Document Type

Conference Object

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Education | Language and Literacy Education | Other Education

Publication Details

This paper was presented at the 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference, which took place in Valencia, Spain, on 7-9 March, 2016.

The paper appears in the conference proceedings, INTED2016 Proceedings, available online at


In an increasingly digital world there is a considerable and growing divide between those who are considered to be digitally literate and those who are not. In addition, among those who are digitally literate, there is a divide between those capable of engaging with technology end products and applications as competent users and those capable of developing software themselves; between users and creators. As technology becomes more pervasive in our society it has impacts in most aspects of life, including education, health, culture and work. In terms of the workplace impact it is clear that the currently reported skills deficits, gaps and mismatches are generating significant demand for skilled information technology workers across many sectors and the ability to meet this demand can have substantial impact on economic development. Developing appropriate technological skills and competence among young people has been the focus of many government, industry-led and voluntary schemes and has given rise to a diverse set of initiatives around Europe. However, little has been published on the attainment of knowledge, skill, competence and evidence of learning outcomes through these initiatives. This research has focused on the efforts to support development of coding capability among young people through the CoderDojo voluntary initiative and sought to identify the skills which are potentially transferable in an education and workplace context. CoderDojo is a global movement of free, volunteer-led, community based programming clubs for young people between the ages of seven and seventeen. The movement was founded by James Whelton and Bill Liao, an entrepreneur and philanthropist. From the first Dojo founded in Cork in Ireland in 2011, the movement has grown significantly and by May 2015 there were over 675 verified Dojos in 57 countries globally [1]. Through a review of the extant literature and the development of a potential skills acquisition template, this research seeks to identify and evaluate the knowledge, skills and competence that may be developed by participants in the CoderDojo movement. Before seeking to identify the skills that might be attained through programming activities, consideration of the broad themes and language of digital skills attainment is presented. The actual skills that are attained are considered in relation to the context within which the learning takes place. A research instrument is developed in association with project collaborators in the CoderDojo volunteer coding movement. The findings from the research are analysed and some preliminary recommendations are considered.