CoderDojo participation is always free and open to all.
CoderDojo is 100% free for those who are attending and their parents.
From time to time Dojos may come across unavoidable expenses, for information on fundraising to cover these costs please see our Fundraising Guidelines and Suggestions.
CoderDojo does not discriminate based on gender, race, religion, culture or sexual orientation. For more information on this please see our Inclusion Policy.
One rule for kids: Be cool!
There is only one rule for young people attending a CoderDojo…Be Cool!
Bullying, disruptive behaviour, wasting people’s time etc. is considered to be uncool and not welcome in the Dojo environment.
At the Dojo everyone is responsible for themselves and each other.
CoderDojo is open source.
CoderDojo should be a place where everyone is free to share and contribute to building an awesome social space for everyone participating. CoderDojo not only encourages the use of open source software in it's Dojos but the CoderDojo model itself is open source and community driven, allowing the autonomous nature of each individual local Dojo to feed back into community and evolve it's growth.
CoderDojo encourages collaborative creativity through peer mentoring
Different people have different strengths and this is the benefit of working in groups or teams. At CoderDojo young people of different abilities are encouraged to work together on projects and to learn from and mentor each other. Easy ways of encouraging this are ensuring there are two - three young people working on the same computer or project at a given time.
Discovery learning through project work
Instead of focusing on a curriculum model CoderDojo encourages that’s once the young people have learned the basics using the multitude of available resources linked to on our community wiki Kata and through mentor support so that they can then focus their attention on creating projects that interest them and presenting their work to their Dojo. This method is much more conducive for successful, and enjoyable, learning that a strict curriculum path. CoderDojo’s focus on project work allows young people to motivate themselves towards finding the necessary solutions to their problems, just like actual programmers! You can see the consequences of this attitude at our annual CoderDojo competition, Coolest Projects.
Projects focused on coding as a tool for positive change
CoderDojo encourages young people to see Code as a force for good in the world and to develop projects with their new found skills that can have a positive impact. Dojo attendees often develop apps, websites and games around themes such as bullying, environmental activism, aiding underserved groups in their communities and educational games and resources.
Youth mentoring and youth participation in Dojo organisation
It is encouraged for youth mentors to be given responsibility in the Dojo as soon as is reasonable. A good way of enabling this is to let young people who have mastered the basics give back to their Dojo by mentoring the beginners table.
Attendees who show an aptitude for mentoring and helping out on a high level at the Dojo should be invited to be involved in planning discussions and operational reviews this will provide them with a unique opportunity not often granted to young people and the confidence to trust their voices.
Parents pitch in!
As CoderDojo founder Bill Liao often says, “CoderDojo is free, but it’s not a free ride!”
Parents/Guardians are usually asked to stay for the duration of the Dojo with the young people and while there they are encouraged to help out in anyway they can. If they don’t have any programming or technical skills parents are encouraged to help out doing other tasks such as taking on administrative roles such as managing the registration system, check in, social media or even local outreach.
It is encouraged that parents do not work with their own children if helping out, and keep their fingers off the keyboards! This is to enable the young people to have full creative freedom.
Encourage girls to get involved in coding!
It is estimated that out of the amount of people currently pursuing careers in computer programming the amount of women is on average 20%. It is a goal of Coderdojo to encourage more young women to engage with programming and have sufficient role models in order for them to be able foresee careers in this field.
For more information on how to encourage more girls to code please see our CoderDojo Girls Guidelines document.