What to expect

The Rails Girls Summer of Code is about supporting the students on their way into the Open Source community. Below you’ll find everything you will need during the summer. The suggestions and best practices from former years will help you set up a good working environment and support you in having a successful and fulfilling Summer of Code.

Your Support Network

The most portant part in a community is the support people give to each other. Rails Girls Summer of Code provides a comprehensive support network that will help you and your team pair in all project related aspects.

Coaches and Mentor

The core team will be you and your pair along with your coaches and the mentor of your Open Source project.

The coaches will work side by side with you during the program, explain coding steps, teach you troubleshooting skills and generally support you in your day-to-day programming work. During application time, coaches may assist you in finding a suitable project and project issues that fit your skill level.

The project mentor is like a product owner of the Open Source project you’ll work on. They have an insight on what issues need to be worked on and — at the same time — guide you in finding the right issues for you.

Communication should always take place as a team so everyone is on the same side. Also, set up schedules for coaching times and calls with your mentor at the very beginning of the program!


Each team will have a supervisor who keeps an eye on the general well-being of the project’s progress and assist you in the non-coding aspects of the Rails Girls Summer of Code. As such, the supervisor will keep in constant contact with you and will be the go-to person whenever you have a question or problem your coaches or mentor can’t solve.

You will have weekly calls with your supervisor. At the beginning of the program, agree with your supervisor on a time and day for the weekly calls.


Sometimes your coaches won’t be available, but that one code snippet just won’t work. For these cases, we will provide a Helpdesk chat where developers will help you getting forward with your issue.

As soon as we have set up the Helpdesk channel, we will add all the students there.

All-Teams Communication

Since Rails Girls Summer of Code is a community event, we also want to connect the students amongst each other so they can share their experiences. We’re currently in the process of setting up these structures for you and will publish updates closer to the beginning of RGSoC.

Trust Committee

A primary goal of Rails Girls Summer of Code is to be inclusive to the all of our part-takers - participants, coaches, mentors, supervisors and everyone in the organizing team, with the most varied and diverse backgrounds possible. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion (or lack thereof).

We have a Code of Conduct in place and will again set up a trust committee that consists of both people involved with organizing, and externals. You can contact the person you feel most comfortable reaching out to.

Orga Team

And if all else fails, we are always here to support you. Send us an email at summer-of-code@railsgirls.com and we’ll figure out the rest together.

Now there’s only one thing left to say: Use all the channels there are and ask all the questions you have!

Project and Team Setup

Most of the aspects mentioned here need to be done at the beginning of the program. Follow these steps and you’ll have a great setup for all the activities.

RGSoC-Orga Slack Team

All RGSoC participants will be invited to our Slack RGsoC-Orga Team. This is currently our favourite channel of communication and we set up several channels with different purposes so that you won’t miss any important information. You can also talk with each other via private message.

We recommend your supervisor to set up a channel for the team members so that you can talk with each other on a daily basis (when we say daily, we are refering to work days). If your team doesn’t like slack for internal communication, you can also use email or any other apps, however, we advise you not to lose track of RGSoC-Orga Slack channels,as most of the communication (with the organisers and other students, coaches, mentors and supervisors) will be done there.

Daily Log

The daily log is a short list of things you do each day — a summary in the form of bullet points is perfectly fine. The Teams App will be the place to put these, you just have to login and go to Status Updates on the top of the page.

Besides keeping your team in the loop, it’ll get you familiar with good team practice, and with the high level of transparency that is typical for Open Source development. It will also help you greatly with self-reflection.

We recommend to either combine the daily log with a morning standup meeting or fill the log at the end of the day.

Time Management

Set up a shared calendar for you and your pair and schedule regular, dedicated times for checking on your schedules. Once a week is minimum. Besides recurring events such as communication to your mentor and supervisor, there will be single social events (see below) that shouldn’t get lost.

Here you’ll see a sample schedule for one week. It serves as a guide and gives you an impression on how to organize your Summer of Code.

Please be aware: This is just an example. The actual dates will vary. Especially, the calls will depend on how the mentor and the supervisor will have time. Also, RGSoC Social Stuff will sometimes take more, but mostly way less time. sample schedule-01

Kick-off Call (Google Hangout)

We will start the program with a Kick-off Call using Google Hangouts.

Please make sure you have a Google account so you can join the Hangout.


Please make sure you have a Twitter account. It can be either your personal one or a team account which you and your pair will be setting up for the program.

We will use Twitter for at least the conference ticket raffle and most likely for other social and fun events. Besides, it’s a great place to get news and updates from the RGSoC world.

Optional: Your Own Team Blog

If you are a blogger and write about stuff of your interest anyways, why not set up a dedicated RGSoC team blog? Or maybe you wanna start blogging for the Summer? We can only support this. But we also state explicitly that a blog is not mandatory.

A blog can be a great place for a more general recap of your project work, reflections about your learning time and experiences, or reports about events you took part in.

If you have any concerns or questions on these points, please contact us at summer-of-code@railsgirls.com before the start of the program.

Social Events and Conferences

Rails Girls Summer of Code is a community-based program. And, of course, we want to tell the community what happens here. While we naturally want you to focus on your coding, Rails Girls Summer of Code includes getting in touch with the community and spreading the word.

Here we need you. Tell people about what you’re doing! As a side effect, you can start giving back to the community right away. Spreading the word will get more and more people known to the program and helps us in reaching out to supporters and contributors in the upcoming years.

Blog Posts for the RGSoC Blog

We ask you as a team to write two blog posts for our central blog. The first will be an introduction (following a questionnaire) and is done at the beginning of July. The second post is due at the end of September and will be a summary of your project experience. You can write whatever type of post you like with text, images, a video, …

Community Events and Conferences

At Rails Girls Summer of Code you work hard and learn new stuff every day. To make this an even more complete experience for you, we’d like you to join your local developer community and, if possible, even attend a great conference.

We’ve gathered more information about this topic in the Conferences section.