21st December 2017
Growing with the CoderDojo movement
“2017 marks my 4th year here at the Foundation. This year the team has achieved so much, we released a load of new content, created the CoderDojo Girls guide, hosted the annual survey, supported many events and much more! One highlight for me was attending the Bulgarian Coolest Projects and then seeing some of the ninjas travel with their projects to participate at the Coolest Projects in Dublin with the support of their mentors and champions!”
The CoderDojo community has grown for a humble number of 200, back when I started, to over 1,600 Dojos in 85+ countries around the world! During this time I’ve worn many hats and learnt many new disciplines. I wanted to highlight some of the work that we’ve been doing to support and develop the community this last year.
Growing the global community with Thomson Reuters
This year we welcomed Thomson Reuters to our list of growth partners. To date they have 16+ Dojos around the world in countries such as, Dubai, Geneva, London and New York. Some countries did not have a CoderDojo until they started one, such as Israel and UAE. Also as part of the CoderDojo girls initiative they hosted the largest group of girls only events on the same day in 9 office locations around the world! in 2017, 1,300 kids will have attended 30 Thomson Reuters CoderDojos, in 16 locations, across 5 countries all supported by 150 Mentors! Thanks to long time CoderDojo London champion, Johnny Claffey on making this possible.
Supporting EU Code Week and digital skills across Europe
On the 17th of October with the support of MEP Sean Kelly and his colleagues, we hosted the 5th EUDojo in the European Parliament as part of out annual celebration of Europe Code Week. We had the support of four different sponsors this year. These were Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, SAP and Liberty Global. At this event we brought 50+ CoderDojo youth from 10 European countries to the European Parliament to highlight the positive impact that CoderDojo is having on addressing the digital skills gap. On the day CoderDojo Ninjas taught MEPs a thing or two about coding! This was an exciting opportunity for me to connect with the European CoderDojo community.
Coolest Projects goes international: Bulgaria / Romania / Belgium / Milan
This is one of my favourite CoderDojo events, I’ve been a part of the Dublin volunteer implementation team for the last 4 years and each year it gets better and better. In Dublin we saw over 600 projects on the day. This event has inspired others to host their own versions and this past year we have seen the community host events in Bulgaria, Romania, Belgium and Milan in supporting them to run their own “regional” versions of the event!
I had the honour to travel to one of these exciting events, Coolest Projects Bulgaria. This was organised by Adi and Vessela and the CoderDojo Bulgaria team. It was my first experience of a Coolest Projects outside Dublin and it was inspiring to see Ninjas using the skills they learnt at CoderDojo in Bulgaria to create amazing projects. I look forward supporting more community members to host their own Coolest Projects in 2018.
Shout out to the international organisers:
Bulgaria – Adi Vessel & team
Italy – Elena & team
Romania – Radu & team
Belgium – Bettina & team
What’s next for me?
I will be passing on the events torch to awesome Sinead Gleese, who joined us recently as the CoderDojo Foundation events manager! This is exciting as it will let me focus more time on specifically on growing and sustaining the CoderDojo community not just in EMEA but around the world.
I will also be joining the ranks of official EU Code Week ambassador for Ireland! The focus of this is to raise awareness for the importance of youth learning Digital skills in Ireland. I will be working more with the CoderDojo community across Ireland in 2018 to do this. If you are interested in working with me on this please feel free to reach out to [email protected]