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What is CoderDojo?

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 16.34.44CoderDojo is about encouraging creativity and having fun in a relaxed, social environment.

CoderDojo is a global network of free, volunteer-led, independent, community based programming clubs for young people. These young people, between 7 and 17, learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and explore technology in an informal and creative environment. In addition to learning to code attendees meet like minded people and get to show off what they’ve been working on.

There is a focus on community, peer learning, youth mentoring and self led learning with an emphasis on openness, helping others and showing how coding is a force for change in the world. CoderDojo makes development and learning to code a fun, sociable, kick ass experience.

What is the CoderDojo Foundation?

The global CoderDojo community is supported by the CoderDojo Foundation. The CoderDojo Foundation consists of a core team of dedicated individuals, founded by the co-founder of the very first CoderDojo James Whelton, who are committed to focusing on supporting both new and existing Dojos through resource and community development while also scaling CoderDojo through partnerships and creating awareness globally. You can find out more about the CoderDojo Foundation here.

The CoderDojo Foundation is registered charity in the Republic of Ireland (CHY 20812) and you can see our annual audited accounts and other reports here.

What is a Dojo?

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Young Ninjas at the Westminster Abbey pop up Dojo

A Dojo is a local, independent, volunteer-led programming club that is a part of the global CoderDojo community. Topics covered in Dojos vary, based on the influence of the volunteer technical mentors in each Dojo, but commonly Dojos cover Scratch, an introduction to programming for young people and website development using HTML, CSS and PHP. Dojos also work with JavaScript, Python, Ruby and Node.js, work on game development, Minecraft mods and experiment with hardware and robotics such as Raspberry Pis, Arduino boards and Intel Galileos.

While each Dojo shares the ethos of CoderDojo there is no typical Dojo and the activities run vary from club to club however they all show young people how to code and develop software, as well as themselves, and explore technology by working with others and presenting their work.

Each Dojo is inherently different and influenced by the coordinators, technical mentors and volunteers who facilitate them. To become a registered Dojo, Dojos must agree to the CoderDojo Charter.

I want to organise a Dojo

A bit of history

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CoderDojo Founders Bill Liao and James Whelton

CoderDojo is a non profit global movement founded by James Whelton and Bill Liao. It all started in James Whelton’s school in early 2011 when James (then 18 year-old coder) received some publicity after hacking the iPod Nano and as a result some younger students expressed an interest in learning how to code. He set up a computer club in his school (PBC Cork) where he started teaching students basic HTML and CSS. Later that year he met Bill Liao, a entrepreneur and philanthropist, who was interested in growing the project into something bigger.

The first Dojo…

In June 2011 the first CoderDojo was launched in the National Software Centre in Cork which saw extreme success. The Cork Dojo even saw people travelling from Dublin frequently to attend sessions. Owing to this popularity a Dublin Dojo was launched soon after. By making the movement open source it has since led to hundreds of dedicated Champions setting up more Dojos around Ireland and the CoderDojo movement has even grown to become a global phenomenon. As of January 2015 there are now over 550+ verified Dojos in 55 countries and growing everyday.

Find a Dojo near you

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