Rails Girls Summer of Code (RGSoC) is a three month long program that aims to get more women and non-binary people into the world of open source by offering them a monthly stipend, a welcoming community, and experienced coaches.

Lots of us on the Liefery dev team are involved with Rails Girls and the community, and this program in particular is very close to our hearts.

Now, for the first time, we want to combine our efforts and be YOUR coaching company!

Want to know a bit more about us and about RGSoC? One of our developers, Tam, was a volunteer student in the 2013 edition and she was interviewed by fellow backend Ruby developer, Adam.


Adam: Hey Tam, I know that you participated in Rails Girls Summer of Code 2013. What prompted you to apply for the program?

Tam: I went to a Rails Girls workshop in February 2013, and was both totally confused and amazed at what I could accomplish with Ruby. I joined a project group, the Rubycorns, right after the workshop and together we started playing around with Ruby on Rails. I suddenly found myself doing Codecademy Ruby tutorials in the evenings and staying up late into the night to implement small little features for our project group app. When I saw that RGSoC was happening (for the first year ever) I knew immediately that I wanted to apply. Oddly enough, at the time it didn’t occur to me that this was my first step towards a programming career. I saw it as a great opportunity to learn more about programming, and programming was something that I was really starting to enjoy. The community was so encouraging and helpful I figured worst case scenario, I’d have a really interesting summer.

Adam: I’m so happy to hear about your positive experience with the community, and that programming “stuck” with you after a Rails Girls workshop! What was the most important skill that you learned during the summer?

Tam: Oh, that’s a tough one! I learned a whole bunch of skills that summer, from programming to git, to how to use project boards etc… But looking back I think that the best thing I learned was perseverance. Programming can be difficult, and frustrating (especially when you’re a beginner), but it can also be exciting and rewarding. There’s nothing like solving a difficult bug or implementing a complicated feature to lift your spirits and to give you that little nudge forward. I learned to stay positive, always ask questions, and celebrate the small things.

Adam: Ha, your answer really captures the essence of programming! And what happened later? How did your programming journey continue?

Tam: About two weeks before the summer ended, I started the job hunt. At that point I was determined that this was what I was going to do, and I refused to go back to my old translation job. By the time the summer ended I had a few things in the pipeline, but nothing concrete. I cut way back on my hours at the translation company and decided that I would continue programming 8 hours a day, with or without a job. After a week or so, and after giving a lightning talk at Rug::B where I talked about my summer and said I was looking for a job, I was offered an internship at a Berlin based company called Adeven . I immediately quit my translation job and went to Iceland on holiday before starting my very first programming job :)

Adam: That’s so awesome :) Stories like that are what motivates people to contribute to the Rails Girls Summer of Code initiative. And how about a coaching company? What are the most important things that it has to provide so that participants can be productive and learn a lot?

Tam: We were lucky enough to have an incredible coaching company in Absolventa, and my RGSoC partner and I sat together with the dev team. Technically we had two coaches, but the whole team was there for us and we could go to any of them at any time if we had questions. This was key. As a beginner it’s easy to go down the wrong path for hours on end, and it’s so helpful when there’s someone beside you to pull you back from that. Absolventa also included us in their normal everyday dev activities like their stand up and we had planning meetings. I’d never experienced anything like this before, so it was an easy and comfortable introduction to an entirely different world. Our coaches were also infinitely patient and never made us feel like we were wasting their time or asking stupid questions.

Adam: Do you think that we can provide a similar environment at Liefery?

Tam: Definitely! We’re in a really unique position in that we have a LOT of developers who have experience coaching at Rails Girls workshops. Plus, a handful of us have volunteered for RGSoC in one way or another (we have ex supervisors, organizers, coaches, students, and mentors!), so we have a pretty good grasp of what’s needed and what we can bring to the table. We also have a great atmosphere here. We’re a very supportive group, and we stress knowledge sharing and helping one another. In my experience, this is exactly what a RGSoC team needs, and we already practice these values, so it’s pretty perfect. Now we just need a team!

Adam: Thanks a lot for the interview!


Don’t we sound like fun? Here’s what we can offer:

  • Two desks in our office in Berlin*
  • first hand experience with RGSoC (as a student, supervisor, mentor, coach and organizer)
  • A handful of eager on site coaches with extensive coaching experience
  • a wonderful, patient, friendly, understanding, and welcoming team and environment

Liefery is primarily a Ruby company, so we are happy to help with Ruby related projects.

Interested? Please drop us an email! If you have a non-Ruby project in mind or any other questions or concerns about whether your project might fit our knowledge base, feel free to ask us :)

* Full disclosure, our office situation is a bit up in the air. The dev team is currently renting office space from BitCrowd, but we don’t know how long we’ll be here for or where we’ll go next. If we decide to work together and if you get accepted to the program, we will keep you up to date with the situation and aim to find a solution that works for everyone.