Greetings! Summer is cruising along to its conclusion at breakneck speed….but before we let it go, we are going to host a killer Austin on Rails lineup at the tail end of August.

Your Rails Conductor for this month is Aaron Scruggs. We’ll be hosting an awesome panel of female developers from the Austin-based MakerSquare program and an AWS scaling rundown from Aaron Scruggs (VP of Engineering at Academicworks).

Beginners Talk:

A panel of women developers from MakerSquare, Austin’s first Ruby on Rails software bootcamp, will be addressing the need for diversity in the tech industry and ways the Rails community can involve more women developers. Afterward there will be open discussion for questions from the audience.

Panel Participants:

Jessica Fuselier

Jessica grew up in Texas and studied the arts until her mid twenties. She attended North Carolina School of the Arts for high school and went on to dance professionally with Ballet Austin. After her professional dance career, she decided to pursue her bachelors, starting out at Sarah Lawrence and finishing her sociology degree at the University of Texas. She has extensive experience in community organizing and outreach and now manages a recording studio in East Austin. Embarking on a web dev journey, Jessica is excited to use her skills to help empower artists and the communities that surround them.

Holly Gibson

As a college student Holly discovered her love of coding in an html class. She minored in web design and then worked for 5 years as a full-stack web developer, coding in ASP and VBScript. Although Holly enjoyed programming, she also wanted to use her talents to benefit her community. Before attending MakerSquare she coordinated retreats for low-income families affected by disability in inner-city Los Angeles. Holly is an advocate for disability rights and concerned about issues of marginalization in every sphere of culture. Her passion for diversity in the tech industry led her to become the organizer for Austin’s Women Who Code meetup. Holly is excited to reboot her career in web development using Ruby on Rails and utilize her programming skills for worthy causes. She volunteers her coding skills at Imagine Art, a non-profit art studio for artists with disabilities. When not coding, Holly loves to brew kombucha and explore Austin with her husband.

Lydia Guarino

Lydia decided to explore web development as an extension of her passion for functional design. As a UT Architecture School graduate, she honed her logic and visual communication skills by solving complex problems with elegant design. Professionally, Lydia spent several years in the sales and technology industries as a Corporate Trainer and also as the Operations Manager for a major technology VAR. In her operations role, Lydia designed and implemented a SharePoint-based learning management system and became closely acquainted with the importance of good UX design through system enhancement projects. Lydia is proud to call herself a true Austin Native and has a borderline unhealthy obsession with Mid Century Modern Furniture.

Doa Jafri

As a young child Doa taught herself html and css and then took a java class in high-school. Although she found programming fun, the field seemed limited in its scope. In college she focused on entrepreneurship and helped organize the entrepreneurial community at UT. After UT she modeled and did some acting but felt she had more skills to offer. Integrating her love of fashion and her coding skills, Doa founded a fashion startup that utilizes web and mobile technologies. She is excited to implement her knowledge in Ruby and Rails gained at MarkerSquare. Full of energy and talent, she starts each day with a shot of half-and-half in her orange juice.

Rachel Loziuk

Rachel grew up near Chicago and used to work as a mechanical engineer in the wind power industry. Gearboxes, oil, and steel did not excite her, so she decided to make a change. When she moved to Austin, she worked in marketing & sales for a small engineering company. However, managing a company’s website was frustrating with no web development background; so she started attending tech meetups. That’s how she heard about the first Austin-based, immersive, web development course, and she didn’t hesitate to take the leap. Rachel loves the outdoors, culture, and traveling. Her goal is to create websites & web applications that bring value to the adventure travel industry. In her spare time, you can find Rachel racing sailboats on Lake Travis and exploring Austin’s music and country-dancing scene.

Patricia Silva

Pati, a native Texan, has varied experience in tech. Most recently she was a manager over an enterprise wide software application at a top 100 law firm. Responsible for overseeing technical support and end user support, Pati had to learn some front-end web development in the process. She loved it! She decided to jump into programming. Pati studied front-end web development at General Assembly in Santa Monica, CA before enrolling at MakerSquare. The experience has sparked her interest in data management and database systems. In addition to computing, Pati enjoys cultural arts. She donates her programming skills and business management experience to La Peña, a Latin cultural arts non-profit.

Advanced Talk:

Scaling Rails on AWS - Aaron Scruggs

In this presentation Aaron will provide and overview of how to scale a Rails application on Amazon’s Web Services.

It will cover:

  • When not to scale
  • How to know when to scale
  • Techniques to scale Rails, Ruby & AWS
  • A discussion of alternative data stores (time permitting)

Aaron Scruggs (@ techscruggs) has been working with Rails for 7 years and on AWS for 5. He is currently the VP of Engineering at Academicworks. When not working, you can usually find him running on Town Lake or drinking fancy cocktails.

Looking forward to seeing you there!