Hello RGSoC Blog Readers!
Team Reactives here and we have had the amazing opportunity to attend the JS and CSS conf Asia 2016! Kicking off with CSS conf, the conferences featured the likes of Chris Lilley “the father of SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)” who talked to us about the evolution of CSS4 colors and author Lea Verou who introduced us to the concept of css variables.
Chris Liley on CSS4 colors - Source: Team Reactives
CSS conf was a great learning opportunity about all the neat things that front end developers can accomplish with css by harnessing tools like grid and flex box to create beautifully resizable webpages and their ability to create functional animations using svg. It was really cool that speakers put up QR codes with which we could check out the cool stuff they have created.
Source: Team Reactives
We could not stop looking up at the zodiac mural on the ceiling of Singapore's Capitol Theatre- Source: Team Reactives
On all three days, there were people from Standard Chartered and Hired who came down to talk to attendees about work opportunities outside the main auditorium. Standard Chartered also had their Virtual Headset set up next to their booth for visitors to try on! The two of us go to experience a first person perspective of Manchester United’s locker room before a big game as well being out on the pitch to witness a penalty shootout.
Shwetha on the scene early- Source: Team Reactives
Team XYZ has had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Codemotion conference in Berlin, and these are some of the highlights of our experience.
Berlin is just a stone’s throw from Prague, so this was not our first time visiting it. We both absolutely love this amazing city!
The conference took place in the KulturBrauerei - a huge complex of former industrial buildings (with cool names such as Maschinenhaus, Flaschenabfüllhalle or Pferdeställe), which are now being used as a venue for all kinds of cultural events. The location has a unique industrial vibe and it really added a zing to the conference.
KulturBrauerei (Image by Team XYZ)
Codemotion Berlin 2016 offered an array of insightful tech talks on 4 stages (one of them entirely dedicated to Community speakers) over two days. Besides, it provided a chance to meet fellow attendees from all over Europe and beyond. We had the opportunity to make friends and network with visitors from Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and many more countries.
Fred George delivering his keynote on day 1 (Image by Team XYZ)
There were so many interesting talks, but there is not enough space to talk about all of them.
So we selected just some of them that we found interesting:
Women Techmaker Berlin - Andrea Bezold & Mirjam Körner
Andrea and Mirjam talking about Women Techmaker Berlin (Image by Team XYZ)
Andrea and Mirjam talked about the Women Techmaker group in Berlin and presented their community activities. They both took part in the bi-weekly Android course and built their own real Android apps, which they then showcased. Pretty impressive!
Understanding Angular 2 - Shmuela Jacobs
Shmuela during her Angular 2 talk (Image by Team XYZ)
Shmuela explained the core concepts of Angular 2 in a clear, easy-to-follow way. Besides, she also briefly introduced her shiny new project ngGirls, which aims to teach women coding through Angular 2. Way to go!
Knowledge is Power: Getting out of trouble by understanding Git - Steve Smith
Steve unravelling the secrets of Git (Image by Team XYZ)
Steve spoke about what is happening under the hood while we use Git. Since we both went through our fair share of struggle and frustration over seemingly confusing Git behaviour during our Summer of Code experience, we found this talk very helpful and reassuring, as Steve managed to summarize the concepts of Git in a very clear and logical way. We still learn something new about Git every day :)
Costs of the Cult of Expertise - Jessica Rose
Jessica speaking about recognizing and rewarding talent (Image by Team XYZ)
In her keynote on day two, Jessica presented us with some serious food for thought: What does it really mean to be an expert? Is the emphasize on expertise really the way to go in hiring? Where do recruiters often go wrong? Why is it important to reward the talent? And how about yourself - do you feel rewarded in what you do? If not, do you really want to stay where you are? The recording of Jessica’s talk (just like most of the others) is available for you to listen.
What did AlphaGo do to beat the strongest human Go player? - Tobias Pfeiffer
Tobias explaining the rules of Go (Image by Team XYZ)
The AlphaGo team has recently made headlines by beating the human Go champion Lee Sedol - an accomplishment which experts deemed unlikely to happen at this time, if not downright impossible at all. Tobias first introduced us to the concept of the game of Go and what makes it so unpredictable, and followed by explaining the algorithms which made the impossible come true.
Thank you for our community tickets, Codemotion! Attending the conference has been a truly enriching and inspiring experience. And of course, thank you, Rails Girls Summer of Code, for making this possible.
Stay tuned for our upcoming report about dotCSS and dotJS in Paris!
RGSoC 2017 OSS Project Submissions (in ALL languages) are open! (gif by Ana Sofia Pinho)
When we said After RGSoC is before RGSoC we really meant it! Just 2 months after RGSoC 2016 is finished we’re ready to announce that Open Source Projects Submissions are OPEN for RGSoC 2017.
You have until January 31st, 2017 to apply in the RGSoC Teams App.
The project submission page on the Teams App (image by Ana Sofia Pinho)
If you would like to know more about submitting a project or being a mentor during our summer of code, please take a look at our “Becoming a Project Mentor” guide. You can also send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific questions.
You may have noticed that this year you will have two full months to submit your project; this will give everyone more time to think things through and will hopefully help us reach as many project maintainers as possible.
caring making tech more inclusive
Call to Action: Please share this tweet or facebook post with your friends! Thank you!
Let’s make RGSoC 2017 the year with the most diverse selection of projects!
Team Twitches, Team Ruby's Secret and Team LoadToCode go GOTOber (Image: Team Twitches)
So GOTO Berlin meant two days of conference in Berlin on November 14th & 15th, and it is all about learning, networking and meeting developers. But it was not just another conference. Not only Team LoadToCode from Berlin was attending, but also Team Team Twitches from New Delhi/India and Team Ruby’s Secret from Cairo/Egypt \o/!
Happiness was in the air when Mayar from team Ruby’s secret and Taneea and Vrinda from team Twitches were informed that they won the diversity grant tickets, having already vowed that team Ruby’s secret will always be united, Nada decided to launch a crowd funding campaign to travel to Berlin and in just 4 days the total expenses were raised. For Nada going to GOTO wasn’t just meant to but with a little bit of persistence and the support of the amazing community of RGSoC and GOTO, Ruby’s secret were reunited.
Nada was endlessly grateful for the support: Thank you <3 <3
All the teams on GOTOber stage with Carina C. Zona (Image: Team LoadtoCode)
Spending time with the extraordinary Carina Zona led to very inspiring conversations you can find out more about her here. Seeing her on stage for the final keynote on Tuesday was definitely one of the highlights. It was about engaging in a critical approach towards algorithms and the unintended effects they might have on users.
Nada shared her thoughts on the talk in a tweet
Sal Freudenberg has given a very personal talk about autism, raising awareness of neurodiversity within all the different people and colleagues, especially in tech environments & companies.
Podcasting for #RGSoC
Tobi interviewing Vrinda about her Rails Girls Summer of Code 2016 experience (Image: Team LoadToCode)
So we ran into Tobi again, after meeting him at RubyConfPt as a speaker! He joined our second podcasting episode and did a spontaneous interview with Vrinda. Tobi is a coach at RubyCorns, a weekly study group of the Rails Girls Berlin chapter and took part in previous RGSoCs!
With Women Who Code Berlin director
Meeting the director of Women Who Code Berlin Aleksandra (Image: Team Twitches)
We also met Aleksandra, who is one of the directors of Women Who Code Berlin, that are organizing really cool events for women who are coding or who are interested in doing so! We got invited to join the meet up later that week!
Company Stalls At The Conference
Along with the attendees of the conference, there were company stalls that were showcasing their work at GOTO Berlin. Some companies like Thoughtworks and eBay were present. The stall tables were usually laden with give-away stickers or pens or cards that were strategically placed to invite the attendees to visit the stall. What was next was that the people manning the stall would tell you about their company or product and encourage you to use it or visit their site. Some companies were especially helpful for students in giving away internships.
It was the first time Team Twitches was traveling abroad. While we’d expected that the trip to Berlin wouldn’t be easy to forget, we didn’t realize that we would have so much fun! Berlin was a sure highlight, but nothing tops the conference, and the diverse set of people we got to meet. We heard inspiring stories, made new friends and realized that mansplaining happens more often than you’d think (thanks to Carina C. Zona).
Overall, pretty productive couple of days, eh?
What we learned
- Be mindful when it comes to unintended effects of algorithms
- Meeting other RGSoC teams is one of the best parts of #RGSoC
- At conferences watch out for possible internship or job opportunities
- Podcasting is great fun!
And NOW: start you own podcasting episode for #RGSoC
Team kindr3d @ Beyond Tellerrand 16
Team kindr3d were lucky enough to get free tickets for this year Berlin BTconf. We want to say thanks to every member of the RGSoC team who fought for us and got us the golden tickets to this unique event which gave us a lot to think about.
We also met Nynne, last year’s alumni and also our supervisor for a week this summer. And we had great conversations and exchanged our experience about our own RGSoC and being a female junior developer.
helpful advice - Source: kindr3d
What is it?
It is a general front-end/web/design conference. This particular instance had an absolute minimum of slides with code. Do with that information what you will. Some may not be happy about the overall softness of talk and topics, but there were definitely ideas worth sharing and pondering on. Ever since ViewSource 2016, where people were friendly, talks were perspective-changing, food and drinks were plentiful and delicious, and the last week of Berlin summer warmed the hearts and MacBooks of attendees (in coalition with a free bar of course), it was clear that what makes a conference good is something elusive: atmosphere, vibe, whatever you want to call it. These events do not exist in the vacuum, they are perceived in their immediate historical context with sprinkles of one’s personal life events. And BTconf this year happened to be a very special snapshot of a very particular way of life.
What was happening?
The moment Sacha Judd made a hall full of tech folk contemplate on One Direction fandom it was on like donkey kong. It is rather unfair to identify this talk as the best, since there were many great ones, but this one hit us and our partner in crime Nynne directly in the feels. For most of the people in that room being shippers, writing a fanfiction or cheesy fansite were not direct life experiences, though they have been for us. But everyone does relate to the small tragedy of people doing things well and being excited about doing them while not appreciating their own skill, effort and enthusiasm. Somehow this feels a lot like being a junior. This talk was wonderful and you should watch it. We will always remember not to be ashamed of our passion and things we’ve made with love.
team reunion - Source: kindr3d
There were funny and hands-on talks, where we were scribbling notes constantly. Big themes across them were accessibility, taking care of people outside the bubble of the european/north american high-speed paradise, and relying on simple and robust technologies (so no React love). There was funny, creative (if slightly salty) advice on writing less code by Heydon Pickering (we are tempted to buy his book). Useful and very needed at the moment: a list of refactoring practices. Also notable talks on typography in interfaces and image optimisation
The elephant in the room was the USA election. It’s best identified by a great switch from hopeful and angry talk by Mike Monteiro about taking the responsibility for what you do on the day of the election to a humane and accepting approach to data by Erika Hall the day after. It was an unspoken framework for the event, because so many speakers were americans. Another reminder of how the tech world is obsessed with America.
How did we like it?
All in all this was a very interesting event, which recursively highlighted many problems most speakers were referring to. There is still a feeling that we just like to pat ourselves on the backs. It is pleasant to feel that we are better than the rest of the world because we are woke developers and designers, because we are aware. Sobering talks helped, but these things are still prevalent in tech and especially at tech conferences. And despite the talks about diversity, it was still a majorly white and male conference, though we met some inspiring women as well. As Micaela noted, RustFest was organised by a slightly different group of people and offered an interesting, activism-fuelled DIY alternative to that. I guess it is a good idea to take some of the advice by speakers to heart and be responsible and proactive about our lives just as much as we are about our code.
Overall, several days after the conference we are still pondering over many ideas people on and off stage shared with us, which is the reason why conferences exist! Also we found many new ways to become better developers and improve our code in thoughtful and meaningful ways. And talking to Nynne gave us another angle through which we can view our own careers and life in the future.
Nynne and team kindr3d vs unfortunate lighting - Source: kindr3d