A few years back I met a young soul exploring software development. He had programmed some robots, learnt some python and gotten himself to a python conference to meet other geeks.

His name was Sam, he was 10. And he needed someone to help him get unstuck and take the next steps.

I really, really wanted to teach youngsters coding.

By this stage, I'd seen too many well-meaning attempts die in analysis paralysis trying to figure out a curriculum, where to recruit learners etc, et cetera ad nauseam.

Just do it

Instead, I said: "Why don't you come to my office for 2 hours on a Tuesday afternoon? I'll help you where you get stuck."

A few years later and up to 15 (fifteen) 7-14 year-olds (seven to fourteen year-olds) come to our boardroom every Tuesday for coderdojo.

Our neighbours Esteq have offered up their boardroom for overflow, which is amazing.


It is (lightly) organised chaos, in the manner of a self-organised learning environment. It closely mirrors professional software development.

We do a standup (what did you do last week, what will you do this week, who wants to help) and emotional check-in (using charts4hearts) to kick off each class. Then the kids pair/swarm to find interesting things to do. Sweets are at 4pm or for completing collaboratively-chosen missions.


coderdojo (coderdojo.com) "free coding clubs for young people": It's a thing, and when I looked at it, found that it's similar to what we do, so we signed up and took up their flag.

Our dojo page is at zen.coderdojo.com/dojo/113.


We have no official syllabus, but a collection of activities. Over time, this has evolved into:

Next steps

We've reached the limit of what we can do in our boardroom (overflowed already) and what I can personally do. We have:
  • a great uchi deshi (back room) WhatsApp channel with keen helpers 
  • an agreement from the CEO at an epic company in the Waterfront to run one at their training room. 
  • a keen facilitator in the southern suburbs to train including kids from the Cape Flats 
  • a school in Sea Point looking to start a coding club 
  • a potential venue at the Science Centre 

If you're in Cape Town, come collaborate with us, (check out our dojo page for details) this is your invitation.

If you're somewhere else in the world and you want to get involved, check out coderdojo.com for a dojo near you.