A little while ago, we held our fifth RailsBridge Cape Town workshop. Thinking about it after the fact, perhaps we should have made more a party of it: one year of RailsBridge workshops done, hopefully many more to come!

Installfest in action

This workshop was at the very snazzy digs of iXperience Cape Town. Thank you Aaron and Alexis and gang for letting us use your space!

The InstallFest was the usual blur of activity, but Saturday calmed down a bit and the students rocked through the Intro to Rails course.

Improvements from the April workshop

We want to keep making each RailsBridge event better than the last. Here are some of the things that we’ve changed, based on feedback from the April workshop.

Panda-hatted giving a talk about Rails

We also experimented with having lunch out of the venue. The food was great, but timing was an issue. Going out as a large group to a venue is always a lengthy affair, and it makes a big break between bits of coding. If we go out for lunch again, we’ll look at a set menu, or at ordering in advance.

Feedback

As usual, we bugged our students for lots of feedback about the course and the workshop itself, and they gave us lots of great info to help make it better. We ask them to complete a short survey before and after the course, we gather feedback during the day using sticky notes on the walls, and we all make scribbled notes on any surface that looks like we can write on it.

Development tools and tasks

Chart of student's familiarity with development-related tasks and tools

Before and after the course, we asked our students about their familiarity with development-related tools (e.g. database tools, programming languages, developer kits) and with Ruby and Ruby on Rails. Both went up by at least one smiley: that’s great! :D

Best, Worst, Differently

We asked them what the best thing about the workshop was.

We also asked them what the worst thing about the workshop was.

Code, code, code!

The last thing we ask is what we could do differently next time.

Some things the RailsBridge team learned

The next one

The next official workshop will be at the end of October. If you want to come back to do one of the other courses in the curriculum, we would love to have you back! Why not bring a friend along and introduce them to the Intro to Rails course? Keep an eye on our meetup group for more details closer to the time.

In the meantime, there’s a RailsBridgeBridge at the end of this month: Saturday 30th August from 11am to 2pm. Come along and ask us more question about Ruby, Rails, and software development!