CoderDojo Youths: Síofra’s Projects & Advice
Síofra, a 16 year old Dojo attendee from Sligo has been part of CoderDojo for the last 3 years. Here she tells us how she got involved, her favourite projects and her advice for other coders starting out:
I joined the Sligo Dojo way back in 2013 when I began secondary school. I started because my best friend at the time was going to a different secondary school and we hoped to stay in touch via CoderDojo. I’d always had an interest in computers so I was eager to join. My dad is a programmer so I guess you could say I grew up surrounded by code. I knew what it was and why it is so important but I always saw it as something too complicated for me to learn.
“I didn’t really realise how much I actually enjoyed using technology until I started coding!”
My main hobby would be creating and stemming off that I love to write, draw and read. Growing up I was always creating something, whether it was building furniture and sewing clothes for my dolls or stopmotions that I put up on youtube. I am always reading. I’ve probably read hundreds of books by now! Unlike the ‘nerdy’ stereotype coders usually are labelled as, I also like to play hockey and run in my spare time.
My favourite project would have to be my blog, siofrakelleher.com. It really is my pride and joy. There, I like to blog about anything related to technology that sparks my interest. Coming in close however, would have to be my Yun Camera that I built for websummit. I used an arduino yun, a button and a webcam to take photos at websummit and put them up on a post on my blog.
I didn’t really find it hard (to move on from the first language I learnt), it sort of just happened. I first learned HTML and once I felt confident with it I moved onto to Python. I’m still learning Python and it’s not easy, but I enjoy the challenge.
I’m in Transition Year now so I’m getting this question (what would my dream job be) all the time! Right now I’m not entirely sure but I’d love to be in a team that are doing something to help people using technology. Like the fantastic people at Nightscout who create software for diabetic type one’s like myself to track their blood sugars. Helping others is something I’d have to be doing to truly be happy.
I was offering advice or tips to other young coders starting out, I would say- Don’t be intimidated! I know it seems like everyone else knows so much more than you and you’ll never catch up, but keep on working at it and you’ll get there. Keep your mind open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. Learn from your mistakes but never beat yourself up over them! Lastly, find motivation in the people around you who are learning too and support each other.
“Don’t be intimidated! Learn from your mistakes but never beat yourself up over them!”