Rails Girls Summer of Code

Becoming a Coach

You heard about the Rails Girls Summer of Code and want to be a coach? Here you’ll find all you need to know what coaching actually means.

What It Takes to Be a Coach

First of all, coaches are patient, tolerant and open people!

Learning the process is way more important than learning the tools. This goes for everything, but also for technologies and solutions you might not chose for yourself. Whether or not you like RSpec or TestUnit, ERB or Haml, or whatever text editor you prefer, does not matter to students at all.

They are in a learning position and whatever gets them started, curious and eager to learn is a perfect tool – no matter your personal preferences. Keep in mind that your preferences – just like "common knowledge of the community" – is a result of a long, long learning process which you, and the community, have gone through. Give your students the same chance to discover. Our goal is to get people started, learning and staying excited about coding!

Why Should I Be a Coach?

There are heaps of good reasons to become a coach. First of all, it is a chance for you to give something back. You will help empowering females to participate in the open source community. Also, coaching will lead to self-reflection. One side effect e.g. is that you discover that the way you're currently doing things isn't optimal ;). Coaching can give you a lot of inspiration for your own work. And above all, we promise you an overwhelming buzz looking into the happy faces of your students when they succeed.

What Is Part of Coaching?

During the Application Process, coaches are supposed to advise on setting up the project plan. This involves setting up a milestone-driven plan and "stretch goals" which may be laid out defensively, timewise, to allow for some yet unknown challenges.

The Summer of Code takes place from July till September 2014. Coaches are supposed to spend time with their team in front of the screen, guiding their students through the relevant coding steps. It is important to teach the process of programming - showing the way to a solution rather than telling the answer. It's all about continuious explanations and communication about what is happening at that moment and what a specific activity (code, problem solving, etc.) means in the big picture of programming and building an app.

How Much Time Does Coaching Take?

During application (till May, 2nd 2014), a few hours a week.

During the Summer of Code (July to Sept 2014), 1-2 hrs/day personal time plus chat/mail.

Preferrably, coaching is shared with a few other coaches. To put it from a student’s perspective: They will continually run into stuff they need help with and it is best for them if they have a coach at hand most of the time. Hence something like one day a week won’t be enough.

We also encourage you to ask your company to become a Coaching Company.

Ways To Find a Team and Register As a Coach

As a first step you can register yourself as a coach here: teams.railsgirlssummerofcode.org/.

If you don't know any students yet, reach out to your local Rails Girls chapter. There you can get to know students and other coaches. We also recommend reaching out to local developer and Ruby user groups.

Another way is to send an email to the Rails Girls Summer of Code community mailing list, introducing yourself and offering to become a coach. Additionally, you can spread the word on Twitter mentioning @RailsGirlsSoC and we'll retweet and help you connect to students.

If you have any further questions, drop us a line at summer-of-code@railsgirls.com.