Culture

Empowering Girls through Code – Rails Girls

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At Piktochart, we use Ruby on Rails to run our back end stuff. And if you’ve been following us, you know we’ve always been a bit passionate about Ruby. So when we found out about Rail Girls, we knew we had to get involved.

Rails Girls is a movement started by Linda Liukas and Karri Saarinen. It aims to open up technology and make it more approachable for girls and women. You can learn more about it here.

Personally, we love the idea of being more inclusive at coding events. We think that we’re really missing out by not making an effort to include a more diverse group in coding. There’s a gender gap in the technology sector, and we want to do what we can to help close it.

So we set out to organize a Rails Girls event at Piktochart. We pulled the entire team together – designers, marketers, and developers – to get organized and to get the word out. We even made our own Rails Girl mascot!

On the 27th of September, we opened our doors, ready to welcome the 36 registered participants. We were a little pessimistic and thought maybe a dozen people would show up. Imagine our surprise when 44 coders came marching in!

We didn’t make it a “females only” event because we knew there were guys out there who wanted to learn Ruby, too. The great news is that we had 32 girls show up, which was the vast majority!

Thankfully, we had extra mentors on hand to help us out – our front-end development team along with other mentors from our network, totaling 13 in all.

The attendees were tasked with building a web app that worked like a simplified Pinterest to upload pictures with title and descriptions.

Everyone grasped the Ruby concepts quickly, and the groups finished their task ahead of schedule. So we proceeded to do extra learning, improving the app and styling it.

After lunch, Eureka shared her experience as a female coder. A new psychology and media studies graduate, Eureka began coding in her final year of college in order to pick up a new skill. She enjoys programming games and experiments in Java and JavaScript, and she’s even animated her dog, Crystal.

We ended everything on a super positive note. Everyone was charged up by their new knowledge. Within Piktochart, we felt the good vibes of sharing the Ruby love. We are already looking forward to next time!

If you are a Rubyist interested in sharing your Ruby knowledge, we recommend running a Rails Girls workshop for the coders in your life. It’s worth it.

 

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