At last year’s Web Summit in Dublin I came across CoderDojo, a community that organizes free programming clubs for young people.
Originally founded in Cork by entrepreneurs James Whelton and Bill Liao, CoderDojo is a volunteer-led ‘grass roots’-type organization that promotes teaching programming to young people in order to support kids by giving them valuable skills that allow them to create stuff such as useful tools, products and art. At the same time efforts like this help tackle the shortage of people with IT skills.
Founded in 2011, the community has since grown tremendously and spread worldwide. CoderDojo is a fantastic effort that addresses an important issue in today’s society: While in former times being literate was essential to participate productively in society and nowadays being ‘computer-literate’ is just as vital. Teaching people to not only use computers for consuming information but to use them as tools for creating something meaningful instead is an idea that can’t be appreciated enough.
If you know about programming and like the idea as much as I do you might want to start a CoderDojo in your home town, too.