How can you start coding? Everything you need is right here

17 Oct 2016

As EU code week is upon us, looks at the various coding resources available, both in person and online, to the youth of today.

The workforce is changing, with digital tools now becoming a pre-requisite in many professions. For some, that means the ability to manage front-facing tools like social media, document software or the ability to manage data analytics.


For others, it’s the back-end – coding and programming the countless tools the rest of us rely on today. The trend is clear: understanding coding is becoming a must.

Gradually, the school curriculum around the world is changing to reflect this. While MinecraftEdu trickles into various European markets – Ireland soon, one would hope – coding stands out like a sore thumb.


It sounds daunting but given humanity’s enthusiasm for technology, and the way children’s minds absorb information and knowledge on such a grand scale, is coding any more difficult than French, Spanish, German or English?

A growing cabal of organisations argue that it’s not, with groups, tools, and services emerging all over the world to help both young and old get into coding.

The standout option in this area is CoderDojo, originating in Ireland in 2011 before becoming a global phenomenon. Called CoderDojo: My First Website, the organisation recently released the first of a planned three ‘Nano’ books.

It’s designed to help children (or adults) learn the basics of web design, picking up skills like HTML, CSS and JavaScript, which, as many probably know, are a trio of tools the next generation of workers would do well to learn early.

In January at Davos, a dojo was set up at the World Economic Forum to add to some 900 or so dotted around the world.

EU Code Week, which runs this week, is a vehicle to promote coding throughout the European Union and beyond, making programming “more visible”.

It’s aimed at people young and old, with the now three-year-old initiative taking off almost as fast as CoderDojo.

In 2015, 46 countries took part in EU Code Week – all EU member states plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey events took place in Australia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, South Korea, Moldova, Morocco, Taiwan, Tunisia, Ukraine and the US.

To celebrate the event this year, the organisers have provided an extensive list of tools to help us learn.

Coding for young beginners:

Coding for beginners of all ages:

Full online courses for advanced learners:

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Coding. Image: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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