The inaugural Los Angeles area RailsBridge Workshop for Women took place this past weekend at the CarbonFive Santa Monica office, thanks to Tiffany Davis (@tldavis801) from the Los Angeles Women’s Ruby on Rails Group. Tiffany wanted to start a franchise in the LA area, so she reached out for help on finding a venue for the event. Fortunately, the Santa Monica office is no stranger to holding developer events with our biweekly hack nights.
Given this was the first event of its kind down here in LA, we expected a smallish turnout and that is in fact what we got: a total of 7 students and 11 volunteers. On the bright side, that means we had 1.6 teachers per student!
The workshop consisted of an exercise building a simple voting app and deploying it to Heroku. The main goal was to give the student the thrill and satisfaction of seeing their work on line because, as developers, we all know that this is what keeps us coming back.
The students had varying degrees of experience with coding: some had professional experience with HTML/CSS or Java but were new to Ruby and Rails, and a couple had never even written a line of code. Because of this, we decided to organize the class by experience level and have break out sessions in the conference rooms.
We were extremely fortunate to have had an incredibly enthusiastic team of volunteers who clearly love teaching Ruby and Rails. Big thanks to Cynthia Kiser (@cnk), Giles Bowkett (@gilesgoatboy), Josh French (@joshfrench), Dave LaDelfa, Justin Ricuarte, Daniel Dyba and the other volunteers for their wisdom and time. It should be noted that Josh is a RailsBridge SF veteran and flew down just to teach!
Thanks to Sarah Mei (@sarahmei) for helping Tiffany bring the RailsBridge Workshop for Women to the Los Angeles area and, most importantly, thanks to Tiffany for her efforts to build a web development culture in LA that includes a stronger representation of women.
We are planning to hold another RailsBridge workshop in late September, but need to do a better job at promoting it. We have the tutors and a developer community here in LA that’s eager to share the knowledge, but how do we reach more women and girls? If you have any suggestions or would like to help promote this workshop, please contact Tiffany Davis on Twitter @tldavis801. You can also join the Meetup group.