Rockin' with Ruby
& the Rails Girls
There’s around 30 Wunderkinder now, but only one female full-time employee – me, Charlette! What’s more is that I’m also in the small group of non-developers that work here. As a co-founder and corporate manager of 6Wunderkinder, I get to work with amazingly talented people that are building awesome products everyday but in languages I can’t understand. So my New Year’s Resolution was simple – learn to code! The grand plan is to dive head first into a language, so that by the end of the year I’m a full-time developer.
With a coffee in hand, I arrived at Rails Girls Berlin early on Saturday morning hoping to get a good start with Ruby on Rails (also known as just “Rails”), one of the many programming languages that we use here at 6Wunderkinder. Just to fill you in, Rails Girls is an organization that helps and encourages women to build their ideas by offering workshops all around the world.
As I sat there I began to realize what an exciting opportunity this really was.
My day starts with Joan Wolkerstorfer, our CTO’s wife, who’s installing Rails on my Mac. It’s great to see a familiar face, since this is the first time I’ve ever been to a developer event alone, and the task ahead is somewhat daunting. Although I love the guys I work with, I certainly do miss talking to girls on a daily basis.
With my mac ready to go, it’s time for the first workshop: Digital Product Design with Karri, one of the organizers of Rails Girls. It’s a really interesting and inspiring presentation. It makes me want to start developing my own app now!
Up next, things start getting serious. Time to start coding with Ruby!
All of the 120 geekettes in the room have tryruby.org open in their browser and are ready to start. Josh, our coach for this lesson is great. He explains the first steps in a really easy and fun way, making everyone feel comfortable.
After lunch, all of the geekettes are rolling up their sleeves and getting a start on some coding with the goal of developing an app. I have to say that the tutorials are really awesome with clear step by step explanations. After only 3 hours, I’ve already finished my 6Wunderkinder app.
It wasn’t so hard to write. It just needs a little more time and some elbow grease.
The final point on today’s agenda is a round of talks from the coaches. I’ve been waiting with excitement for Joan’s talk. She’s one of the reasons that I decided to learn how to code. Back in February 2011 she started teaching herself Ruby on Rails with just the help of some tutorials. After a meager 3 months she was ready for an internship. Soon after, at a developer conference in Berlin she landed a job as a full fledged Ruby on Rails developer for Mediapeers.
This was truly inspiring for me. No longer will I think “I am too old to learn coding, because it takes years until I can work as a developer!” Joan gave a really inspiring and insightful talk – I can’t wait to learn more!
It’s now the end of the day and my brain is nearly dead, but I’m really happy to have had the opportunity to be here with all of these passionate and inspiring women. It’s events like these that have the power to change the face of the tech world, enabling not just women but anyone to try their hand at coding and building something great. I really hope that more events like this will happen in the future and look forward to learning as much as I can! A special thanks to Rails Girls organizers Henrietta, Linda, Anna and Karri.
Finally, I’m a RAILS GIRL!