SoundCloud is gearing up for a fourth year in a row of Rails Girls Summer of Code, a global initiative which boosts women’s programming careers by funding them to work for three months on an open source project. As a coaching company, we provide workspace and coaches for the Rails Girls teams over the summer. It’s a way for us to address diversity issues in our industry, contribute to open source and sharpen our mentoring skills–but the biggest reward is seeing how people from such different backgrounds can thrive in code and help us forge a more inclusive and diverse tech culture.
So, how do we run the summer of code?
We host one or two teams and provide at least one hour a day of coaching per-team. Each team has two coaches responsible for charting a learning course and we have a pool of SoundCloud engineers available for ad-hoc coaching. Engineers use their Self-Allocated Time and coordinate with their teams to coach between one and five hours a week. Coaches take turns holding introductory tutorials on topics like Git, Object Oriented Programming and Testing, then do pair programming sessions. We also have people pitching in from all parts of our company, such as our People Team running workshops on CV-writing and interviewing techniques. At the end of the summer, the teams present their projects at company demos.
Why do we do it?
We have a diversity resource group at SoundCloud dedicated to promoting and supporting women-in-engineering in our company and the industry. Supporting Rails Girls Summer of Code is one of our core activities to increase the number of women in tech: 90% of our mentees got jobs as software developers.
Want to get something like this started at your company?
Feel free to reach out to us and don’t forget to donate: the more money raised, the more women we support to code this summer!