Participating in the Berkman Center Ruby on Rails Workshop for Women was like making stone soup. Not to diminish my part as a teacher or the efforts of volunteers in San Francisco who worked to create the curriculum over the past several months, but the Boston area had all the makings of a successful workshop before I arrived.

Liana Leahy (@lleahy) and Mary Tolbert (@mtolbert) are vibrant leaders, skilled organizers, as well as strong technologists. Ruby on Rails developers from all of the Boston area were drawn by a clear need for teachers and mentors. Volunteers generously shared their experience and trouble-shooting skills. Andy Grigorowitz taught the group who had no prior programming experience. Jim Barkley and Dev Purkayastha also volunteered to teach, but I think ended up joining the group of amazing TAs. The facilities at Harvard provided a supportive physical environment with wireless connections, power outlets embedded in the desks and microphones for each student to ask a question and be heard. The physical environment and supportive human presence contributed to a sense of abundance that I feel is a key part of the workshop’s success.

As important as the event itself are the activities which follow. Josh Nichols and others from Boston Ruby warmly welcomed workshop participants into their midst. The Boston Ruby group offers frequent meetings on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Tuesday of every month, representing a thriving community of developers. Because so many local developers showed up and offered friendly assistance, it means that people from the workshop can attend a Boston Ruby meetup or hack session and maybe they will already know someone there. It is a powerful thing feeling that you are amongst friends.

I was inspired and honored to be a part of this event. It is my hope and expectation that the work will continue through the Open Source Code Crunch and future workshops.

Awesome volunteers:

Please let me know if I missed you or a link to your website, blog or twitter. I would love to stay in touch!

Special thanks to

What do you think?