Last weekend, February 19-20, I attended a Rails Girls event in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Rails Girls gives attendees an opportunity to learn the basics of building a web application with Ruby on Rails in an informal environment. These training events encourage women to explore technology and computer science fields. All attendees are women or, if male, must be accompanied by a woman.
At the event, we were given instruction on Rails by several coaches and then followed a step by step guide to build our own web application. There were eight coaches and less than 20 participants, so the training was very individualized and hands on. The skill level of attendees varied widely and Rails Girls encourages anyone who is new to programming to attend. While I had very introductory experience with Rails going in (from attending a HydraCamp), much of the content was still new to me, but after a day, I felt more comfortable with the basics and we all went home with a simple web application we had built ourselves. The day long session was a good introduction and there are many tools to help attendees continue their knowledge of Rails afterwards, on their own.
Check out upcoming Rails Girls events, which are held all over the world.