Application Guide

This guide gives you all the information about what you will need when applying for Summer of Code. Please read this carefully to ensure you know about all the requirements of a good and complete application.

Applications for Rails Girls Summer of Code 2016 are now closed.

Who is eligible to apply?

All people with non-binary gender identities or who identify as women are welcome to apply; while no one is excluded from applying on the basis of gender, female and genderfluid applicants will be given preference during selection. Further to this, we look for applicants;

  • who are involved with, or have attended one or more workshops organized by communities like Rails Girls, Railsbridge, Black Girls Code, PyLadies, or similar initiatives.

  • with at least a year’s experience of continuous learning, i.e. has significantly expanded their programming skills in a study group, or independently, by working on a suitable project. We will ask for coding examples.

  • who can spend 3 months (July to September 2016) working full-time on their Open Source project of choice.

  • who have never participated in our program as a sponsored team before.

You do not have to be a student at a University to apply, and there are certainly no degree or age limitations.

How much is the scholarship?

The scholarship will be based on where you live, how much your set expenses are, and any special circumstances which you might wish to share with us so that we can consider them.

What do you need to apply?

Another student to pair with

Finding a teammate before submitting your application is required. The team consists of exactly two people, working from the same city. Having a team that consists of more than two students is not possible. It is also not possible to apply alone.

It is important that you both work well together as you will be working very closely throughout the summer, planning your team goals together, and being the closest support for one another!

For further information on finding a teammate we have prepared a detailed guide for you here.


Coaches are developers who sit down with you, guide you through relevant coding steps and troubleshoot with you at regular intervals. Consequently, it is required that they are based in the same city as your team.
From past experiences, we recommend a time of 4-8 hours per week of coaching time. Therefore, we require a minimum of 2 coaches, so they can share the time commitment, and you and your teammate will have more flexible support.

Our guide for coaches will help to give you insight on what is required of them, and help you to explain this to prospective coaches. For further information on how to find coaches, we have also prepared a detailed guide here.

A place to work

Working at a desk next to your team pair and to your coaches is a great scenario and having access to a team of coaches who can share the load is ideal. You will need an environment beneficial to dedicating yourself to your project for 3 months. This could be your home, a co-working space, your current work office or a Coaching Company. As long as you are safe and productive, you can choose where you will work.

The ability to self-manage and motivate

This is a very important point for us, as the program is self-guided. This means that there will not be someone beside you telling you what to do at all times. While you will have time with your coaches each week, you won’t have them by your side for the entire duration of the project.
As a team, you will be required to define your goals for the program, and plan together how you will meet these goals. We are always here to help you with this planning, but it’s up to you to stick to your plan and achieve your goals.

A project

A good place to start is to have a look here at our list of projects approved for RGSoC 2016. We have a wonderful variety of interesting Open Source projects, so we understand that it can be tricky to know how to proceed! Be sure to already ask your prospective coaches for their input on which project they feel would be suitable, or other people of your local community - in particular, people who are familiar with your experience so far.

Placing your application

Applications for Rails Girls Summer of Code 2016 are now closed.

In order to submit your application, you are required to have a teammate and, at a minimum, two coaches. At the bottom of this guide you will find a checklist to make sure that you have everything you need for a complete application. Before filling out the application form, you will be asked to create a team (if you haven’t done so yet). After saving your team, clicking “Apply now” in the navigation should take you to the application form.

The application form is split into three sections. In the first section, you will be asked to answer lots of questions about yourself, your experience with coding so far, and other information that is relevant to our decision-making process. We want to get to know you! You and your teammate will fill in this information separately.
The other sections are related to your project and team setup and they should be filled out as a team. For the project section, you will select your project via a dropdown menu. You will also have the opportunity to select a secondary project, which is there as a back-up, in case you don’t get your first choice. Adding a second project to your application is not mandatory.

It is possible to save drafts of your application. This means that you can partially fill it in, and save your progress for later.

If you have any queries about the application process, please contact us.

Selection and judging

Applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by a group of real human beings in the coding community; we aim for a diverse group of teams consisting of different countries, projects, backgrounds and skill levels.
Remember: Successful applications are not “first in, best dressed”, but are judged on how well they fulfill eligibility criteria. Don’t rush your application, but rather take your time to find your teammate, your coaches, and to choose the most suitable project for your team.

Applications sent after the deadline cannot be considered for judging.

Requirements during the program

Along with this application guide, please also read about what will be asked of you over the summer, besides diving into code. Rails Girls Summer of Code focuses on students learning to code, but is also a community event.

During the Summer of Code we have the following requirements which students have to agree with and, in case of being selected, will sign for in a written agreement:

  • Participate full-time from July 1st to September 30th 2016
  • Continuously work on the chosen and approved Open Source project.
  • Keep track of your work with a short, daily summary.
  • Keep regular contact to your supervisor and your mentor and abide to reaction times for communication.
  • Provide an email address and Twitter account for social and promotional events.
  • Participate in non-coding related community events (e.g. the all-team chat, RGSoC social events).
  • Agree to have published team information on our website and blog (e.g. team introduction, team blog posts). This includes some form of visual material of yourself.
  • In case of participation in a conference where tickets are provided by RGSoC: Hold a lightning talk about your project work or write a blog post about the conference.

Rails Girls Summer of Code will assist and support you with any of these requirements. As a further insight on this, or on setting up a good working environment, please read our article on “What to expect”, where we gathered suggestions and recommendations for students. We strongly advise you to get acquainted with these requirements before and during application time. We will make sure they are complied with and will take steps in case of breaches.
If you have any questions about the above list, please contact us.

A note on volunteer teams

As well as the funded teams, every year Rails Girls Summer of Code has also had a few selected volunteer teams. Volunteer teams are teams that participate in the program without the monthly stipend. Volunteer teams adhere to the same guidelines as funded teams and apart from the stipend, they receive the same amount of support as the other teams and are just as involved in the social activities. Due to this, volunteer teams are also subjected to the selection process. In your application, you will have the option to select whether you are applying as a funded team, a volunteer team, or you can select both options.

Before you apply: the checklist

Here is the basic checklist for your application:

  • Have you read, and fully understood, this guide?
  • Have you found a teammate?
  • Has your team selected a project?
  • Has your team found at least two coaches who will commit to helping you?
  • Has your team found a suitable workspace for the duration of the program?
  • Do you agree with and meet all of the requirements listed above?

Submit your application

Can you check off all these checkboxes? Then go ahead and create your application here:

If you need help setting up your application, go to the “Help” Section in our teams app:

More questions?

If you have more questions on how to apply, you can also hop into our Student Support Slack channel.