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Go start something: free Ruby on Rails workshop for women and their friends

The organisers behind the RailsBridge Workshop, believe that there is a gender imbalance in Cape Town’s tech community. The inaugural “one-and-a-bit day” Ruby programming course that runs from 26 July to 27 July, aims to serve as a starting point to women interested in coding.

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The free workshop which promises to show how programming skills can be useful, empowering, and fun — particularly in the context of the web — is bound to pique the interest of female entrepreneurs who have been thinking about starting an online venture. RailsBridge is an opportunity to both learn and network with a “diverse network of smart, capable programmers.” Attendees are likely to run into Jörg Diekmann, a Ruby developer involved in big name sites like and, and some clever folks from Hetzner, the South African web hosting juggernaut.

The course will cover an introduction to programming concepts, the available tools, and Ruby and Rails development techniques. Attendees can expect to learn practical skills useful for charting a new career path or enhancing a current skill set.

The event will be run by a volunteer team of experienced and enthusiastic developers focused on building and diversify Cape Town’s Ruby community. Ruby developer and event volunteer teacher, Stuart Corbishley, says that there is a massive shortage of Ruby Developers in South Africa.

“I believes the workshop will help the local industry by getting those people who are interested in programming to take that first plunge. The best result would be someone changing their career or creating something great. I imagine people will be attending to learn Rails not only to learn it as a skill for employment, but to utilise it to bring an idea they’ve had to life,” says Corbishley.

The even is casting a wide net, and will cater for all levels of expertise. “We are anticipating that a large group of participants won’t have any programming experience whatsoever, in which case half the day will be the concepts of logic and flow (in Ruby),” explains Corbishley.

Gentlemen who are reading this and experiencing a bout of FOMO, need not fear, female attendees are allowed to bring friends of any gender.

Event organiser and cross-platform UX wizard at Unboxed Consulting, Steve Barnett, says that RailsBridge was created following, RubyFuza, Africa’s “premier Ruby conference”, and that “with luck,” it can turn into a trimonthly workshop.

“RailsBridge caught my attention because it’s about things that I’m interested in and care about: gender politics in the tech space, and learning and education. I’d like to say a big thank you to the teachers and organisers who are volunteering their time to help make this happen,” says Barnett.

RailsBridge will be held at Unboxed Consulting’s offices, Madison Place, Alphen Office Park, Constantia.

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