Are you my Rails Wonder Woman?

I have been doing Ruby on Rails on and off for about a year and a half or so and it is wonderful. I have attended ruby meetings where there are very few women in the audience. I attended railsconf last year where I was one of about the 30- females there vs. the 1000+ men running around.

I may be an exception but I enjoy working in a mostly male environment. I crave the competition and want to be awesome . Not just awesome as a girl but awesome on a world wide ‘you just got beat’ scale.

As for women in the workplace, I want companies to always hire the best people. For rails, that tends to be men. I support this. I have not read or heard of many women whupping ass in the rails world so why do I expect us to get hired if our level of technicality and productivity is lesser than the other dev that is applying? And it just happens that the other dev will probably be a male programmer.

In addition, if we are concerned with not having enough female rails devs, then why are we segregating ourselves and having women rails groups? You do not see men having ‘male only rails groups.’ That would be silly. But then when we do it, is it not supposed to look just as silly?

I was originally skeptical about the DevChix group. I was worried that they would try to brain wash me and make me believe that males are the sign of the devil but a friend of mine convince me otherwise and I have been meaning to attend one of their meetings ever since. I am sorry I haven’t yet. Truthfully, I have been extremely lazy.

On the other hand, there is a female rails group that does not want to have male instructors. In my opinion, if you want to educate the female population and make them into budding programmers, then you need to have the best instructors. I don’t have care if my instructor is female, male or a wallaby that sings about how I should write code
but I want to make sure that I get the best teaching I can get and not having male instructors limits what the future female rails dev community can do.

Cristina

To see the full conversation, click here .

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Why You Should Go to Burning Man

Sunday night, after attending the Sunset Lake Dance party , my friend and I went to a burger place to refuel our energy tanks. We overheard a conversation where this older guy was saying that burning man was overrated. He had gone to burning man twenty years ago and derived that burning man was just a bunch of topless women running around and that instead of paying so much money, he could just go down the block to see the same thing. I tried to explain to him that that wasn’t the purpose of burning man but he snickered. I got pissed off and made sure we promptly left.

I have not yet gone to burning man but I have attended just about all the burning man events held in San Francisco to make up for not attending the burn last year. I am sure burning man is ten million times more awesome than I could possibly ever imagine but even I know that you do not attend burning man just because there might be naked people running around.

First of all, Burning Man is not costly. You purchase your ticket which is a maximum value of about $300 and whatever travel tickets, gear, shelter, food and drinks you will need while you are out there. You can always figure out ways to save money like grabbing a ride from a friend. But the entire cost of the trip comes out to about $1000 and can be even less if you already have some/all of the gear or if you are staying with a camp. Here is an example of a burning man preparation list . (As you can tell, you needn’t bring everything on there like tiki torch lights.)

Burning man takes you away from everyday life and puts you in a harsh environment of extreme hot and freezing temperatures while being surrounded by other fellow campers with an added bonus of amazing art installations and beautiful music . Also, don’t forget those pesky dust storms.

Burning man uses art as a universal language where people express themselves through dance, music, art, crafts, etc. Because of this, there is a constant flow of awesomeness that encompasses these campgrounds. Sure, booze is plentiful and people may be in some sort of intoxicated state but the event is a mind blowing trip even if you are completely sober. You get lost in all the fun activities and art pieces surrounding you.

Burning man itself is a large community. You can think of it as a home away from home. People bond together and explore things they had never before imagined. The best part is that people are unusually understanding and take you in with open arms. As a community, burners enjoy giving away gifts and sharing unconditional love and only ask for you to share the same with others.

Burning man is a culture in itself. Saying that you discourage people from going to burning man because you can find topless women at your local bar is pretty ignorant. I hang out with my burning man friends so I can get away from close minded people like you. I was once pretty close minded myself but I am glad that I am not anymore. I am fond of the community because they accept me as I am. If you could live in a world where everything is fun and everyone is happy and unconditionally accepting, wouldn’t you want to be a part of it to? I can’t wait until Burning Man 2009.

If you are interested in attending burning man, here is the: first timers guide, an explanation on theme camps, on art installations and of course,
where to get burning man tickets.

Ice Skating at Yerba Buena

Two weeks ago, I went ice skating. The previous time that I had gone ice skating was when I was living in NY about a year and a half ago and I used to frequent Bryant park. To my surprise, Sf has an indoor ice rink that is located by the Yerba Buena Arts Center , by the bowling center. As I approached the building, I could see the smooth heavenly ice off in the distance and I was excited as a puppy given a new chew toy.

*Back in PR, ie Puerto Rico, we don’t have many ice rinks. The 70-90 degree temperature hinders us from having multiple cost effective ice rinks.

Admission is $8 for adults and $11 for both admission and rental skates. The ice rink was mostly empty except for my four friends and six other people. I learned that just about everyone ice skating at this hour were either aspiring figure skaters, part of a hockey team or just really bad ass. Although I am a bit of a klutz, I’m usually, pretty good about not falling on the ice. Not today.

I had forgotten that my ex roommate had been on a hockey team and was a really good inline ice skater. She impressed me by doing awesome backward moves and every once in awhile, she would take my hands and lead me. After being on the ice for twenty minutes, when she came around to try to take my hands, I increased my speed and we evolved into a game of tag which involved her going backwards and me trying to catch her. We were both grinning like children ready to dip our hands in a cookie jar when all of a sudden BAM! I fell stomach first onto the ice and its frosty bite nipped at my skin. Oohs eechoed in the ice rink and I had an employee help me up. My friend was wondering if I was ok and if I needed to leave the rink but I was just trying to breath normally again. My stomach burned and my knees were sore from the fall (I still have a bruise on my left knee from the incident.) I took another minute or two to regroup myself and then I proceeded to ice skate for the rest of the night. Thankfully, I didn’t fall again that evening.

Where are my trash cans?

Why aren’t there more waste bins spread out around San Francisco? In New York, trash cans are as plentiful as hookers . Garbage cans are not very expensive and should have a higher priority than city projects like growing vegetables in lamp post pots. Garbage cans should be a different color than green because the current color blends too much in the background. Make them bright orange so I can spot them a mile away. And I know we can fix this problem. Oakland is spic and span so we should be able to do the same. I hope someone that works for the government hears me out and works on this problem. Thanks.

Does it smell in here or is it me?

What are the Three Things You Can’t Live Without?

I got inspired the other day to write about three of my daily necessities:

Dr. Bronner’s – one of the best fucking soaps ever . I mean, it’s called “Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps Pure-Castile Soap, 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Bottle” for a reason. You can buy it in either liquid or bar form though I highly encourage getting the liquid form. I like buying it in its gallon form, which tends to last for about a year. What is so awesome about this soap? This organic soap penetrates through your pores to reach the deepest pits of your soul to make you feel extra fresh. The peppermint soap is by far, my favorite and every time I get this splashtastic minty liquid into my eyes, they burn in horror yet they feel oddly refreshing as well. That is about the extent of my masochism. Dr. Bronner’s is so awesome that one person even asked if she could use it on her pet cat . Another person commented that you could even use it to get rid of ants! The possibilities are endless!

Ipod shuffle – The ipod is probably one of the best things Apple has invented. I have the second generation shuffle and it works amazingly. The clip that attaches to my pants is extremely handy and prevents sketchy people from stealing it. It can hold 1GB of music and you use the shuffle or ‘play me in playlist’ mode. The price is pretty hard to beat and I love the colors they come in. It’s only downfall is that you need to have itunes open if you want to charge it and it’s hard to tell if you’re low on battery until the poor gizmo sputters and dies.

Glowsticks – What is the best way to get the party started? Pop out the glowsticks! Just crack these shiny little buggers and they last for hours. One of the best ways for them to last longer is to pop them in the microwave for a minute or two and they’re ready to go! Glowsticks are also great for finding lost items in a dark club like car keys or used condoms. They’re a great way to meet people too. Learn to twirl or spin them in awesome patterns and you’ll be the life of the party! From a previous incident, I would advise not to get any of the actual liquid on your skin for its chemical components make your skin burn. Best thing to do is run to a bathroom and wash it off before it gets any worse.

Thanks!

Charles the Raver

Charles the Raver