RailsGirlsLA Recap!

Yo! It's me, of course! I never really know how I should properly start off a blog post. Awkwardness runs through my blood though so meh. Anyways! I had a fantastic weekend in LA and thought I'd come back to share a thought or two about it all! 

If you aren't familiar with RailsGirlsLA, click here for their direct website, and then click here for my blog post explaining the application process! I had the opportunity to attend their 2-day workshop that is free and completely run by volunteers! I swear, the Ruby community is truly amazing! This session was sponsored by, and hosted at, Spokeo, and it was also part of Innovate Pasadena week. The next one will take place around January/February and I would highly recommend that you attend! It was very inspiring to have an event centered around people volunteering their time to help women (young and "old")! "Old" is a relative term; I only mention that because there was a 13-year-old there! YOU GO GIRL!

Day 1 - Installation Party:

The first part of the event went from 7pm to 10pm, and it was all about making sure your computer was configured properly for the app you'll build the following day. It's sort of a free-for-all in the sense that you aren't directly paired with a coach, however, you will be working with a random coach to prove that you can create a dummy rails app and push it to github and heroku. Don't worry, you aren't expected to know this. If you've never touched code before, your coach will walk you through the entire process and help you set up the accounts you need! Once you complete these tasks, you will receive a sticker and are free to leave!

I still consider myself a newbie, but this was definitely not my first time with github so my set up didn't take too long. However I did run into some scary error codes when deploying to heroku though! My coach guided me to change my Gemfile; Heroku doesn't like sqlite3 apparently! Because I was tired from my 3-hour commute and in pain from a banging migraine, I chose the option to leave as soon as I was awarded a sparkly cupcake sticker! 

Day 2 - Build a LA Adventures App:

Day 2 started at 9am sharp. For the first hour, we were fed delicious breakfast burritos, watched some presentations/opening speeches, and met with our assigned coaches. My coach happened to have been the person I was working with the night before; his name is Tyler. (Hi Tyler!) Tyler works for an online bootcamp where he mentors students all the time for RoR, so I felt like I was in great hands (and I was)! He was extremely patient with me and answered all of my bajillion questions along the way!

The goal was to build an app that kind of reminded me of Pinterest. You could upload pictures with captions, and people could also comment/rate them as well! Your app will also allow you to edit and delete posts, following the CRUD convention (Create Read Update Destroy). 

We were able to complete the app but I would like to spend more time styling it, and I think I may have a bug to figure out (which I noticed once playing around with the heroku version of it at home). I also would like to figure out how to set the app up with AWS so that it could store the photos I upload(?) I'm not sure I understand this bit yet but thankfully my mentor made me feel comfortable enough to reach out to him for help!

We wrapped up the day around 5/6pm. All of us were exhausted, but in a good way! I learned A LOT! I hope my mentor enjoyed the experience as well. The last exercise we did was a group effort, called "Bentobox". We were given a list of technologies and had to place them into their proper category of either: storage, logic, infrastructure, styling. The final bit was the most inspiring to me; all of the female mentors spoke about their journey into programming which left me feeling hopeful and encouraged to keep going. We also applauded and thanked all the male volunteers too!

To increase diversity in tech, we ALL must help one another! Thus far, the Ruby community has been a great example of this and I am just so happy to have discovered this world. And I'm SO so grateful for all of those who made this event possible! I would love to start a RailsGirlsSD chapter; I can't wait to pay it forward someday soon! 

Some highlights: 

  • Yummy food! Unless you have food allergies, there is really no need to bring any bites with you. Breakfast and lunch were provided as well as lots of snacks, drinks and candy! 
  • Free parking. 
  • Personal coaching from start to finish.
  • Networking opportunities: there were various job announcements being made. 
  • Make friends with others learning to code! 
  • It's free!
  • Swag bags - yay for t-shirts and more stickers!