Sunday, 7 August 2011

What is Coder Dojo?

So by the title you can probably guess I am going to give you a bit of a run-down on what a coder-dojo is, why you may ask. Simply because I was at one this weekend in Cork.

Setup by James Whelton who is a "Web'preneur', Hacker & Social Media Connoisseur", a coder dojo is where people get together to learn computer code. James is without a doubt a very smart guy, and for someone like him to do this free-of-charge and out of his own time is rather nice of him. Not only does he have to try and manage his own a business in Cork but he now has to operate these dojos, which he has plans to spread all around Ireland.

This past Saturday I decided to go along to one of these dojos and I was pleasantly surprised. I, to a certain extent, have an interest in coding and learning how all of it works but to be frank I thought I would get bored pretty early into it and want to leave, I however was the total opposite. Starting at 11 am we arrived to the NSC where we setup our gear. Not long after I was soon coding. By the time I looked at the clock on the laptop screen it was 4 pm.

Yes, in-between this time there was a lot more however. Irish Presidential candidate, Sean Gallaghar, who is more commonly known as "the man off the telly show with the money on the telly" or "Dragons Den" (the irish version). Sean talked to the group later on in his visit and had time for a photo-op and you can see his talk to us here: (I am the guy to the direct right of Sean in the video)

Not long after he left us get back to our coding and we were heads down into our computer screens typing away, the guys from another "telly show on telly" arrived. The show in question is 'Nationwide'. For those of you who do not have the privilege to be living in Ireland and not knowing what Nationwide is, to be honest I don't either. I know it is a program, what it is about....please don't ask. Either way, they were there.

They interview James and a few kids who attended the dojo about 'what was going on' (I don't know when it will be on tv but when it is I will let you know on my twitter). Then they got a few shots of us coding and things like that, and then they went on their way. This was the point I looked at the clock saying "fuck! look at the time" (I said it in my mind, I didn't shout it out).

Overall the day was pretty awesome. I learned code. I got to meet James Whelton. Yes, I was disappointed that Tommy Collison was not able to attend when he was supposed to be there. But I didn't mind because I had fun. Things like what James has done here need to be done everywhere, and in times of an economic downturn like we are in currently in Ireland we need to get together and help each other out and show some kindness. This is without a doubt an amazing project and if you want to find out more about Coder Dojo visit the website here:

Have you been to a Coder Dojo or would like? Let me know in the comments or email or just get in contact in anyway possible and I will send you in the right direction. Make sure to tweet this and facebook it!


  1. This gentleman has hit a niche in the market, I seriously hope he can spread this across to the UK, I would very seriously attend one of these, and to do it for free, just shows how humble and kind he is to share the benefit of his wisdom.

    On a small point the link isn't there.

    Love the article.

  2. @djd001 thanks for the feedback man! James certainly has something special here and it is something that needs to not just be brought into schools around the world as an after school thing, but I actually think it should be part of the curriculum. I mean it only makes sense to teach that stuff at an early age.

    Glad you liked the article, make sure to email it around and tweet it and all that fun stuff!

  3. hey dylan, im sure youve probably heard of this but id said id post it in case anybody else coming to this page hasnt heard

    ive only got to mess around with it for a few minutes but it seems pretty good, its just started up a few weeks ago i think, and its free as well!

    it might be handy for noobs like myself who are thinking about attending one of your coder dojos but dont have any knowledge of coding at all, it would be good for coving the very basics.


  4. @savagecabage (Brilliant name by the way) I have heard of the site but never actaully used it. What I mainly use is w3schools. I think the idea is pretty similar to the website you describe above.

    Oh, and for the record you said you said you would like to go to a dojo but don't have any knowledge of coding? Either did I. I simply went along one weekend because Tommy Collison, an Irish blogger, was supposed to be attending and giving a speech and I have been learning a bit of code here and there ever since through w3schools. Unfortunatly I have been really busy as of late and have not been back to coderdojo since. I will get back there eventually though.

    Thanks for the comment!