Ackama
By Mai Nguyen

Christchurch Rails Girls

Rose and I coached at Rails Girls Christchurch in May. Given Rabid’s commitment to diversity, it was great for Rabid to sponsor the event by sending us down to Christchurch. The awesome weekend was superbly organised by Hayley van Waas, Elora Walmisley and Daniel Fone. The event was held at Canterbury University and as a result, most participants were students already studying Computer Science or Software Engineering.

The first night was an install party, getting everyone’s computers setup with Rails and text editors, so that the next day we were ready to go learning the ins and outs of Ruby on Rails. Rails Girls offers self-driven tutorials on how to get started in Rails, and the students went through these tutorials, with us coaches helping and answering any questions they had along the way.

I had never been to a Rails Girls event before, and I was surprised by how much I got out of it. It was particularly encouraging to see so many young women keen on learning more about creating things on the web. It was also fantastic to meet new people and work together. When I was in uni (eons ago, I suppose), events like Rails Girls did not exist, and I remember how few women were in my classes, and how isolating it was. I also met many fantastic people in the Rails community and I look forward to seeing them at future events.

All in all, the event was a success and from the feedback from the students, many hoped for more events like Rails Girls to happen in the future. All of those young ladies have such bright futures, I hope they achieve whatever their goals may be. I am happy to have been given the opportunity to contribute to Rails Girls and it was a pleasure meeting everyone. It was a great weekend, and am looking forward to being part of Rails Girls in Wellington in August!