Katharina Brunner

Bloggin' since 2007

Why RailsGirls is cool, but I won’t learn Rails

Last weekend I build my first application with Ruby on Rails (you can do that at home, too, with this guide). Users can write down an idea with a headline, some text and upload a picture. All this functions are basically built with one line of code. This is amazing!

Learning Rails RailsGirls Munich – insider always call the programming language Rails, never Ruby on Rails – seems to be very hard. It follows a totally different approach than building websites with HTML, CSS and some PHP. Modell, view, controller – Rails structures a web application in this three entities. You have to set it up in the terminal, the discouraging terminal. Installing stuff – aka gems – seems the hardest part, maybe because I got stuck there all the time.

Explaining the mvc concept is crucial in understanding Rails, but so hard to get. I didn’t. I wanted to build the wifi map of Regensburg so that users can register their own cafes. The tutorial was probably too old, a link to Leaflet was not successful, short: it was a too hard stuff for the beginning. I had great help in not finishing my project from coach @caffeejunk and a fellow participant (I definitely will try her e-mail app for Android once it is published). It didn’t work out.

Sarah, who organized RailsGirls Munich, was handling the fancy Espresso machine in the kitchen of Property base, Landwehr Straße, Munich, just a few hundred meters south of the main train station, with the network hub of Deutsche Telekom in the basement. I asked: “Who pays for all this?” Eating and drinking is for free, there was great lunch, everybody got a bag with stuff, that nobody needs.

“Property Base is paying” she said. “They raised their hands immediately.” Property Base makes software for real estate firms. The CTO of the company full of men is Konstantin Krauss. It was him, the hobby magician, who held a blood, sweat and tears speech at the end of the one day workshop. The message: Girls, go into tech. They need you there.

A huge part of the participants studies computer sciene, informatics or media informatics. I leave them this field  of technology, have fun with it. Or as Brigitte Jellinek, a lecturer from Salzburg University of Applied Sciences put it: “Get a programmer, who doesn’t know what to code and let the person so it.” So be it.

After the sitting in front of computers of all kinds, programming all day long in one of the top end languages for backend software on the web, one boy working for Property base said: “I am surprised, I always thought girls can’t do two things: programming and parking a car.” Long way to go.


[…] Datei in WordPress ausgeben. Denn dazu fehlt das Werkzeug. Ich gehe davon aus, dass es mit einer anderen Sprache wie Ruby on Rails leichter ginge, aber – da kann man nichts machen – ich kann Rails nicht. Nur bei WordPress fühle ich mich […]

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