseudo code is writing in English what you are trying to accomplish in code. It helps to logically map out the steps to get to your desired outcome.

  • Break large tasks into smaller ones Start small. When adding a feature, it seemed daunting and often time felt like we had now idea where to start. Breaking one big action into smaller was key because it allowed us to start with what we did know – and take it step by step from there.

##Where to From Here## Well we spent the last two weeks diving into Spree and for the last week - we have been tried installing BrowserCMS and Spree in the same Rails app and seeing what breaks. Well - it broke a number of times - but nothing that we couldn’t work through. We figured out which version of Spree plays nicely with BCMS and we are on track to fully flesh out user authenticaton, checkout, etc. by the end of the summer!

###We would like to give special hugs and <3 to our coaches, Patrick Peak (@peakpg) and Tanya Bodnya (@tatianabodyna) for all offering their time to make us better devs. Specaial thanks also to Ncud (@nclud) for letting us use their space!##

Rails Girls Summer of Code Day Off

Posted on by Laura

We love coding, we really do. But we also know that during a 3-month-long, hands-on coding program (or cough cough at work if you’re coding all day cough cough) your motivation might start to take a nosedive. This is why we are announcing a

“Rails Girls Summer of Code Day Off” on August 28th!

What that means: exit your terminal, close your laptop and do something awesome or relaxing with your team mate! Some of us are in Berlin, and there will be a small get together for local teams (yes, an afternoon on a houseboat - wonderfully sponsored and organized by Applift); but since RGSoC is a worldwide movement, we won’t let distance stop you from having a great time. We just want you (yes, YOU dearest students; but also coaches, mentors, supervisors..!) to have a fun day, wherever you may be!

our favorite 10 ways to spent your day off

We have gathered list of the best 10 ways to take a day off , feel free to try out some or all or to think up your own. And of course: you’re welcome to DOCUMENT ALL THE THINGS - e.g. sending us funny pictures of you relaxing with your favorite pet or going out for a hike. We love all your tweets.

1. Explore your hometown in an alternative way

The Laboratory of Experimental Tourism has a few fun ways to explore places - even in your own hometown. Some of our favorite examples:

  • Counter travel (Travel with a camera, but don’t take pictures of the famous landmarks and tourist attractions. Stand with your back to the sight and snap that view instead.)
  • Alternating Travel (Leave your home on foot. Take the first road on the right, then the next on the left, then the next on the right, then the next on the left, etc. Carry on until something, a no man’s land, a building or a stretch of water, blocks your path and you can go no farther.)

2. Organise a picnic

Food, music, blankets, and sunshine. Is there anything more lovely than that (especially the food part)? Find a park nearby, take some homemade sandwiches and cookies, bring a frisbee if you want, and relax! For the ultimate awesome experience, bring a scrabble with you (sorry, but I had to include that in there, as it’s my favourite board-game)

3. Movie marathon

Who said that movie marathons can only be done at night? You’re totally allowed to watch movies all day. Maybe you can each bring your all-time favourite movie - what a great way to get to know your team mate better! For the ultimate experience, we recommend making popcorn and choosing trilogies ;) Our favourite: Back to the Future, obviously!

4. Yoga class

Or any other physical activity, whether to let out all of that energy or to relax. Was there something you always wanted to try but never dared to? Is there a boxing or self-defence class in a studio nearby? Did you always wonder about this strange “pilates” that everyone keeps talking about? Now is the time to try it out. Do you love playing volleyball or basketball outdoors? Go for it! And you know what they say: the more, the merrier - so bring your team mate along!

5. Go swimming

It’s summer! At least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere ;) Need we say more? Maybe you’re lucky enough to live in a place with a lake or the ocean nearby. Run away from the city and go swimming!

6. Crafts

This could really be anything - from making your own laptop case to designing some cute birthday cards from all your friends or baking some (non-rgsoc-themed) cupcakes.

7. Read

Grab a book or go into a newsagents’ shop, buy ALL your favorite magazines and spend the day reading somewhere outside or snuggled up on the couch. It works wonders!

8. Have a “games” day

We’ve mentioned Scrabble already, but there is a ton of other games that you could play, and you probably have a few stacked away somewhere in a box, don’t you? Whether Uno, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Snakes & Ladders.. We’re sure you’ll be having the time of your life!

9. Have a media-free day

Leave your laptop and phone at home, and just head out. After the first few minutes (or hours..) you’ll get used to it. You’ll see, being phoneless for a few hours really isn’t that hard (or bad) at all!

10. Go wild at an amusement park

..because roller-coasters and bumper cars are definitely not just for kids.

Studies show that just “hanging around” and doing nothing and just lying on the couch all day won’t let you feel very relaxed. Your brain wants to do things and experience stuff.

So make the best out of it, and enjoy your RGSOC-DAY-OFF!

P.S. If we find any commits or signs of you working on this particular Thursday, we won’t send you cat gifs in the following weeks! So. There. We are serious about this.

Self-promotion by RapidRailsGirls!

Posted on by RapidRailsGirls

###About us: We are Kathi Zwick and Brigitte Markmann, two aspiring software developers based in Berlin. We met in December 2013 at our first Rails Girls Workshop. We figured out that we would make a great team for the Rails Girls Summer of Code - and as you can see - we got accepted as a volunteer team! Yeah! :)

Kathi: “Remembering back, I always wanted to be a detective (like Sherlock Holmes). But very recently I realized that my skills also happen to fit perfectly to those of a programmer: I’m quick at combining new information, I have an urge to get things done and obviously I LOVE solving riddles (isn’t that what programming is all about?)! Because childhood wishes rarely come true, in reality I’ve been a recruiter for the past two years. Hanging out a lot with IT guys made me realize: being a programmer is the coolest job on earth, I’ll go for it! And here I am :) “

Brigitte: “There must be parallel universes in which I am a volcanologist or a pilot of a very small aircraft in a remote area. In this one I am a media manager who now decided to go an a slightly different adventure - becoming a developer. Why? Because languages are amazing: you can admire the sheer aesthetics and marvel at or be confused about the underlying concepts and values. Using a different one you become another persona!
Besides that I like to be around people what kind of rules out the careers mentioned above. What else? I love to invent silly taglines and titles, can wiggle my ears (up and down) and can explain movies to my friends, when they again have missed all the subtle hints…. Perfect material for a decent developer, don’t you think? ;) “

###Why Rapid?! Because we learn at a high pace ;) but also because the project we chose to start with is called RapidFTR. It’s a Ruby on Rails/Android application that lets aid workers collect and share information about unaccompanied children in emergency situations, so they can be reunited with their families. We will help upgrading the current app to version 2.0.

###Things we learned so far:

  • how to use a Mac (yap, involving terminal commands and funny symbols )
  • how to use Twitter (just have to overcome our general fear of actually using it).
  • learned the English words for all the punctuation marks.
  • the importance of going to conferences - you get free tshirts there!
  • real coding stuff like git, GitHub, Ajax, jQuery, RSpec, Slim, DOM, rubocop, Ruby keywords, TDD, code coverage, etymology of foo, bar, etc. ! :)
  • how to be a good programmer in terms of style, community involvement etc…

###Things we are amazed by:

  • all the hearty support we experienced so far! So many people in the Ruby community as well as SoundClouders have been very kind and super encouraging. From making us feel welcome to offering classes on whatever topic people are experts on!
  • our coaches/mentors/supervisors obviously! Erik Michaels-Ober (SoundCloud), Klaus Fleerköetter (ThoughtWorks), Steffi Tinder (ThoughtWorks) and Tam Eastley: thank you so much for your dedication and patience! And for motivating and inspiring us!
  • how much you can learn in 7 weeks!
  • how many different things you actually have to learn in order to make a Rails Application work

###Things we would change about the Summer of Code:

  • turn the program into “Winter of Code”. We realized that the current “Summer of Code” makes one too excited about coding and thus you spend most of the time in front of a computer, neglecting the beautiful sunshine outside.
  • we would not choose SoundCloud as an office again. It’s just too fabulous, too cozy, too many goodies for the employees, too good food …. the result being that we’re now totally spoiled.

###Anyways… … if you’d like to stay tuned about our Summer Code, check out our blog!

… and if you’d like to hire us, don’t be shy - message us on Twitter or XING!

Why not offer an internship after the summer is over?

Posted on by Tam

The summer is reaching its halfway mark, so we’re hard at work thinking about how to keep supporting our students when it ends. For a handful of selected women, RGSoC has marked a turn in their lives: they have spent hours coding, learning, and discovering a new world of programming possibilities.

But sooner than they (and we!) realize, their summer will be over, and it will be time to move on.

That’s where you come in. We are looking for awesome companies all around the world who are willing to offer internships or junior developer positions to Rails Girls Summer of Code alumni.

If your company was unable to sponsor the summer of code this year, this is a great opportunity for you to still show your support. If you already sponsored this year, keep it coming!

Hiring a RGSoC graduate is a great idea. You’ll gain an employee with real hands on experience in the programming world, and who has already pushed working code to well a known and visible codebase. Your new employee will be an expert at communicating ideas within a team, and will not be afraid to submit code for review. Need more proof? RGSoC students are very excited about learning, and have oftentimes given up a previous career in order to pursue their goal, making them all the more motivated. This past work experience merged together with hard-earned tech savvy just might fit in perfectly with your company, making them an asset to your team.

As this is a worldwide program with students all across the globe, we are looking for exceptional companies in or around the following locations:

  • Sydney
  • Barranquilla
  • Helsinki
  • Berlin
  • Pune
  • Mysore
  • Skopje
  • Lima
  • Warsaw
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Seattle, WA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Los Angeles, CA

If you’re looking for talented women who are eager to continue learning, or just want more info about how you can help out after RGSoC, please get in touch!

Spree Girls Winter of Code!

Posted on by Spree Girls,

#Spree Girls Australia

The Spree Girls are Tracy Mu Sung and Catherine Jones, we are working on Spree eCommerce and live in Sydney Australia. There are 2 teams working on Spree this year, and we think this is fine since it is such a massive project. What makes us unique are that we are the first, and so far only, RGSoC team from Australia!

We both work full time, so are undertaking the RGSoC part time outside of our jobs. We meet up one night during the week, all day Sunday, and work remotely from each other the rest of the time. We make good use of Skype and email during the week, and have Google Hangouts with our mentor Trung Le in Melbourne (although we hate Google Hangouts).

We are a volunteer team, and you can find out more about what that means here.

###How We Got Here


Catherine is a former fashion designer from the UK, who went back to college to study multimedia design. Once exposed to code she became so enamoured that she went on to study web design. She was taught using C# and PHP, but quickly found out how much better Ruby was.

Tracy, Catherine, Croc

Tracy became exposed to coding while working in Digital Marketing. She met Catherine at one of the many Sydney Ruby events, and both have become actively involved in the community, attending Ruby Conf, Rails Camps, Hack Nights and ending up being mentors at a Rails Girls event.

###Our Hopes From The Project

We chose to work on Spree because one of the core contributors to Spree lives in Australia, the amazing Trung Le, and was keen to take on a Rails Girls team and teach them all about Spree. As Australia is not in a convenient time zone with other countries, it was important for us to have a mentor who was local (even though he is in Melbourne, not Sydney, it’s the same timezone).

As a part time team, our goal is to understand Rails better and learn, rather than make a new feature or add functionality for Spree.

###Our Experience So Far Our original intention was to learn by answering issues from the log or questions on the mailing list, but after a few weeks of trying this we discovered that other people could answer things quicker than we could even understand the questions!

It was very dispiriting to spend a few days trying to work out the problem and come up with a suggestion/solution, only to discover the issue was since closed.

Spree is a massive project that has been around since 2004. It is a flexible ecommerce system that can be used to create online retail stores for products, games, downloads, subscriptions…almost anything because it is so flexible. It has a lot of users and contributers, a very active community and a constantly updated issues log and mailing list.

Core Contributor, Radar

Although only one repository, it is four separate engines: Front end, Back end, core and API. The complex nature of the Spree gem means it is taking us longer than expected to get our head around even the business logic (even though we started one month earlier to read all the docs and try to understand the project!)

After 3 weeks working on 3 issues and submitting only 1 pull request, we are now changing direction to focus on the business logic using drawings and understanding the concepts of service objects.

Mentor Dan

What we have learnt so far, and what our mentor keeps emphasising, is that understanding the business logic and being able to explain the business problem, is much more important than understanding the code. If you can understand and explain the problem first in laymans terms, then the coding part will be a lot easier.

Team Species+ says hello!

Posted on by TeamSpecies+

Hi everyone :-) It’s time for our short introduction. Team Species+ are: Karolina Kaminska and Magdalena Niedzwiecka. Karolina was studying Hungarian language at the University of Warsaw. She knows 5 other foreign languages apart of Hungarian. She’s also interested in computer graphics and a wide variety of different things. But when she attended the second edition of Rails Girls Warsaw last year, she finally fell in love with web development. In order to participate in RGSoC she quit her job. Magdalena graduated in journalism at the University of Warsaw. Until quite recently she was working as a PR officer in one of Warsaw PR agencies. She was specializing in running PR projects for IT companies. Her first experiences with coding took place this year at the end of February - it was Rails Girls Warsaw workshop. Since then she does her best to learn.

Last but not least - we both are mothers :-)

OK, and now a few words about our project.

Species+ is a web service for accessing key information on species of global concern. It’s based on the CITES database (here you can find out what CITES is), but uses CMS data as well - everything in order to protect endangered species of animals. Species+ has over 20 thousand visits per month. Our task in the project is to analyse users’ behaviour. How do they search for species? Do they browse online or download data? Which bits of species information are most often accessed? After we extract this data, we’re going to create a tool for making the information more readable.

To find out more about users’ behaviour, we use ahoy_matey gem. At the moment we have to add ahoy tracking to Species+ API requests.

Let’s be honest - our project is not easy. During the relatively short time we have to learn some PostgreSQL & SQL and a lot of Ruby & JavaScript. From time to time we are facing problems with various gems & their compatibility with different versions of Ruby. Sometimes we feel a little bit overwhelmed, but we know that it’s just leaving our comfort zone. And when you leave your comfort zone, magic happens.

Take a look at our blog and wish us luck!

Introducing ARIA Team

Posted on by ARIA Team

Hi everybody, we are the ARIA Team and we want to say hi! My name is Melissa Torregrosa, I am 24 years old, and I’m a graduate in Computer Science. After my graduation I was working in the field of quality assurance and information system audit. I consider myself as an outgoing person, friendly and responsible. Paola Garcia is my teammate, she is 25 years old, she’s from Barranquilla-Colombia and she’s a graduate in Computer Sciences as well. She was working as a Process Analyst before RGSoC. Her goal this year is to become a Ruby on Rails developer. Currently she spend her time studying and researching technology, and enjoying time with her family.

We met at the University 5 years ago and there began our friendship. Guillermo Iguaran is our Mentor, Roberto Miranda and Laura Garcia are our coaches. We met Roberto and Guillermo during University and became good friends. Paola and Laura are sisters, and Laura participated in last year’s Rails Girls Summer of Code, and through her heard of RGSoC.

##About our project!

The project name is “Improving Accessibility in Rails through ARIA”, and we chose this idea because right now people with disabilities who are working in development software applications have limitations with the tools they use. Traditional software developer tools weren’t designed with features who are required to be interpreted by assistive technology.

###Our goals are:

  1. To add ARIA attributes to error pages thrown by rails, so that developers with visual disabilities can identify the details of errors.

  2. To add support for accessibility attributes to the form helpers (label tag, form tag), so that developers can create web applications more easily.

  3. To add ARIA attributes to Ruby on Rails official website, in order to become an accessibility website.

As you can see, since we are working with ARIA attributes that’s the reason for our name “ARIA Team”. We feel really excited with this opportunity and hope that our project will have a positive impact in the software development progress.

ARIATeam .

You can follow the team’s process here: http://ariateam.tumblr.com/ and on Twitter.

And the conference tickets go to...

Posted on by Floor

All the students turned to Twitter, gave us their conference wishlists and the results are in! And the conference tickets go to…


Team Participate - FrozenRails

ARIA Team - Strangeloop

code_padawans - arrrrcamp

Team Species+ - GoToConf

Team Instructure (LTI) - MadisonRuby

RapidRailsGirls (RapidFTR) - polyconf AND BaRuCo

Team Speakerinnen - eurucamp


IF you ended up empty-handed, don’t worry, you will get another shot as we’ll be adding new conferences for a second round of ticket raffling.

And now what? Well, now you can all start planning your trips and accommodation. Let us know if we can connect you to the local Rails Girls community to make your stay even more fun.

Then: enjoy the conference! Additionally, why not amaze the other attendees? We would love for you to share your Summer of Code story and that’s why we wrote up some handy nuggets to help you past your initial stage fright.

###Thank you to all our round 1 conferences

eurucamp, Burlington Ruby Conference, Steel City Ruby, Madison Ruby Conference, Frozen Rails, Barcelona Ruby Conf, The Strange Loop, Ruby DCamp, Rails Israel, Arrrrcamp, Polyconf, GoTo Conference

Have fun!

How to ace your lightning talk

Posted on by Floor

Rails Girls Speakers

Many of you get to attend a conference as part of your Summer of Code. Else you might also go to local meetups or user goups. For all of these, we highly encourage you to share your story in a lightning talk and spread the Rails Girls word. A lightning talk (usually about 5 minutes long) is a perfect way to show people you’re there, share your knowledge, inspire others with your story and get in touch with many wonderful and interesting people.

Talking to a large group of people, especially those more experienced than you, might feel like a large hurdle to cross. This is completely normal, even the most seasoned speakers still carry that feeling with them when they go on stage. Remember that everyone has to start somewhere, and lightning talks are the best ‘somewhere’. There is even a conference dedicated to lightning talks!

“But what am I supposed to talk about? I only just started!”

Well, the talk could be about your project and your contribution, how you found out about the project, why you decided to take on this task, the overall Rails Girls movement (there are still so many women out there who wanna learn coding and seldom have the chance to do so), the motivations to learn coding and sometimes change your complete life path along with it, … The options are endless!

It doesn’t necessarily matter if you’re talking tech or social. Lightning talks are designed to be a kind of “have a sneak peak at this little thingy” chat.

Alright, let’s talk!

There’s a massive amount of tips & tricks out there how you can prepare for a talk. We gathered those in “How to go to a conference”. There you can also find helpful nuggets on how to prepare your talk. They’re especially useful when that flutter says ‘hi’ again.

In addition to those:

  • Try out your slides at home or within your team. Get familiar with different projector types, speaker notes (they can come in handy) and timers so you know how much time you have left to convince the crowd of your amazing project!
  • Try and put as little text as possible on your slides and have them support your chat in a visual way. We are all visual people and like nice pictures of you (two) coding, or a screenshot of your commit bar on GitHub ;)
  • We will prepare a slide deck with some factoids and numbers about Rails Girls Summer of Code. Shoot us a mail if you'd like to have that as a template!

Sweet, now I only need a time and a place

To get you talk on the agenda, contact the conference organizers about the possibilities. We could also get you in contact with them - just ask us!

Alternatively: many conferences have a CfP (Call for Papers) where you can submit your talk proposal. It should have a choosing where you say how long your talk’s supposed to be. If it hasn’t got a separate checkbox for this, you can also add questions to your description or write an email to the organizers.

A lightning talk is a great way to get some stage experience. And it’s over before you know it - promised ;)

If you know more great tips, please add them in the comments!

Photo Credits (from left to right and upper to lower row)

Get your ticket to one (or more!) of these great conferences

Posted on by Floor

Get your twitter clients ready and join the rafflemania!

Like last year, a number of exciting conferences have offered free (team) tickets for you - the Rails Girls Summer of Code students. We heard wonderful stories from our students last year about how they made new friends, valuable connections, learned heaps and had tons of fun.

So we couldn’t help but do it again! By now, we have 26 tickets to 13 amazing conferences and we’re still adding more.

Since some of them already take place mid-program, we decided to do an early raffle-out now, followed by a second one later this summer. So, IF you end up empty-handed, don’t worry, you will get another shot! ;)

How to get your hands on those awesome tickets

We need you to tweet which conferences (find out their twitter handles on their websites) you’d like to attend - ordered by 1st choice, 2nd choice etc. - be sure to mention @Railsgirlssoc, so that we can see your tweet and take it into the raffle.

These are two examples, how this could look like:

###Hey @Railsgirlssoc We would love to attend @arrrrcamp, @eurucamp and @rulu. (and alternatively add #wishfulthinking #LOL).

###My Conf Wishlist for this summer: @SteelCityRuby and @frozenrails via @Railsgirlssoc.

By sending the tweet you automatically take part in the competition. Make sure you send your tweet by Monday July 28 12:00 (AM) CEST. We’ll announce the winners shortly after.

You can choose from any of the below mentioned conferences. Please keep in mind, that these tickets don’t include travel costs or accomodation, so better chose a conference near you or one where you could afford a travel to.

What to do at the conference? First of all, we want you to be amazed and inspired. A conference is one of the best places to learn heaps of stuff and talk to wonderful people.

Secondly, amaze the other attendees! We strongly recommend you to give a lightning talk and share the love of programming and your Summer of Code story. This is an important step to help us spread the word to even more seasoned programmers about the great opportunities of Rails Girls. Many conferences have slots for lightning talks, we can help you get in touch with the organizers. In a next post we’ll give you some tips & tricks on how to ace a 5 minute talk like that.

Here are the conferences of the first raffle:

eurucamp August 1-3 Berlin, Germany 2 tickets

Burlington Ruby Conference August 1-3 Burlington, VT 4 tickets

Steel City Ruby August 15-16 Pittsburgh, PA 2 tickets

Madison Ruby Conference August 22-23 Madison, WI 2 tickets

Frozen Rails September 11-12 Helsinki, Finland 2 tickets

Barcelona Ruby Conf September 12-14 Barcelona, Spain 2 tickets

The Strange Loop September 17-19 St. Louis 2 tickets

Ruby DCamp October 10-12 Prince William Forest Park, VA 2 stipends

Rails Israel November 4-5 Tel Aviv, Israel 2 tickets

Arrrrcamp October 2-3 Ghent, Belgium 2 tickets

Polyconf October 30-31 Poznan, Poland 2 tickets

GoTo Conference November 6-7 Berlin, Germany 2 tickets

Good luck!

Hashrocket to support our remote helpdesk

Posted on by Floor

We recently announced how a bunch of awesome Tealeaf students and alumni will help this year’s Rails Girls Summer of Code participants get the answers-they-need. Today we are excited to share that Hashrocket will also be joining our helpdesk team on Campfire. Committing to 10 hours per week for the entire span of the program, at least one Hashrocketeer will hang out in our support room between 14:00 and 22:00 UTC - every day!

Joshua - Josh - Davey from Hashrocket on their involvement: “Rails Girls Summer of Code is something we’ve been following, and we are really happy to be a part of the program this year. We’re excited to help the students learn more about Rails and see the cool projects that come out of the program.”

And that’s not all. Hashrocket supports Rails Girls Summer of Code as a Silver sponsor AND offered to be a Coaching Company. Hashrocket builds solutions for the Web, iPhone and iPad, and specializes in Ruby on Rails, iOS and Android development. Again, It’s great to have them help us out!

Please join us!

We are always looking for more people to join the helpdesk.

In case you are interested, please register via our Teams application and specify your role as “Helping as a remote coach (helpdesk)”. Then sign in to our Campfire chat room, and you’re good to go!

Tealeaf helps make our remote helpdesk even more awesome

Posted on by Floor

The Remote Helpdesk was part of the Rails Girls Summer of Code concept right from the beginning. Coaches who are not assigned to a team (or just want to help even more) check in on the Helpdesk chat room to assist students with … any question they might have, should their local coaches not be immediately available.

Because both the students and remote coaches were located all around the globe, at least someone would be online at any time. And it did work reasonably well last year. But we think that’s not good enough. Our Remote Helpdesk wasn’t structured very well, and sometimes coaches weren’t actually available. On top of that we used IRC which isn’t accessible enough to newcomers.

Building a better Remote Helpdesk with Tealeaf Acadamy

So we decided to up the remote helpdesk to another level. We’ll be using Campfire this year, which is not only more accessible and nicer to look at, we can also paste screenshots more easily.

Apart from the tooling we are also very excited to announce that Tealeaf will be managing the Remote Helpdesk this year, and a number of Tealeaf students will be joining and give support on Campfire. The Tealeaf Academy offers Ruby on Rails Online Bootcamps and excels in teaching programming remotely.

We are thrilled to have some of the Tealeaf junior join our helpdesk because we ourselves learned the most when explaining things to someone who is only slightly less advanced. And they are dying to help create useful contributions to Open Source, so we think this idea fits the Rails Girls Summer of Code concepts very well.

You can find the list of our Remote Coaches here on our Teams application.

Please join us!

We are always looking for more people to join the helpdesk.

In case you are interested, please register via our Teams application and specify your role as “Helping as a remote coach (helpdesk)”. Then sign in to our Campfire chat room, and you’re good to go!

These wonderful conferences support Rails Girls Summer of Code

Posted on by Floor

Last year a number of conferences offered (team) tickets to Rails Girls Summer of Code students. A few of them even supported the students with their travel costs and accommodation. We heard great stories from our students how they made new friends, valuable connections, learned heaps and had tons of fun.

This year around again 15 Ruby conference organizers offer tickets to their events. As RedDotRuby and Rulu take place before the official program we decided to raffle out these tickets to our alumni of last year (we will send you an email about this shortly, #youknowwhoyouare).

Rulu June 19-20, Lyon, France 2 tickets

RedDotRubyConf June 26-27, Singapore 2 tickets

And now for the conferences that take place during and after the program (drum roll):

Brighton Ruby Conference 21st July, Brighton, UK 2 tickets

eurucamp August 1-3, Berlin, Germany 2 tickets

Burlington Ruby Conference August 1-3, Burlington, VT 4 tickets

Steel City Ruby August 15-16, Pittsburgh, PA 2 tickets

Madison Ruby Conference August 22-23, Madison, WI 2 tickets

Frozen Rails September 11-12, Helsinki, Finland 2 tickets

Barcelona Ruby Conf September 12-14, Barcelona, Spain 2 tickets

The Strange Loop September 17-19, St. Louis 2 tickets

Ruby DCamp October 10-12, Prince William Forest Park, VA 2 stipends

Rails Israel November 4-5, Tel Aviv, Israel 2 tickets

Arrrrcamp October 2-3, Ghent, Belgium 2 tickets

Polyconf October 30-31, POZnan, Poland 2 tickets

GoTo Conference November 6-7 Berlin, Germany 2 tickets

… and we’re still adding conferences!

Attending a conference is the best way to meet the Ruby community - and for offering free tickets the above conferences desrve a big THANK YOU!

Are you an organizer of a Rails/Ruby related conference and would you like to give our students a similar (unforgettable) experience? Let me know: floor@railsgirls.com.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Volunteer Teams

Posted on by RGSoC Team

Everything you ever wanted to know about volunteer teams

This year, RGSoC has accepted six volunteer teams in addition to ten sponsored teams. It’s an exciting development, and you may be wondering, what is a volunteer team, and how do I become one?

Volunteer teams, like sponsored teams were hand picked by the selection committee from the pool of applicants. The chosen teams showed enthusiasm and demonstrated that they have a good level of support. We really wanted these teams in the program, but sadly, we couldn’t sponsor them. Instead of leaving them out completely, we took a leap of faith, and asked if they wanted to do it anyway. Lucky for us, six of them said yes!

So what is a volunteer team?

A volunteer team is the same as a sponsored team, with two main differences. First, as the name implies, they do not receive monetary support from RGSoC, so they need to be financially stable enough to support themselves over the summer. Second, because of the financial constraints, volunteer teams are only asked to work part time on their open source project.

Aside from those two points, volunteer teams will participate in the summer of code and have the same experience as sponsored teams. They will:

  • get access to the same support structure and benefits such as conference tickets
  • document their daily work on their team log and send in pictures/tweets
  • give a lightning talk at a conference
  • be assigned a supervisor
  • connect to other students via the RGSoC chat

How do I become a volunteer team?

This year’s applications are closed and teams have been selected, ready to kick off on 1st of July. If you want to be considered as a volunteer team next year, send in an application when applications open and show us what you’re made of!

The team behind the teams

Volunteer teams also have a great support structure behind them. Susanne Dewein, Tam Eastley, and Carsten Zimmermann will all be volunteer team supervisors. You may recognize those names from last year: Susanne and Tam were students with the volunteer team Highway to Rails, and Carsten was their coach. They bring with them this summer a wealth of first hand information about what it’s like to successfully complete a voluntary summer of coding ruby on rails.

The Final List of our Teams for Rails Girls Summer of Code 2014

Posted on by RGSoC Team

It’s time to celebrate! After a great spurt in the campaign and with the incredible support of our students we’re happy to announce: We are able to fund 10 sponsored teams, and there will be 6 volunteering teams, 32 students in total \o/.

You have met the first seven teams a while back. Please say hi to the remaining 3 sponsored teams, and the 6 volunteering teams of this year’s Rails Girls Summer of Code. We’re stoked to see that much enthusiasm!

Akanksha Agrawal and Sana Khan from Pune, India will work on a memory visualization tool for Rubinius, which will help to get insights to memroy usage and find memory leaks. They will be supported by their coaches Prathamesh Sonpatki, Vipul A M, and Nishant Modak from Pune, as well as their mentor Dirkjan Bussink based in Netherlands, and long time core contributor to Rubinius.

Kai Baraka and Valerie Sparks from Atlanta, USA will work on various improvements to Bundler at the AT&T Foundry and Hypepotamus offices, supported by their team of coaches Dion Salvage, Shawn Johnson. Roger Mahler and Andre Arko will be their mentors. See here for the detailed project proposal

Britney Wright and Jamela Black from Washington D.C., USA will work on BrowserCMS and a BrowserCMS integration with Spree. They will be supported by their coaches Patrick Peak and Tatiana Bodnya at the BrowserMedia offices, also connecting them to the Spree team which both are located in Washington, D.C.

Volunteering Teams

Rocio Paez and Evette Kotze, from Lima, Peru will work on a personal migraine research and diary tool which will help to collect statistics and insights about the process of migraines. They will be supported by their coaches Gustavo Beathyate from Lima, and Francesco Rodriguez from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Catherine Jones and Tracy Mu Sung from Sydney, Australia (our first team from Australia, yay!) will work on Spree, improving documentation, refactoring tests, and improving existing features. They will be supported by a great team of coaches: Elle Meridith, Geoff Hodgson, Leonard Garvey, Andrew Harvey, Toby Hede, Dan Draper, and David Parry. Trung Le from Spree Commerce is going to be their mentor.

Jen Diamond and Stephanie Betancourt, “The Standard Librarians”, from Los Angeles will work on a Try Ruby Standard Library in-browser REPL. Michael McCormick will be their main coach and they will be hosted at and supported by their Coaching Company Pivotal Labs. Kurtis Rainbolt-Greene and Konstantin Haase will help as their mentors.

Abril Vela and Colleen Masterson from Chicago will work on an LTI (Learning tool) that integrates with online learning management systems based on standards. The goal is to build a tool to help children practice reading skills, with a focus on helping children with dyslexia become more proficient at reading. Liz Abinante from Girl Develop It Chicago will be their main coach, and Paul Hinze will provide additional support.

Katharina Zwick and Brigitte Markmann from Berlin, Germany, will be working on a RapitFTR Rails backend for an upcoming rollout to Democratic Republic of the Congo and Syria in November. Klaus Fleerkötter from ThoughtWorks and Erik Michaels-Ober from Soundcloud will be their main coaches. They will be hosted at the SoundCloud office with access to a pool of additional support coaches such as Duana Stanley (who coached a successful team last year) and others. Sri Prasanna will act as their mentor, supported by Stuart Campo coordinating the project on UNICEF’s side.

Akshata Mohan and Aayish Shetty from Bangalore, India will be working on our Rails Girls Summer of Code Teams application, putting it into an even better shape for students to connect, form teams and apply for next year’s Summer of Code. Monika Mahanthappa, Pavan Sudarshan as well as Thomas Andrew Elam will be their coaches, and our very own Sebastian Gräßl will act as their mentor.

Meet the first seven teams for Rails Girls Summer of Code 2014!

Posted on by RGSoC Team

We’d like to thank everyone who send in an application, the quality of submissions was exceptionally high this year. The selection team had a tough 3 days deciding which teams will spend their summer coding on a number of outstanding Open Source projects. Without further ado, we’d like you to meet the teams:

Utah Kate Newman and Lyz Ellis from Seattle, USA, will code on Diaspora*, at their Coaching Company NIRD. Renee Hendricksen (RailsBridge) will be their primary coach, and Rails Girls veteran Kerri Miller will help out. Fun fact: Lisa Passing and Carolina, took part as a volunteering team in Rails Girls Summer of Code 2013, and will now be their mentors. Find the project proposal here.

Paola Garcia and Melissa Torregrosa from Barranquilla, Colombia will be improving accessibility in Rails by adding ARIA support. Laura Garcia Casadiego, Rails Girls Summer of Code 2013 alumni and a Computer Science student, and Roberto Miranda Altamar, lead Ruby on Rails developer and coach of the “New Rosies” team last year, just like Guillermo Iguaran from the Rails Core team, will assist them.

Ute Mayer and Magdalena Frankiewicz will work at the offices of their Coaching Companies Asquera and SponsorPay in Berlin, Germany, coding on Padrino. They will be supported by a great team of coaches: Jan Schulte, Florian Gilcher, Ernesto Miguez, Sebastian Ziebell, and Kacper Bielecki. Bodo Tasche will be their mentor.

Cathy Nangini and Qian Zhou from Helsinki, Finland will work on a port of Liquid Feedback to Grape/Ember. Check out the proposal here. They will be supported by their coaches Miika Pihjala and Mukesh Thakur at their Coaching Company, FlowDock. Oliver Barnes from São Paulo will act as their mentor.

Sarah Haselbauer and Edna Kropp will work on making speakerinnen even more awesome. See here for their project proposal. Maren Heltsche and Anja, Rails Girls Summer of Code 2013 alumni, are their mentors. Both are active at Ruby Monsters who built speakerinnen as a learning project. Chad Fowler, Duncan Davidson, Ryan Levick, Benjamin Mateev, Aditya Yadav, Dennis Schneider, Stefan Schmidt, and Hans Hasselberg will all be there to support them as coaches, over at their Coaching Company 6wunderkinder in Berlin. Duana Stanley, Rails Girls and OpenTechSchool veteran, and coach at last year’s Rails Girls Summer of Code, as well as Erik Michaels-Ober, both from SoundCloud, will help by doing an additional code review.

Marija Radevska and Magdalena Gulicoska from Skopje, Macedonia will be working on SeeMeSpeak, an application that helps you learn sign language, supported by the entire Macedonian Ruby User Group (no kidding!). Dalibor Nasevic will act as both their lead coach and mentor. Check out the project propsal here.

Karolina Kamińska and Magdalena Niedźwiecka from Warsaw, Poland, will work on the Species+ project at their Coaching Company Rebased. Piotr Szotkowski and Tomasz Stachewicz, both frequent Rails Girls coaches, will support them as their coaches. Simao Belchior de Castro (UK) from UNEP WCMC will be their mentor.

We’re looking forward to what will be another fantastic summer no doubt!

Please support us!

We aim to support 3 more teams, and we have a huge number of additional, amazing applications to pick from.

Please help us reach this goal and come on board as a sponsor, open a giv.ie campaign, and ask everyone you know to donate to Rails Girls Summer of Code!

Also please check out our sponsors who help make this happen.

Team Selection for 2014

Posted on by RGSoC Team

After 60 hours of rating over 100 applications for Rails Girls Summer of Code, we now are proud to say: we’ve made the first step. We have selected the first 7 teams and will notify them throughout the day via email.

Because this is the second edition of RGSoC and our future students had so much more time to prepare, this year’s average of applications was even richer, more complex and an even higher standard than last year. So many amazing applications but also, so hard to pick only very few of them.

We still have 3 spots for teams left, which could be accepted, provided that we are still able to fund the budget.

We are currently at USD 74 K, that means we need only USD 16 K to fund those last seats. Please help us take on 3 more wonderful teams, and make their dream of a Summer of Code come true.

Let’s help fund them and start another summer with 10 awesome teams!

Givie is here! Use it to help us fund the last 3 teams!

Posted on by RGSoC Team

We have raised an amazing amount so far but we have so many great applications and every donation counts! We wanted a way to help raise money to get the last 3 teams (or more!) sponsored, so we created http://givie.io.

It’s a pretty simple concept: you create a campaign, decide on a fun pledge you would be willing to do if you get enough backers, and BAM! Start spreading the word amongst your friends, family colleagues, anyone really and let them know why this is important. Givie redirects your supporters to the RailsGirls Summer of Code site, and after they have donated, the number of backers on your campaign gets updated.

The idea for Givie came from Duana’s personal campaign last year when she promised to go one month without coffee if she could get 20 people to donate to RailsGirls Summer of Code. For someone whose twitter name is @starkcoffee, this was something people were curious to see. We created Givie so that we we can scale this idea!

Duana sent this tweet out a few weeks ago, and fellow Australians-in-Berlin Marc and Sara answered the call:

Please check it out, create campaigns, and help us fund more women for Summer of Code 2014!


Oh and we’d love to get your feedback! Email us at hello@givie.io or tweet @givieapp.

Yours truly, The Givie Team: Duana (@starkcoffee), Marc (@marcgreenstock) and Sara (@sareg0)

Final Spurt is ON! Help us fund the last 4 teams!

Posted on by RGSoC

Hi there! As the end of the application process is just around the corner (May 2nd), we thought we might update you on the status of the crowdfunding campaign. But let us give you the tl;dr version first:

Donate now!

So let’s see what happened in the last 27 days. We’ve updated our progress bar, with the help of our designer Rebecca and we love it:

… and as you can see we are halfway on the road to support 20 students (10 teams) to work on a Open Source project of their choosing this summer. Help us fund those last teams!

We are detemined to help our students have an amazing experience like for example Laura had. She was a student last year: “Last summer changed my life. I never expected this and now i’m moving to Hamburg to work as a graduate developer at ThoughtWorks. I couldn’t have done it without the Rails Girls Summer of Code and my mentors.”

Last week we received so much support and kind words from our community - we’re still blushing! The wonderful Ruby Rogues mentioned us in their podcast, and so did Scotty and John from ideveloper.co. Jen Myers (also one of our Trust Comittee members) talked about Rails Girls Summer of Code to Mike from UGTASTIC at RailsConf. We were also mentioned as the ‘web tip’ of the week on fm4 (awesome radio station you should check out nevertheless) and… guess who was featured (twice!) in The Ruby Weekly?! Spoiler alert: it’s us! Plus, we love every single support tweet from you, especially when there’s a lot of hearts in them:

So we guess the only thing left to say is this:

Join our supporters today and help us reach our goal this week!!!1!!1

Reach out via Twitter, ask your company to sponsor us and/or empty out your pockets to help us fund our future students. ♥

A lot has happened! What? Let me summarize that for you...

Posted on by Floor

Hi there! We have made some changes to the website and we thought we would let you know!

First off: There is now a Support Chat for the community where you can hop on to give us all your questions - wether it’s about applying, getting involved, sponsoring etc. See you in here: Rails Girls Summer of Code Campfire Chat.

We also added a Code of Conduct for the project - which was admittedly much overdue. A primary goal of Rails Girls Summer of Code is to be inclusive to the all of our part-takers - participants, coaches, mentors, supervisors and everyone in 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, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion (or lack thereof). Our Code of Conduct outlines our expectations for all those who participate in our community and introduces our super-amazing Trust Committee composed of both core organizers and externals.

Anne Wizorek, Jen Myers, Uta Sommer, Anika Lindtner & Sven Fuchs

We added Sponsorship Guidelines to outline what we are looking for sponsors. Spoiler alert: we are looking for companies that can identify with the values of Rails Girls Summer of Code and stand behind our mission to support women in technology and furthermore getting more women into Open Source. Do check ‘em out if you’re curious!

We also had loads of mentions during local Rails Girls events and Ruby user group meetups. Laura Wadden gave a lightning talk during a Rails Girls Berlin workshop in last week, and Laura Gaetano did the same at Rails Girls Ostrava in the Czech Republic. Miss Gaetano also mentioned our ambitious project during a recent vienna.rb meetup (the Ruby user group in Vienna, Austria), as I did at the Berlin chapter. Judging from our Twitter response there are a lot of Rails Girls and user group chapters that will also host a Rails Girls Summer of Code related (lightning) talk. And the beauty is: everyone can do it! Do reach out if you feel you need any extra information, feel free to shoot us an email and we will bring you up to speed: summer-of-code@railsgirls.com.

8 Scholarships in 7 days - One week of crowd funding

Posted on by RGSoC team

Wow, it’s been only one week since we kicked off our crowd funding campaign and we already have so much to tell!

The historical moment was April 3rd, 12:01 CET, when we tweeted about it for the first time:

First, thank you all for being amazing supporters of our mission and making our dream of more women in Open Source come true more day by day! This is really moving. Haven’t donated yet? Do eet now and join all the other wonderful people: railsgirlssummerofcode.org/campaign/! And while others can’t stop high fiving about this, running around with a big smile in their faces or buying chocolate for everyone, some couldn’t stand still anymore.


The whole team has bee so happy about this campaign! We just can’t hide it. Two of our organizers, Floor and Anika, even jumped around out of joy:

And these 7 days truly have been something to jump around about for all of us.

  • We funded 8 students in 7 days,

  • got 110 retweets of our announcement tweets,

  • had 2.233 website visits within 4 hours,

  • have 64 individual donors, (we found two Tobias’, two Patrick’s, two Jeremy’s in there),

  • got 17 ♥s in the comments

  • and have already 11 company sponsors hopping on board!

We are so happy about Travis CI joining as a lead organizing supporter through Travis Foundationand Github as a returning Platinum sponsor, supporting us from the very beginning. We also are super happy to announce SoundCloud again as one of our biggest sponsors, as well as Google Open Source. So great to see the magic happen again.


Magic also always happens in the small moments and one of our favorite was definitely this donation comment from @eljojo:

We also love every single tweet from you and that you help us spread the word.

Another week lays before us, we look forward to having even more amazing people and companies join our great supporters and help us bring our misson forward: Getting more women into Open Source! You all started making that happen and are helping us reach our goal of supporting 20 students: railsgirlssummerofcode.org/campaign/


The wonderful 6Wunderkinder, Envato and Springest are Coaching Companies

Posted on by Floor

6wunderkinder, Envato and Springest support our Summer of Code by being Coaching Companies, a role we defined for this year’s edition as we noticed that some of last year’s most successful student teams have been supported greatly by local coaching companies. Companies like SoundCloud, who provided a place to work and a pool of coaches to help out two student teams at their Berlin office, inspired us to formalize this role.

Having the exposure to a productive work environment and ready access to coaches, greatly helps our students get the most out of their summer! And the other way around, a Coaching Company brings in talented people, excited to learn as much as they possibly can. Their fresh take on projects, and possibly unorthodox questions, are a valuable asset. Plus: you get to actively support the Open Source community.

We are excited to have 6wunderkinder (Berlin, Germany), Envato (Melbourne, Australia) and Springest (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) on board. And all three of them just sent an email to the Summer of Code team about how they wanted to support Rails Girls Summer of Code in a more ‘offline’ way.

Last year, our dear friends at SoundCloud offered coaching and space to our students and besides that it was a big success for everyone involved, they clearly had some fun (and cookies!).

Did you know that being a Coaching Company means that coaches employed by the company will have to prepare one (or many) team’s application together with the students. If you are thinking about applying to Rails Girls Summer of Code, it might just be a good idea to register at our teams app, to find a coach at either of these companies.

Chad Fowler, CTO at 6Wunderkinder: “We are excited to do anything we possibly can for Rails Girls Summer of Code. Looking forward to this summer!”

Chad coincidentally is also a member of the organizing team behind Rails Girls Summer of Code.

Wouter de Vos, CTO at Springest NL: “As a learning company, we love this opportunity to share our knowledge and help people find their dream. We think it is opportunities like these that build towards a more equal environment in the developer community, and we are proud to be a part of it.”

Collis Ta’eed from Envato is also super excited to offer some help to future Rails Girls students in Down Under: “We have a lovely creative office in the heart of Melbourne with plenty of desks, and we can offer some coaching support ready to go”

Envato is also one of our Early Bird sponsors. And they have some great video tutorials about Ruby. Just saying.

Do you have free space for at least a one to two-person team to work? Do have developers passionate about helping newcomers, and working on Open Source? You might just have what it takes to be a Coaching Company. Do register your company by emailing us: summer-of-code@railsgirls.com.

3 Ways Your Company Can Support Rails Girls Summer of Code 2014

Posted on by Sara

Rails Girls Summer of Code 2013 was a resounding success!

We had over 30 students working on Open Source projects over the summer, most on a full-time basis, sponsored by the community and our company sponsors. A significant amount of those students went on to present at conferences, and meetups, as well as moved onto their own coding projects!

Preparations for this year’s instalment of RGSoC have begun, and we’re looking for companies to support this incredible program in 2014.

This year we have three options for companies to join and support the program as:

  • Sponsors,
  • Coaching companies and/or
  • financially supporting organizers

1. Sponsors

While we are going to open our fundraising campaign as soon as possible, sponsors who sign up early will get a significant amount of exposure, and publicity, since their logo will already be on the website when the hype goes off on Twitter.

Sponsors are listed on the site not only according to the size of their donation, but also their sign up date. Our sponsorship packages will remain the same as they were in 2013, giving you the opportunity to choose your desired package early! Take a look at the packages we are planning to offer here.

Sponsor logos will be listed and linked via the Rails Girls Summer of Code homepage and on the dedicated “Sponsors” page, with a blurb text that you are free to choose.

Other perks of sponsorship include: getting your swag in goody bags which are sent out to our student teams, your logo on students’ slides at conference talks, mentions in our press kit and newsletters, blog posts dedicated to sponsors, lots of tweets and of course love from the community.

Want to be one of our early-bird sponsors? Get in touch with us: summer-of-code@railsgirls.com

2. Coaching companies

Some of last year’s most successful student teams have been supported greatly by local coaching companies, who have given them a place to work in their offices and a pool of coaches to help them. We are looking to formalize this support into an option for interested companies this year.

A great example from 2013 is SoundCloud, who sponsored RGSoC and provided coaching resources for two student teams at their Berlin developer office.

Their developers were put into a coaching pool and alloted a certain amount of time to coach the students. Students presented their work during company meetings, and met with other staff members during lunch breaks. There were a number of other companies who provided similar setups with great success, too.

Some companies have a policy in place that allows developers to work on Open Source, or other beneficial projects, during business hours. If you do, ask your team if they’d be interested in coaching a team of two students onsite.

Please keep in mind that student applications cannot be selected upfront and being backed by a Coaching Company is not a guarantee for them to be accepted:

Student applications will be rated based on the set criteria, and the best ranked applications will be selected. However, you can greatly improve your team’s chances of getting a sponsored seat by helping them prepare an outstanding application.

If you have the ability to be a “Coaching Company” we’d love to hear from you: summer-of-code@railsgirls.com

3. Supporting organizers

A mammoth amount of work goes into organizing Rails Girls Summer of Code, and a vast majority of it is done by volunteers. We would like to provide another paid position for an RGSoC Orga Team Member to dedicate themselves to Summer of Code organizational activities part- or fulltime.

A great example of financially supporting organizers is Travis CI, who support Rails Girls Summer of Code by paying Anika Lindtner to work on the program, through the Travis Foundation.

Another wonderful company is anynines who are supporting Floor Drees to help organize this year’s edition.

The sponsored organizer will have displayed a track record of reliability and honesty, and will be vetted to ensure they will make terrific use of a paid position.

If you are interested in this new initiative, then please get in touch: summer-of-code@railsgirls.com

Applications for Rails Girls Summer of Code 2014 are open!

Posted on by RGSoC Team

It’s Friday and we are in love: With this we are officially opening the applications for Rails Girls Summer of Code 2014!

The applications will be open until May 2nd, 23:59 UTC.

This is the timeline we are aiming for:

  • 14. March: Open applications!
  • March: Crowdfunding start
  • 02. May: Close applications!
  • 03.-04. May: Rank applications
  • 05.-06. May: Acceptance letters
  • June: Preparations
  • 1. July: Start RGSoC 2014!

All you have to do now is head over to our Application Guide and read on about what you need to apply for a summer full of Open Source code.

We wish you all the luck in the world and if there is anything the Application Guide can’t solve for you: Don’t hesitate to contact us!

Happy applying everyone! Let’s get this summer started.

Application Guide: railsgirlssummerofcode.org/application-guide/

Projects examples: railsgirlssummerofcode.org/blog/where-to-start/

Apply here: teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/application

Where to Start With Rails Girls Summer of Code

Posted on by Tam

The second annual Rails Girls Summer of Code is just around the corner! As a potential applicant, you’re probably wondering what makes a good project, workspace, coach/mentor, as well as how to find all these seemingly elusive necessities. We’ve just published this new, shiny Application guide here but we also had Tam Eastley (former Team Highway to Rails member, and 2014 Organizer) put together this post for you with some successful examples from 2013.


RGSoC 2013 had teams from all around the world working on a number of exciting open source projects, with each team tackling their challenges in different ways. Here a few examples to whet your appetites:

Team Species+ made a beautiful interactive app for displaying CITES protected animals in Poland using the Species+ API. Their recap video was featured in our last blog post, here.

Team Spree contributed to Spree, an e-commerce application. They spent a large portion of their time learning Ruby on Rails, which enabled them to implement their small Spree feature towards the end of the summer.

Team Punchgirls created on an open source job-board from scratch complete with twitter and github integration.

Team Inchworms worked on Sinatra, a library for serving HTTP from your Ruby program. It is simple, flexible, and mature. They worked alongside Sinatra maintainer Konstantin Haase, who also acted as their mentor.

Team Bundler worked on Bundler, one of the community’s most widely used gems. They made the documentation easier to access and to read. As the summer progressed, they also worked on small features and fixes as they popped up.

Team Dysania worked on Discourse, a Rails forum software. They focused on extracting oneboxing, a feature of Discourse, into a gem.

The New Rosies contributed to Conductor, a Web-UI for assisting in the development of Rails apps. They decided upon the project after seeing it on the 2013 Rails Girls Summer of Code project ideas page.

Working Space

The ideal working space has the right number of desks, is close to your coach and/or mentor, has a strong internet connection, and is (in a perfect world) free to use. You’ll be happy to hear that this is not as hard to find as one might think, and many companies are excited about having learners within their midst.

When it came to somewhere to work, Team Species+ simply asked Hackerspace Kraków if they could use their space, and they said “ok”. It’s just that easy!

Team Highway to Rails worked in the offices of Absolventa, where our two coaches and mentor were based. We were supplied with computers and sat within the development team of seven people who were always on hand to help.

The New Rosies worked at their University and met with their coaches and mentor on weekends.

SoundCloud hosted two sponsored teams and one volunteer team in their offices last summer. The teams had desk space, daily access to coaches, and were surrounded by numerous excited programmers who were eager to hold workshops, host book-clubs, and chat over a free lunch. Yeah, we know… Pretty sweet ;)

Team Punchgirls worked from home, and met up with their coaches a few days a week in cafes around Buenos Aires.

As you can see each team found a different solution, dependant upon their needs and location. The main thing they all have in common, is that all were proactive about finding the best solution they could.


For a newbie to the world of programming, approaching someone you look up to and asking them to guide you through three months of intense learning during the summer, can feel like a daunting task. But fear not! There are lots of programmers out there who love teaching and who will jump at the chance to change someone’s life. Go ahead! Ask! We dare you.

Team Species+ found their coach through WebMuses, a women empowered IT community in Poland, of which the team is a part.

Team Inchworms approached the coaches of their local Rails Girls project group.

The New Rosies found their coaches and mentor via their local Ruby community.

Team Spree put out a call on the Spree google group and were met with support, ideas, and enthusiasm from the community.

Team Punchgirls found their coaches from the Rubysur community. They started with a mentor, who suggested a coach, who then brought another on board.

My team-member from Team Highway to Rails approached her co-workers. She found coaches who were excited about teaching, and passionate about helping women succeed in the field of web development.

We hope these examples take away some of the intimidation of getting started on your SoC application process, and highlight how there is no one way to go about sourcing your team, coaches and working space. Now get out there, approach some developers, and find a project you’re excited out! We’re all excited to hear what you come up with.

To see a full list of teams and projects from 2013, check out last years Team App.

Rails Girls Summer of Code 2014 - Here we come!

Posted on by Anika

Good news on a Monday and we want you to know it first:

There will be a Rails Girls Summer of Code 2014! Yay!

Do you want to join our team as an organizer? Wonderful! We are happy about every hand that helps with copy writing or fundraising, getting the word out, improving our apps, improve communication, the campaign or help our applicants find Open Source projects.

Shoot an email to summer-of-code@railsgirls.com and let’s get the magic started!

We are currently working on the application process and will publish a guide amd more infos soon, so stay tuned!

P.S. Remember last year? Here is one of our favorite videos from Team Species+ who made a short film about their Summer of Code. Enjoy!

This really calls for another summer like it, doesn’t it?

Great news for the Open Source scene and Rails Girls

Posted on by RGSoC Team

So much love!

Travis launched their Foundation officially last friday and the happy happy news made quite some noise in everybody’s tiwtter feed/ mail boxes. Great news for Open Source, since they launched Open Source Grants and will basically support amazing things happening. ♥


We hope, this will be one of the next OS projects, they help fund!

On the Rails Girls Blog, Linda wrote about how the Rails Girls Movement sometimes needs heroic people and why we all will love Travis Foundation forever.

The secret mission

Posted on by Anika

“Hey wouldn’t that be cool if our sponsors could send us stuff that we can send to the teams?” This was the beginning of our secret mission keep on coding package. Since June we’ve written to all our sponsors, have tracked down lost packages, unpacked stickers, buttons, sunflower seeds, gummy bears, laptop bags, bike seat covers, note books, pens, magic tricks, t-shirts, bags and fought with german customs over packages, with the post office over declarations and with our printer. Packing, packing, packing.

Three months we collected all these precious things, took up half the Travis CI office with brown packages from bottom to ceiling and trained our arms when bringing the packages all to the post office.

Now nearly all packages have arrived and this is thanks so much again to our accomplices who happily engaged in our surprise mission! We want to especially say thanks to our silver and bronze sponsors like Wooga, DaWanda, Groupon, Aupairworld, Bendyworks, InnoQ, Jumpstartlab, Honeybadger, Gnip… who took the time and effort to send us presents! It was a pleasure being in cahoots with you. We spread a lot of happiness together!


Looking back to look forward

Posted on by Anika

Oh my! I still can’t believe that this crazy wonderful summer is over! Can you? For everybody who wants to help us out and give us something: Your opinion!

To understand what happened this year, to make the next one even better, we want to know how your summer was. Honestly! (You are encouraged to not spare our feelings ;) ) Say what you always wanted to say and fill out these feedback forms. You will make us very happy and help a lot to evaluate our program. Every single feedback is super valuable to us ♥

Stundents: -> start
Coaches: -> start
Mentors: -> start
Organizers: -> start
Supvervisors: -> start

Thanks a ton. Lots of hearts to you, you are awesome!

Even more Silver Sponsors!

Posted on by Tam

Last week, we presented the first five of our remarkable silver sponsors. Now you can learn more about the other half. These generous guys make RGSoC possible; we think they’re pretty awesome!

“Envato is the Australian company behind an ecosystem of sites that helps millions of people earn and learn. We love summer, Rails, and supporting women in the tech community, which makes Rails Girls Summer of Code & Envato a match made in Internet heaven.” We agree, thanks Envato, you’ve helped us a lot starting step by step to make the Open Source community even better!

“innoQ is a consulting/software development firm with a focus on technology and architecture, and we maintain a very engineering-oriented company culture among our around 60 people. (…) with our involvement we want to achieve two things: Send a clear message about our attitude towards women in tech (we’re welcoming them), and do a small part in increasing the number of women who consider a career in tech in the first place.” innoQ has also been involved with numerous Rails Girls events by hosting and providing coaches. We are lucky to now also have them as sponsors!

Gnip makes the “ever/expanding universe of social media data available via a consistent and reliable architecture so the world can realize the full potential of this amazing stream of information.” Located in Boulder, Colorado, the company won the Best Place to Work award in 2012, and this summer also won over our hearts with their donation. You rock, Gnip!

At this point everyone knows Groupon, they are “a global leader in local commerce, making it easy for people around the world to search and discover great businesses at unbeatable prices.” But did you know that Groupon also have Women in Engineering and Employee Resource Groups like Women@Groupon and Pride@Groupon in order to **“foster diversity at work”, especially in the tech scene? They donated to RGSoC because it aligned with their core values, those of supporting women and increasing diversity. Groupon is “happy to support dreams coming true” and after such a successful summer, we can say that you have!

“At Shopify, we help emerging small businesses get off the ground and grow into successful companies. We do this by creating great technology and by making it accessible to people that previously wouldn’t be able to afford it.” With their silver donation, Shopify also supports women in tech and helps them grow into successful programmers!

SupaDupa is a “premium affordable boutique e-commerce platform aimed at people with an uncompromising eye for design who have one or many products to sell.” As their story goes, “almost two years ago SupaDupa was a flimsy idea with barely a leg to stand on!” Hmmm sounds like the early days of the RGSoC, and without amazing sponsors like you, we wouldn’t be here! You guys are supa!(…dupa)

Thanks sponsors, and keep supporting women in tech!

Meet our Silver Sponsors!

Posted on by Tam

In the lead up to the Rails Girls Summer of Code, female coders around the globe were frantically refreshing the RGSoC donate page. Everyone was talking about what an amazing opportunity this summer was, how it would change so many lives, and how it had the potential to jump start the careers of women who had discovered their love of programming a little later on in life.

With each passing day, the amounts donated grew bit by bit, and uncontrollable excitement followed. Tweets from potential students, all in caps locks, circulated, as companies thrilled by the idea of having more women in the vastly male dominated tech scene gave what they could.

Without these constant and impressive donations, RGSoC wouldn’t be what is today, and for this, we have ten silver sponsors to thank. Here is the first half.

“Anynines is an upcoming PaaS written in Ruby. A hosting that grows with your apps!” But Anynines isn’t just about business. the company also “supports selected non-profit open source and charity projects with free hosting.” Non-profit open source and charity projects? The summer of code couldn’t have found a better match.

“Aupair World is the world’s leading au pair agency on the Internet. It lets au pairs and host families make contact with each other and arrange au pair placements directly and independently.” With 24 full-time employees, Aupair World not only helps families find their perfect au pair, but is now also a supporter of RGSoC and female programmers around the world. Thank you!

Rails Girls in Berlin are already well aware of DaWanda. The company has supported numerous Rails Girls workshops, and many happy new programmers have walked away with DaWanda swag following a full day of coding, as well as a newfound love for the company. For those who don’t know, “DaWanda is a marketplace where you can buy unique, customized and handmade products made by talented people, and sell your own creations.” Thanks for the continued support DaWanda!

“Engine Yard is the leading Platform as a Service (PaaS) empowering developers to plan, build, deploy and manage applications in the cloud. Engine Yard was started in early 2006 to meet a genuine need: customers were developing business-critical Rails applications, but they didn’t want to worry about application deployment, management and scaling.” Engine Yard is also committed to community, participating in meetups, user groups, conferences, and parties. As a community for women and and their supporters, we’re thrilled to have Engine Yard on board and a sponsor!

Next week, you’ll read about the remaining silver sponsors and their motivation to support RGSoC. Rock on!

Behind the scenes with: Rebecca

Posted on by Anika

They are everywhere. Just glance to the right, at the bottom or click on any other page: The wonderful, cute drawings that made my day for the last four months.

Today I want to show you, who’s behind that. Who made RGSoC look so amazing and could draw anything that we wished for. We are so happy she’s here, please meet: Rebecca Conrad!

photo: Anika Lindtner

Some weeks ago we met at the Travis CI office and - some days now it’s hard to believe - it was really warm outside. We chatted and I asked her some questions to get to know the woman with the most amazing tattoos and the one who can draw like I always dreamed of. After doing a lot of funny friday-hug-pics, we settled down on the couch and started talking.

###How did you do these scribbles for RGSoC? At the computer?

I actually start by plain drawing old fashion in my sketch books. Then I scan it and work on it at the computer a bit.

###So, when did you actually start drawing?

When I was a kid and I went with my class to the “Deutsches Technikmuseum”, we had to draw the machines we saw there. I was the only one who had fun doing that - that’s when I first realized, that I had a passion for drawing.

But actually half of my family is creative, my grandpa was an author and stage actor at the “Berliner Ensemble”, grandma would do poster designs and my uncle is a painter, so no surprises there ;)

Later I studied graphic design at the BTK where I also learned everything from comic to aquarell. When I started to understand the different techniques and possibilities I knew that drawing and illustrating will probably be something I want to do for the rest of my life.

###Did you always draw for yourself or did you share it?

Well, I always drew for myself in my free time. A lot of the stuff dusted away in my drawers because it used to cost me (and still sometimes does) a bit of effort to share my work with others. But after 5-6 years of drawing regularly, getting feedback from other students, teachers and friends, I grew more confident and eventually created a website.

###Which kind of has a weird name, right?

Yeah (laughs) - ejaculesc.com. I wanted to combine creative ejaculations (or “Künsterliche Ergüsse”) with escaping since drawing, painting, crafting is always a bit like a getaway for me. You spend hours concentrating on pen and paper, just letting the ideas pour out and forget about time and the world around (and the pizza in the oven). It´s a bit like mediation, or programming? So I just merged those 2 things together and this is how it came to the name for my website. Perhaps it´s weird, I guess, but I like weird. The downside is that I get lots of corny spam mails.

###What do you like to draw best?

Usually something that doesn´t require a masterplan. Spontanious scribbles. I like those abstract telephone call sketches a lot. I really have troubles keeping any sheet of paper blank.

But my favorite are these animals, I draw lately.

I also like crafting things, things you do with your hands: Pyrography, pottery and old fashion techniques like lino cut. I like to experiment a lot and always have phases I go through, so my favorites always change.

###*Sounds really fun! You also experiment with programming, right? *

In one of my former jobs, I sat in a room with two programmers, and I got more and more curious what mysterious number thing they were talking about so I went to find out. I attended a JS course from Open Tech School and was intreagued. I wanted to start solving this mysterious world of code. Then I read about Rails Girls Berlin and from there on everything took it’s way.

Now I’m meeting up with the ruby monsters (the first study group that formed out of Rails Girls Berlin) at the Travis CI to program every week, but you can’t leave it at that. You have to do that at home too and learn regularly, repeat and repeat to feed the progress bar. It´s not always easy to stay focused and motivated. Have to admit I get lazy sometimes and level down. But I am super grateful for this study group and the experiences. Also watchig the whole railsgirl´s movement develope is exciting. I am happy to play a little part in it. :)

###Did you have any goals when learning programming?

At first I did it because it was fun, to do something that had nothing to do with drawing. But I found also similarities. programming is also creative, meditative and abstract, so it’s actually not THAT far away. ;)

I have this idea of a little app and it would be great to build it on my own eventually.

###What kind of app?

Just a tiny thing, some sort of trend indicator for your feelings. You would be able to push three emoticons buttons to document your every day mood. Then have some kind of data visualization for it so you can easily see your ups and downs over the year. Or maybe a fart app and you could record your own sounds. ;)

###Are you going to continue coding?

Yes. I want to keep on learning Rails but I am also becoming very interested in really learning frontend. I used to work at a place where we had a clear seperation between designer, frontend/backend developer. But things have changed and you need to know about coding in a lot of jobs already. I think it´s about time to become seriously familiar with javascript, HTML and CSS. So lot´s to learn!

###Rebecca Conrad

*Born and raised in Berlin. Grew up at Tempelhofer Ufer 32, in the apartment german singer Rio Reiser was living a few years before with his band “Ton Steine Scherben” (OMG!). Worked 4 years as a graphic designer for toonpool.com, a website for cartoons and illustrations. Then switched to fab.com Europe to work as a production designer. Currently looking for new opportunities. \o/ *

TUESDAY QUIZ: What is Tilde?

Posted on by Charlotte,

1) An abbreviation used in Medieval Latin Documents
2) A developer-centric, developer-run company who MAKE PRODUCTS WORK
3) The nickname I gave my cat

Okay it was a trick question. Tilde is actually all of the above, but today let’s focus on Option 2- our wonderful sponsors of Summer of Code!

Founded in August 2011 by Leah, Tom, Carl and Yahuba, Tilde is an open-source focused startup in San Francisco and Portland. Led by current leaders and alumni of projects like Ruby on Rails, jQuery, and Ember, Tilde is quickly building a profile as ‘the hostess with the mostess’. Just like that one friend who seems to be able to do everything right when they throw a party – food, music, ambience – Tilde are a multi-talented team of developers, with an impressive and varied portfolio.

They’ll build your product, deliver you a marketing strategy and train you up on the software you need to DIY in the future.

Oh and Tilde Co-founder Leah Silber ran the first (and only) Ruby Summer of Code in 2010, where fellow Co-Founder Yehuda Katz served as a Mentor. So they’ve got a history with this particular initiative, and we’re big fans of the resources they’re putting back into open source communities.

If you want a piece of their magic for yourself, learn more here and check out their first developer product, Skylight, launched recently. You can also chat to them at the SF Ember Meetup (which they run)as well as at annual events that they work on like the Golden Gate Ruby Conference and RailsConf. By night (and when else should it be, cause they are already involved in so much amazing stuff) they worked on getting devswag running - an Open Source merchandise project you should definitely check out.

In short, Tilde ♥ open source ecosystems and we ♥ them for helping our Summer of Code Students turn their dreams into a reality- Thank you for your support Tilde!


Posted on by Anika

Some of our teams are still rocking their projects, some have already finished, but this doesn’t mean the coding needs to be over. There are some opportunities! We got offers for internships from companies: Amazon OpsWorks and and-is a.k.a. Aupair World offered each 2 spots. Which is pret-ty cool!


If you are interested in these two, drop us a line! Also - and this is the important part - please rock on and start looking for opportunities. Be active! Look around and ask your local communites to help you. Get involved with your local user groups, start or join a study group, help to coach newcomers. You already know your coaches and mentors, who can surely recommend something to you. There are so many wonderful companies out there who would be glad to have enthusiastic coders like you at their side. We will try to help you in any way to turn your summer into something more!

###Sponsors, Companies, friends

If you want to give our talented students the opportunity to work with you and your team or have a recommendation: drop us a line at summer-of-code@railsgirls.com

Meet Team Bundler

Posted on by Jen and Joyce

Way back in April our coach, Jessica, had organized Rails Girls LA. Jen was coaching and Joyce was in attendance. Joyce really connected with her pair and coach while Jen was inspired by the new crew of women.

Post Rails Girls workshop, we were both part of the same weekly Ruby/Rails study group which really kept us rolling. It’s nice to have people tell you to calm your horses when you have freak out moments. A few of us started working on an app. together when the word went out about RGSoC.

As part of the Bundler core team, Jessica already had Bundler in mind as a project so we jumped at her offer. This allowed us to take what we already knew and apply it to a real open-source project, one small edit at a time. We were happy to get the opportunity to delve more into coding with the help of a coach and mentor!

We ended up working on the most used gem in Ruby/Rails: Bundler! It is not glamorous, but very important. It is probably something you don’t even think about much past bundle install or bundle update because it is just part of the fabric of Rails. In the dark ages of Rails, developers would have to stand in the snow, manually installing the dependent gems for each project and then hope their project didn’t fail as gems were updated to newer versions. Now bundler “magically” makes sure everything is working in your favor. We have been working to help keep that seamless effect still seem magical.

We have worked on the bundler website, http://bundler.io, to make the documentation easier to access and to read. Lately we have been working on adding features and fixing problems that users have encountered. One of the happiest moments was seeing our fixes merged into Bundler! It is incredibly satisfying especially our first merges! Our mentor Andre Arko has also been incredibly helpful in our pursuits. Plus, he gave us awesome Bundler t-shirts when we met him at the Distill conference in San Francisco. Thanks so much to everyone who has made this possible. XO Rails Girls LA - Team Bundler

Say HI to 37 Signals - RGSoC Gold Sponsor

Posted on by Cristina

37signals creates and maintains web-based applications for collaboration, project management, and information sharing. In their own words, they build ‘frustration-free web-based apps for collaboration, sharing information, and making decisions.’ They proudly work backed by their customers and buyers and without any external funding.

37 Signals logo

But beyond developing applications to help us get things done, they maintain a popular company blog and job board, write insightful books, and their developers contribute regularly to various open source projects.

Productivity on Rails

In 2004, 37 Signals launched Basecamp, a web based project management app. Since then they have focused on building productivity applications, like Highrise, a CRM app; or Campfire, a business oriented online chat service. These apps are used by millions of freelancers and smaller and bigger businesses around the world (including myself!). Their apps are the white T-Shirt of web apps: uncomplicated, neat and clean and always a fit.

In 2004, they made public Ruby on Rails, an open-source framework that was created by David Heinemeier Hansson for the Basecamp project that they had been using internally for a while. Without this Random Act of Kindness we wouldn’t be here today. The maintenance of Rails is now in the hands of the Rails Core Team with the assistance of the rest of the Rails Community.

Sharing is caring

37 Signals sponsor Ruby on Rails and other projects, like our Rails Girls Summer of Code, and play their part in fixing the job crisis by helping programmers and other smart people to find a job.

In their free time (I’ve never been good at maths but something doesn’t seem right) Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson also wrote two books: REWORK, a must read if you’re thinking of getting into business or already working on a project; and Getting Real, a great (and free) handbook for building web apps that shows the full picture and is written in plain English.

If you plan to spend a while in the world of technology, these are some good guys to learn from and look up to. Join us in sending them a lot of mental thumbs up!

Summer of Conferences

Posted on by Floor

We have been offered no less than 49 free tickets at some of the best Ruby conferences on 3 different continents. Behold, the conferences that so kindly sponsored tickets to their events (and in some cases even flight tickets!) for our Summer of Code participants:


###SoCoded September 19-20, Hamburg
Learn & hack for 2 days at SoCoded, with top notch international speakers and 150 fellow web developers. SoCoded brings together the best of Ruby, Python, JavaScript, PHP in Hamburg.
Plus: Team Hackety Hack and Team D* will be at SoCoded!

###BubbleConf September 27, Amsterdam
BubbleConf aims to inspire you to reach for the stars. It’s about Design, Technology, and above all Entrepreneurship. And: Henrietta - part of the global Rails Girls team - and yours truly share a speaking slot! Also Anika will pour all her Rails Girls Summer of Code story telling qualities into a lightning talk.

###Ruby Shift September 27—28, Kiev
This year will be the 4th time RubyShift takes place, an independent non-profit conference on Ruby and satellite technologies with accent on making new friends, being inspired, and having fun.
Meet Team Spree Girls, Team D*, Team inchworms and Team Highway to Rails at Ruby Shift!

###Arrrrcamp October 3-4, Ghent
A 2-day, dual track Ruby, Rails and web related conference with plenty of good speakers, loads of free rum and a free pirate twist. That sure sounds like Arrrrcamp!
Meet Team Oana and Team Unicorn there!

Quite probably the awesomest conference logo EVER!

###Rails Israel October 9, Tel Aviv
Rails Israel is best described watching this YouTube video. Tel Aviv bringing you Rails awesomeness, garanteed!
Meet: Team Highway to Railsin Israel!

###DevConTL October 10, Tel Aviv
DevConTL is best described with ‘server side development & rock and roll’. And this YouTube video.
Meet Team Highway to Rails at DevCon!

###RuPy October 11-13, Budapest
RuPy is a unique conference that brings together communities from different state-of-the-art programming languages Ruby, Python, JavaScript, Clojure and related technologies.
Meet Team Spree Girls in Budapest!

###Wicked Good Ruby October 12-13, Boston
Wicked Good Ruby is a two day, double track Ruby conference at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. AND: it’s Boston’s first annual Ruby conf!
Meet Team Unicorn at Wicked Good Ruby!

###dotRBeu October 18, Paris
dotRBeu is the largest Ruby conference in France and truly a conference made by developers for developers, with exceptional speakers on stage, like the maintainers of the most popular Ruby projects, the implementors of Ruby runtimes, … Just great hackers all-around. There will also be a Workshop Day on October 19!
Meet Team Species+, Team inchworms and Highway to Railsin Paris!

###FutureStack October 24-25, San Francisco
FutureStack is: “tomorrow and the day after—and right now—all at the same time”. Join your fellow Sys Admins, Leads, Devs, and Data Analysts and learn how FutureStack will help revolutionize the world you’re helping to create!

###StarTechConf October 25-26, Santiago
Don’t miss out on what is advertised to be the greatest tech event in Chile: StarTechConf. The conference brings together world renowned stars in software development and local tech experts to talk about HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Ruby, Java, Python, Mobile and much more.
Meet Team Punchgirls in Santiago!

##Awww, such good times we had at…

###Distill August 8-9, San Francisco
Distill developer conference featured over 25 speakers (like Summer of Code coach Konstantin Haase) showcasing best practices from application architecture and user experience to testing and security.
Team Bundler attended the SF conference.

###JRubyConf August 14-15, Berlin
JRubyConf is a two-day, single track conference, completely devoted to JRuby. This year JRubyConf celebrated its second birthday.
Team Spree Girls and Team D* were at JRubyConf.

###Eurucamp August 16-18, Berlin
eurucamp 2013 was far more than a conference: a week of Ruby goodness in Berlin. Geek camp ftw! The days before the conferences were an official part of the program, with activities planned for locals and first-time Berlin visitors alike. Team Spree Girls and Team RailsGrrls attended eurucamp!

Rails Girls Berlin

###Madison Ruby Conference August 23-24, Madison
Madison Ruby Conference did a pretty awesome job bringing together two great communities showcasing the assets of the local Ruby community and allowing Madison visitors a chance to experience one of the best, brainiest, and least-expensive places in the United States to live and work. Plus: Madison Ruby Conference hosted a RailsBridge Womens Outreach Workshop!
Team Hackety Hack and Team Unicorn were at the Madison conference.

###CSSconf.eu September 13, Berlin
CSSconf.eu is a conference dedicated to the designers, developers and engineers who build the world’s most engaging user interfaces. From the community, for the community. Our design heroes Lisa and Rebecca attended CSSconf.eu.

###The Strange loop September 18-20, St.Louis
Strange Loop is a multi-disciplinary conference that aimed to bring together the developers and thinkers building tomorrow’s technology. And boy, did they succeed!
Team New Rosies was at The Strange Loop.

We’ll see YOU soon, at a conference near you! ;)

And the BubbleConf tickets go to...

Posted on by Floor

Our friends at Phusion and Nedap announced on Wednesday that they’re giving away tickets to Bubbleconf to Rails Girls (Summer of Code) alumni & supporters! We had a jury go through the crazy pictures you guys tweeted. And the winners are:

Aneliya Evtimova
Moniek Kuipers
Charis Rooda
Danny Lelieveld
Pascal van Hecke
Ivana Drábiková
Martin Olešnaník

HAVE FUN at BubbleConf!

Charis Roda

If you want to make sure to get a ticket for BubbleConf, you can also buy one via http://bubbleconf.com. Students only pay EU 60 (incl. VAT) per ticket, and Standard Tickets are EU 300 (incl. VAT) a piece. For Rails Girls members however, we’re able to provide a nearly 50% discount on the Standard Ticket pricing, making them EU 160 (incl. VAT) per ticket. You can order these tickets via https://bubbleconf2013.paydro.net/event/bubbleconf-2013/railsgirls!

Meet Our Gold Sponsor Soundcloud

Posted on by Katrin

SoundCloud is a long and dear friend of Rails Girls, especially here in Berlin.

Right from the first workshop, the guys and gals supported us. With their help it was, amongst others, possible to arrange a thank you dinner for our coaches or get a band for the legendary winter party of Rails Girls Berlin. And there’s even more: Duana, working as a software engineer at SoundCloud, is a coach since the very beginning up until now, where she’s coaching Team RailsGrrls at the Soundcloud office. She also encouraged other SoundCloud developers to help raise the next generation of programmers.

SoundCloud is a social sound platform where you can create or upload your own music or anything sound-related for that matter and then share it with the rest of the world. It all started off with music, the heart of Soundcloud. By now, the simple way of distributing sound files made it a great place-to-be for storytellers, teachers and artists, too.

We want to say THANK YOU!!! ♥

###A Summer of Code Mixtape

But that’s only the beginning. As the saying goes: A song is worth a thousand words. And a mixtape is a wonderful novel.

We are putting together a SoundCloud “Rails Girls Summer of Code Mixtape”.

Everybody who participated in Rails Girls Summer of Code can send her or his favorite “Summer Coding Song” to us via tweet. Like this one, for example:

Here’s that snippet again: “Hi @RailsGirlsSoC here is my song from @SoundCloud for the #rgsocMixtape: “

We are going to collect all of the wonderful pieces here and together we will create the sound of this fantastic summer. Great? Great! Let’s go!

Bubbleconf tickets for Rails Girls alumni & supporters

Posted on by Floor

Our friends at Phusion and Nedap are giving away 10 tickets to Bubbleconf to Rails Girls (Summer of Code) alumni & supporters! And YOU want one. Why? BubbleConf is THE conference on design, development and entrepreneurship. It differs from all the other conferences out there in that it focusses on a myriad of topics instead of just a single one. This is only made possible due to its stellar speaker line-up which consists exclusively of field experts and founders of the hottest startups currently out there. Let us hear your best ‘WOW’!

Last year’s edition had over 300 attendees come down to Amsterdam from all over the world. On September 27th 2013, developers, designers and founders from companies such as Dribbble, GitHub, Facebook, SoundCloud, 6Wunderkinder, Apple Design Award Winners and many more will be sharing their stories in the gorgeous the Beurs van Berlage (in itself a reason to visit Amsterdam). Fun fact: it’s where the Dutch Royal Wedding of King Willem Alexander and his Queen Maxima took place.

Phusion and Nedap have followed the Rails Girls initiative with great interest for quite some time and would like to help remove barriers whenever it can to welcome diversity in the fields they are active in. To that end, BubbleConf has invited Pia Henrietta Kekelaïnen and yours truly - respectively member of the global Rails Girls team and Rails Girls veteran - to take the main stage to share their story. And additionally they want to provide 10 tickets to Rails Girls (Summer of Code) students, mentors, coaches and organizers.

###How do I win this thing, you say? Tweet “Hope to see you at #Bubbleconf” with a picture of you waving / a cute kitten / something fun and bubbely attached from the account that you’d want to score a ticket. You can also participate as a Rails Girls Summer of Code team, securing a ticket for you AND your team mate. A special, super unbiased Summer of Code jury will look over the submissions and pick 10 lucky winners (to avoid bribery the judges remain anonymous). So: tweet, tweet, tweet!!

Seeing as BubbleConf will take place in about 2 weeks from now, the winners will be announced on Friday at 12:00 Berlin time.

With already over 300 registered attendees, this year’s edition will only be more awesome with your presence. Hope to see you this September 27th at BubbleConf 2013!

If you want to make sure to get a ticket for BubbleConf, you can also buy one via http://bubbleconf.com. Students only pay EU 60 (incl. VAT) per ticket, and Standard Tickets are EU 300 (incl. VAT) a piece. For Rails Girls members however, we’re able to provide a nearly 50% discount on the Standard Ticket pricing, making them EU 160 (incl. VAT) per ticket. You can order these tickets via https://bubbleconf2013.paydro.net/event/bubbleconf-2013/railsgirls!

Rails Girls The Hague

Posted on by Anika

The story of Rails Girls Summer of code is just crazy, amazing, inspiring and actually hard to believe (the idea stated only in May this year and now we are actually doing this!). So to tell other people about this, other Rails Girls students who are just at the beginning of falling in love with Rails, I visited Rails Girls The Hague.

Our organizer and lovely dutchie Floor organized the whole thing and it was super nice! The talks were also pretty inspiring and went from resources to keep on coding, a Github introduction and our supervisor & mentor Andy talked about this Open Source thing and how to contribute.

I gave a talk about our program, Travis’ role, our teams and the wonderful things that are going on in our Summer of Code. Here you can check out my slides. (Spoiler altert: it includes more than one cute gif!)

My favorite moment was when I met Nila. She was helping with the event and told me that the Rails Girls Workshop she attended 6 months ago actually changed her life.

She jumped and had a whole carrier turn and now she works in an IT firm coding more and more. It always feels so wonderful to meet somebody who benefited from something you helped with. To see these Rails Girls stories popping up all over the world always makes me kinda sentimental. ♥

All in all a wonderful weekend. Big eyed students, the beach, viking hats, not much sleep, hagelslag and lots of beginning coding stories.


So if you have a Rails Girls event near you - visit them, give a talk and spread the word. It’s magical.

Google Open Source loves Rails Girls Summer of Code

Posted on by Floor

##Google Open Source

Recognizing the vital role that open source software plays at Google, the Open Source Programs Office heavily supports the open source software development community. Google Open Source do this by releasing code created at Google, providing infrastructure, supporting open source organizations, handling internal open source compliance, and by running student outreach programs such as Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in.

Google Open Source send us these goodies, for the Rails Girls Summer of Code participants (soon, in a mailbox near to you!).

Google Summer of Code is a global program that offers student developers to write code for various open source software projects. Since its first edition in 2005, the Google Summer of Code program has brought together over 6,000 successful student participants and over 3,000 mentors from over 100 countries worldwide, all for the love of code. Through Google Summer of Code, participants are paired with a mentor or mentors from the participating projects, gaining experience with real-world software development scenarios, just like we aim to do with Rails Girls Summer of Code.

Thanks for supporting us, Google Open Source, we love you back!

Introducing Team NewRosies

Posted on by Laura and Adriana,

Hello, we are Laura and Adriana, two college students from Colombia and we are the New Rosies. We met each other one year ago in a computer networks class at college.

¿Why New Rosies? We call us New Rosies in honor of the group of women programmers in World War II whose story is told in detail in the documentary “Top Secret Rosies” and like them we want to contribute in the field of computer sciences and programming.

Laura and Adriana

We heard about RGSoC from Guillermo and Roberto, our current mentor and coach whom we thanks for giving us all the tools needed and the knowledge acquired in this summer and specially for working with us during this months while we were developing the project, Conductor.

Conductor is a original project from DHH (creator of Rails), the idea behind the project is create an assistant for the Rails applications development. Conductor allows to do through its web interface many of the actions that we normally do in the command line and that are often very hard to remember for beginners.

This project has been a chance to improve our Ruby skills, to learn more about Ruby on Rails and how some of this internal parts work, also we learnt about other common tools used in Ruby community like Bundler, Rack and Sinatra. We learnt to take advantage of all the benefits of version control systems, about Git and the advantages that Github offers as a repository hosting. Finally and maybe more important than the other lessons, we learnt to have more interaction with the developer community and be part of an open source project.

One of the happiest moments until now, after receiving the news of being chosen within many students to participate in this summer program, was to know that we will go to StrangeLoop conference and we will have the opportunity not only to hear experts in different topics but also to talk about Rails Girls and Rails Girls Summer of Code.

If you could code anything in the world, what would you work on? Adriana would create a program that would prove theorems. -

Summer is almost over but we don’t want it to leave.

Thank you Travis!

Posted on by Floor

Travis CI is an open source company, based in beautiful Berlin. They build a hosted continuous integration service which is integrated with GitHub and supports a multitude of programming languages, like Python, Go, PHP, Java, C++… and of course Ruby! And I think it’s fair to say that without Travis, there would not have been a Rails Girls Summer of Code, as they took on lead support and organization.

Anika - from now on referred to as ‘Chief Spread the Word’ of Rails Girls Summer of Code - wrote a cool post on the Travis blog the other day, on how our ‘founders’ went from ‘dream to 19 scholarships in under 3 months’. Which is indeed a huge accomplishment and worthy of a BIG thank you!

Team Inchworms found a suitable way to thank the Travis CI team for their efforts (spoiler alert: they baked a Travis CI cake and there are awesome gifs involved!!)

It’s truly amazing what happened after Sven gave a lightning talk at a Rails Girls Berlin workshop at Wooga in late March. The idea to organize a Summer of Code to get more women in open source spread like wildfire. Sven has been working on getting RGSoC off the ground and the whole Travis team contributed - Konstantin is even a mentor of Team Inchworms, who work on Sinatra.

We love Travis.

How it all began...

Posted on by RGSoC Team

The story about Travis CI and Rails Girls Summer of Code. How this all started and how magic happens. This is one of the reasons why we just love them. Read on, dearest friends!

Introducing Team Magda

Posted on by Magda

Hi, I’m Magda. This is my coding story.

For me coding is freedom. Freedom from the corporate world, from being tied to one city, from an office, from a 9 to 5 lifestyle, and most importantly - freedom TO be creative. This is why I started coding - to be able to live the life I’ve dreamed about without resigning from my professional aspirations while expressing my creativity.

Rails Girls Summer of Code was the best thing that could happen on my way to ultimate nerdiness. I have chosen impress.js , one of the most starred open source projects on GitHub. Impress.js was created by my awesome, dedicated mentor, Bartek. It is a JavasScript framework for building presentations using an HTML5 canvas. That means a lot of JavaScript. As an aspiring front end developer it has been a perfect project for me.

For the last two months I had the opportunity to write some juicy JS code. I was developing new features for impress.js - plugins for automatically generated layouts, substeps and more. And then came the idea to create an application for end users to create presentations. I created a Rails application that generates the code for a presentation based on the user’s choices. The prototype is already working, but my imagination for additional features is endless. Luckily, I still have some time to make it more awesome. You can read about the progress on my blog.

If I could code anything in the world I would bootstrap my lucrative startup. This is not a dream, it’s a plan :).

A big thanks to the people who rescued me from beginner frustration and helped me understand what is going on: Bartek, John, Chris, Mateusz - you saved my passion for coding. Thank you!


Cherry on Survival Kit

Posted on by Anika

A few days ago, we put together a conferece survival kit for you, dearest students. Now you know almost everything there is to know and we are sure, you’ll return from your adventures safe and sound and unharmed.

But we also have a cherry on top for you (what’s a survival kit without, right? ;)
Here it comes.. say ahhh!

###Rails Girls Summer of Code Slides for you!

A big thank you to Floor, who put them together and a lot of love into them. They look amazing and include everything you need to have for your talk. Wonderful, right?

Important here is that these slides include slides with our sponsors at the end. If you use your own slide (which you still can, of course!) please mention the platinum sponsors Github, Travis and our gold sponsors Tilde, 37signals, SoundCloud and Google Open Source at the end of your talk on an extra slide, since they are the reason we can have this georgeous Summer of Code! ♥

###Speaker Coaches coach you to speak

Of course, that’s not all! We want to thank these awesome people who have offered to be your speaker coaches.

They will help you review your slides, practise your talk, give feedback and any other magic trick they have up their sleeves for giving a great talk. Some of you already met them, some we still have to connect for the upcoming confs:

★ Tiffany Conroy ★ Juliane Peterson ★ Caroline Drucker ★ Chad Fowler ★
★ Josh Kalderimis ★ Patrik Huesler ★ Tim Lossen ★ Arne Brasseur ★
★ Dirkjan Bussink ★ Paul Klipp ★

Put your hands up for them, because they are just awesome for doing this! And we are very very sure, you’ll now not only survive your conferences, but make them to the best of your summer!

Namaskara World: Team Diasbits<3

Posted on by Sakshi and Pallavi

We are Pallavi and Sakshi Team Diasbits from India. The name Diasbits, as we are contributing a bit to diaspora*, the privacy-aware, decentralized social network. Also, Diasbits, came to our mind as assembling bits of diaspora* to enhance its developement.

Pallavi and Sakshi together in Bangalore

Sakshi: I had started coding in Ruby a few months before I got to know about RGSoC. The Rails Girls Summer of Code was introduced to me by our coach Arihant. I applied for RGSoC to get in touch with the open source and do wonders.

Pallavi: I heard it from FSMK(Free Software Movement, Karnataka) mailing list. I was always interested in working on web applications and wanted to start with Ruby on Rails.

The Rails Girls Summer of Code encouraged us to get hold of Ruby, Rails, Git workflow, Jekyll. Already 2 months of the summer of code have come to an end, and we are now in a situation to stand confident and present our work of this entire duration. So far, we have been able to finish our project on Rails Girls Rails App Generator. We created a Jekyll Bootstrap based website that contains the links to some cool Rails tutorials.

The mid-July to mid-August, was a period of workshops, seminars, meetings, interactions and what not. :) We attended the Rails Girls workshop, Mysore, Rails Girls event, Bangalore, Jaipur Ruby users group meetup, FSMK (Blender sessions, 9 days workshop).

Mysore Rails Workshop

Rails Girls Event, Bangalore

Currently, we are working on a few diaspora* issues and features like adding an ignore user icon on the profile page of a user, adopt a pull request.

We chose to work for Rails Girls App Generator as it seemed to be easy for the beginners and diaspora* because it gives us immense exposure to open source and to the concept of decentralization of data.

Our happiest moment was when we got selected for RGSoC and we are the only team from India who made through :)

If we could code anything in the world Pallavi: I would love to code a phone book app for my Dad because he writes in his diary and keeps searching for it. Sakshi: I’d code to make a machine that would insert the whole book into my memory in one sec, so that I don’t have to cram anything during exams :P

- On Twitter: Sakshi and Pallavi

Meet our Platinum Sponsor GitHub!

Posted on by Alexandra

Hands up, who hasn’t heard of GitHub? We probably won’t see that many raising theirs. For those who are new to all these development details, here is what GitHub writes about themselves:

Octocat GitHub logo

“GitHub is the best place to share code with friends, co-workers, classmates, and complete strangers. Over three million people use GitHub to build amazing things together.”

What this really means is that more than _three million people_ store their code in one place. This is neat because cooperation on projects suddenly becomes so much easier. You can search for projects, learn from other users’ code, fix their bugs or finish their features. And you can do all of this without having to ask for write access to the repository first or sending patches via email.

At the same time, GitHub is also a bit of a marketplace. It’s great to be able to take a look at the source of a gem or library when you think about what you want to use. You can find collections of useful snippets, and share your own. And it’s a fab place to show the world what you’re tinkering with.

For some, GitHub now almost equals open source development. That’s also because GitHub has made git much less intimidating, and turned it into something accessible to mere mortals. Just check out their help section!

Of course, all Rails Girls Summer of Code teams have public repositories on GitHub to securely store – and version control! – their hard work.

Most importantly for us, GitHub generously supports Rails Girls Summer of Code with a platinum sponsorship which helps a bunch of dedicated women to get deeper into coding and open source projects - how wonderful is that! Alicja & Wictoria from Team Species+ have something special to say:


Thanks and hugs to -the Octocat- all GitHubbers, you’re awesome! ♥

Introducing Team Unicorn

Posted on by Victoria and Hester

Hi everyone!

We’re Hester and Victoria. We live in the Netherlands but Hester lives in Groningen (north) and Victoria lives in Eindhoven (south). We met by chance in June just few days before the application for Rails Girl Summer of Code was closing and also by chance we ended up doing this amazing Summer of Code together.

Victoria was still living at that time in Helsinki, at the same time moving to the Netherlands and it was great surprise to meet people even before arriving to the new country.

We didn’t get selected for the sponsored teams but still we wanted to make a team and we wanted to do something with Ruby on Rails during summer. We started on July 1st with a super intense session of more than 6h. Our brains were dead… and we continue from time to time.

Find time to do this voluntarily after work is very hard. Victoria works at Startupbootcamp with Dutch Expansion Capital and Ernst & Young in Eindhoven. Hester is running her own business, Noordwijs, in Groningen.

Why Team Unicorn? It is there something cuter than unicorns? That is why!

We first heard about RGSoC through @railsgirls and Facebook. That is also how we found each other to start the project. Hester already had been in contact with Peter, our super coach, who is helping us a lot!

Our project is Spree an open source e-commerce platform. Our coach was already working with them for a while and he introduced us to them. We decided to go for it and also Spree team were supporting us since the beginning.

Our goal for the summer is basically to improve our Ruby on Rails skills, give something to the Spree project, make Peter proud of us, and of course, have a lot of fun!

So far, we have been working in tutorials and recently started to do our baby steps in Spree. So far, very happy!

A few of our happiest moments so far are when things work after a few tries, when big problems become easy(or at least easier) and also seeing RGSoC brought us more than just programing skills.

If we could code anything in the world… Victoria will code an application to order breakfast delivered home on weekends, and Hester will code more one to make more time!

Feel free to follow us on Twitter: @RG_TeamUnicorn, @VicAMarBar and @HestervanWijk or our blog

Eurucamp Days

Posted on by Floor

Last weekend was eurucamp weekend and I sort of promised to write a recap for you summery coders. So here we go, my personal highlights and other (fun) stuff:

Friday was dubbed ‘workshop day’ and a Rails Girls course was hosted, next to sessions for the more advanced conference attendees. I attended the beginners course as a coach. Txus was my co-coach and he drew the most comprehensible MVC - webserver - browser graphic I have ever seen, for our incredibly eager team. We even figured out a way for one of the girls to attend the eurucamp conference for free, so she could continue to learn, how cool is that?!

hello, MARS! (borrowed from RubyMonsters’ super fun intro to the terminal)

Joseph Wilk’s Creative Machines keynote was up after the workshops. He’d take the talk descriptions of eurucamp’s speakers and have a machine create haiku’s. We then needed to guess which one was his, and which one was from the machine. You guess*:
Philosophers talk
Humans boil ruby for fun
Clickety click love

I loved how Joseph, senior developer at SoundCloud, stressed the social aspect to recognizing and defining what creativity is. After the keynote all of us rushed to the SoundCloud party, for an evening of BBQ, drinks and good tunes.

###Day 2 My favorite talks on day one were by Arne Brasseur, Ashe Dryden, Matt Patterson, Piotr Szotkowski (and his crazy keyboards), Joanne Cheng and Roy Tomeij, with his marketing-intelligence talk.

Arne is a Rails Girls Berlin regular (coach). His talk was basically a call to “stop using strings to handle structured data”. Why? Well, Arne referred to the The science of insecurity talk of the 2011 CCC conference, saying how much of a security vulnerability it really is. Thank glob, Arne is working on his pet project HEXP, a Ruby API for creating and manipulating HTML syntax trees. You can check it out on GitHub.

Ashe’s talk was titled ‘Programming Diversity’. Ashe is known to be vocal about the lack of diversity in tech. And with diversity, she means more than just gender (like age, ability, sexuality, language, race). She got the attendees to realise how priviliged we all are, and how harmful stereotype threats (‘wow you’re bad at math’ vs ‘girls are bad at math’) and marginalizing are. On the bright side, Ashe mentioned that in Bulgaria 73% of the women graduating, do so in (computer) science. Pretty cool, huh? She also had som nifty tips for people who want to increase diversity in their teams. Like: take a look at 100percentmen.tumblr.com and review your about pages, make sure the interview is as close to the actual day-to-day workflow as possible and offer mentoring.

Matt Patterson showed us how he parsed real-world ‘fuzzy’ dates with Ruby, transfering it from unstyled Word documents and turning it in a website. Say WUT?! Well, Matt struggled to order 31 march 1933 versus 1930s vs c1973, early 1946, from, by, after… But he solved it (and he promised to publish his slides shortly). Matt co-coaches the Ruby Monsters, a study group born out of Rails Girls Berlin, with Sven Fuchs.

lauratryingoutkeyboards.tumblr.com (just kiddin’)

Joanne Cheng is a developer for thoughtbot in Denver, CO. In her spare time, she runs Colorado Code for Communities, an organization of developers and designers dedicated to making important local government data easily accesible through better interfaces. And: she plays arouns with Ruby-Processing, a simple wrapper for the Processing framework that combines the visual-driven environment of Processing with the fun of writing Ruby. Joanne pulled of some live coding, showing us a basic example of Ruby-processing. It certainly got me hooked! And though you’ll definitely not be asked to do this at your day job, Joanne claims she notices more she gained more confidence and code fluency, and she adapts the trying-out-first-and-refactoring-later at the work place.

###Day 3

My favorite talks on Sunday were by Ellen König, Harry Brundage, Joshua Ballanco and Jan Krutisch. And it was lightning talks day!

Drawatars, it’s a thing (this one is from RGSoC mentor/supervisor/hero Andy)

Ellen König tought us to take all the cool stuff we learned during the conference and take it to our hobby projects and day job. Ellen is a professional software developer and part-time psychology student. She loves learning and teaching about technology-related topics, having learned more programming languages and technologies than she cares to remember. She has taught them to others at various opportunities such as university, work and most recently as a Rails Girls student and coach. She put her slides online ♥

Harry Brundage leads the Performance Team at Shopify! They have an “enormous Rails application who’s traffic at least doubles every year and processes a whole whackload of money for real people running real businesses”. Harry talked about what happens when a user is mashing the f5 key and how they (barely) handle cyber Monday, the online equivalent of retail craziness Black Friday.

Joshua Ballanco shared how one can get their Ruby EGOT (Emmy Grammy Oscar Tony). How? By submitting patches (that then get accepted) to MacRuby, IronRuby, Rubinius, JRuby, or some other Ruby implementation. Slightly unrelated: Joshua recommends to read a surplus of code than what you’re writing on a daily basis. Because it will help you become a better programmer, as you learn from others (mistakes).

Jan Krutisch, a freelance web developer from Hamburg, summed up (at least) 10 things you didn’t know your browser could do. Did you know for example that your browser can make music (and I don’t mean by playing back sound files)? I’m definitely going to play around with the CSS Filters and CSS Regions he mentioned!

###Lightning talks

There were some super fun lightning talks. Like about this difficult machine called baby (really!). Or about ‘Fuby’. It’s a thing. Or at least according to Txus - who had hand-drawn ALL his slides! Tobias would encourage everyone to start using Shoes (4), as it’s as fun as “putting sunglasses on your dog”. And Laura Wadden talked about Rails Girls Summer of Code, Rails Grrls, their work on Rubinius and their plan to write a new programming language! Which is the coolest thing ever.

So. I guess that wraps it up. I got little sleep. And I did not once come close to the lake. I was too busy blogging, I guess. Anyhow… on to the next conference! ;)

*This one was by the machine! Crazy huh?!

How to go to a conference

Posted on by RGSoC Team

The first time is always special. And the time after that. And the time after that. Going to a conference - and maybe even giving a talk - can be loads of fun, scary, exhilarating and exhausting together.

So here we have a small conference prep package for you! We stuffed it with the best tips & tricks especially on how to give great talks and in general how to make these couple of (conference)days to the best of your life.

##Rock that Conference

Lucas Pinto: “My biggest tip would be not to be shy and go talk to people, make connections. A lot of people go to conferences not for the talks but mostly to meet fellow devs. It is always very inspiring and you always meet nice people. So if you come in gang, try not to stick with them 100% of the time plus it is easy to find an opener at a conf “hey, where do you come from, are you here alone/with your company, who do you work for, do you know the city well, etc. etc.”

Anika Lindtner: “Most important for me was to keep in mind, that the people around are eager to get to know you, too. Conferences are great for meeting people and mingle. Always check out the hashtag for the conference, so you’ll stay in the loop with what’s happening. Have your phone always with you and do a lot of funny friday-hug-pics. It’s a great way to spread the joy, have some fun with others - and it’s a super cool souvenir. Oh and don’t forget this last thing: Enjoy yourself!”

8 ways to rock a tech conference by Scillcrush

How to survive tech conferences by Zach Holman

##Rock that talk

Floor Drees: “Definitely check out presentations by other programmer-speakers like Konstantin Haase, Patrick Huesler… Make it a fun and interesting experience for you and for the audience and pick a topic you have special affection with, so you can speak from experience. Make sure your audience can identify with your problem right at the beginning, so you got them hooked for the solution (read: the rest of your talk) ;) Test running your talk by your friends or (if you have the chance) a local ruby developer meetup thingie, is also a smart idea! AND: don’t do a live demo unless you’re absolutely certain it (/ wifi) will work / you pre-recorded it (cook show style).”

How to give great talks by Caroline Drucker


Practical tips for becoming a great speaker by Tiffany Conroy

5 Things Every Presenter Needs To Know About People by Weinschenk Institute

Your body language shapes who you are by Amy Cuddy

What people don’t tell you about public speaking by Zach Holman

Do’s and Don’ts by Kontantin Haase

How to give a lightning talks by Steve Klabnik

How to give the killer tech talk by Jan Lenhardt

How to talk to Developers by Ben Orenstein

Practical tips for creating great slides by Tiffany Conroy

Improve your technical slides by Geoffrey Grosenbach

Sven Fuchs: “One of the best tips I’ve ever gotten was from Steve Bristol: Just have fun with it!

Have more recommendations? Leave a comment and help us collect the best tips ♥

Get your nerd on!

Posted on by RGSoC Team

Did you hear? The nerdies are here!

The truly amazing girls of Unerdwear released a limited edition of a Rails Girls Nerdies. AND they donate all the profits to RGSoC to make your summer even better! True Story. The Nerdies will probably sell out in a minute, so be quick as a cat!

We hear rumors that, while wearing them, your code will get magically better ;)
So get your hands on them now!

Week Review: Talk time, lunch time, publishing time

Posted on by Katrin

For some of us last week started like this:

But there’s nothing that couldn’t be sweetened with a delicious lunch. And thus started another week full of monster coding and learning many and more new things.

Some wonderful people from the Rails Girls universe (Berlin, Brno, Rotterdam and RGSoC)

###Happy Conferencing

After the raffle of the conference tickets last week, two of our students dived right into their first tech conf. Jen and Joyce were part of this week’s Distill 2013 in San Francisco. And they didn’t just hear some talks and met many new people, they also held their first lightning talk! Congraz you two!!! We are very proud ♥

No rest for the wicked, though. The conferencing continues stroke upon stroke. Next week will see Nina and Julia at JRubyConf as well as Maja and Laura at eurucamp both happening in Berlin.

In case you haven’t seen this one yet: Tiffany put together everything you have to think of when giving a talk - including all those little bits and pieces that can go wrong when you enter the stage. This makes for a perfect cheat sheet on upcoming talks. Yay!

Team New Rosies is attending the Strange Loop Conference in St. Louis on Sep 18-20th and Laura and Adriana can’t wait to meet fellow attendees. So if you know anyone attending Strange Loop or you’re going there yourself, just drop them a line.

###News from the teams

It is simply jawdropping to follow our students along their way, watching and working on all kinds of tutorials, implementing feature after feature and, of course, testing testing testing ;) Here are a few highlights and interesting reads from this week.

Team D* woke up one morning only to find their autocomplete feature of the search function for Diaspora being successfully merged. Check it out on Github.

Alicja and Wiktoria of Team Species+ wrote an encouraging and insightful recap of their week: Life on a rollercoaster. Facing problems in all areas of their coding work, there was this terrible feeling of constantly getting stuck. But they kept calm and eventually found a way out for each of their problems. Here they are in the middle of understanding AngularJS:

Team Punchgirls reached a milestone in their app development. They have implemented all the must-have features to have a minimal viable app. Congraz!

Nina of Team Spree recommended an article on the 8 most common regular Ruby expressions. While you’re over there, don’t miss the rest of net tuts+, in case you don’t know it yet.

Happy Monday everybody!

Meet Team Dysania

Posted on by Vyki and JZ

Hi! We’re Vyki & JZ of Team Dysania from Los Angeles, California, and we started as part-time RGSoC student volunteers on July 8. This summer, we’re web interns by day (Vyki at the City of Santa Monica, JZ at Walt Disney Animation Studios), and Ruby OSS developers (with coach Kurtis Rainbolt-Greene) by night.

FYI: we know how to make balloon arches

The word “dysania” is defined as the state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning…which we found to be fun and appropriate for our team name since we both suffer from this condition.

We first met at Rails Girls Los Angeles in April 2013 (hosted by Jessica Lynn Suttles, coach of Team Bundler), which was the first time either of us had ever started learning Ruby/Rails. After that, we were hooked, getting more involved in the LA Ruby/Rails community, and attending local meetups and study groups.

We first heard about RGSoC through @railsgirls and immediately wanted to participate. We were both aspiring software developers interested in starting to contribute to OSS, and we considered RGSoC to be the perfect introduction. We were excited about the idea of immersive hands-on learning while contributing to a real project. The fast pace and sheer amount of information would keep us on our toes, but we would have each other, our coach, and our mentors to keep us on track.

Our project is working on Discourse, a 100% open source Rails forum software. Kurtis (aka Captain Kurt) first introduced it to us, and we found it to be the most interesting out of the Ruby OS projects we considered. We believed in its cause, and were especially drawn to the fact that Discourse is so welcome to contributors.

Our goal for the summer is to extract all oneboxing into a Ruby gem. Oneboxing is a feature of Discourse where if you include a link to a site (e.g.Twitter, Wikipedia), it will try to create a usable snippet/preview for you automatically. By extracting this feature into a gem, it can be used by projects other than Discourse, and will also make testing much easier since the code will be more modularized. If time permits, we’ll also be implementing oneboxing for other popular sites that aren’t supported yet.

So far, we’ve been working on the beginnings of our discourse-oneboxer gem. We pulled in all of the oneboxer files and specs from Discourse and restructured them to work within the gem, removing Rails dependencies and fixing tests using RSpec. We’re now rewriting some methods that we don’t have good tests for. We’ll be registering our gem on rubygems.org soon (possibly today!), which is pretty damn exciting. And of course, we like to think we’ve been getting better at Git and pair programming a little bit every day.

We’d say our happiest moments so far are at the end of every session with Captain Kurt, when we realize we’d been focused and in the zone for 2-3 straight hours.

If we could code anything in the world… Vyki would build OSS applications for city governments to improve workflow and transparency in the city planning process. JZ would invent teleportation.

Feel free to follow us on GitHub or our blog!

How to give a talk

Posted on by Tiffany

We are so happy to announce that Tiffany Conroy poured her wisdom into this article for you. Tiffany, interaction designer and developer at Soundcloud, started the project weareallawesome where she aims to motivate women in tech to get more visible and speak at conferences. Being a speaker herself, she has started a wonderful collection of resources to help you with that - from articles on how to be a role model to practical tips on how to make good slides.

A simple formula for talking about your project

On an opening slide, have your name(s) and Twitter handle(s). Introduce yourself using 30 words or less. You don’t have to mention RailsGirls. Using one or two slides and less than 2 minutes, explain the problem that your project addresses. Show a slide with your project name or logo, and introduce your project by name. Maybe mention RailsGirls if you want, if you have not already. Using four or less slides, explain how your project addresses the problem. Optionally, use one slide to talk about difficulties you encountered. As a conclusion, discuss any future plans for the project, or how people can learn more or follow your work. Close with a “thank you” slide that shows your names(s) and Twitter handle(s) again.

Basic tips for short talks

Here are some tips on how to look and feel like a pro while giving your talk:

Show how excited you are about your project

Bored speakers are boring. Enthusiasm is contagious.

Be prepared and practice

Know exactly what you want to say, and practice it out loud a few times. You don’t have to memorize word for word. At least once, you should practice your talk while standing and advancing your slides. If you and a partner are presenting together, then rehearse together. Only switch speakers once or twice, and don’t interrupt each other.

Slides are for illustration purposes only

If your slides have more than a few words each, no one will listen to you talking. Bullet points are very tempting but are almost always a bad choice.

Demos! Have a backup plan

So you want to do a live demo. The internet will fail. Your code will break. Always make screenshots or a video as a backup plan. Also, if you are going to do a demo, then rehearse switching from the presentation mode to the demo and back again.

Test your tech setup before your talk

Find a time before your talk to test your laptop with the projector. Make sure your notes are showing on the laptop and the presentation on the big screen. If you need audio, make sure the audio is connected. Just before presenting, make sure you CLOSE all applications that you do not need for the presentation, especially messaging apps like Twitter, Skype and email clients. Under your Energy Saver options, change the timeout so your computer won’t fall asleep while you talk. Put your phone in Airplane Mode.

Stay calm, and don’t rush yourself

If you need a moment to find something on your computer, or find your place, or remember a thought, go ahead and take the moment. I like to have a bottle of water with the cap kept on so that if I need to think or slow down, I can take the cap off, take a sip, and put the cap back on to give myself time.

Never apologize, even when it is your fault

If you have technical problems, or forget something, or made a mistake, do not apologize. Never apologize for being unprepared. If you are unprepared, be as confident as you can be with what you do have, and keep it short, so you don’t waste people’s time.

End before your time limit

If no one is timing you, time yourself. In the very worst case, if you start to run over, jump to your final slide, thank everyone and say “Unfortunately I have used all my time, so please talk to me afterwards”.

Week review: Hammertime, Twitter lists and heavy conferencing

Posted on by RGSoC Team

What a week! We can’t even decide what to tell you first. Well, okay first things first. First, you’ll get a hug! This week from Team Unicorn ♥


This week could have been called the week of ultimate conference raffling. As you probably know already, we got some tickets from awesome confs and this week the raffle fairy picked some winners! Wohoo! This means no less than that beginning with eurucamp next week, our students will start to rock the tech confs of this world! ♥♥♥

##Hammertime, terminal tools and congratulations

Okay, let’s have a log ;) at our Teams:

Carsten, the coach from Team Highway to Rails had a special day and Team Inchworms revealed how to make your co-workers do something ugly into their ASCII with a terminal tool:

Also, Team Highway to Rails, Inchworms and Species+ will meet in Paris,

Team Diaspora realiye tjat khey jave fprgpttem pme tomy tjomf,

and for Team Bundler it’s hammertime.


We are blown away by all these witty, smart and funny articles all the teams are writing. If you can’t get enough, too: follow them on this twitter list.


Thanks to RGSoC mentor Andy, everybody spent some minutes, hours, days addicted on this:

everybody is obsessed with ruby warrior

We bet in a minute you’ll be infected, too. Warrior.attack!

Have a ruby weekend!

P.S. Of course this is only a tiny fraction of what happened this week. Check out more here: http://teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org

Conference Raffle: Here are the Winners!

Posted on by Anika


As you know, we rolled up our sleeves to get you some free conference tickets to make your summer even better and send you out into the coding community.

We have been offered no less than 49 free tickets at some of the best Ruby conferences on 3 different continents. Most conferences offer free tickets, which is really fantastic, but some of them will even cover flights and accomodation for you. And all of them are really worth visiting!

You are invited you to attend, talk, mingle and meet some of the most awesome members of our community.

A very warm thank you to all of these amazing conferences!

♥ Arrrrcamp ♥ DevCon TLV ♥ Distill ♥ dotRBeu ♥ eurucamp ♥ FutureStack ♥ JRubyConf ♥ Madison Ruby ♥ Rails Israel ♥ RubyShift ♥ RuPy ♥ SoCoded ♥ StarTechConf ♥ Strange Loop ♥ Wicked Good Ruby

You sent us your wish lists. We made our brains fume by thinking about how to implement the raffle and and our conference raffle fairy has written some code. If you want to look at our cards you can find the logic behind all this here The gist of it: We made sure that everybody who applied had a good chance of winning a ticket and that nobody came away empty-handed. We also applied the rules announced on our conferences page.

Now heeeeere you can watch how winners were picked. Make sure to watch it in HD in fullscreen mode, it’s fun :)

Here’s the full transscript of the raffle.

And finally - drum rollll

Here come the winners:

Conference Date Name Team Twitter
RuPy * 11-14.10. Maja Komel Spree Girls @RuPy
RuPy * 11-14.10. Nina Breznik Spree Girls @RuPy
dotRBeu 18.10. Wiktoria Dalach Species+ @dotRBeu
dotRBeu 18.10. Alicja Cyganiewicz Species+ @dotRBeu
RubyShift * 27-28.09. Anja inchworms @rubyshift
RubyShift * 27-28.09. CarlaD inchworms @rubyshift
eurucamp 16-18.08. Laura Wadden RailsGrrls @eurucamp
eurucamp 16-18.08. Nicole Felhösi RailsGrrls @eurucamp
Distill 08-09.08. Jen Diamond Bundler @distill
Distill 08-09.08. Joyce Bundler @distill
Strange Loop * 18-20.09. Laura Garcia New Rosies @strangeloop_stl
Strange Loop * 18-20.09. Adriana Palacio New Rosies @strangeloop_stl
SoCoded 19-20.09. Angela Ebirim Hackety Hack @socodedconf
StarTechConf 25-26.10. Cecilia Rivero Punchgirls @startechconf
StarTechConf 25-26.10. Mayn Ektvedt Kjær Punchgirls @startechconf
Madison Ruby 22-24.08. Jacqueline S. Homan Hackety Hack @MadisonRuby
dotRBeu 18.10. Tam Eastley Highway to Rails @dotRBeu
dotRBeu 18.10. Susanne Dewein Highway to Rails @dotRBeu
RubyShift 27-28.09. Victoria Martinez Unicorn @rubyshift
Arrrrcamp 03-04.10. Oana Sipos Oana @arrrrcamp
SoCoded 19-20.09. juliaguar D* @socodedconf
Madison Ruby 22-24.08. Hester van Wijk Unicorn @MadisonRuby
dotRBeu 18.10. CarlaD inchworms @dotRBeu
RubyShift 27-28.09. Maja Komel Spree Girls @rubyshift
JRubyConfEU 14-15.08. Nina Breznik Spree Girls @JRubyConfEU
FutureStack * 24-25.10. Laura Garcia New Rosies #futurestack
RubyShift 27-28.09. Tam Eastley Highway to Rails @rubyshift
RubyShift 27-28.09. Susanne Dewein Highway to Rails @rubyshift
Arrrrcamp 03-04.10. Victoria Martinez Unicorn @arrrrcamp
JRubyConfEU 14-15.08. juliaguar D* @JRubyConfEU
Wicked Good Ruby 12-13.10. Hester van Wijk Unicorn @WickedGoodRuby
RubyShift 27-28.09. Oana Sipos Oana @rubyshift
RubyShift 27-28.09. juliaguar D* @rubyshift
DevConTLV 10.10. Tam Eastley Highway to Rails #DevconTLV
DevConTLV 10.10. Susanne Dewein Highway to Rails #DevconTLV
RailsIL 09.10. Tam Eastley Highway to Rails #RailsIL
RailsIL 09.10. Susanne Dewein Highway to Rails #RailsIL

*) domestic flights covered


We are so grateful for all those fantastic conference organizers pulling all these free tickets out of their magic hats for you. And we couldn’t be more happy: You get to go to fantastic conferences and in most cases meet other RGSoC students to rock the conference days with!

Oh, how we wish we could be there too and see you all spread your wings and fly into the community … but we hope, you’ll keep us in the loop and tell the world how your first conferences have been!

Now we even have a few tickets left … that calls for another raffle! We will let you know what happens next soon.

Happy conferencing, you lucky, lucky students! ♥

Introducing team Highway to Rails

Posted on by Tam and Susanne

We are team Highway to Rails. We chose the name because of the ACDC song “Highway to Hell”. When you replace the word “hell” with “rails”, it really sounds like we’re doing something incredibly exciting, which, of course, we are!

“Don’t need reason, don’t need rhyme
Ain’t nothing I would rather do
Going down, party time
My friends are gonna be there too
I’m on the highway to RAILS.”

We heard about RGSoC first and foremost on twitter, but we’re also members of a weekly Rails Girls project group in Berlin, so news quickly spread. We applied because we’re both at a sort of turning point in our lives: we want to change career paths, we’re interested in coding and technology, and it sounds like fun.

Unfortunately we weren’t accepted to the summer of code. However, we had already found a place to work (tables in the IT department at Absolventa) and a couple coaches (Carsten and Felix, developers at Absolventa). Luckily, the company was as sad about us not getting in as we were, and were nice enough to create two internship positions for us. So now we’re summer of code volunteer students, working full time on a project called event_girl that Absolventa will hopefully use when it’s done.

Event_girl is the brainchild of the Absolventa IT department. Since they’re sponsoring us, it makes sense to work on something they have knowledge about/is useful to them. But don’t worry, it’s still open source! (painfully so… our commit history at this point is insane). Event_girl is a way for an individual person or company to keep track of a bunch of tasks happening in the background of a system, set restrictions such as date/time/frequency, and check to make sure various tasks are being fulfilled, or (and this is the hard part) aren’t being fulfilled.

We’ve started our our app from scratch, and so far we’ve laid the foundations with twitter bootstrap, a couple models/view/controllers, set the restrictions, nested our resources, and done some testing with Rspec. This week we started looking into Action Mailers and our app actually sent us an email!

Happiest moments:

Tam’s happiest moment so far isn’t anything specific, but rather, a kind of ritual. Carsten writes various things for us to do on index cards, and then when we finish them, we rip them up and put them in a glass. It’s a great feeling to look at that index card, know we’ve done the somewhat confusing thing written on it successfully, and then rip it up and put it away. At the end of the summer we’re going to throw them in the air and dance around in the ensuing mess (and then clean it all up).

Susanne’s happiest moment so far was when Absolventa said they’d sponsor both of us as RGSoC volunteers! She also enjoys the feeling of finally being able to (kind of) understand what the model-view-controller is all about.

If you could code anything:

Tam loves audio and making podcasts, and has a mini dream of making an app where users can upload field sounds they record directly onto a corresponding map. Things like this already kind of exist, but not to the extent she’s looking for.

Susanne still wants to program an app where people around the globe can add favourite bakeries onto a map. They could add specifications like “sells dark bread”, “sells pretzels”, “sells gluten free bread” and so on. (Susanne is German, so whenever she travels she really missed German bread.)

Tam and Susanne

Weekend hug, fellow geek girls and conference calls!

Posted on by RGSoC team

Because it’s weekend, we have a very special hug for you - a mix between a crocodile hug and a dragonball-power-spell. We figure, everybody can use one of these once in a while (especially while coding!;)

Hugging here are: Organizer Anika, Mentor Andy and Organizer Floor

Soo, what’s been going on this week?

The Conference call! Did you pick your favorite ones yet? You have until monday 12:00 pm to tweet us your whishlist (no, we are not Santa, but we’re trying really hard to ;) )

Team Hackety Hack is preparing a screencast, Team Species+ got visits from McGuyver and Indiana Jones, Diasbits know more about Jekyll than-you-do and New Rosies are offering you a sneak peek at their newly created Rack framework (which they’ll release on GitHub soon-ish).

Over in Berlin team Highway to Rails learned about the difference between the internet and the web. And they received an email from their app ;) Team Bundler in LA tries to make their tests fail (really!) and Magda learned about the essence of refactoring.


Do you love this as much as we do? The video is proving once again that we have nothing to prove: Women can be geeks, too! Make sure to check it out! Maybe some of you want to submit your own crazy picture to http://geekgirlvideo.tumblr.com/ (and represent Rails Girls Summer of Code!).

… and this is only a selection of what has been going on this week. Check out more here: teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org.

Have a geeky weekend, everyone!

Go to a conference - We have free tickets for you!

Posted on by RGSoC Team

time to meet the crowd

At Rails Girls Summer of Code you work hard and learn new stuff every day, for 3 months, a summer full of love and code.

To make this an even more complete experience for you we’d like you to join a nice conference. Enjoy the great vibe, learn a few new things from the talks, chat with fantastic people and get to know the lovely community!

For this we have been offered no less than 55 free tickets at fantastic conferences on 3 different continents for you. On top of that some conferences even include free flights and hotel, too. And all of them are very worth visiting!

Everyone who has applied for Rails Girls Summer of Code as a student can apply for this, no matter if your application has been selected.

Please read more here: http://railsgirlssummerofcode.org/conferences and apply until Monday, 12:00 pm CET.

Meet Team Rails Grrls

Posted on by Laura and Nicole

We are Laura and Nicole, a.k.a. Team Rails Grrls. We started our Summer of Code in Mid-June at the Soundcloud HQ office in Berlin.

Laura, Nicole and coach Duana

After the first few weeks of getting more familiar with Ruby, Rails and programming concepts in general, last week we couldn’t wait to get started with our first project, the Rails Apps Learners Directory. So far, we’ve set up an authentication system through GitHub and added a rating feature (without using a gem!).

Why ‘Rails Grrls’? What does the name mean?

It’s a reference to the Riot Grrrl punk rock movement that started in the early 90’s. Feminism isn’t dead and we want to spread the word that feminists rule.

How did you hear about the SoC and why did you apply?

We both heard about the SoC at the RailsGirls Anniversary Workshop on May 4th this year.

Laura: I want to apply my coding skills to projects for social justice - coding websites and other tech things that need doing. My background is in nonprofits working with queer and gender non-conforming youth, and I want to be able to go back to those movements with more skills to offer.

Nicole: I applied because I want to become a software developer and think the project will give me a good foundation to get started with.

What are you working on?

The first project is to build a crowdsourced directory of Rails-learning resources within RailsApps. The open source community will be able to post, rate and categorize the resources.

The second project will be to build our own programming language using Rubinius and document the process as a tutorial for others.

What is your happiest moment so far?

Everytime we fix something we get an adrenaline rush (and do a high-five). And sometimes we get cookies from our coaches…

If you could code anything in the world, what would it be?

Nicole: I would use my skills to contribute something meaningful to this world. Sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s the truth. Laura: I would code an app that would swallow Facebook and Google and make them less evil. Kidding, kind of :P

icecode days

Posted on by Anika

Berlin is sweating in the summer heat and we find it super hard to concentrate. So today not much words. Just some really cool code for you:

Did it help? ;)

Fridayhugs, Soundcloud interview and HTTP

Posted on by Anika

It’s friday and here is a hug:

This is our favorite FRIDAYHUG so far from Team Species+. On their [blog] (http://dalach.blogspot.de/search/label/RGSoC) you can find other friday hugs, read about if working in cafés … well works and how they use d3.js.

This week, Konstantin Haase wrote down HTTP for Team Inchworms with pen and paper (!). Team Bundler started their summer of code and Team Highway to Rails ripped up another to-do index card .

Also, one of our dear sponsors, Soundcloud, interviewed Team Rails Grrls on their blog.

WOW, we feel super amazed and proud to see one of our teams getting 10:48 min of fame. ♥

But this is only a few of what has been going on this week. Check out more here: teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org.

Good friday, everyone!

Introducing inchworms

Posted on by Anja and Carla

Hej Everbody,

We are the inchworms and we chose that name because the coding process for us is like crawling inch by inch. Also we like this video.

We’ve been working with Rails Girls Summer of Code for two weeks now and here is a short review…

In the first week we tried and managed to get the hang of the Ruby framework Sinatra. In the second we were busy with screencasting our newly acquired knowledge for other beginners. The first week went pretty fast, the second was a bit exhausting because we had to review and redo everything on a Mac with an older version of Ruby (previosly we both worked with Ubuntu). But also we learned a lot! Primarily how to cope with failure.

We’re both in the rubymosters project group, where we meet once a week and learn how to code. It was there we first heard about the Rails Girls Summer of Code. Since we both enjoyed learning how to code so much we thought RGSoC would be fantastic to participate in: we could spend every day, not just one evening a week, learning.

Our RGSoC-goal is to understand how to build a couple of sample apps with Sinatra, produce some screencasts for installing and working with Sinatra, refactor some Sinatra tests, and in the last month build a web application for the visualization of a large public dataset of EU farm-subsidies. We will do this together with the open knowledge foundation.

We choose the Sinatra project as it’s a ‘lighter’ and more basic framework than rails. We thought it would help us understand on a deeper level how rails and all other web application frameworks operate. The motivation for the visualization-project was to build something useful that helps make sense of a large dataset about an important EU program. We also want to help the open source community and give something back.

The happiest moment was when we got code working on a first attempt without resorting to google or asking for help.

If we could code anything in the world Anja would like to code a new internet without surveillance, or at least a mail program with easier encryption, and Carla would like to recode her own brain.

We have learnt that work isn’t finished in one day, that you have to think a lot about the code and how it could work (or work better), and that you have to get used to failure :-)

Anja and Carla

Anja and Carla in front of the Computer

image courtesy @zaziemo

Inchworms break the first ground

Posted on by Anika

I guess you are as curious as we are about our teams, right?

So from now on every week we’ll present a team to you that will tell us a little bit about themselves, what awesome stuff they are up to and how things are going.

Later today we are beginning with the Berlin based Team Inchworms. Stay tuned to learn more about Sinatra, what Carla and Anja’s happiest moment was so far and how they came to their team name.

The beginning

Posted on by Anika

Our journey has begun and we’re right on track, code island starboard ahead!

Since July 1st we wrote 222 emails, 133 blog posts have been posted by the teams, they spent more than 99 hours of coding - and this is only the beginning!

It’s been now 12 days since the summer of code officially started and here are the students of 12 teams saying hello world and obviously being super happy about their Summer of Code! Thanks to everybody who made this happen ♥

First day of Summer!

Posted on by Anika

It’s finally arrived! It’s 1st of July and the Summer of Code starts in 3….2….1…..

pistols_2 copy

HAPPY SUMMER OF CODE EVERYBODY! We are so happy to have you all on board and we are so much looking forward to spending a fantastic summer with you. We couldn’t be more excited!

To make this wonderful day even better, we are proud to announce this wonderful news:

nerdies copy

The amazing girls from Unerdwear are supporting Rails Girls Summer of Code! Because they don’t have money to give they will give nerdy boxers. Yeah, you heard right! Read the full story on their blog.

They will produce a limited Rails Girls Edition of unisex Nerdies and donate all the profit to RGSoC. WOW, this is such a wonderful idea. We just can’t decide, which of the wonderful designs we should pick - so we need your help: Vote for your favorite design!

– more:

Two teams have already blogged - Read about their first day:



Please join: new organizers teams

Posted on by Rails Girls Summer of Code organizers

Got some spare time and a knack for PR, community management, Sponsoring or Coding? Awesome! We could use some helpful hands and can offer a wonderful summer of experience and of course cat gifs ;)

Part of the reason is that [Sven] (http://twitter.com/svenfuchs) will have to step back from working on Rails Girls Summer of Code a little bit starting July and focussing on [Travis] (http://travis-ci.org) again. During the first weeks he will still be available about half-time and [Anika] (http://twitter.com/langziehohr) will continue to be available full-time, sponsored by Travis.

These teams would love to have you:

1. Campaign and Sponsors management

Sponsors need to be paid special attention to until after the program as much as possible … eventually they’re the ones who allow us to pay so many people!

2. Helpdesk and Team Supervision

The idea is to organize remote support (answering questions on IRC etc) for when teams get stuck and local coaches aren’t available.

3. Blog, Newsletter and Press

This team writes up news in order to keep our community in the loop, and tell the world about how the teams are doing, whats going on and share some nice stories.

4. Website

This team takes care of the website and makes sure it stays up to date with the progress of RGSoC. The team is still looking for someone with design skills and others who’d like to help out.

5. Teams App

The app should be mostly done before July, but might need updating once in a while.

Sven can still take care of this for the time being, but it would be cool if someone with solid Rails dev skills could take this over.

If you’d want to know more or like to help, ping us here: RailsGirlsSoC or here community mailing list.

There will not only be lots and lots of karma points, but also love and maybe even cake&confetti for helping out ;)

Let’s get this started:


Teams application and the team log

Posted on by Sven

Our little Rails Girls Summer of Code Teams application is getting closer to actually being useful.

This application is meant as a central place to aggregate activity at Rails Girls Summer of Code, and it now can be used to register your team (we’ve already added all sponsored teams), add team members and profile information.

Here’s how to use it:

Your own account

Signing in through GitHub will create a user account on our side. If your account has already been added by one of your team mates then you’ll claim your account by signing in through GitHub.

Once signed in you can update your profile information. Please tell the community a little bit about you, maybe tell why you’re participating, what you hope to get out of this, etc.

Your team’s profile

On the teams list check if your team has already been added. If you’re already part of this team then you can update your team’s profile.

If you haven’t been added to your team, yet, then ask one of the members to sign in and add you. They will need your GitHub handle for that (the GitHub handle is your user/login name, the one that appears in the URL when you go to your GitHub account).

Please work with your team to make sure that your team’s profile tells the community about your project plan, how and where you plan to work, … everything that might be useful or fun to know :)

If your team has a GitHub organization (you might want one and they’re free for Open Source) then please add the handle. If your team has a Twitter account, then please add it, too.

Your team’s sources

Your team can register “sources” from which this application will try to aggregate updates.

Please add your team log and any other blog that is relevant for your team, by registering its RSS or Atom feed URLs. Read more about the team log here …

Please also add all the GitHub repository URLs that you are planning to work on as sources. Currently this won’t actually do anything, yet, but we plan to aggregate information from there, too.

Just ask!

You can always find us on IRC for quick questions or issues: #rgsoc on irc.freenode.net.

Read more about how to use and set up IRC: https://github.com/rails-girls-summer-of-code/summer-of-code/wiki/IRC

If you think something is unclear or should be improved, or if you find a bug, then please report an issue.

Or email us at summer-of-code@railsgirls.com

New Teams On Board!

Posted on by Anika

image: polyvalentimago.tumblr.com

It’s getting really warm outside in Berlin. And Rails Girls Summer of Code is getting closer and closer!

Team Number 10

We are super happy to announce that with the support from [Front Foot] (http://www.frontfoot.com.au/), Readmill, [Gnip] (http://gnip.com) and with [Soundcloud] (http://soundcloud.com) becoming a gold sponsor plus extra donations from our amazing community* … we can now offer another sponsored team-spot for RGSoC!

And that spot goes to this amazing team:

Jaqcueline Homan (USA) and Angela Ebirim (UK) working on Hackety Hack.

With this we are also welcoming our first remote team on board! Hello you two, wonderful to have you!

Plus 10 Volunteering Teams

Also, we are thrilled that the following students have registered as volunteering teams!

  1. Aileen Alba & Candy Jimenez
  2. Carolina García & Julia Döring
  3. Hannah Winter
  4. Hélène Martin
  5. María del Carmen Berros García
  6. Melanie Murray & Tina Kumar
  7. Michelle Brideau & Nicky Owen Victoria Martinez & Hester van Wijk
  8. Oana Sipos & Maria Iloaie
  9. Tam Eastley& Susanne Dewein
  10. Prithvi Venkateshmurthy

(listed alphabetically)

This is so awesome! We will do everything that we can to support you with all our <3.

Hopefully, many more students will follow and we can have a really great Summer of Code together. Let us know if you want to join as a volunteering team: summer-of-code@railsgirls.com

We are so happy that you are joining RGSoC and we are looking forward to a fantastic time. May the ☼ be always with you!

Help Duana get off coffee

Here’s the full conversation :)

Rails Girls Summer of Code teams announced

Posted on by Anika

We are both very much thrilled and equally humbled about how Rails Girls Summer of Code over the last few weeks has grown into a huge program that is very likely to make a real difference.

This community just rocks!

We are proud to say that we have received 80 applications from over 140 students from all over the world. Among them some are outstandingly well prepared, some come with an amazing support network from coaches and local communities, some include outright moving personal stories.

We have reviewed all of these applications and they have been rated by a committee of 9 members. This was quite some work, but we are very happy to say that we have finalized this process yesterday. So we can now announce our first group of participants.

Congratulations for being accepted into Rails Girls Summer of Code go out to the following teams!

  1. Carla (Australia) and Anja (Germany) to work on: Sinatra and Farm Subsidy Open Government Data
  2. Cecilia (Argentinia) and Mayn (Norway) to work on: Open Source Job Board
  3. Jen and Joyce (both USA) to work on: Bundler
  4. Laura and Adriana (both Colombia) to work on: Rails (Conductor)
  5. Magdalena (Poland) to work on: impress.js
  6. Maja and Nina (both Slovenia) to work on: Spree
  7. Nicole (Germany) and Laura (USA) to work on: RailsApps and Rubinius
  8. Saskhi and Pallavi (both India) to work on: Diaspora
  9. Wiktoria and Alicja (both Poland) to work on: Species+

(ordered alphabetically, not by ranking)

If you have applied and your team is not on this list - don’t worry. That does not mean your summer can’t be a Summer of Code! Here’s what you can do.

About the selection process

We have tried very hard to make the selection process as fair and objective as possible. We also want to be transparent about this, so here’s how it worked:

Applications were rated by the criteria given on the students page. Ratings were given by 9 members of the committee individually and collected in a simple Rails app. This allowed us to compare ratings based on various measures of central tendency (fancy term from statistics for different ways to calculate averages, means etc.).

Even though ratings were given individually, for each application individual ratings were pretty close most of the time. In the few cases where they differed more we’ve had a short discussion, looking out for potential misunderstandings or missing information, and gave the opportunity to amend ratings if applicable.

After completing this process the top rated group was already very obvious. For the remaining few slots we have looked out for applications that added extra diversity to the list, especially in respect that haven’t been caught by the rating system well. E.g. we added one application for the fact that it was the only well rated one for a pure Javascript project, and we have added one team that could afford coming on board for a reduced stipend easily.

From what we know this process was similar to how many conferences select speakers: identifying a pre-ranking based on a system that tries to ensure objectivity as much as possible. Then balancing the end result with regards to criteria that could not be captured by the system easily.

Sponsors for last-minute seats

The sheer number of fantastic applications that we have received has blown us away, and we were sad about every single application that didn’t make it in.

We are still actively looking for sponsors so we can hopefully add at least a few extra last-minute seats.

Head over to our campaign page to donate!

If you have contacts to companies that might be interested in supporting this short term, please send us an introduction to summer-of-code@railsgirls.com.

Let’s kick this off!

We are very excited about this first, huge step.

None of this would have been possible without the amazing community we’re all part of. Thank you so much!

Expect more updates on the next steps soon, and get ready to kick off on 1st July :)

We can’t wait for this!

Thank you so much for your wonderful applications!

Hello, Rails Girls World!

Posted on by Sven

puts "Hello, Rails Girls world!"

Welcome to the first post on the Rails Girls Summer of Code blog! Hopefully we’ll end up having a bunch of great content for you here.

If you want to join us, much appreciated! You can submit a pull-request on our GitHub repository.

Oh, and if you want to subscribe via RSS, grab the blog feed.

Meanwhile, here’s how we feel about the getting the Rails Girls Summer of Code going: