RailsBridge works to make tech more diverse and open by
providing free training and networking opportunities to
underrepresented groups. We teach Ruby, Ruby on Rails, HTML
stable of open-source curricula.
A typical workshop is 1.5 days, beginning with a Friday
evening “Installfest” where we get all the necessary
technologies installed on the students’ laptops, and
a Saturday workshop focused on demystifying the topic at
hand and building something the student can share, be it
a static website, a simple Rails app, or a Ruby script that
prints “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.”
The attitude at a RailsBridge workshop is palpably
encouraging for all levels of programmers. Every workshops
sees students with a wide range of backgrounds, from
professional developers and QA engineers interested in
learning Rails to total novices working with the command
line for the very first time. Workshop organizers, teachers
and TAs all volunteer their time and expertise, creating an
environment where students feel comfortable taking risks and
How do the workshops make a difference?
The benefits of attending a workshop as a student are
fairly self-evident: free training in a very in-demand
technology, a welcoming and accepting environment, and the
opportunity to connect with professional developers. For new
programmers, the affirmation that students receive can be
the difference between forever being intimidated by
computers (or programmers themselves) and feeling confident
enough to dive into tech. Many of the participants have
experience programming or hold a CS degree but have dropped
out of the field. A quick and practical introduction to
a popular new language and framework can jumpstart a career
Workshop students aren't the only ones learning, though.
Seasoned developers join the RailsBridge community and learn
to be more empathetic, deepen their knowledge of their
craft, and importantly, challenge their subconscious
preconceptions of what a programmer looks like.
Our process and curriculum are emphatically open source,
so that we can create a distributed network of coders who
value teaching and learners who become teachers. We are
dedicated to doing whatever it takes so that the makers of
technology are reflective of the people in our society.
Why does RailsBridge need sponsorship?
Accessibility is a chief priority for RailsBridge, and
we’ve found that providing free food, drinks, supplies, and
childcare allows our students and volunteers to fully commit
to the task of learning and educating. Since our workshops
do not charge tuition, we seek monetary and in-kind
donations to cover those substantial costs.
In San Francisco, we’re fortunate to find most companies
who host workshops are willing to also provide foods and
drinks for the workshop as well. Our geographic expansion
has increased the need for funds to support workshops in
places where Ruby on Rails is less well-known by local
businesses. Organizers in new communities are already busy
recruiting volunteers and students — we want to take the
challenge of fundraising off of their plates wherever
How can I convince my [insert decision maker here] that
my company/organization should support RailsBridge?
Supporting RailsBridge has the long-term benefit of
contributing to increased diversity in tech (which leads to
more productive and creative teams, for one). But supporting
RailsBridge also has more immediate benefits, in particular,
increasing your organization’s visibility within the Rails
community. By sponsoring RailsBridge, you are publicly
demonstrating to professional and future developers that
your organization values diversity, openness, and