1. Coaches in spotlight: Eugenia Chacón of Rails Girls Buenos Aires

    “Programming makes me feel good”, says Eugenia Chacón, a Ruby on Rails developer from Tucumán, Argentina. For quite some time, she’s dreamed about teaching software development to beginner students at her local universities. Then she heard about Rails Girls.

    Now that our Buenos Aires event is getting closer, we talked with Eugenia in order to get to know her a bit better. In addition to coaching at Rails Girls Buenos Aires in mid-June, she’s been a key organizer for the entire event although Tucumán is some 1100km away.

    Anni: How did you get started with programming?

    Eugenia: I’ve always loved building things, so becoming a developer was a clear choice for me. I started with C, C++ and Visual Basic 5.0 in the university already in 2001, and later went on to learn javascript, html and css, and ruby. Then finally in 2007 I took a course on Ruby on Rails, and from that moment on I’ve been in love with it. Ever since then I’ve been working with RoR, and it’s been a wonderful ride for more than 4 years now.

    A: What projects are you currently working on?

    E: I’m working on 3 different projects right now. One of them is a project where the user can make or load an ad to be published in a newspaper, the second is a social network where people can load a project - whether it’s  an idea, an event or a live project - and others can help to complete that project. And the last one is an internal management system for a company in order for them to monitor employee hours, manage clients and create reports of times, clients and employees

    A: What made you volunteer for Rails Girls?

    E: I don’t remember exactly how I found the Rails Girls site, but I started following you on Facebook just to be updated on what was going on. Then I saw on the site a request for help, and I thought the entire project and concept were very interesting: so I decided to get involved. I thought it would be great if I could help increase the number of girls programming.

    To be honest, at first I thought that I’d be helping just with some programming, but I was happy to realize that the request was to participate in an event. I’ve never organized any events before, so I was very excited to join this group, and bring Rails Girls to Buenos Aires as the first South American event. Who knows where we’ll go from here?!

    A: What do you think being a coach is going to be like?

    E: I’m really looking forward to our event. We’ve been working for a few months now to get the event organized, so the anticipation is growing. I think the workshop will be loads of fun; especially so because we’ve been able get an excellent and experienced team of Rails coaches on board.

    The coolest part - for me personally - is to be able to help a group of girls in building a small web app. You know, sometimes the first steps can be the hardest to take, so learning the basics of programming together in a group can take some pressure off and really give a positive and rewarding first experience.

    A: What inspires you?

    E:  I love being able to build things. I love logic and mathematics so the programmer career was a perfect option to me, and I really enjoy working on that. With Rails Girls, I simply wanted to help the community. By doing what I know best, I want to make the small group of women in tech grow larger.

    A: What’s your favourite Ruby learning resource?

    E: Google! Everytime I have a new thing to learn or a new problem I come across, I search on Google. All programmers do this all the time! Another resource I use a lot are Railscast videos (http://railscasts.com/).

    A: What do you love about programming and why?

    E: It makes me feel good. It’s like you dont have any limits: I think I can do anything with these tools!


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