CoderDojo launches in Silicon Valley

Posted: November 9, 2012 in Founders

Irish conceived CoderDojo launches in Silicon Valley

Irish conceived CoderDojo launches in Silicon ValleyIrish conceived CoderDojo launches in Silicon ValleyPictured: James Whelton with CoderDojo student Hikari Kawase Kennedy at the London Web Summit in March [photo by Conor McCabe

CoderDojo, the Irish software-tech mentoring initiative, designed to teach school kids computer coding last night launched a voluntary chapter at the Microsoft offices in Mountain View, California.

The aim of CoderDojos is to help school children learn computer programming for free, and develop their confidence in coding at an early age. Local, highly skilled, coder-mentors, from the Silicon Valley region, will take the lead in this voluntary initiative.

CoderDojo is a not-for-profit organisation founded by young coder, James Whelton and entrepreneur, Bill Liao.

In June, 2011, the first CoderDojo was launched in the National Software Centre, Cork, Ireland. The CoderDoJo voluntary movement has since spread across the world and dojos have now been set up in companies like Google, Twitter HQ, Mcafee and Big Fish Games in more than 130 international locations.

Whelton, who’s now 20, ran a computer club in his own school, PBC in Cork and, shortly after his Leaving Cert exams, teamed up with Angel Investor, and Xing co-founder, Bill Liao, to create CoderDojo.

“I quickly saw the massive interest in programming from people my own age, younger and older,” says Whelton. “When we founded in 2011, we had 40 students show up to the first session, which grew over time. Basic programming and web development was taught, students were taught by other students who’d grasped things faster than others and it was an extremely lively environment.”

Compliments of


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