CoderDojo conference is happening in Limerick on 13 October

16 Aug 20121 Share

One-year-old global coding movement CoderDojo, which has thousands of kids in Ireland and around the world learning how to write software every week, is hosting its first annual conference. It will take place on 13 October at the Millennium Theatre at Limerick IT between 9.30am and 5pm.

Just over a year ago, CoderDojo was founded in Cork by teenage coder James Whelton and entrepreneur and investor Bill Liao with the intention of providing an outlet for kids to learn how to write software. The success of the movement resulted in Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, hosting a CoderDojo at Leinster House last month.

There are now 104 Dojos happening every Saturday afternoon (41 in Ireland) in cities from Dublin to Florence, and Tokyo, LA, New York, London and Chicago. New ones are sprouting up in Jamaica and Africa. On any given Saturday, an average of 6,000 kids between the ages of seven and 17 in Ireland and around the world are teaching each other how to write code. Let’s not forget, it began in Cork.

The conference will seek to help manage the increase in kids wanting to attend dojos and getting mentors and volunteers involved in setting up dojos. Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com recently, Liao said the target is to have 3,000 CoderDojos in Ireland. “A CoderDojo in every parish in the land.”

At the dojos, kids are learning everything from JavaScript to the latest cutting-edge software language Node.js. Some of the success stories to emerge have also been awe-inspiring, such as Harry Moran, who at the age of 12 became the world’s youngest Mac app developer with his game PizzaBot, which surpassed Angry Birds and Call of Duty in the charts in December, as well as 12-year-old Jordan Casey, who also became one of the world’s youngest iOS app developers with his game Alien Ball Vs Humans. Casey in recent weeks took to the stage at Cannes Lions to tell his story to an awed crowd of global media professionals.

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist. He joined Silicon Republic in 2002 to become the fulcrum of the company’s news service He was recipient of the Irish Internet Association’s NetVisionary Technology Journalist Award 2005 and Siliconrepublic.com has been awarded ‘Best Technology Site’ at the Irish Web Awards seven times. In 2011 he received the David Manley Award commending him for his dedication to covering entrepreneurs. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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