Our purpose

Our purpose is to promote coding and the benefits of technology for children aged 7 to 17, particularly by removing barriers to such services for children and young people from Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or non-English speaking backgrounds, or children and young people from low socio-economic backgrounds, with a view to achieving the following objectives:

  • Bringing ‘free and fun’ opportunities to learn coding and programming to improve analytical thinking and technical literacy of children and young people so as to enhance their ability to think strategically, logically and systematically, and be successful through achievement.
  • Engendering and developing an appreciation of creativity through coding, for children and young people who would not otherwise experience the positive benefits of technology.
  • Using Dojos to enhance bonds between children and young people and their parents, and other children in their community, through practical application of technology.
  • To reveal a career path for disadvantaged children and young people who may not have been exposed to coding, engineering, or science as an option.

CoderDojo Movement

CoderDojo is a global movement of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people. Anyone aged seven to seventeen can visit a Dojo where they can learn to code, build a website, create an app or a game, and explore technology in an informal, creative, and social environment.

Within the CoderDojo Movement there is a focus on peer learning, youth mentoring and self-led learning. We aim to help young people realise that they can build a positive future through coding and community.

A bit of history

In early 2011, when James Whelton was an 18 year old coder in Cork, he received some publicity after hacking the iPod Nano. As a result, some of the younger students at his school expressed an interest in learning how to code. He set up a computer club in his school where he started teaching students basic HTML and CSS. Later that year he met Bill Liao, an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Seeing the positive impact James was having, Bill expressed an interest in growing the project. Together the pair founded CoderDojo.

The first Dojo

In July 2011 the first CoderDojo was launched at the National Software Centre in Cork. The first sessions were immensely popular, with people travelling from Dublin on a regular basis to attend. Owing to this popularity, and a desire to share the CoderDojo format, James and Bill decided to open source the model.

This encouraged rapid growth, initially across Ireland and then globally in North America and Italy. Through making the movement open source, thousands of dedicated Champions and Mentors set up more Dojos across the world, making the CoderDojo movement a global phenomenon. There are now more than 1,100 verified Dojos in 63 countries, with new Dojos starting almost every day.