coderdojo logoAt VersionOne, our CEO and co-founder Robert Holler asked us to think of how we’d like to give back to the community as a company. He suggested we look into ways we could contribute to helping kids learn to code.

There has been a recent surge in efforts and organizations that aim to help kids learn how to code to further their computer literacy. A few prominent ones are:

We latched on to CoderDojo and decided to launch one right here in Atlanta! CoderDojo is “a global collaboration providing free and open learning to young people, especially in programming technology.” How do you start one? Easily:

  • Find some space with decent Wi-Fi where parents bring their kids, Ages 7 – 17, and their own laptop once or twice a month
  • Get some Mentors signed up to help lead coding tutorial workshops for kids
  • Announce it on mailing lists or or the like
  • Do it!

That’s essentially what we did to launch CoderDojo Ponce Springs. We’ve run three sessions so far, serving close to 100 kids with the participation of nearly 30 mentors and volunteers! Here are some thumbnails from our most recent event:

Coder Dojo students and mentors image

We’ve also been developing some simple software tools that help manage a CoderDojo, and we’re contributing those back to the community. We’re using some hot technologies to build these tools, like AngularJS and cloud hosting services. In upcoming blog posts, I’ll describe some of these tools and how they work, technically.

We’d love it if you want to start a CoderDojo in your own community, and we can offer advice on getting started. Of course, you’ll also want to get yourself set up on the main Coder Dojo Web site and plugged into the global community!

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