Riding the Latest Rails for Charity

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Riding the Latest Rails for Charity
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As developers we often forget that with our development skills we have the power to change the world. This talk describes how our company organized a hackathon to create three open source projects that helped charitable organizations become more efficient at helping people. Bringing our team together around a shared philanthropic goal created more team unity, improved team communication and most importantly allowed us to apply our development skills to do good in the world.
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and in the back of the room in the back of the book but that's a within this is uh writing the latest rails charity the and the teachers we have 1 1 of the many people the program you're all teachers and and this is a teacher appreciation week so thank you very much for the master teachers of today is wednesday of a foreign word with and there's something special that Martinez every saying we do what's called a bad that due Wednesday so the star of the talk vision like instructed that to and straightforward we call yet for what it did you hear about but don't we want to know thank you so you have that you would think about that for David said that you wanna see in the
world we that is a powerful tool it's even more powerful when you put this quote that so here today I'm going try hopefully motivate all of of you to be the change and hopefully such a small that you can be motivated to help rails the the change to change the world and you personally what the change in the world right that's my goal for this talk a masala and telling you how I personally and trying to change and them a going to go my company has enabled developers to be the same How do I tell my trying to change that I wanna see in the world today the and uh well it's giving like the way I wanna see the world changed today is
I want to know teach is how and it's not just you know teaching kids the code is giving every child opportunities the and a lot of us think well you know that's on the kids some kids gravity more words computer program the the gaming kids right and that's what we think of when we think of teaching kids how can we think of these specific groups of kids but what I wanna do is I wanted change you sort of change the world today so that you programming is a required class as young as Canada this is how I want to change the world 1st and now for me it's it's really important because no matter what a child's passionate understanding how to use the computer is at the gives them a head they need to be successful with the fact that they want to whatever national 1 in the computer and programming a computer will help me that much more successful and so this is my passion and this is how I want the world and this is my question and so and then I will slide the that showed me with a bunch of kids and they were all games in our code it was also so that we missed out there on the and that's essentially what I do on a regular basis so I'm always looking for not to teach everything you do every kid the opportunity to be introduced programming a computer and my motivation is what you're looking at right now is my children here we are I had she replied joint hiding this is kind of benefit of having energy density of fluid special holiday actually come in and out of the May 4th but all well I'm here to celebrate that quality but this is my motivation and that's a really important thing identify how you want to change the world identify what motivates you this is my oldest
son and the this is my inspiration act in 2012 this is a kid it's kind stereotypical programming kid he came to me about 10 years old and asking questions of how to solve out of his reading of a text just for fun because he was and Picabia those shops and so I instantly was late to you you were going to be impossible for me until this so I sat down with these to to program and I did that with your the idea of
those like really programmer so and I was like OK cool it's look how like to teach my son of the of and so I went and found before case because of the that it's really also a platform for teaching kids how to review and that he loved by just like I mean that and died in the blood he became a programmer right before my Verizon such a special moment for me because he's resolvase programmers experience that is the best book on your thing that you were that you help me and looking at is the action that like the was go through this together and survey analyzing the good he figured out so many did like all of us you you're on the right of all words start jumping up and down that track and this is also how these regret analysis of environment you got a Europe and that's when it really started I started to think about because what was happening to me right there would have been with some I was teaching in responding very special and give me a lot that you have about the same thing for the and not only that is he's learning to come can't and learn this like why can't look around the use of the level he was of the lights will be the calls and actually when I graduate I was a CS major I was simple engineering and so on I was really excited about that and so we started doing it more with that that review where possible game to play with kids that takes place where it's not practical and it will be my last where all little to choose 1 and 2 words and things assumed font as having like warm bonding moments with my son and then I wanted to have the same experience of what goes on and he and my youngest were really my craft and source and them to computer crackpot now you know that that was really exciting for me to know that you would find story because I set out that show the crack computer in this school gardening might have so lower crafting is also and then I'd like into the computer and world terminal and it my nose those like an as all music that and extracted 6 is also 0 super excited and the going really but but rather terminal you to be right what that thing is is that this war but because was your prof you and with the eventually kind of that's it might have no idea what actually do it but that's what I realize that programming is about teaching kids program about of specifics of programming all that detailed results about understanding what interests that and teaching them through their interests and that's what's really important and that's what I'm trying to discover scratch this is a
graphical programming language the really allows you to use which is possible without dealing with text is that dealing with you know about the duration of any headaches that you might have setting out the coding and so that's when I really started working a scratch on my middle son the ones we are always that's what you want you commented so wants to be of prime minister get excited about it for actually used to everything in training by Broadway students and scratch and to select only calling on to this happens a start codon but I realize it's going motif what is he doing it has created a lot of the so I
was really excited because they get teach this all my kids and I get really really frustrated 1 that was when my oldest son came home from school and certainly they're are not very good in math this is the case to studying how to protect I think terrible the next I was literally what the if you are a matching we talked about and that was the moment when it gets to refresh your we the teachers teachers also of principles principles it's the systems in the curriculum of the following right now we events from really focusing on encouraging the kids and making them better instead of just search in given that the found known given its search feeling that they can't good it's like that you know the also in it was just memorization of math facts that you can spend time doing and that's given the impression is that the so what I want to hurt conference commanded by layer that teachers and by the for life had like pick up all the pieces that would and I don't was that teachers and so on but that's the only way you have did you have to change things you're chart I was developed so how might it changed
anointment general anything about this I could just go and sit back in my view with major my office like this that is like my kids and have agreed not to more items will tighten this is what like but if you don't do that once made a lot of money because teaching this that so straight elites but I ran into a friend of mine and he told me he joined teaching on Saturdays computer science to a bunch of under to underprivileged kids in downtown San Jose and other that sounds pretty cool actually all that do that he was so excited because teaching itself you know what I'm doing is that to your program what you come into the so when did that and ice spend what like 2 weeks preparing word guidance in the classroom at secret part and started teaching them 13 year olds particle was wrap and act upon a 3rd the room was really into it because this is the only chance they interested in from a computer because they can afford a computer and they live in a house with 3 other families and the other 2 thirds of the class instead 1 the morning do with it and I was trying to explain to them how scratch the scratch language went from scratch all the way down the binary and went through was going through all the translations it was like a major turnoff and so I was when the moment that the next 500 counteract migrating do you know what I did with my middle son find out what is the here that's the next time when the classroom is is what you get when around each child with time with the excited about and lonely full that's what the recession 1
direction at the same all I did was I could go 1 direction just like that of this vast green and we're able to create a little balls on their they're able to create a conversation with your favorite band members and they were sold and they're doing conditionals if you say that s that doesn't mean loves and I'm just like holy crap because a coding and they would lead like the 1st class it can wait it out there in this class the parents was on say cancer they have come up with possible place on the goal we want and this means that all the users and so you know I outlook you think they want say we play music was really also and eventually the principle of the same object your to us so we got it the and on so that was like a really valuable lessons learned in being change in the use of all when you really have to change your plants and do what's best for students so that's
my Figure part of story but there's actually another really cool story that I'll share with you guys that's part and it really moved me and this is the type of things we experience you take a small steps to change the world I had the opportunity I use the of high schools down all the all tutors and from like all the others that user a budget computers outside the high school and adjusting your garbage you already know most definitely do them all my watch and then I people like actually friend of mine from word came over and we all got the riots started to go Bill of machines and fix them up for the kids so on the final day of the final exam at kids demonstrates the uh the final project onto the principal onto the parents and at the end of this was like the greatest viewing 1 degrees going my what is at the end of the local rock and I was like the regulations what did take those computers from the years you can go home and so that in can and it's in areas frying it was the most from the experience but efforts it was and that's the feelings that you guys get when you're being the change the so then I so to the and I started and founded 1 of the founders Frucona Dojos Silicon Valley and attitudes every month code and I to coding of the school still play a big part of the curriculum at the school I teach robotics uh during the robotic season but in during fall season at school so it's just the the robotics I also teach will scouts and the chapter we have little bits in which is really cool electronics components that you make sense together and likely because it has not been a bit seeking take these robotic components of a that's refined kids like would like to ask for its controller in there that's rows of and bad with little bit being a chapter and I do meetings with other educators across the world in different countries and being the change in the world so what little so there are having a huge impact across the entire world unjust developed at all and I have a passion to change and I took that step is fully the transforming my life and other people the all you have to take these just got to get do with that Our that's like the
halfway point and 1 more to that for you guys on would you call a place between 2 film actors yeah the start the fact that you know it's there and that are in so I want it is also a company called so that I don't worry about doing with the tree if you but pretty much a lot of my colleagues are here in the front row and I really appreciate shout of the furthest topic 6 times the so was integer so thank you guys about and just lost culture and the the 1 of the things that really need is we started sending folks that you rail scoffed that for 5 years ago and really inspired the company started its own internal conference on the motivation behind starting at this conference it was really developer happens and this conference fall back down in 3 years and and it's called that because the URL is on that site of the worst we euros to catch the like is that 1 on 1 don't you know me with that but wrong so we boomers that we are attached from you know so it's really fun time for all of us because we learn from rails from that it's so this really come together to share are technical skills we share what you know of of learning new things it's just really Austin so now we do this as a team and the company allows us to take a whole week off of work the entire engineering and QA I t all the developers would we all get and we can we talk about it that everyone whatever action and should the nominal bond angle the nominal and the productivity of that is amazing advantage explain this it's not alone in this series is something really special where we decided to do you have have chair parents we were really excited about it as what a possibility of building between a bunch of engineers used to have fun Richard now it's not the fact of the traditional sense it's not the final were competing against each other to see what the best products it's really identifying for charities that we think we can make a difference and and we all get room and focus on delivering successful technical solution for the charity to help them with their the now I want everyone right now that these shared workers as part of its and the revisions of phenomenon do I mean explain what features are 1st term we looked at was
the Housing Industry Foundation and what we did for them was provided by me a way for them to manage the rats and what they do is they might have the people that cannot afford to pay the rent so they're going to become homeless they can afford to pay that bill so they're going to become I think it's and it's because of an unfortunate circumstance that came up in their life and life is true so the 2nd campaign you rent you a 3 day period with redundant or it can make up that sort you out on the street and got a black can here whose don't want want to live in their US really set and H I what they do is they help these people and give them another opportunity so that it they just give them a graph given the money so that they can pay the rent and that's pretty also that's a filler nation and we he as a development team were able to help them that was the match for us because they were excited about we're excited and it's also something that we thought we definitely limited them to help them with their mission so now the charity we looked at was considered sentences tho and they are creating like a database or a low-income housing you can search you can work out of the house and for parts sensors to you can search the database that they wanted to create and you find out when you can afford and that really wasn't a match for us in terms of what we were trying to accomplish is primarily because they have a lot of support and with rules that allows for with Facebook and it was just too complicated for us to kind cells into that complexity so be aware search we are searching for these charities you want to that work for that you want to start agreed upon the make sure it's a match with what you're trying to accomplish known now this next during 1 of our so the way we got 1 of and another all the the it was said they establishes that means a lot to me and I want to change and it's pretty awesome he came to us with this charity called grateful garments in the Fisher of says all the health of those that had been sexually assaulted and what happens today or this charity was they would leave we station or a hospital In down on the right what this chair is it gives them the following so that they can leave with a sense of dignity whatever dignities and that touch the entirety of the if were to be all like yes we wanted to we want help them so we started out on all stock is part to of that well so it's not for us plan of power the fact
on were these charities and the key thing and that all possible process when it is the with shared understanding what their needs are understanding the existing technology stack understanding how they do things that they was the processes or what the mission is of we we didn't have the opportunity to actually fall out here and work with them on charities like in the field like actually going to worry about building or helping them fill out grants but if you can do that at the end there is you understand users you understand how you can help in that space of our skill set for several years to that so we really should share part how with these charities they're trying to do good at all and then we can be the change you also should set up here and by the stack figure out what you use rails find use rules support that you can use different framework but what makes sense right and so it really allows you to start analyzing clean slate no legacy dream right we want to be able to build something from the around the world and that what we did was we 1st will like loss of expressed by Richard rules by we're taking this before the back and started this is what I mean by planning we started exploring because the defines genuine work you know what it doesn't because rule used by us so we use only 1 that you know what we have to go back to the World War we have to respect the chairs so that's the message there the planning planning this listen respect cherry and put together in environment for them that you have some experience it's not free for you to learn everything the technology in their but I guarantee you will learn new things the so initially you little bit about were we're at the center and different technologies that we build for these charities and so on so eventually started with
is like access data is a bunch of fields and the way it works is they would manually fill out a form and they would manually tighten burden you know the person filling out the grammar with a little odd and then they would give it to the rapid than the rep would get in there and then fill in all these fields and then they have a record that you query answer was exhausted fully thoughts and we build
that like you guys are also locally that's like scaffold feature that he's in the hot topic at 200 years you the best the yeah were being the change thoughts and In this for garments this
is how they're doing it today for when their stuff this is the Excel spreadsheet inventory along the left column there and how the borders following across like this is going to be going to but I do know some of you noticed data and and this is how the Monte today like soul and you think about you like all yet came from you but you know what happens is they can the Warsaw and when they get yours ownership of hostile if not it's costing them money the TrindiKit thing in the world it's painful but they can't do it again because technology but they're familiar with so they need a superhero to come in and be the change the only other LC
trees this is what we have now that where the process of
building the units like they use orders simple less there's everything any order the inventory is response science they can walk around with the mobile app is a walking through the warehouse track inventory late not only in the form this August and you guys all over Sudan our safety but they're like hot plate and they can't we would be done but you know as always were engineers
and ad we're trying to build this thing out 0 developed this Austin China car right from the beginning packages give them like this small and you can we want like over distinct so we can act on so we have a little bit of this whole thing that's in the rear yes yes and they even relate to the because you course we can will back acts and you were still working on and that because we're going that were right policies security we need to have that security with SSL certificates and this is a we can be more efficient here as and we're just like we use Austin mailing tool and you know that help with your processes wall on go on and on and on and we've learned that really valuable as donald problems such expectations earlier StarOffice people really happy with that just something that get them from point a to point B then area the iterated on it as if you're building a minimum viable product and oftentimes of misunderstanding and that a lot of people think it's talk with doing it it's really the bottom that's something that works for all humans would like
this is called the very get commits from and you see on the top there during the Hackathorn that everyone knows Dewey all commits always activities is happening in the when the hackathons dies off but the coolest thing about this graph that I love so much is look Tech these are the highest in the beginning but as the hack upon as he's being a change he found that he pounds motivation he found like this is the code and that's this stockade and now this is a guy he told me my usual kills the spiral is high has to go to work come home and play video games relax now when I go home the want to change that I could Richard and that's so much more rewarding saw which more fun and makes me so much more how the relaxation playing video games and it's that I mean look at is commits OSF and inspiration and it's inspired a team the form around we we finish that thought that our work and it was like OK that's it you don't have a lot of work our thinking more useful to do it as you can see from the MIT that are happening at the big spike in the beginning we do that's pretty cool there being the change so yet so you are related the exchange over time this it's to write a lot going on in my life and the 1 the time I can do this for all you know what you are made by groups of right what you wanted those right here we have lots of prior work in but you hear it is 1 of the better but guess what if you code for charity and you do this
you made you have becoming a better the that much trade because you're gonna learn have you can rack complex were simple and during the process and applied technical solutions you can learn when rely on that in a stable we learn a library work you are really radically with all these oscillations and try it out with these chairs again be respectful you don't want to just say local all over this the analysis with this year's no teach you want and you doing which you should you become a better developer and all that is this fact all the stuff that you're talking about you know the story using only cool things about teaming other stuff too long who guess what you could have the right so that if you just see the change in the code for charity you can have that it is not proper you can go and say 0 yeah you created whole out from 4 2 2 5 and this is what you don't want to display wanted everyone at all in the book from like this there's also like you did you understand some projects yeah I did but it's actually really implemented for real and people are using it late customers upon of security like check out you can do this every 1 of them threw the ball to men and it gives you will do whatever
the image of that person right my dream job was very different from what you do not then I would be jobless identify what charity you want to change in and that's is really going to be a way to get so you may be thinking like ontogen in the this is not good enough the you're also your n times 100 times better the mixture organizations and you know what I'm sure the hot you'll be able to motivate and encourage a senior engineer help meant to you along the same mission FIL the lottery you students here to become better at all and the finder which
so let's review these are the types that we discovered in the change from our back 1 binary that's personal have we do we try 1 cherry and try and try to and you'll find that promise but don't do that so what you find your motivation you're going to change the world explore many charities how identify the 1 that's where you just like it is identify to react in the way that someone is that organization that will have the power of use of the mass the business processes you know a technology had implemented technology someone you need a transition the technology over to so that they can use it and they can maintain their um so that's really important manage the expectations like I said before uh we did a poor job of that but doing that is really critical to success and like guess just a little scared word is all you really want the anymore that happy and as we all know is and here's 1 of those of the loss of rocket ship the team around don't do it alone and so you that work manner natural we carry and and have others meeting with the and that way of life gets in the way you have someone help you out in the history drug and just really final what completion it's for them so they understand the
so what you want to change the that is the question without what everyone of you that if you have the answer but that's OK I did at 1st start you start today right now right after this thought go out to these
charitable organizations that we did the had planned or dual pull requests help us not due to the shared its education and teaching kids so here's your ass what we talked about this is like my pension but I think you so much migrants aligned also 1 of the core committers for that so you can make a different right now try with these um charities and maybe it'll strike a chord with you and that becomes your path maybe not but it's a least the place for you to start dividing asking all with their and with this out here the we deceptive release get them on the score of the people to start helping reaches out as doing it what there's also do that no heard of but that's also a really cool organization that you know a start learning about other charities and just Google would would eat what motivates you google it finds out what's out there and start looking at which started media take action do it right now the change thank you and you genes from 1 site to we're always firing as well so that so much for your call it the in the in the in the middle and this