The latest CoderDojo – the Irish born computer programming club that is spreading like wildfire around the globe – is proving to be a huge success in Dublin 15 at the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB).
Cork student James Whelton launched the not-for-profit programme with tech entrepreneur Bill Liao in June 2011 and the idea has been phenomenally popular – there are now 37 dojos in Ireland and more than 90 worldwide in Europe, the US, Tokyo and even Uganda.
Ivo Brett and Colm Ahern have brought the initiative to ITB where 60 students, aged 10 to 16 come each Saturday for two and a half hours to learn how code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and much more all with a bit of fun and imagination thrown in. ITB was buzzing on Saturday with the next generation of Mark Zuckerbergs and Bill Gates who are halfway through their six week programme.
“It’s great to see so many children taking part and obviously enjoying it so much. Their creativity is astounding and soon they will have the programming skills to really implement those apps and websites that they can already imagine,” said Mairead Murphy of ITB.
As well as to learning to code, members meet like-minded people, show off what they’ve been working on and so on. CoderDojo aims to make development and learning to code a fun and sociable experience.
Dublin 15-based dojo is so popular that all classes have been completely full and future courses are oversubscribed. In order to expand the programme in the area Ivo Brett is looking for new mentors to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“These kids have picked up some very tricky concepts after just two sessions”, said dojo organiser Colm Ahern. “You can tell that some of them can’t wait to get onto more challenging stuff, and they will become great software engineers.”
CoderDojo originally grew out of a programming club that James Whelton started in his school, PBC Cork. After finishing his Leaving Cert in June 2011, James teamed up with Bill Liao to launch the first CoderDojo at the National Software Centre in Cork. Soon after a Dublin dojo was opened at Google HQ and Liao has helped Whelton spread the sensation around the world. Search for your local CoderDojo here.