31 Aug

Community work during London's best Summer

Last update on 2013-08-31

This Summer, London has seen the best weather in the last few years, and I have been quite active and happy contributing to Ruby community in different ways:

At the beginning of June, I gave my fourth talk at the London Ruby User Group about using public code from a Gov.uk project repository to develop a pension advice tool. The presentation is available online and it is an example of customising 3rd party code. (Some guidelines for this type of extension here.)

At the end of June, I became a volunteer coach for the Summer workshop of Rails Girls London. First helping to set up ruby on rails, and then attending the weekly support sessions over the summer to teach about testing, Json parsing, css topics and controllers among other things. A very simple example of an introductory session to testing with Rspec is found in Github.

The start of July was the best time to take part on the BMJ Hack Day organised by ReWiredState. I developed a small front-end demo using D3.js to show the application of the PageRank algorithm to biomedical literature. Our project got a Honorable Mention and we got to play with some interesting Hadoop projects.

Towards the end of July, I sponsored my first event with food and drinks for the launch of the Silicon Triangle Drinks. This is part of the West London Triangle, a networking and support group for the creative cluster of media, tech, startup, and digital companies emerging in West London.

August was the month for Open Source contributions. I started publishing on my GitHub repository some code katas about refactoring and behaviour driven development (project kata one) and another one on API integration and testing (project kata two). Finally, in August we took responsibility for an open source project by The IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre for their WashCost calculator application. The project is financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and helping developing countries with low-cost water supply, sanitation and hygiene services. The code is available is in GitHub here.

A a result of my activities I have felt the appreciation of those who I have helped out while practicing and improving my coding skills. I believe now that one of the elements of happiness is getting involved with our communities and sharing our special talents with others. This Summer has been memorable and I hope next year the Summer will be even hotter!  

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