Munich Rails Girls: Great Environment to Get in Touch with Coding

Rails Girls Munich 2016

The last two days were a weekend well spent. Actually, I didn’t spend anything but my commitment and got to:

  • meat great people at the free Munich Rails Girls Workshop,
  • eat pizza,
  • learn about web-clients, servers, frameworks, coding-languages,
  • install and run Ruby on Rails via the Terminal prompt,
  • put together a little web app, upload it to Github and deploy it onto a cloud service,
  • find out about styling shortcuts,
  • eat more pizza,
  • ignore styling altogether being all caught up learning and asking and explaining, and trying out stuff and enjoying the company of the people around me.

First time I heard about „Ruby on Rails“ must have been back in 2008 when I took a part-time job in a Web 2.0 startup that connected politicians and the public. While I was editing and community-managing, we were hiring RoR developers. Fast forward almost eight years and I still knew next to nothing about the programming language and the framework despite their existence.

So why did I go to the workshop?

While doing several online editing jobs throughout my career, I got more and more interested in the technical aspects of the websites and content management systems I worked with. I started messing around with HTML and CSS (remember Myspace?), googling code snippets, doing some free online coding courses and asking people with coding or designing skills for help whenever I got stuck [i.e. a lot]. But of course, doing that alone without committing huge units of time doesn’t make you the next coding genius on the block. So I was curious how far a workshop could take me in two days.

So why aren’t there any guys allowed who might also want to participate?

They are. Rails Girls just do a very good job creating a really encouraging environment where complete newbies get a first foot into the door of coding and can ask any type of question without being laughed at. I haven’t heard about another event like that in the area, but I probably would have gone to one that hadn’t stressed any gender issues, as well. I met fun people to be around with at Rails Girls, men and women, from all sorts of places: Jordan, Nepal, Brooklyn, Frankfurt, Alabama, Greece, Italy, Romania. One second, we would argue about the cause of an error message, the next moment about the pros and cons of Airbnb, housing costs or debate freelancing vs. employment.

Great mix of basic knowledge and hands-on-workshop

I really enjoyed that we got some theoretical input in order to mentally organize all the pieces of vocab flying around, but mainly got to do stuff. Monica introduced the Bento Box model to us. Julie spread a little bit of the Ruby Magic and thanks to Omar, I probably will skip the endeavor reinventing the wheel by using bootstrap instead.

So where the hell is the app that I built?

Well, go ahead, knock yourself out. Others did way better, but I couldn’t care less. I learned loads of things and had a good time. You should try it. All the material is on the website. Or just attend the next event yourself. It’ll be fun.

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