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# The How to Guide
## Hosting your first Rails Girls event
-
-Our aim is to give tools for women to understand technology. The Rails Girls events do this by providing a great first experience on building the Internet.
+
+Our aim is to give tools for women to understand technology. The Rails Girls events do this by providing a great first experience on building the Internet.
Rails Girls was founded in end of 2010 in Helsinki. Originally intended as a onetime event, we never thought to see so many local chapters all around the world! This guide has been put together to help you get started.
-Please contact us at contact@railsgirls.com if you want to organise a local chapter. The roadmap for future events can be seen at [www.railsgirls.com](http://railsgirls.com).
+Please contact us at [contact@railsgirls.com](mailto:contact@railsgirls.com) if you want to organise a local chapter. The roadmap for future events can be seen at [www.railsgirls.com](http://railsgirls.com).
### The Basics
Rails Girls events are non-profit. We don’t charge the participants and do not pay for coaches or speakers. Participants don’t need any previous knowledge about programming and there are no age-limitations. All the participants need is a laptop and some curiosity.
-
+
The two-day event includes a lot of small group working and short focused talks on programming, design and web. No panel discussions or podium-talks - the spirit should be informal and hands-on. The more you can remove abstractions and add inclusivity the better.
#### Rails Girls philosophy
@@ -29,5 +29,313 @@ The two-day event includes a lot of small group working and short focused talks
#### Materials:
* [Speakerdeck](http://speakerdeck.com/u/railsgirls)
-
+
### Program
+
+Every Rails Girls event starts with an installation fest where the setup is pre-installed to the girls computers. See [railsgirls.com/install](http://railsgirls.com/install) for readymade instructions. The installation fest can include short talks, but the main point is to offer some sparkling wine, get everything set for the next day and the girls to know each other. The timeframe is tentative - you know your audience and what suits them best. We've hosted events both during weekend and weekdays. Also, doing two evenings (4PM - 22 PM) might be a more suitable solution for your community needs.
+
+#### Learning objectives of the workshop:
+
+* Understanding what is the difference between dynamic and static web page.
+* Vocabulary of the web: developing a basic understanding of what components make a web application. Understanding the ABCs of coding: strings, methods, variables, arrays, exclamations, chaining, hashed, symbols, blocks.. as well as the tools (terminal, browser, text editor). Creating a conceptual understanding of webs building blocks: programming languages, frameworks, databases, infrastructure.
+* Have an idea of how to move forward in the programming world: both online and offline.
+
+#### Example program
+
+##### Friday evening: Installation
+
+###### 19:00 - 21:00 Installations and getting to know each other
+
+Have enough coaches to help with installation problems. Have a coach-table where problematic computers can be brought to. Some installations will fail: be prepared to set girls in pairs, don't use endless amounts of time.
+
+Go through the program for the next days, introduce the coaches. Maybe say a few words about programming in general
+
+Try to speak a little with everyone. Sparkling wine helps!
+
+###### 20:00 - 20:30 Designing the web
+
+How to approach web app design. Ask for a local designer or ux-person to give a talk on designing web apps. The idea is to do a couple of easy prototyping exercises, underlining that ideas should be simplified and drawing your ideas first is always cheaper and faster than coding.
+
+__Tips:__ decorate the place with balloons and posters. Make together a fun [playlists](http://open.spotify.com/user/lindaliukas/playlist/1fgkUFCFDrSn621kf4iHhr) for the evening! Come up with activities to break the ice: ask the girls to write why they are attending the event on post-its or to draw and describe their dream web app.
+
+##### Saturday:
+
+###### 09:00 - 10:00 Registration and coffee
+
+Reserve enough time for people to mingle and to solve any problems there might be with installations. Set up a table for name badges (with teams assigned) and goodie bags. Take everyones e-mails as they come in!
+
+Set up a bowl where girls can leave their acronyms for the [Bentobox exercise](/.).
+
+###### 10:00 - 10:10 Welcoming words
+
+Say a few friendly words: why we are here, what the girls can look forward to learning. Showing what we’ll build and how you can do many things around one simple idea.
+
+###### 10:15 - 11:15 Introduction to programming
+
+A basic lecture on programming. Ask one of the coaches to do this - let him or her prepare in advance. The other coaches should also comment. Encourage early on a participative and open athmosphere where asking questions is ok. See also [tips for coaches](/.).
+
+* The difference between dynamic and static websites: what are web apps?
+* What are programming languages? What is Rails?
+* The tools we’ll be using: browser, terminal, code editor, folder structure
+* Show & tell with [tryruby.org](http://tryruby.org)
+
+__Tips:__ walk through slowly the [tryruby.org](http://www.tryruby.org) exercises so that the girls can follow on their computers. First three-four chapters might be enough. Write down the terms you use, stop when there are questions. Explain why learning Ruby basics is important even though they'll be using Rails.
+
+###### 11:30 - 13:00 Workshop time
+
+Going through (slowly!) the curriculum at [railsgirls.com/app](http://railsgirls.com/app). Stop to explain what you’re doing and what the different concepts mean. It might be useful for the girls to have a printed version of the app structure they can easily follow.
+
+Try to aim for simple explanations even with the cost of accuracy. You don’t need to talk about all underlining concepts. Just try to answer questions when they arise, or move on if they’re too hard or out of scope. You are not here to teach perfect coding skills but to show how to get stuff done. One has to learn how to build web apps before learning how to do it well.
+
+
+__Concepts to cover:__
+
+* Rails Generators
+* Scaffolds: Rails App Structure
+* Gem Management
+* MVC, REST/Resources
+* _If time:_
+* Models and Active Record
+* Controllers and ActionController
+* Views and ERB
+
+__Tips:__ Coaches are people too. They are doing this for the first time too. Teaching might be hard and intimidating, so remember to be available to help coaches or groups with difficult situations or just provide support and encouragement.
+
+###### 13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
+
+Lunch tables can have table topics, such as Rails, HTML5 etc. that the girls and coaches can use as discussion starter.
+
+###### 14:00 - 14:30 Bentobox exercise
+
+Putting technical jargon into a context with a conceptual model called Bentobox.
+
+Two exercises:
+
+1. Going through the 10 technical concepts with the physical Bentobox boards.
+2. Going through the words the girls have themselves submitted with the coaches.
+
+* [Download the example slidedeck](http://speakerdeck.com/u/railsgirls/p/rails-girls-bentobox-exercise)
+* [Watch the instruction video](https://vimeo.com/390496322)
+
+
+###### 14:30 - 18:00 Workshop time.
+
+Time to continue working on the applications. Monitor the situation: when it seems like people have a hard time concentrating, have the coaches or other speakers give quick lightning talks.
+
+__Example topics for lighting talks:__
+
+* Real (female) programmers telling what their career has been like.
+* Design: UX & UI. Making mockups together either with paper or computer.
+* Fun ways of explaining technical concepts and recent frameworks: what is CoffeeScript explained in 80s pop songs? How would you describe GitHub? What coding and creative writing have in common?
+* All kind of creativity is strongly supported!
+* Show us something real: don’t speak in abstractions, be spesific and tell stories.
+
+Once everyone has finished their app, there is time to extend the application by modifying the CSS, implementing commenting systems etc. Allow enough time for experimentation. At the end, have participants present projects and encourage them to push their apps into Heroku. Motivate into action: mention the next event.
+
+###### 19:00 After party
+
+Invite everyone, also the local developers, boys, those who weren't accepted, to join!
+
+#### Materials
+
+* Programming 101 slides
+* Bentobox exercise
+
+### Promotion of Rails Girls
+
+Every Rails Girls workshop will get a custom website at railsgirls.com/city where the information is collected and then stored. For past cities, see [railsgirls.com/events](railsgirls.com/events)
+
+While the event is underway, remember to take pictures, collect tweets and ask questions from the participants. We love to write blog posts about the speaker and participant experiences. Also a list of the coaches is required.
+
+#### How to find local developers?
+
+* Google. Almost every country has some sort of a Rails or Ruby community (sometimes called Ruby Brigade or Ruby Tuesday). Look for [Hackernews](http://news.ycombinator.com) meetups, [GitHub](http://www.github.com) contributors or [Dribbble](http://dribbble) draftees. Find the local open source scene. Surf the technology conferences (here's [a list](http://rubythere.com/) of Rubythemed ones, but others are cool too) and meetups at [meetup.com](http://www.meetup.com). Call software development houses, big and small. Don't forget IRC and podcasts!
+* Check out hashtags like #rails #ruby and #opensource from [Twitter search](https://twitter.com/#!/search-home). To find people from say close to NYC, use the following search operators "near:NYC within:15mi". Some countries have specific hashtags like #Rubysur and #RubyArg they use, remember to ask!
+* Startup community. Startup Digest is a good beginning point for events and communities.
+* Often there are one or two key persons who will be able to introduce you further, the technology world is surprisingly connected.
+
+#### How to find participants?
+
+* Use social media: Facebook, Twitter & local networks such as Weibo. Friends, girlfriends, co-workers!
+* Local [Girls in Tech](https://twitter.com/#!/gitweet), [DevChix](http://www.devchix.com/), [Geek Girl](http://geekgirlmeetup.com/) chapters etc. Check out also [Meetup.com](http://www.meetup.com/). Twitter lists like @anitaborg's [Tech Women Programs](https://twitter.com/#!/anitaborg_org/tech-women-programs) and similar.
+* Think outside the box: universities, book clubs, music stores, design agencies, [Etsy](http://www.etsy.com). We want girls who are interested in technology, but they can still have very varied backgrounds.
+
+#### How to get press?
+
+One of the big aims of Rails Girls is to make it more mainstream for girls to build the web. That’s why we like to engage the local press and bring front the participants and their enthusiasm. We’d be happy to help prepare a press-release for the media. Check out [railsgirls.com/press](http://railsgirls.com/press) for more.
+
+#### l word about branding
+
+Software is a craft, showing. Telling the human side. We encourage our coaches to talk about open source, the fierece figures in programming, the magical stories of \_why's dissapearance or David's hear.
+
+We want to redefine technology. Pinboard. More Sophie Coppola than Barbie.
+
+#### Materials
+
+* Programming 101 slides
+* Bentobox exercise
+
+### Sponsorships
+
+Rails Girls talks to a demographic that might be hard to reach other ways: women who have an interest in technology, who are possible users, employees or partners of the sponsoring company.
+
+We are looking for sponsors who are active participants in the local technology scene, whether it’s a startup or a big corporation, a non-profit or a government organization.
+
+Also non-traditional technology companies can be approached: kids stores, universities, women's magazines, beverage brands etc. They all should however have some affiliation or interest in technology.
+
+Sponsors should be approved beforehand by the core team and are operated fully by the local organizing team. For a breakdown of costs, check out the template. Rails Girls should always be kept non-profit: if there's money left, it should be used to support the future activities of the attendees.
+
+__What do sponsors get?__
+
+* Logo on event website
+* Rollup space at event, opportunity to distribute handouts and/or swag
+* Possibility to speak for 5 minutes
+* In most events there are official pictures taken that the sponsors can use afterwards
+
+We don’t give out the participant info, but sponsors are free to hang out at the event and we’ll be sure to include a short message to the thank you -note. Sponsor swag may be included in the goodie bag to an extent: however it should be something tasteful, not trashy and related to girls.
+
+#### Materials
+
+* Example letter for sponsors
+* Example budget
+
+
+### FAQ
+
+__Who can organise a Rails Girls workshop?__
+
+Anyone. What we look for is a group of people dedicated in making this a stellar first experience in the world of web making for girls. What we hope to see is some (not all) of the following:
+
+* Contacts to the local developer scene. We are pretty technology agnostic, so it doesn’t have to be purely Ruby & Rails people. In practice every event needs 5 or more coaches that have basic knowledge of Rails and two days to contribute. In general the events have been around 25 - 40 people strong.
+* Event organisation know-how. Nt heaps, but some practicalities under the belt.
+* An inkling of an idea where to look for girls interested in technology. University, literature, arts, sports - we try to look for people who are interested in Internet, but do not have experience in coding.
+* Willingness to guide the girls in the future if they have questions or want to organize their own events or find local developer gatherings.
+
+Start by filling out [railsgirls.com/inyourcity](http://railsgirls.com/inyourcity) and someone from our team will be in contact
+
+
+__What kind of venue is needed?__
+
+We recommend choosing a venue with a built-in infrastructure for around 30-50 persons. For a programming event, this means:
+* High-speed, tested Internet. There’s going to be over 30 computers online all the time. Add to that mobilephones, streaming music, funny videos and you get the picture!
+* Space for 4-6 person groups to gather together: chairs and tables, sometimes big pillows will do! This doesn’t have to be in the same room.
+* Possibility to set up extension chords and a projector.
+* Location for food and beverage setup - lunch space for catering or a nearby lunch venue.
+* External monitors for teams are encouraged but not mandatory, helps the coaches show what is happening in the code.
+
+Ask where local developer meetings are usually hosted. Often co-working spaces are also willing to negotiate deals to gain some visibility among new people.
+
+__What is expected from the coaches?__
+
+Rails Girls events are organized around small groups, ideally maximum of 4-5 persons per one coach. The coaches don’t need to be hardcore experts on Rails - basic knowledge and willingness to explain trumps expertise. We are looking for people who like answering questions and can keep an upbeat and positive atmosphere through a period of 8 hours!
+
+You can get to know the curriculum by checking out [railsgirls.com/app](http://railsgirls.com/app). There is also always a pre-event coach dinner where we’ll go through some pedagogical suggestions and check everyone knows what is happening. Avoid jargon, tie examples to what your doing, encourage asking questions. The installation instructions can be found at [railsgirls.com/install](http://railsgirls.com/install)
+
+We hope the coaches are ok with having their name and twitter-id/github/some mean of contact on railsgirls.com so the girls always have a local face to answer their questions.
+
+In addition, we encourage coaches to come up with additional exercises for the group. After completing the ideation app many girls will want to try tweaking the look & feel of the site, implementing commenting, Facebook sharing, pushing the app to Heroku etc. We have some plans to include these coach-planned mini-lectures in the site as well.
+
+* Want to become a Rails Girls coach?
+* Letter for the coaches
+
+__What materials do I get?__
+
+Each Rails Girls event gets a specific webpage.
+
+In addition we’ll help you out with the goodie bags, poster templates, workbooks and other swag like stickers, reflectors and so forward. All of the materials can be found on this site. You can also ask the sponsors to include some sponsor materials if they wish. We are always looking for creative outlets for the Rails Girls brand, if you have ideas, let us know!
+
+So far we've had
+
+* Stickers
+* Reflectors
+* Tattoos
+
+__How do I choose attendees?__
+
+In the form we ask only two questions: do you have any previous background in coding and why would you be a good participant for Rails Girls
+
+Rails Girls is intended for anyone and we want to keep it flexible enough for learners any age. However, make clear to the attendees what to expect: Rails Girls won’t make anyone into a coder, so people looking for i.e career change will be disappointed. On the other hand we like people with very diverse backgrounds and loads of enthusiasm.
+
+After selecting participants we generally split them into three groups:
+
+1. people with no previous programming experience
+2. people with some front-end experience (HTML, CSS, Javascript) and
+3. people with a little experience in programming or a background in computer sciences. You can use the different name-tags for each group if you want to (rubies, foxes, octocats, rails..)
+
+__What happens after the event?__
+
+Inviting real developers to coach is Rails Girls sessions not only gives the participants a chance for hands-on education, but also makes the barrier to enter the technology world lower. How to keep the girls coding?
+
+* Encourage them to continue practicing by trying different exercises like Codecademy and such.
+* Mention at least two forthcoming developer events where the local coaches will be. Try to get the girls to attend actual developer meetups
+* Invite everyone to the Facebook Group where they can ask questions.
+* Invite the girls together again within a month. You can host these meetups at the Rails Girls global meetup page http://www.meetup.com/Rails-Girls/ - we’ll be happy to promote events. However, it doesn't matter under which brand you want to continue meeting - the important thing'
+
+__What is the little girl all about?__
+
+Her name is Ruby, she's Linda's brainchild and a future rolemodel
+
+Occasionally we use illustrations to help humanize the brand on our websites and designs. Plus, we think they look purdy. Here, then, is everything you need to know about Mozilla and pictures.
+
+This group of fun, loveable monsters brings extra personality to the brand beyond our logo while bringing a little smile to your face. We tend to use them sparingly, but when applied correctly, they liven up text and generally bring some fun to a page.
+
+So much text, what if I just want to scrape all of this and
+Okay, totally up! Make it your own.
+Our idea
+
+If you do localization work for Mozilla, first of all, thank you. Second of all, thank you. We’re incredibly lucky to have community members who undertake this important and difficult task.
+
+Localization isn’t an extra step in our communication process; it is the pt we can't do a thing about those we don't even know exist. So tell us what recurring issues you've experienced, what works and what doesn't — it could be a language thing, a cultural issue or something to do with tone (especially when dealing with languages that have both formal and informal forms). Whatever it is, please pass it on.
+
+__Communications__
+
+* Do you have any previous experience in coding? What kind?
+* What excites you most about technology?
+* Why did you apply for Rails Girls?
+* Why do you want to learn how to code?
+* What would you like to build with your new skills?
+* What was the hardest part in this workshop?
+* Would you recommend Rails Girls to your friends? Why?
+* Is there something that you feel was missing in the event?
+
+Is there something else I could help with before the event?
+
+#### Materials
+
+### Checklist
+
+This is a small checklist for your event. Rails Girls can be thrown together in a matter of weeks, but to truly have time to make a good event, prepare at least two months. Not all of these steps are of course mandatory and they are here just to help you remember.
+
+#### Before the event:
+
+* Fill in the railsgirls.com/inyourcity application and the team will contact you!
+* Start working with the project plan template on Google Docs
+* Decide dates and set a venue
+* Reach out for the local coaches - try finding five people who commit to taking part
+* Release the website: write the copy and suggest a theme
+ 1. Dates and location.
+ 2. Application deadlines.
+ 3. Short introductory text, around 200 characters. Check out the past events for inspiration!
+ 4. Speakers of the day
+ 5. Partners - a two parapgraph sentence and a logo (100 x 100px or 250 x 90px and in png format)
+ 6. Coaches with twitter-handle
+
+* Start marketing the event
+* Start looking for sponsors
+* Reach out for press and write a pre-event story
+* E-mail accepted participants and non-accepted applicants
+* E-mail installation instructions and last minute event details
+* Set a date for coach dinner and send them instructions
+
+#### During the event
+
+* Tweet!
+* Remember to take photos
+* Interview participants and speakers about their experiences
+
+#### After the event
+
+* Update website to include pictures and possible blogposts
+* Invite participants to [Facebook group](http://www.facebook.com/groups/railsgirls/)
+* Send a thank you note to participants
+* Send a thank you note for organizers

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