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It all begins at CoderDojo

Posted 2014-11-22 By Enrico Campidoglio

So, how is it like to work as a programmer?

The burning question came from one of the youngest members in the audience. As I gathered my thoughts, I noticed how the rest of the group was looking at me with the eagerness and impatience typical of someone whose thirst for knowledge is inversely proportional to their age. I felt the energy in the air. And so I began to give my answer.

It was the fall of 2013 and I was giving a presentation at a CoderDojo meeting in Lund. CoderDojo is a worldwide community of young programmers and their parents. The group welcomes anyone between the age of 7 and 17 who wants to learn to express their creativity through computers.

To be honest, I had never heard of CoderDojo until one day I was asked to give a short presentation on how life is like as a professional programmer during one of their weekly gatherings in Lund. How many times do you get the opportunity to inspire the next generation of programming talents? I was thrilled.

At the end of the presentation, I asked if anyone had any questions. One of them sitting in the front row, maybe around 10 years old, quickly raised her hand:

I noticed that in Chrome you can open up a window that shows you the HTML code for the page among other things. Do you use it in your daily job and how?

10 years old. Needless to say I was blown away. The curiosity and fresh perspective of these young people was energizing to say the least. So there I was, all focused on giving them the best pep talk I could and they were inspiring me back tenfold with their skill and perspicacity. At that age, there are a million things they could spend their time and energy on and they chose to learn programming. Now, that’s true passion.

n that moment I realized what an honor it is to have a chance to be there and help them learn. Sometimes it means answering a very specific question. Other times it’s simply enough to give them a gentle nudge towards the right direction and watch them go off to figure out the rest on their own.

Last Monday we at tretton37 had the chance to host one of the CoderDojo meetings at our offices in Lund. The young participants brought their laptops to work on their own projects assisted by their mentors. A few of us were there to facilitate and offer our expertise when someone had any questions. From the moment they arrived, it took only a few minutes before everyone got power and WiFi and was already hard at work. Some were busy creating Christmas animations in Scratch while others used JavaScript to create awesome shapes in Minecraft. A few were even learning Python!

It was a pleasure to see these young minds at work once again and we already can’t wait to see them next time.

Shameless plug: Are you a ninja? We are hiring in all our offices.

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