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CIT Coder Dojo

About CoderDojo

CoderDojo ( is a not-for-profit organisation, founded by James Whelton and Bill Liao. Essentially, it is a free coding movement for young people with clubs run by groups of volunteers / mentors that have come together and agreed to start a Dojo in their local area/school/ College/University or Company. The young people attending this clubs can range in age from 6 upwards but predominantly are 8 to 14 year olds.

The essence of CoderDojo first started in James Whelton’s school in early 2011 when James received some publicity after hacking the iPod Nano and some younger students expressed an interest in learning how to code. He setup a computer club in his school (PBC Cork) where he started teaching basic HTML and CSS. Later that year he met Bill Liao, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, who was interested in growing the project into something bigger than just an after-school computer club. In June 2011 the first CoderDojo was launched in the National Software Centre in Mahon, Cork where it rapidly became a huge success. So much so that CoderDojo is now a worldwide movement, with Dojos in Tokyo,  Cape Town, Toronto to name but a few as well as the plethora or Irish, homegrown ones.

At a CoderDojo, young people learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games, etc. and eventually become mentors to their peers. In addition to learning to code, members get to meet like-minded people, show off what they’ve been working on and so on. CoderDojo makes development and learning to code a fun and sociable experience. 

CIT CoderDojo

The CIT chapter started in March 2012 and runs every Friday from 4 pm to 6pm in the NIMBUS Research Centre. In less than 12 months, CIT CoderDojo, has, with practically no publicity, had approximately 150 kids come through its doors with about 50 kids regularly attending to work on Scratch/HTML/CSS/Javascript projects.

CIT CoderDojo has recently had two major successes


  1. Three students from a local second level school developed an Android app to assist students with their revision. The app called Revision Precision was developed, with the help of CIT CoderDojo, and was part of a project which the students entered in the BT Young Scientist Competition. The project got a highly commended award overall and furthermore won the HP Prize for Innovation award at the competition.
  2. A CIT CoderDojo team, consisting of four second year second-level students, entered the Cork Electronics Industry Association (CEIA) 9th Lego Robots competition. The competition itself is open to schools in the greater Cork area with each school putting forward a team of 4 students who are mentored by staff from Electrical & Electronic Engineering., UCC, Tyndall and Electrical & Electronic Engineering., CIT. The teams get four months to design and build an LED beacon, produce a poster on a specified theme and assemble and programme a Lego Mindstorms robot to negotiate a maze.  Despite starting three months later than the rest of the teams, the CIT CoderDojo team came a creditable third from over 20 entries.

Innovation Week Competition

CIT CoderDojo kids will present projects that they have been working on over the last couple of weeks using the different programming skills that they have learned over the last number of months. The projects will include games, animations, stories and web sites.

The following are the categories/ prizes on offer:

– Under 10 competition

  • 1st:   €50 Smyths  voucher
  • 2nd: €30 Smyths voucher
  • 3rd: €15 gift voucher

– Under 12 competition

  • 1st:   €50 Smyths  voucher
  • 2nd: €30 Smyths voucher
  • 3rd: €15 gift voucher

– Senior Competition:

  • 1st:   €50 One4All voucher
  • 2nd: €30 One4All voucher
  • 3rd: €15 One4All voucher

For further information on CIT CoderDojo visit the Coderdojocit Blog