How Ruby helps get more Women on Stage
>> I would like to invite two amazing speakers.Ment Maren and Anja, they are participants and contributors of Rails girls Berlin, and we are so glad that Rails girls are taking ‑‑ get involved in the conference. They also ‑‑ a member ‑‑ study group, for more than a year and a half they work in a project called speaker ‑‑ sorry if I pronounced it wrong ‑‑ Speakerinnen. This project is basically on bringing women into the community, also it helps organizer to find female speaker, they talk will have introduction of developing speakerinnen, they share success stories and ‑‑ example how the organization already made a change in the community. So, meet Maren and Anja. (Applause) hi, I'm Anja, I this is Maren. And we want to talk about Ruby helps to get more women on stage using the example of our Rails App speakerinnen, I'm a trained communication designer, I work for a living as a picture editor at a newspaper in Berlin, I always love doing stuff with computer so early was building web sites for family and friends, so two years ago I started learning Ruby via books and the internet just for fun, when I run out of on‑line tutorials I discovered the Rails girls and summer 2012 and that's how my coding career started and where I met Maren. And >> Maren, I try to flip the charts, doesn't work, yeah, probably you can try and I will introduce myself, so I'm a freelance data analyst and a project manager, oh, cool, it works. And of I'm also running an on‑line magazine with two friends of mine called rose garden, and concerning the supporting women's side I'm active in a network called digital media women that supports women to be more visible in their professional environment. So, we both met at Rails girls, I suppose most of you know Rails girls, please raise your hand if you do so. Okay. Again, here, I can skip that part, so we have more time for questions then. Those are the Ruby Mosters, which is our study group, we all started ‑‑ we started coding at a rail girls workshop two years ago, we were pretty much excited about how fun it is, all that coding stuff. And we tried to keep that enthusiasm to really learn to code because in that workshop you build an App, you're very happy, but you only scratch the surface. And so we met Sven who offered to us to code, which was really great because we meet now for two years at Travis head quarter every Monday. And, not only Sven is coaching us, but also Matt and Konstatin is stepping by sometimes, and we think it's the right time and place to say a big, big thank you for sharing knowledge and time, yeah, thanks. Perhaps a little bit applause for them. Yeah, thank you. (Applauds) our first project was this small thing called text two squares, it was an App that plays around with text and translated it into these pictures of colored squares. And, building that App we learned the basic of Ruby, also Sinatra and later Rails, and that was before we started to work on speakerinnen.org, which you will see later on. Ruby monsters now is kind of an open learning space, to Anja and I are mainly working on that speakerinnen database, other advanced learners are going into closure right now, and they were also some new people joining and they started learning Ruby and Rails. And, ‑‑ that's important to say. For most of us, for the people at Ruby monsters who were in that group for two years ago that learning process really changed our lives, so most of us switched the focus of our work to ‑‑ work or studies to a more technical directionses so, I think that really made an impact for almost all of us. So >> So what is a speakerinnen thing we're talking about all the time N short it's platform for organizers to find female speakers for their conferences, women who are willing to speak can sign up and create a profile. Event organizers search through the App and get in contact with the person. Why do we need speakerinnen, or why do we think we need speakerinnen, on conferences there is often the same perspective, way more male speakers than female. Talking with organizers of the conferences there's often the answer ‑‑ it's not our fault, we just didn't find any women, so one obvious solution is to have a list of women who are willing to speak. There were already some lists of women on the internet, but they're also created by hand and very specific. So, I wrote an internet activist, around two years ago who wants to help to build a new seekerinnen App. I thought, well, just the right project for our group, so we just finished the last project and also seemed to be a good use case for a web application. So, Monday morning learning, the Monday learning groups started the program speakerinnen and after we're finished Anne promoted the App and doing all the PR for us, which we are very great . I hope you share my life for inknow graphics because I'm telling my development story by the commit history of our GitHub repository. You can see that Anje and I are the main contributors to that project right now Anje in the really really point position, but there were more people contributing. We started building that App in January '13 and implemented almost the functionalities during six or seven months, functionalities like registration, search, tagging, editing profiles, up loading pictures and all that stuff, and it's a really classical Rails App that uses gem likes speck tack already, device and so on. And we also tried to work test driven, which succeeded, some of the time, and at the beginning we had bootstrap template for the design, but, you may recognize the peek at the end of the period there, there we got the new design, you already saw in the last chart and we implemented that design, and it crashed the whole App, so we had like to rebuild the main functionalities. After that e were really happy because it looked great, but, there was a kind of motivation rock bottom because almost everything was done, but nobody really picked the App and said, okay we will launch it and we will communicate it. But they nay come the new year, 2014 and we had some new year's resolutions, we came back to Anne and we showed her the App and she was really happy to see it and she decided to help us launch it at world women's day, which was the eighth of March. We quickly fixed some issues before the launch and then had some time to think about new products because we said, okay, the App will be launched and then it will be ready. Somehow, but, yeah, that was a little mistake because there was the launch and some crazy weeks for following, because we had to fix some bugs and errors, I think that's nor mall, but there were also, many, many people joining and registering and we had a major database crash and we had to rebuild all the text structure because people were adding so many topics that would talk about, which is very, great, but that was a little problem for our free database thing on Huruku, so Travis foundation helped us out with a small paid database solution, and then, yeah, we did all that work and now we still do that work, but we are really really happy that we have a Rails girl summer of code team working on speakerinnen right now, and they are supported by Chad fouler and ‑‑ kinder team as coaches, yeah, and I think we will get many, many things done during the summer. >> Anje: So what is the outcome of speakerinnen, we are now five months later and we have now 548 profiles, we have over thousand followers on Twitter and we have a lot of positive feedback, people found female speaker through our App. We had a lot of reporting in the newspaper and even some interviews, so we're now famous (Laughing) speakerinen helped us to learn coding and now helps provide conferences for more women, so it's a win‑win situation. The next steps on speakerinnen is a translation in five languages, right now we have two languages, German and English, and we need make the web site responsive, which you have noticed if you have the page on your iPhone, we ‑‑ we need have advanced search, and we need funding because there's still a lot to do. >> Yeah, now comes kind of the DIY part, so probably you asked yourself how can you support speakerinnen.org, we have some points for you. So if you consider yourself as a woman, please sign up and all of you encourage others to sign up to be visible with topics and expertise. If you are event organizers or know event organizers, please search the directories, spread the word that more women are contacted to talk on conferences. If you are a programmer, help us probably with some code review and ticket solving. And, probably most important, support this movement become a Rails girl coach in your city, support study groups that may have other projects evolving or supporting women to learn to code. Because we think diversity is always the better option. Thank you. (Applause) so if there are any questions, we are around the next days or do we have time for questions now? >> One, maybe, one question. >> Okay. Thanks. (Applause)
About Maren Heltsche & Anja R.
Maren is a freelance data analyst and project manager. She is a passionated ruby developer in progress, loves DIY, digital media and arts. After she led a big IT project at her former work she started learning to code two years ago at a Rails Girls workshop. Maren is part of the Rubymonsters study group and the project manager and one of the developers of Speakerinnen. As head of the local chapter of Digital Media Women Berlin she loves to encourage women to build networks and to be more visible in their professional environment.
Most public stages at conferences and events are populated by men. And not only in the tech scene.
Speakerinnen.org is a project that aims to make women more visible as speakers and help event organizers find female experts for their conferences. On the Speakerinnen website women can sign up and publish their profiles, specifying their topics of expertise.
The platform was developed by a Rails Girls Berlin study group and successfully launched in March 2014. It took a year to develop and saw a group of 8 programming newbies confront many technical challenges and learn a great deal about Ruby and Rails along the way.
This talk will give an overview of the technical and social process of developing Spearkerinnen: as newcomers to software development and with the help of a great community. We will also cover some success stories that show how Speakerinnen raises awareness about the issue and has already made a difference at some events.