James Whelton - Founder of Coderdojo Photo by: Google Images

Irish invented children’s tech initiative “CoderDojo” launched in Silicon Valley


James Whelton - Founder of Coderdojo Photo by: Google Images

The Irish born, software-tech Mentoring initiative, designed to teach school kids computer coding, known as CoderDojo, has been launched as a voluntary chapter at Microsoft offices in Silicon Valleny, CA.

CoderDojo is a not-for-profit organization founded by young coder James Whelton and entrepreneur Bill Liao with the purpose of teaching school kids how to code for free.

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. The phenomenal success led to the establishment of further Dojos around Ireland, and subsequently around the world.

Dojos have now been set up in Google, Twitter HQ, McAfee, Big Fish Games, to name just a few amongst the 130+ international locations.

Now 20-years-old, James Whelton once ran a computer club, in his own school, PBC, Cork, Ireland, and shortly after finishing his leaving Certificate Examinations, teamed up with Angel Investor and XING co-founder, Bill Liao, in Cork, Ireland to create Coderdojo.

Whelton said, “I quickly saw the massive interest in programming from people my own age, younger and older. 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.”

CoderDojo's mission, 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's popularity is demonstrated by the fact that the chapter at Microsoft, Mountain View, CA was fully booked just 48hrs after opening its registrations.

The launch of the Microsoft chapter is particularly special.

Co-founder Bill Liao remarks, “How many tech initiatives have you heard of, being imported into Silicon Valley?”

For more information visit coderdojo.com.


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