Coder Dojo Belfast White Belt Awards
For the past six Saturdays, Belfast Metropolitan College has hosted ‘Coder Dojo Belfast’ – an exciting new computer coding class for young people. Over thirty eager programmers, aged 16 and younger, have participated over the weeks and those who have attended five time or more of the sessions (over half of the young people) have recently been awarded their “White Belts”.
Coder Dojo is a movement which was started only last June in Cork and has spread since around the world with Dojos scattered throughout Europe, USA and Japan. The Belfast Dojo was started by Momentum, the Northern Ireland ICT Federation and Belfast Metropolitan College, as a way of promoting programming amongst young people and has already attracted a loyal and talented following of budding programmers who have written games, learned HTML and CSS and some have even developed iPhone apps over the first sessions of the Dojo.
Dr Jonathan Heggarty, Head of School for Electronic and Computing Technologies at Belfast Metropolitan College, recently mentored on game programming at the Dojo. He said: “Coder Dojo Belfast is a great opportunity for young people to learn more about computing and develop new skills in a fun environment. Through programming games, kids at the Dojo have learned the basics of Object Orientated programming and have written playable games to show their friends, parents and classmates in school.”
Dr Ian Graham from Momentum said: “Northern Ireland has a skills shortage within the IT sector and programmes such as Coder Dojo are one way in which young people can get excited about software engineering and possibly stimulate an interest that will help them choose a career in the sector in later years. The staff and Belfast Metropolitan College and mentor volunteers from industry have embraced this concept and Momentum plans to work with other colleges in the sector to promote such Coding Clubs all across Northern Ireland.”
Further information on Coder Dojo Belfast can be obtained by contacting Peter Doherty at Belfast Metropolitan College at firstname.lastname@example.org or via twitter #CoderDojoBMC.