AmmA & Market Place Theatre | 22/03/2014


Back to Top

#DojoConNI is Northern Irelands first official conference for mentors, parents and teachers who are involved or interested in becoming involved in the Coder Dojo movement. With 339 clubs already running across 38 countries, Coder Dojo has become a huge success story and #DojoConNI aims to build on this success by offering opportunity for mentors to share, discover and learn!

“Coder Dojo is a voluntary global movement providing open learning opportunities for young people interested in programming and technology”

In keeping with Coder Dojo philosophy, the event is free and will feature a variety of keynote speakers and seminars led by practitioners from the digital technology sector.

This is a one day event funded by DCALNI and will be hosted by the AmmA Centre in Armagh city, for more information visit ammacentre.org

Call for Speakers

Coder Dojo is a community driven movement and in keeping with this philosophy, we are offering a number of 5 or 10 minute slots to members of the Coder Dojo community. If you wish to present or know of someone who has something to share with attendees of this event, please register your interest here.


Back to Top

Watch this space! We are working hard to finalise an exciting line up of speakers and a variety of engaging workshops. Full details will be released over the next week so please check back or register for a place to get daily updates!

Sheree Atchenson

#DojoConNI is delighted to announce Sheree Atcheson as a speaker in Armagh on March 22nd. Sheree is a 22 year old Computer Science alumna from Queen’s University Belfast, now working in Kainos as a software engineer.

As well as her day to day life as a software engineer, Sheree is also working diligently to eradicate the gender bias in the IT industry. In order to do this, she has founded Women Who Code UK (womenwhocode.co.uk).

The main aim of her career is to educate the younger generation on the prospective careers they can obtain in IT and show them that regardless of who they are, in order to be in tech, you do not need to be a man, a “geek” or a “nerd”.

All you need is to be interested.

Stephen Howell

Stephen Howell is an Academic Engagement Manager and technology evangelist working for Microsoft Ireland. He is a former Computing lecturer with the Institute of Technology Tallaght where he lectured on Interactive Media & Software Development.

Prior to joining IT Tallaght, Stephen was a lecturer in Dublin City University and a software engineer at IBM Ireland. He is also a visiting professor in games design with Tsuda College, Tokyo.

Stephen is a proponent of teaching children the 3Ds of software: Design, Develop & Debug in schools from an early age. To encourage this model, he developed free educational software (Kinect2Scratch) that allows children to program the Microsoft Kinect motion capture controller in the Scratch Language from MIT. This software is used in schools & universities internationally and has been presented at the Art & Code Conf. in Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Scratch@MIT 2012 Conference and nationally on many occasions.

John Peto

John is the Director of Education at the Nerve Centre, responsible for a range of projects that support Digital Creativity in Schools and Communities across Northern Ireland.  From a background in film and television production

John has overseen the establishment of Northern Ireland’s first FabLab’s (at the Nerve Centre and at Belfast’s Ashton Centre) as well as operating the Nerve Centre’s Creative Learning Centres and pioneering the use of Digital Creative Media in Conflict Education through the Teaching Divided Histories Project.

In 2013 John established the Moville Coderdojo in Inishowen, Co. Donegal, which he co-ordinates with a team of Mentors catering for 25 young people every fortnight.

Peter Redmond

Peter Redmond is an inventor, engineer, scientist and robotics guru. He is the creator of the Guinness World Record setting Rubik’s cube solving robot Rubot II. His career spans the fields of real science and the world of TV and movies.

He has created award winning robots, patented avionics aircraft systems and lectures 3D vision and Augmented Reality at Trinity College Dublin. Peter has delivered over 100 workshops in robotics at schools and coderdojos nationwide and has been a keynote speaker at conferences and TV/Radio shows worldwide.  Peter has consulted on or created amazing special effects and props for movies and TV such as Reign of Fire, King Arthur, Top Gear, Robot Wars, Scrapheap Challenge and many more.

Michael Mentessi

Michael Mentessi is a UK based Community Manager for Code Club, a nationwide network of free, volunteer-led, after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11. Code Club create projects for our volunteers to teach at after-school coding clubs.

The projects teach children how to program by showing them how to make computer games, animations and websites. Our volunteers run a club for an hour a week and teach one project a week. The clubs start with Scratch then move onto HTML & CSS and Python.

“Learning to code is an important skill now that we are living in a digital age. It’s not enough for children to know how to consume technology, they need to know how it works too. Learning to code isn’t just about becoming a developer, it is about problem solving, logical thinking and supports key academic subjects such as science, maths and technology. Most primary school teachers don’t know how to code, so can’t pass these skills on to their students. That’s where we come in. We’d like to put a Code Club in 25% of primary schools by 2015. That’s around 5000 schools, but we think we can do it!”

Noel King

Noel has been involved in CoderDojo since July 2011 and joined Ben Chapman when CoderDojo Dublin was setup a month later.  After quickly seeing the growth in Dublin we needed to scale and he setup CoderDojo DCU where he still spends every Saturday.

In January 2012 he met with Intel and we created the Coolest Projects Awards as a platform for members to showcase their amazing projects they had been developing at CoderDojo.  Unlike other competitions, this is an award ceremony where we celebrate the work of the members as our priority.  The awards focus and reward creativity, exploration and output over precise coding skills.  The awards are open to all and are a great celebration to what CoderDojo members are achieving.

Rob Ellis

Robert Ellis is a 17 year old coding enthusiast from Banbridge. He has been involved in Coder Dojo for over 3 years and actively attends Coder Dojo Newry and Coder Dojo Armagh. Over the last year, Rob has become a mentor and contributor at Coder Dojo sessions working closely with older dojo participants. Rob considers himself a diverse coder who enjoys the challenge of any new technology or programming language!

Over the last year, Rob won his category in Coolest Project Awards in Dublin with his gaming platform, titled ‘Robs Game Engine’. His project was inspired at a Coder Dojo session were he watched some of his peers struggle to build games using the Java platform. He decided to build a game engine that would simplify the process and within a month, he was mentoring groups on how to build games using his own game engine which he continues to develop!

Rob also secured a ticket to attend Web Summit 2013 on the back of his Dojo achievements.

Cookstown High School and Gtracks

GTracks is a team of teenage coders from Cookstown High who have developed a location aware app for Davagh Forest Mountain Bike trails as a commercial venture in partnership with the Cookstown District council.

Their DavaghNav app provides professionally recorded audio guidance for Mountain Bikers around 26Km of trails, using GPS triggers for key navigational points on the routes.  DavaghNav is scheduled for commercial release in April this year.

They have reached the National Finals of Junior Dragons’ Den 2014 and are aiming for more success in the coming months.

The team hope to develop further location aware Apps aimed at the tourism industry and have been invited to meet with representatives of the Northern Ireland tourist board.

Anona now 17 has been a mentor for Gtracks and herself part of a team who developed ‘EcoSmart’, an app that reached the national finals of Junior Dragons’ Den 2013 and won Eircom Junior Spiders best Mobile App 2013.


Back to Top
09:30 - 10:00
10:00 - 10:15
Welcome from Hello World Foundation
10:15 - 10:25
Dojo KnowHow #1

Short presentations from local Dojos sharing their perspectives and experiences.

10:25 - 10:55
Exploring the world of Robotics with Peter Redmond
10:55 - 11.10
STEM in Education: GTracks Team from Cookstown High
11:10 - 11:30
Creative Learning Centres NI: John Peto
11:30 - 11:50
Tea & Coffee (Segway Challenge)
11:50 - 12:25
Breakout Session 1 @ AmmA
12:25 - 13:00
Breakout Session 2 @ AmmA
13:00 - 13:40
Lunch, Exhibition & Segway Challenge
13:40 - 13:50
Dojo KnowHow #2

Short presentations from local Dojos sharing their perspectives and experiences.

13:50 - 14:20
Women Who Code: Sheree Atcheson
14:20 - 14:50
Dojo Magic: Stephen Howell
14:50 - 15:15
Michael Mentessi from CodeClub.org.uk
15:15 - 15:40
Coolest Projects: Noel King & Robert Ellis
15:40 - 15:45
Break Out Sessions

4 break out sessions will be offered and participants can select to attend 2 of these. Sessions will be run twice.

Session 1: 3D-Dojo with Matt Johnson

Session 2: Getting started with CodeClub.org.uk

Session 3: Future Classrooms

Session 4: STEM in your Dojo


Back to Top


Back to Top

#DojoConNI is hosted by The AmmA Centre in the Market Place Theatre, Armagh on March 22nd. Registration is open for #DojoConNI is through Eventbrite. The event is for mentors, parents and adults who are involved in or interested in finding out more about Coder Dojo.

Only adult tickets are available for this event.