Letters to students

mishmosh edited this page Aug 9, 2012 · 3 revisions

Lillie's letters to students

This is the first email that I sent via Meetup.com to those who had RSVP'd yes. It gave them about four days to take the survey.

Subject: Keep your spot in the March RoR Workshop for Women - it's survey time.

Hey folks,

I hope you're super psyched about the RailsBridge Workshop for Women on (DATES PLEASE) at Pivotal Labs!

Please take this survey about your experience with programming by this Friday, (INSERT DATE) at 5pm. It should take about 45 seconds to three minutes depending on how long you think about your answers. Don't overanalyze ... whether you mark "No" or "Yes" or write "I'm an expert!" for everything, we'll find a place for you.

After 5pm this Friday, we'll start moving people who haven't finished the survey from the "Yes" list to the Waiting list. Don't let it be you! (Also, if you realize you can't make it, please kindly change your RSVP to reflect that.)

If you have a +1, please reply with their name and email address so that we can get them the survey and install instructions when we get to that point.

If you have any questions, let us know!

Your co-organizers,

Lillie & Jessie

PS: Direct survey link, for posterity: (DIRECT SURVEY LINK HERE PLZ)

This is the short version of "hello, take the damn survey", for following up with added people.

Please take this survey about your experience with programming by Wednesday March 21. It should take about 45 seconds to three minutes depending on how long you think about your answers. Don't overanalyze ... whether you mark "No" or "Yes" or write "I'm an expert!" for everything, we'll find a place for you.

Since it's really short and helps a ton with the pre-planning, please do take it soon. Thanks!


All the best,


At this point, I changed the limit from 75 to 100, and sent out my third email with the survey link. (There was a similar one when I took out the first round of non-responders.)

Subject: March 30/31 Workshop -- Now Featuring Everyone

We've opened up the Workshop on (DATES) to everyone on the waitlist because Pivotal is massive and you're all wonderful people.

If you haven't yet, please take the programming experience survey. It will take 1-2 minutes: (SURVEY LINK)

I just finished the first batch of class-level groupings, and can't wait to add you!

Please mark yourself as not attending if you can't make it.

Email me any questions -- I'll be sending out Installfest instructions later this week.



Five days out, I sent this, as people were asking about install / curriculum stuff.

Subject: Install Link & Getting Ready

Yay Railsbridge!


And here are the instructions for setting up your development environment. Try to get through as much of it as possible independently, but if (when) you hit a snag, don't stress: (INSTALLFEST LINK). Even if you get through everything no problem, come by on Friday night so we can check it out and give you a sticker.

Very Important Thing

If you have a Mac, you need to install XCode before you come! Instructions in the link above.

As always, let me know if you have any questions.



Installfest-eve: Thursday night logistics email

Subject: Railsbridge is upon us!

If you haven't yet, take the experience survey: (SURVEY LINK)

Install instructions are here; get through as much as you can before Friday, but don't stress if you can't: (INSTALLFEST LINK).

There's no formal presentation on Friday; you'll just need to be there until your machine is ready to go for Saturday.

If you have a Mac, the most important thing is getting XCode installed before you come!

WHAT TO BRING: Yourself, your laptop, and your power supply. Also some ID and money if you're coming to the afterparty.

Pivotal is providing pizza on Friday and delicious lunch on Saturday, as well as snacks and drinks, and we'll make sure to have some coffee and bagels for you Saturday morning.

PARKING/GETTING INTO THE BUILDING: Pivotal is at 875 Howard Street, 5th Floor Bike Parking: There aren't any bike racks in Pivotal, but you can bring you bike up into the office. Car Parking: There is a parking lot at 5th & Howard as well as the 5th & Mission parking garage. If you're able, we definitely encourage taking Bart since low cost parking will be tough to score. Pivotal is a 2.5 block walk from Powell Bart station. Once you get to the front door of 875 Howard, press the buzzer on the left and the security guard will buzz you in. You'll sign in at the front desk, then take the elevator up to the fifth floor.

SCHEDULE: Here's a loose schedule for the Saturday:

  • 9:00-9:30 Sign-in/get coffee/make friends
  • 9:30-10:00 Intro Presentation
  • 10:00-10:50 Session 1
  • 11:00-12:00 Session 2
  • 12:00-1:00 Lunch
  • 1:00-2:15 Session 3
  • 2:30-3:30 Session 4
  • 3:30-4:00 Wrap up & final questions
  • 4:00-4:15 Teacher/TA debrief & cleanup
  • 4:30 - ??? After party (location TBA)

CURRICULUM: If you're curious about what you'll be learning, feel free to take a look at the curriculum before Saturday. You can find the curriculum here: http://curriculum.railsbridge.org/

CHILDCARE: We'll have a babysitter there on Saturday; so far we've got two awesome parents bringing three awesome kids. If you need childcare and haven't already let us know, now is the time.

See you tomorrow!


Lillie & Jessie

Friday daytime "You really have to come to the Installfest, people" email, after I've gotten tired of people asking if they have to come.

Subject: Installfest == Required

Hey everybody,

Apologies if you're getting Railsbridge email fatigue. I recommend turning off comment notifications on Meetup by going to My Profile --> Email Settings.

I want to clarify that the Installfest tonight is mandatory. We've found that it saves us a lot of headaches on Saturday if we guarantee each student's setup the night before. That's why we ask that everyone come by, even if you've finished the install on your own.

Let me know if you have any questions, and see you tonight!

All the best,


Mid-afternoon on Saturday, I sent the survey link to the participants (grabbing their email addresses off the survey responses; didn't send via Meetup.com)

Subject: Workshop Feedback Survey!!!

Hi Learners-of-Rails,

Thanks so much for coming to the Workshop this weekend. Please let us know how it went! Here's a quick survey: (POST-WORKSHOP SURVEY LINK)

See you again soon!!!



PS: It's anonymous, so feel free to be totallllllllly honest!

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