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Dublin 15 students celebrate 2 years of Coding with CoderDojo at ITB with the support of Bentley Systems

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28/04/2014 15:50:09



Every Saturday for the past two years, ITB (Institute of Technology Blanchardstown) has welcomed enthusiastic mentors and up to 80 software coders between the ages of 8 and 16 each term to take part in a program called CoderDojo. This fantastic initiative was created by teen programmer James Whelton.

With the support and encouragement of entrepreneur Bill Liao, the first CoderDojo opened in Cork, and a local chapter has been running in ITB for two years. Students come each Saturday for two hours to learn how to write software code and develop websites, apps, programs, games, and much more - using their imagination and having fun in the process.



In addition to learning to code, members meet like-minded people and are able to share and discuss their work with others. CoderDojo makes development and learning to code an enjoyable and sociable experience. CoderDojo emphasizes open source and free software, and has an extensive global network of members and volunteers. CoderDojo has just one rule: "Above All: Be Cool"; and bullying, lying, and wasting people's time are uncool.

Colleagues in the Dublin office of Bentley Systems, provider of software for sustaining infrastructure, earmarked their 2014 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) grants from the company in support of the CoderDojo program. Simon Horsley, Bentley Vice President, EMEA Regional Sales, said, "CoderDojo provides a wonderful opportunity to help young students explore the world of software coding and its multiple applications. Our colleagues at Bentley Systems recognize the importance of encouraging young people to engage in STEM-based studies to help ensure a steady supply of engineering talent entering the workforce to help address the world's many challenges, including advancing infrastructure for improved quality of life. Therefore, it is our pleasure to support CoderDojo's extremely worthwhile endeavours."



Larry O'Brien, Head Mentor at the D15 Dojo, commented, "CoderDojo has experienced an enormous success in Dublin 15 so far. We have had fully booked classes every Saturday since we started, and it has been great to see the enthusiasm of the kids as they learn new skills. Our biggest challenge is that we don't have enough places to hold classes, and we are heavily oversubscribed. We would love to see CoderDojo extended to other areas in Dublin 15 so that we can accommodate more kids. In order for this to happen, we need more mentors, and we would welcome any mentors contacting us on
"The D15 CoderDojo is very grateful to Bentley Systems and its colleagues for their very generous STEM grant, which will be used to fund additional training materials and equipment. This will improve the range of projects and technical scope of our training, directly impacting the kids in the D15 CoderDojo."

According to ITB Marketing and Development Manager Mairead Murphy, ITB is delighted to host Dublin 15's first CoderDojo. As Murphy said, "It's great to see so many children taking part and obviously enjoying it so much. Their creativity is astounding and with support from companies like Bentley Systems this Dojo will go from strength to strength".




What our students say...

Monika Karaliunaite

"Basically the course covers everything to do with digital and online media. I had it as a hobby in sixth year but when I came here I learned so much more."

Monika Karaliunaite,
Creative Digital Media Student

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