A few months ago I hadn’t heard of CoderDojo. Not until Maureen Lynch, Director in Hays started attending Cork CoderDojo with her daughter. First of all Maureen saw how much her daughter enjoyed it and second the potential it had for Ireland and the future IT job market.
Last minute I heard about the 1st Birthday celebration in Leinster House (#DialDojo) – after about ten minutes I was hooked!! It was a busy day and I got to meet very cool people putting their own time in to get CoderDojo recognition for what its achieved in just one year.
The kids were just fantastic. I loved the fact they enjoyed it, some travelled quite a long way to get there and they have NO problem questioning mentors (I seen a great conversation with one kid and a mentor – the mentor eventually backed down and agreed the kids method of writing the code was better than what he had!). As a kid I was in the Scouts for years; what I’ve learned there and the people I’ve met have stayed with me even after all these years – it was such a great experience and I’ve carried on with the moto “Bí ullamh!” (Be prepared). I can see the CoderDojo kids saying the same about “Above all be cool” in a few years. Its amazing how CoderDojo has already made such a huge impact on so many people’s lives after a year.
As I mentioned, I’m not a programmer but CoderDojo needs volunteers from all over whether it be to provide graphic design or helping out at events. I work in Hays Recruitment in Marketing (online, events and Social Media) and I will stay involved and help as much as I can. The kids just astonish me when I see what they can do after a few sessions.
Career Zoo was on the 22nd of September; Hays had a stand there full of hays consultants talking to job seekers. We set up a CoderDojo stand to attract anyone interested in joining or providing a location – we’ve signed up 93 people in total that are interested in finding out more which was a great success. Career Zoo was a fantastic event and I got to spend most of the day telling people why they should get involved in CoderDojo, how cool it is and what the next step is (in a very excited and slightly annoying way!). James and Shane gave a presentation explaining more about it along with talking to people at the stand including Lindsay and Jennifer (who made this brilliant animation explaining what CoderDojo is – check it out http://ow.ly/e070M )
I’m delighted to get to help out and it’s now a part of my job to raise awareness, the aim for Hays is to get 100 new locations and 1000 new mentors in 12 months. My aim is to just help out as much as I can with the skills I have… and “Above all be cool”!!!