Started in 2013 by Julian Milligan after attending Cardiff Jam (a PiCymru event run in 2013), Julian initially became a STEM Ambassador before creating a CoderDojo in his home town of Carmarthen. The premise behind CoderDojo is simple, a volunteer led movement orientated around running free not-for-profit coding clubs (Dojos) for young people. Since CoderDojo is an open source movement, Dojos are different between areas and completely autonomous! Dojos are set up, run by and led by volunteers.
So what is CoderDojo?
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.
I want to volunteer/mentor and have some questions!
We’ve answered some common questions below:
Do I need to be an expert programmer?
No. A good CoderDojo mentor is supportive, first and foremost. Sometimes, our students can learn more from a mentor that is learning themselves, rather than an expert. Experience writing some kind of software, however, is useful—just don’t worry if you haven’t spent the last 10 years programming in Scratch!
What kind of time commitment is required?
Mentors sign up for only the events they can commit to. There is no minimum level of commitment, except we do not allow mentors to participate in only part of an event. Expect to spend about four hours on the day of an event, with perhaps a few hours’ work preparing for it earlier that week.
I’m new to this. Is there training or other support?
CoderDojo mentors meet regularly to discuss previous events and share what works and what doesn’t. We welcome new mentors to these sessions as a way to learn more about CoderDojo. However, there is no replacement for simply attending an event and learning first-hand. We staff our events with a mix of veteran and newbie mentors—we support each other.
I have a child that is attending CoderDojo. Can I be a mentor at the same time?
Yes! Just let us know if you’d prefer to be in the same or different groups.
So, how do I get in touch?
Getting in touch is easy! Simply: