Coder Dojo Hits the Mark

In a recent blog post here on SelfAssemblySites, Training vs Learning: Computer Science in Schools, we looked at the growing movement in Britain to bring computer science into the secondary school curriculum. Here in Ireland right under our very noses an organic, non-profit organisation was doing something very similar off their own bat.

Coder Dojo is a volunteer lead group orientated around running coding clubs for 9-16 yr olds, usually on Saturdays outside of schools, for example the Highlane Gallery in Drogheda, the Science Gallery and Google's Montevetro building in Dublin. The kids learn how to code, developing websites, apps, games and other technology.

In early 2011 James Whelton won some publicity by hacking the iPod Nano. This stirred the interest of some of his PBC Cork school pupils and so he started to teach them html and css.  A meeting with the philanthropist and entrepreneur Bill Liao proved a catalyst to Whelton's brain wave. It was June 2011 when the first Coder Dojo was launched in Cork's National Software Centre to great success.  Rapid expansion followed with Coder Dojo now boasting 40 dojos in Ireland and further afield, as far as London, St Petersburg, Florence and 10 across the United States.

The attitude of the guys and clubs shines through with great positivity in their one rule:

Above All: Be Cool“, bullying, lying, wasting people’s time and so on is uncool.

Html Badge

The youth at the coding dojos can learn html, css, python, javascript, php and more. As they work their way through the levels much like a karate dojo, they can attain badges from white being beginner up to black being master level.

It's great to see such a constructive and positive project taking off as rapidly and successfully as it has. As Bill Liao says in the video below:


How many out of work programmers are there in the world? I would say zero!

Click to Play Video

About Alistair McBride

Al is the non-techie of the SelfAssemblySites' founding duo. His first businesses were in cultural tours, then later art dealing and consulting. He was SelfAssemblySites' first user and believes if he can do it, anyone can.

He has a wide and diverse range of interests and passions, core of which are usually art, psychology and innovation, and works on both profit and non-profit projects.

Alistair truly believes that a website can be a catalyst to making any idea reality in the 21st Century. You can create all sorts of non-profit and for profit projects take-off with a good website as your launch pad.

Follow him on Twitter at @WebsiteCoaching.

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