2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Rails for Designers

#sxsw #tslrails


ATTENTION: You must signup in advance to attend this workshop. You will need to have a valid SXSW badge, and an activated SXsocial account. To reserve your seat, please go here: https://sup.sxsw.com/schedule/IAP23039

Learn the essential Ruby and Rails needed to transform your designs into working web applications in this all day workshop. By the end of the workshop, you'll be able to collaborate more effectively with back-end developers and be empowered to make your ideas real.

We'll start with a static HTML5 mockup, and slowly transform it into a dynamic, database-backed web application that connects to social APIs.

If you come prepared with a mockup of one of your own ideas, we'll also help you map out how to apply your newly acquired skills to it.
We assume no prior programming knowledge except for familiarity with HTML and CSS.

By the end of this workshop, you should be able to:
- Transform HTML/CSS mockups into basic Rails applications
- Understand the overall structure of a Rails application
- Communicate on a technical level with Rails developers


8:30am - 9:00am : Registration and Breakfast
9:00am - 9:15am : Keynote / Orientation
9:15am - 9:45am : Environment Setup
9:45am - 10:15am: Explore Static Mockup of App / HTML Review
10:15am - 10:30am: Break
10:30am - 12:00pm : Dive In To Rails
12:00pm - 1:00pm : Break for Lunch
1:00pm - 2:30pm : Bring Mockup To Life, Deploy to Web
2:30pm - 2:45pm : Break
2:45pm - 4:00pm : Ruby Basics
4:00pm - 4:15pm : Break
4:15pm - 5:00pm : Exploring APIs
5:00pm - 5:30pm : Reflections

- A basic understanding of HTML and CSS is necessary.

What to Bring:
- The participant should bring a laptop. Mac's are preferred, but Windows laptops will work.



Arjun Venkataswamy


The Starter League

Arjun taught high school math in Chicago before coming to The Starter League as a student in the summer of 2012. He fell in love with tech education and came back as an instructor that winter. Arjun now teaches several classes for The Starter League, including back-end development with Rails and front-end development with HTML/CSS/JavaScript. He also leads their partnership work on teacher training and curriculum development.


Mike McGee


The Starter League

Mike McGee is the co-founder of The Starter League, an in-person school in Chicago that teaches beginners how to build web applications.  Before The Starter League, Mike's greatest claim to fame was that his High School mascot was a pretzel. He went to Northwestern for four years where he spent two years being a student and two years in student government - miraculously becoming Student Body President his senior year. In Spring 2011, Mike decided to turn down Obama for America (his first real job offer) to co-found The Starter League. Mike's latest "dent in the universe" project is Starter School, an immersive, full-time program that will take people from zero to entrepreneur in 9 months.


Sandor Weisz

Design Instructor

The Starter League

Sandor Weisz heads the design curriculum at the Starter League. He was recently the lead designer at EveryBlock. Last year he launched BornYet.com, a delightfully simple birth announcement service. When he's not designing, he's writing puzzles at pzlr.org, and when he's not doing that, he's raising two awesome kids with his wife on the north side of Chicago.

Thanks to our sponsors

Miller Lite Monster Energy Esurance Chevrolet AT&T IFC Subway Austin Chronicle

Music sponsor

Sonic Bids

Interactive sponsors

Deloitte American Express Pennzoil