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Get excited and make things: Rails Girls Philly

Leading the Friday Hug
Leading the Friday Hug

On Saturday, I helped put on Rails Girls Philly, with the help of a bunch of people and other members of the Philly.rb user group. With a Friday night Install Party and Saturday Workshop + After Party, I got pretty tuckered out, but about 50 attendees came to learn Rails, and I think most left happy!

Rails Girls is less about becoming an expert in Ruby or Rails, and a lot more about getting students into the headspace that THEY can make software, and that there’s this wonderful community to help them do that. Learn more about the international Rails Girls program. About half of our students had used HTML/CSS some very basic JavaScript before, and the remainder were split among those who knew a programming language already and those that had never done any sort of computing.

Highlights from the workshop
* Chad Ostrowski with an epic restaurant analogy to help explain MVC, dispatcher, and generally how Rails (and other such frameworks) communicate.
* Adorable stamps (giraffe, ladybug, dolphin!) that helped us find student levels and make groups for our coaches (thanks Caitlin!)
* Pretty much every student left with a working rails app! and many of them shipped to Heroku, meaning they build their first application AND put it online to share with others.
* Fabulous effort by coaches, mostly members of Philly.rb, who helped usher students into app creation.

Since there were some great photos and tweets, I made a Storify to tell the story of the day:

  1. First, let’s cover some of the cool photos, from the event in general, and our super fun Friday Hug at the Install Party.
  2. On Saturday we had lots of awesome students learning about Rails
  3. If you’re looking for me, I’m at Upenn getting my code on! Nerd all day… everyday#railsgirlsphl @…
  4. We had some awesome sponsors who made the event possible, Neomind Labs (Signature Sponsor), Tamman Technologies, Radiate Media (Ruby level), Chariot Solutions, Pipeline Deals, Trust Metrics, and CIM. AxisPhilly sponsored the coaches dinner/training, and was the media partner.
  5. And of course, there was the app-building
  6. We had a couple of lightning talks from @chadoh and Selah (of Wharton Computing) to keep the spirits up during the app sprint
  7. Funny, insightful and useful “lightening talk” by @chadoh during a break @RailsGirlsPHL #RailsGirlsPHL
  8. Inspiring talk from Selah on how she hustled to go from a geologist to a computer programmer #railsgirlsphl
  9. And then it was over! Some of us gathered at City Tap House for a round of brews courtesy of our sponsors, and others went home to process the knowledge and enjoy the Rails Girls cookies.
  10. @railsgirls casual environment with great energy and friendly folks! Thanks for making this happen #RailsGirlsPHL!

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