OuluSES organized the second Rails Girls event in Oulu this November! Rails Girls is a workshop for women and girls who are interested in technology and want to learn programming. The aim is to give tools and a community for women to understand technology and to build their ideas. During the two-day free workshop the participants learned basic programming and got introduced to the world of technology. Rails Girls was born in Finland, but is nowadays a global, non-profit volunteer community. See more about Rails Girls at railsgirls.com!
Rails Girls Oulu was organized at Business Kitchen premises and sponsored by CIE – Center for Internet Excellence which is a research center at the University of Oulu focusing on for example the future internet, living labs and smart societies. Another sponsor for the event was TOL – the department of information and processing science at the Oulu University. See more about our friends TOL and CIE at cie.fi and oulu.fi/tol/
The workshop started on Friday afternoon with some coffee and cupcakes! We had two great lady speakers giving talks to the participants. Firstly Sari Päivärinta from Mobile Brain Bank told her story and emphasized the fact that even though she didn’t know much about programming, she could still do successful business and work in the field. Then Jenni Saarenpää, the entrepreneur behind Design Ninja, explained the processes behind web design, the main point being that one should listen to the customer carefully and test the solution as often as possible.
Saturday morning began with breakfast and reggae music. Then we dived right into the world of programming and Ruby language. The coaches gave short speeches about the history of programming (btw. early in the programming history most of it was done by women) and introduction to ruby basics. We learned that programming is not lonely; it is mostly done in teams where communication skills are essential. Also we were given hints on where to find help for programming related problems. After listening to the talks the girls started the hands on work and creating their very first web application.
After lunch we were yet again visited by two inspiring speakers! Janne Airaksinen from Differ Group came to ask the participants some questions about life and gave us some inspirational thoughts to think about. “What are you doing today to develop yourself?” and more importantly “what do you do to develop others?” These are something everyone should think about in our daily life. Rails Girls is a great event to take the path to develop yourself and others.
Also Jussi Autio from Oulu Game Lab gave a short talk about the gaming industry and especially the women in there. Interestingly even though 40 percents of gamers are women, only about 20 of people working in the industry are women. Moreover, if the marketing and HR people are taken out, the percentage of actual developers is depressing. So there is a definite need for more women in the industry!
All in all, the workshop was a success! You can see the program of the workshop here. We got over 60 applications to join but due to the space limitation we could take about 25 participants. It seems there is a great interest among women and girls to learn more about programming. Don’t worry if you didn’t fit in this time because there is more to come, so stay tuned!