CoderDojo to hold first DCU club this Saturday

26 Apr 2012

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A glimpse of some of Ireland's young coding trailblazers from a Siliconrepublic.com article in December 2011

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CoderDojo, the club for young people to learn all about software programming that was co-founded by young entrepreneur James Whelton and internet entrepreneur Bill Liao, is spreading its wings to start a club at Dublin City University (DCU).

CoderDojo @DCU will kick off its first coding club at the university this Saturday (28 April) at 1pm.

Young people from the age of 10 upwards can attend the club to learn all about coding, to share their experiences, and to get hands-on tutoring about how to go about developing their own apps, programmes and games. Parents can come to the events, too.

It was last summer when Whelton got the idea to set up the free coding class for kids. So, after he finished his Leaving Cert, and along with the encouragement of Liao, the duo set up their first CoderDojo in Cork. Incidentally, Whelton has also set up his own software company, Disruptive Development, which is based at Dogpatch labs in Dublin City.

There are now more than 80 CoderDojos. The movement has even spread its wings to London, and it is also heading to the US. Last week, Liao, who is also a partner at SOSventures, spoke at Ireland’s first-ever Angel MeetUp for angel investors about how the country needs to grow its tech talent right now to spin-out programmers, coders and designers of the future.

Ireland’s coding revolution

So far, Ireland has been producing some of the most vibrant young coders on the planet. Think of Harry Moran in Cork who became the world’s youngest Mac app creator when he came up with his PizzaBot app at the age of 12. It made it to the top of the Apple iTunes charts last year. Moran went to his first CoderDojo last September and began to learn how to code.

Plus we have Jordan Casey the youngest iOS developer in Europe.

Back in February, Whelton spoke about how there were some 600 kids coding weekly in Ireland at various CoderDojos.

He said regions of Ireland are demonstrating interesting traits. For instance, young coders in Cork appeared to have an intense focus on JavaScript, while in Kerry one Dojo-goer had mashed Pac-Man with Portal. Meanwhile, in Donegal, a quarter of the island of Arranmore’s population turned up to attend the CoderDojo there!

For any young people who are interested in heading to the DCU CoderDojo this Saturday, they can register here.

CoderDojo in action

Watch a video captured at a CoderDojo held at Science Gallery in Dublin in February to get an idea of what goes on during such Saturday clubs:

Siliconrepublic.com’s John Kennedy visits the recent CoderDojo at Dublin’s Science Gallery

Carmel was a long-time reporter with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com