An interview with Laura Fernandez, Rails Girl + back end developer atCamaloon.

Rails Girls is a non-profit movement founded by Linda Liukas and Karri Saarinen in Helsinki, where the 1st workshop took place in 2010. Since then, this peer-run (and free!) workshop, that aims to “give tools for women to build their ideas”, has been organized by local teams in over than 200 cities, attracting more and more girls to the programming world.

In Spain, this Rails Girls movement is sparking. Their workshops have already taken place in Madrid (2012), Córdoba (2014) and Gran Canaria (2015). In Barcelona, the 1st one took place two years ago. And recently, a group of volunteers thought the time had arrived to organize a second one! And here we go with the 2nd free Rails Girls workshop in town, taking place on March 28 + 29 at FabLab.

One of those volunteers is Laura Fernández, backend developer at Camaloon and ruby on rails lover. We have interviewed her to have a look behind the scenes of the Rails Girls movement and the Barcelona group of volunteers.

itnig: Laura, can you explain a bit more what is Rails Girls, how it works and what is the ultimate motivation of this initiative?

Laura: The first time time I heard about Rails Girls, I loved the idea. A few months ago I met a group of girls who work on IT and ‘the question’ came up: why are so few girls in development, engineering and technology? Sadly, we don’t really know the reason. So, with this initiative we want to share our experience as tech-girls. We would like to teach all girls some basic things about our daily job as web developers and offer them help and support to those who are making their first steps in this world, or thinking on doing a career twist.

i: How many people are behind the Barcelona Rails Girls chapter? And can you explain us a bit more about your role?

L: This edition of Rails Girls Barcelona 2015 is being organized by a mixed group of volunteers. I say mixed because we are all girls but also we have a boy, Andreas! And I also say mixed because each of us is from a different country. So, it has been really inspiring and enriching every time we have spent together figuring out how this is going to be.

Not all of us are developers though, but we all love technology. Paulina was the first one who explained us the idea, because she collaborated a few times with the Rails Girls team in Poland. Andreas also has experience organizing previous Rails Girls’ events. María is our marketing person. She is full of ideas and deals with media & sponsors like a true ninja.

The rest of us, PiliSilvia and me, we are Rails developers and we all have done our best looking for coaches and sponsors.

i: I am a girl and I want to learn to code. What is Ruby on Rails and why should I start with this programming framework?

L: Ruby on Rails is an open source web application framework written in Ruby. It was first published in 2005 and new releases are published nearly each year. It is used in most startups and it is said that more than 600.000 sites all over the world are running in Ruby on Rails.

My background was software development, but anyone, from any background, who gives it a try finds it easy to learn and understand. There are no boring or confusing configuration files and the ruby syntax is really easy to get!

Rails Girls Barcelona · March 28 + 29

i: Any Rails Girls workshop lasts a weekend. Can you explain a bit more how is the weekend structured?

L: The installation party takes place the first. This means that we will help everyone setting up all software needed in their computers. After that, we will start with some theoretical explanations and coding, step by step. We would like to create a comfortable atmosphere in which everyone will be welcomed to ask any doubt. We will also have some enlightening talks from interesting people…sshhh…sorry I can’t tell you more 😉

i: What can someone with absolute zero knowledge about programming create something in less than 48h?

L: It is not so important what you are going to develop, but what you are going to learn. After the workshop you will understand how web development works, you will have the ability and the resources to start learning by your own. However, a lot of things can be done in 48hours, of course! A basic app will be deployed including some forms to interact with, a database, the application of some designs… All depends on you! Are you prepared? 😉

i: Can men also attend this workshop?

L: Yes, of course! The only requirement is that they have to attend with a girl. Unfortunately, there won’t be enough spots for everyone, so we are giving priority to girls.

i: A lot of women will be reading this post right now (I hope ^^). What would you tell them to encourage them to sign up?

L: Come on!!! Your are going to learn something new. This is your opportunity: everything you always wanted to know but you never dared to ask!!

Was Laura convincing enough?
Great! You can sign up here!
See you on Saturday, March 28 at FabLab!

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E.

Essential Podcasts for Entrepreneurs & Tech Lovers

Podcasts are a great way to discover new subjects and new people. Whether you are a tech lover or an entrepreneur, bellow you will discover podcasts for entrepreneurs you should – without a doubt – listen to. 

Itnig Podcast with César Migueláñez, Bernat Farrero and Carlos Pierre
Itnig Podcast with César Migueláñez, Bernat Farrero and Carlos Pierre

« Masters of Scale » 

with Reid Hoffman

The host: Reid Hoffman decides to turn to the corporate world instead of pursuing a university carrier. He worked for Apple, Fujitsu for then starting his own business: SocialNet and left it in 2000 to join Confinity. Confinity gives life to Paypal after fusionning. Finally, in 2003, Hoffman co-founds LinkedIn. He is Master of Scale’s host. 

About: The podcast welcomes some of the greatest entrepreneurs. You will discover throughout the talk how they managed to take their companies from 0 to a lot of zeros. You can listen to Masters of Scale’s special guests like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Selina Tobaccowalla (Evite), Brian Chesky (Airbnb) or Nancy Lublin (Crisis Text Line). Must-hear: one of the top tech podcasts for entrepreneurs.

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Youtube

The Team: Reid Hoffman, June Cohen, Deron Triff and Jai Punjabi

« Rocket » 

with Christina Warren, Simone de Rochefort and Brianna Wu

The hosts: Christina Warren started as a Freelance Writer. Then, she worked at Mashable as a Senior Tech Analyst and Tech Correspondent and ended the journey at Microsoft as a Senior Cloud Developer Advocate. About Simone de Rochefort, she is  Senior Video Producer and co-host of The Polygon Show. Brianna Wu founded her first startup at the age of 19, Giant Spacekat. She was Head of Development at the time. She is now running for US Congress. 

About: In this podcast, you will discover three passionate women and their “geek conversation” as they like to call it.  No guest speakers, but you will be able to listen to a panel of tech subjects from Apple to Comics, you will not be disappointed. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Spotify and Castro

« This week in Startups »

with Jason Calacanis

The host: Jason Calacanis starts as an internet industry journalist in New-York. In 2003, he co-founded Weblogs, Inc and then a few years later he joined Sequoia Capital, launched the web directory Mahalo. He also founded ThisWeekIn.com. Furthermore, he created This Week in Startups podcast and a startup named Inside.com. Finally, he was part of the creation of the Sydney Launch Festival. 

About: Either you are looking to start your own company, or you are a successful entrepreneur, or you just love technology, this podcast will give you a peek to the entrepreneurship world. You will hear stories of all kinds! On his website, you will also find his events and some research on transportation, healthcare and more. This is one is part of the tech podcasts for entrepreneurs not to be missed.

Listen to the podcast: Apple Podcasts, Youtube, SoundCloud and RSS Feed

You can also subscribe to their newsletter in order to receive episodes directly. 

The Team: Jason Calacanis, Jacqui Deegan, and Tony Agapiou

« Recode / Decode » 

with Kara Swisher

The host: Kara Swisher is an American journalist specialized in the technology industry. She first started to work for an alternative newspaper in Washington for then working for the Washington Post. She wrote articles for the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and wrote her own books. Finally, in 2014, she created Recode, a website dedicated to the latest technology news. In 2015, she initiates Recode Decode. 

About: The weekly podcast welcomes tech experts and great entrepreneurs. They review how they got there, what’s on their mind about the current industry and what they would improve or create. Her recent guests were Elon Musk (Tesla CEO), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg. 

Listen to the podcast: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn

« K Fund PodKast »

with Jaime Novoa

The host: Jaime Novoa’s background is quite diverse. He is a writer and an investor, but he also worked in data analysis and social media analysis. In 2014, he founded Novobrief, a newsletter for startups. Then, in 2016, he becomes an investor at K Fund and he founds, in 2019, Dealflow, a weekly tech newsletter. 

About: The podcast discusses startups, entrepreneurs and Venture Capital. You will discover enterprises and their story. From data science, unicorns or digital platforms, you sure will find more than one interesting podcast. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website and Soundcloud

« Clockwise »

with Dan Moren and Mikah Sargent

The hosts: Dan Moren is an active author and writer as well as podcaster. He was a Senior Editor at Macworld. Today, he hosts two podcast shows: Clockwise and The Rebound. As for Mikah Sargent, he started as a Website Designer and Developer for then switching as a Senior Editor at Newsy. He now hosts few podcasts such as Clockwise on Replay FM or on TWiT.tv. 

About: The weekly podcast discusses technology and welcomes each time 2 special guests. For 30 minutes, they address 4 topics where all four speakers get to elaborate on the matter, highlight the issues and expose their thoughts. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Spotify and Castro

« Itnig Podcast»

with Bernat Farrero

The host: Bernat Farrero starts his career as a Developer. In 2009, he founded Itnig, a startup ecosystem that organizes entrepreneurship events. They also have a coworking for startups, a podcast and a fund for early-stage projects. Furthermore, he is a Founder of Factorial, Quipu and Camaloon. He is also a Board Member of Playfullbet, GymForLess and Parkimeter. Finally, he hosts Itnig’s weekly Podcast. 

About: The podcast welcomes every week a new guest. If you wish to learn from successful entrepreneurs, you are on the right platform. The discussions turn around Technology and its industry. You will come across guests like Carlos Pierre (Badi), Vincent Rosso (BlaBlaCar) or Oscar Pierre (Glovo).

Listen to the podcast: Youtube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Ivoox, and Google Podcasts

You can subscribe to their newsletter if you want to receive the podcast’s link every Monday. 

Whether you are at an early stage of your project, an investor or you are just curious, these podcasts for entrepreneurs give you the opportunity to be updated on tech and business news. Also, you get to learn from successful international entrepreneurs, which can definitely be very useful for your business.