What we do

Viral Workshop Model

The effect on the local SF Ruby Meetup was just one example of the impact of the RailsBridge workshops. Every year, multiple new organizations have started, explicitly borrowing the format, processes, and inspiration, which we call the "viral workshop model."

  1. After creating an open source curriculum and putting on a first event, the rest of the work is match-making existing volunteers and resources.
  2. Tapping into the people and the companies in the community, an ongoing sustainable teaching community can be created.
  3. Students become TAs become Teachers. The best teachers are those who have learned most recently, and have a passion for giving back to a community that fostered their own development.
  4. Companies benefit when we expand the talent pool, and their staff who volunteer at workshops become more expert through teaching and improving their leadership and communication skills.

Patterns for levelling up

We have many experienced developers who hone their skills through teaching, learning a new language or framework, or contributing to one of our open source projects. For people who are new to coding and want to become software developers, we have few resources after the intro workshops. We believe that we can extend our current model to support someone throughout their journey from novice to expert developer. We already have many success stories of women who came to RailsBridge to learn to code and are now working in the field; however, we still hear of people who aren't sure what to do after their first or second workshop.

The transition from student to teaching assistant to teacher is one effective path, but it is not sufficient. We have experimented with pair programming evenings, mob programming, study groups, co-working days at Internet Cafes and post-workshop hack nights. These are all good and can be effective, but we aspire to create a path (which may be non-linear) that people could follow to become a practicing software developer.


We believe that if more people know what we were doing, that can create as much positive change as teaching coding and leadership. There are many great untold stories of learning, teaching and transformational change — with new stories created every month. We would like to do more outreach to participants to invite and support them in telling their stories.

We embrace diversity in style -- with a delightful variety of logos and imagery across our many constituent groups. We believe we can create some unifying messaging and branding that could connect our ecosystem of communities. We would like to provide simple common element (widget or footer), which all the groups could embed on their sites. There is also plenty of room to improve the web and social media presence of Bridge Foundry, which could set patterns for the Bridges.

If you want to help in any way, let us know.