CoderDojo kids compete in Microsoft’s US$100,000 AzureDevs competition

30 Jun 2013

CoderDojo co-founder James Whelton at a dojo at Slane Castle, Co Meath, recently

Two-year-old Irish-born coding phenomenon CoderDojo is currently in the top 5 of a global public vote competition organised by Microsoft’s Azure developer community to grant US$100,000 to the top education non-profits in the world.

CoderDojo is (at the time of writing) in second place behind Black Girls Code in first position.

As part of the AzureDevs competition Microsoft will donate US$50,000 to the organisation with the most votes, US$20,000 to the second highest, and US$10,000 to each of the three runners up.

Beyond helping technology education non-profits, as an AzureDev the organisations will gain access to exclusive content and technology leaders from Microsoft and the community throughout the year.

Non-profit CoderDojo was formed two years ago almost to the day by James Whelton, just weeks after he completed his Leaving Cert, with the help of entrepreneur Bill Liao. Whelton started up non-profit organisation CoderDojo on a Saturday morning with the simple idea that kids would show up and with the help of mentors learn how to code. Within weeks, CoderDojos began happening in community halls and office canteens from Arranmore off the coast of Donegal to major cities like London and New York.

Today, more than 16,000 children worldwide are taught to code every Saturday in more than 120 dojos in 22 countries, including places such as LA, Silicon Valley, Tokyo, Africa and the Caribbean – all on a voluntary basis.

In the past two years it has grown to see over 16,000 kids from the ages of six upwards gather every Saturday in more than 26 countries worldwide to learn basic web and computer skills, HTML, CSS, advanced CSS, beginners’ Javascript, advanced Javascript/J-Query, advanced Java and various flavours C.

At Build 2013, Microsoft’s annual developer conference in San Francisco, the software giant released a preview of its Windows 8.1 as well as availability of its new development platform Visual Studio 2013 as well as Windows Azure Mobile Services enabling organisations to publish apps to Azure and other cloud platforms for use across Windows, Windows Mobile, iOS, Android and many more app platforms.

Microsoft revealed that 1,000 businesses a day are signing up to the Azure cloud platform.

To give the young coders your vote, click here.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years