A free club which teaches web, app and coding skills to 11-18 year olds is being set up in Derry and holds its first meeting from 2-4pm at the Nerve Centre on Magazine Street on Saturday 19th May.  Young people from Derry, Strabane, Inishowen and beyond are all invited to participate.


“The Coderdojo computer coding clubs are part of a global network, which were founded in Ireland by Bill Liao and James Whelton,” says volunteer and parent, Trish Hegarty.  “We’ve had great support from Bill Liao in our efforts to get one set up in this region, and we’ve already got a small group of volunteers to mentor the young coders.”


The new club has been set up with in conjunction with Rosa McLaughlin from Foyle Learning Community and Digital Derry Champion Mark Nagurski who say its vital to encourage interest and skills in computer coding amongst young people if Derry is to develop and sustain digital industries to their full potential.


“Rosa has been liaising with the North West Regional College and the University of Ulster at Magee, who are keen to provide teaching and mentoring support.” Rosa and Trish will act as co-ordinators for Derry coderdojo.


“Inishowen web and app developer Michael Flanagan and Strabane teacher and ICT co-ordinator Damien McHugh have signed up to offer their support as mentors to the young coders”, adds Trish.


“I got involved after my 11-year-old set up his own blog and website, all from his interest in online construction game Minecraft, and developing “mods” or modifications for this game,” says Trish. “He is very keen now to learn more, and is already talking about wanting to develop his own apps.”


“Belfast is opening a coderdojo this month, and clubs are already up and running in Newry, and on Donegal’s Arainn Mór island – which we are planning to visit this week.”


Big thanks go to Pearse Moore and John Peto at The Nerve Centre who are providing the venue, says Trish.  My own business, Inis Communications, will provide PR and volunteer support, working in co-operation with Foyle Learning Community and Digital Derry.


If you want to register your child, offer to mentor or help in any way with Coderdojo Derry then please contact Trish at trish@iniscommunications.com or call her on +35386 1740057.  Please note: Parents of children aged 12 or under must accompany their children throughout coderdojo sessions.