Published: Thu 06 Nov 2014

Setting up CoderDojo in Portumna Galway

I love Karl Marx's maxim, from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

I try to live my life along the lines of open source philosophy. Actually, I try to live my life following the tenets of anarchism - no hierarchies, a system of relations towards others built on trust, friendship, helping each other, solidarity, and distributed leadership (if leadership is the right word here).

When I came upon open source software (specifically Drupal), I quickly realised that anarchism and open source software have so much in common. Drupal is distributed, it is without formal leaders (except Dries as project lead - I know, this is a very simplistic reading of Drupal's set up). Developers work in solidarity/cooperation with each other, sharing code and knowledge to build the best product we can. We are friends, we trust each other.

It was inevitable, then, that I would think an organisation such as CoderDojo was such a good idea. Many, many groups around the world. Everyone helping each other to learn. All sharing knowledge. However, living in a small town in rural Ireland, I wasn't sure it would work here - we don't have coders, we don't have a meeting room, we don't ... Hang on. Let's not be negative, let's give it a try.

So tonight, we have our inaugural meeting of Portumna CoderDojo in the local adult education centre. With use of the computer room. And me as mentor. And some more parents as supervisors. And about 20 kids ready to start coding.

This looks workable. And exciting. Wish us luck.

If you like what I write, you might like to follow me on Twitter @markconroy

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