Free IT summer courses in Dublin for secondary school students


“Seven IT-focused summer courses have been devised by the College of Computer Training (CCT) in Dublin to give secondary school students a taste of further education in this area and the job opportunities that can lead to.

Classes in programming, networking, web design, gaming and operating systems will take place at CCT on Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2, from 15 July to 31 August. The courses are completely free of charge and each programme will last between two and three weeks with four half-days of tuition per week.

About 300 places will be available and participants will receive MTA component certificate awards on completion. Interested students can enrol online.”

Full article may be read by clicking here.


This is the link to information about the courses.


Our first Arduino – thanks to Ronan Cremin


Ronan Cremin xbsWe have been given a present of an Arduino by Ronan Cremin, CTO of dotMobi



Thanks Ronan, we will have great fun with it!

In case you want to know more about Arduino, visit

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.




CoderDojo at Just4Kids Show, RDS Simmonscourt 25/26 May

CoderDojo stand Just4Kids

We had a great weekend at the Just4Kids show, even though the sunny weather did its best to stop people coming!  There was plenty to do and see and at times we needed all hands to show kids, Dave’s graduate buddies, St John Ambulance  (and even a sly fox) how to write their first programs using Scratch. A great job by Sandra to organize the event,  with Dave, Ossian, Jennifer and Francis (Dun Laoghaire), Zoryana (IBM) ,  Alan and Ben (DCU), Eugene (Limerick) and James (Bray) all contributing  to an event that was a great success. We even came away with a new Mentor (welcome David). Result!

Free courses offered online by universities over the summer

If you want to expand your knowledge over the summer months, you may find one of these courses interesting. Some sort of certificate/statement of completion may be offered, though typically not university credit.  The courses listed here are tech-related, but you can get the full list of hundreds of courses, on a wide variety of topics, at this link.

Starting in June 2013:

Introduction to Programming (Java)
Udacity – June 3 (9 lessons)
San Jose State Credit for a fee
[No prior programming experience and knowledge is assumed or needed.]

Introduction to Systematic Program Design 
UBC on Coursera –  June 3 (8 weeks)
No information about certificate available
[No prior programming experience is assumed, and only a grade school math background is required.]

Creative Programming for Digital & Mobile Apps
University of London on Coursera – June 10 (6 weeks)
No information about certificate available
[Most students are expected to have some background in programming and/or computer science, and some experience of (possibly extra curricular) creative work. The course is also suitable for students new to computer programming but with a strong arts background, and a desire to develop skills in creative applications development.]

Internet History, Technology, and Security
U Michigan on Coursera – June 3 (11 weeks)
Offers Statement of Accomplishment
[This course has no prerequisites and there will be no programming.]

Introduction to Computer Networks
University of Washington on Coursera – June 24 14 (10 weeks)
No information about certificate available
[We assume a rudimentary understanding of probability (such as the likelihood of an event) and computer system organization (such as binary representations and arithmetic). You should be comfortable with simple calculations and manipulations using scientific notation. We teach the course at the upper-undergraduate level. To do the optional, hands-on exercises you should be comfortable with installing systems software and running command-line programs.]

Malicious Software and its Underground Economy
University of London on Coursera – June (6 weeks)
No information about certificate available
[Recommended background: Operating Systems, Computer Architecture, Computer Security Class (optional)]

Discrete Optimization
Discrete Optimization – U. of Melbourne on Coursera – June 18 (6 weeks)
No information about certificate available
[Recommended background: Good programming skills, knowledge of fundamental algorithms, and linear algebra]

Software Defined Networking
Georgia Tech on Coursera – June 24 (6 weeks)
No information about certificate available
[Students should have taken at least an undergraduate-level networking course and have programming experience in Python.  Experience with virtual machines and other virtual networking environments may also be useful.]

Start anytime:
Offering Certificate, with Varied Levels of Accomplishment

Introduction to Computer Science
[There is no prior programming knowledge needed for this course. Beginners welcome!]

Interactive 3D Graphics –
[Knowing how to program in some language is all you’ll need to get started.]

Web Development: How to Build a Blog
[A moderate amount of programming and computer science experience is necessary for this course.]
Software Testing: How to Make Software Fail
[Programming experience is required.]

Programming Languages: Building a Web Browser
[This course assumes previous programming experience]

Design of Computer Programs: Programming Principles
[This course assumes previous programming experience]

Artificial Intelligence: Programming A Robotic Car 
[You should either already know Python, or have enough experience with another language to be confident you can pick up what you need on your own.]

HTML5 Game Development
[Knowledge of HTML, Javascript, and how the web works is necessary for this course.]

Introduction to Parallel Programming
[We expect students to have a solid experience with the C programming language and basic knowledge of data structures and algorithms.]

Media Programming
Carnegie Mellon
[This introductory course has no particular prerequisites and is primarily designed for non-computer science students.]

In need of inspiration? Listen to this story!

This story is nothing to do with coding, but is a wonderful story about how determination can bring about achievement.

This link is to an RTE Radio programme first broadcast in 1992.  It is about a teacher in CBC Monkstown, Co. Dublin, Gerry O’Brien, who was born with no arms and one leg due to Thalidomide.

In the 40 minute conversation, Gerry discusses – often humorously – the trials and tribulations of living a full life with only one limb.  The school principal at the time speaks about the effect Mr O’Brien had on the school.  Gerry’s mother also discusses the story from her perspective and the pupils in the school talk about their opinion of Mr O’Brien.

He became TY Co-ordinator in the school and also produced the annual school musical.  He since qualified as a solicitor and in addition to setting up a practice in Tipperary, he conducted Thurles Folk Group and founded the Phoenix Musical Society.  In 2012 Gerry was appointed State Solicitor for North Tipperary.

Inspirational or what?!!

Booked out!

We have had to close our waitlist down as we have about 50 email addresses to get through, some of whom have more than 1 child who wants to join CoderDojo Dun Laoghaire.

However, we are trying to figure out a way to involve more people quickly, so please don’t lose heart!  (In the meantime, check back here regularly as our mentors often update material from recent sessions, and you could have a go at trying some of it at home.)

One thing that would make a huge difference is finding more mentors, so if you know anyone who could help, please have them get in touch with us.


The photo, by the way, is of the ballroom ceiling in Slane Castle, a little more interesting than a picture of a waiting list!

New batch of tickets to be released

A new batch of tickets – valid for 5 weeks – were released at the CoderDojo session on 6 March.  We have since emailed the people on our waiting list and after a day or so, we will make any remaining tickets generally available.  Demand is such that there will be very few, if any, left.  Updated information will be posted here.