#CodeForBetter Competition Winners Announced!

Success is the name of the game for Neve as she wins top prize in tech competition


A Belfast schoolgirl has won the top prize in the first health-focused Code for Better CoderDojo competition, organised by CoderDojo Belfast and Belfast-based tech company TotalMobile.

Neve O’Neill was awarded a tablet computer for her entry ‘Sweet Invaders’, a game she designed using GameMaker, where players must defend the earth from junk food as they learn about nutrition.

Judges of the competition, open to children under 16 who attend CoderDojo Belfast, a youth coding club founded and run by Belfast Metropolitan College at their Titanic Quarter Campus, described her entry as “well written, factual and educational”.

CoderDojo is a worldwide movement which runs not-for-profit coding clubs to teach young people to learn how to write computer code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more.

Around 100 children meet during each session at CoderDojo Belfast on Saturdays to learn about coding and software development – skills considered vital to drive Northern Ireland’s economy in the future – from around 20 volunteer mentors from local IT companies including TotalMobile. The end of year competition encouraged students to create a game, a mobile app or a website with a health theme.

Entries were judged on interactivity, commercial appeal, design, originality and theme.

Runners-up in the competition included Blake Hunter from Carrickfergus who designed a game where players must avoid taking too much sugar from the sugar monsters while South Belfast school-boy Andrew Farquharson’s game is played by collecting fruit in a maze.

Olga Pollock, Human Resources Manager at TotalMobile, one of the judges of the awards, said:

“As a company that provides innovative software solutions to revolutionise the way frontline healthcare staff work we are keen to support and encourage prospective developers and coders from as early an age as possible.

“We believe we need to nurture our local talent to ensure we have adequate skills to equip the Northern Ireland economy for the future when many more jobs will be created in software development.

“I was very impressed by the standard of entries and it is so encouraging to see the enthusiasm and creativity the young coders have used in creating health-related apps which can make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Peter Doherty CoderDojo Champion and Lecturer at Belfast Met, said: “CoderDojo Belfast was founded by Belfast Metropolitan College in 2012 to make development and coding fun and a sociable and rewarding experience to encourage young people to pursue careers in IT.

“The competition marks the end of a very successful year for CoderDojo where throughout the year we had around 200 kids aged between 6-16 attend and experience coding and IT and around 20 volunteers attend each session.

“It’s not only the sponsorship which assists CoderDojo but also the generous support from TotalMobile staff in providing their time to support and encourage the young coders of the future.”

Neill, Belfast

Blake Hunter, Carrick (Belfast High)

Andrew Farquharson, Stranmillis (Aquinis)

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Boris Robinson, Bangor

Oliver Carlisle, Lisburn

Crystal Yuen, S Belfast

Tiarnan Smyth, Belfast




Liam McGahan, S Belfast

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Rotary CoderDojo 2015



Date: Sat 11th April 10-12

Location: Hilton Hotel Ballroom, BelfastCODERDOJO GROUP PIC

In partnership Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland CoderDojo Belfast and Belfast Metropolitan College are having a one-off Dojo at the Hilton Hotel where we will have 200 ninjas from North and South attending with their parents and mentors.

It is a one day event which brings together teams, fromCoderDojo’s all over Ireland who will demonstrate and present their coding skills, apps, websites during the morning. This provides an opportunity for team building, practicing communication skills, and problem solving.  We hope this will be the first of similar events to take place over the island of Ireland over the coming years.

We will have key note speakers and presentations by President of Rotary Great Britain and Ireland through the morning along with some other special guests.

Registration is open to all, existing CoderDojo Belfast members and new members alike.

The format of the day will be a show and tell session to begin with followed by a 1 hour session in AppInventor introduction. NOTE: You must bring your own (Windows) laptop pre-loaded with Chrome and AppInventor 2 Ultimate.PAUL LEE Presenting 3D at CODERDOJO

For further information & registration please see: https://rotarycoderdojobelfast.eventbrite.co.uk

We are also currently looking for sponsors to fund the event. If you may be able to assist in sponsorship please email grainne.bagnall@gmail.com.

We also require mentors for the event – if you can make it please book a mentor ticket on the above website.

“The intersection of contrasting organizations can produce powerful results and given the stature of Rotary it is a delight to speak at the conference and present the youthful enthusiasm of CoderDojo so that both organizations may thrive working together in the future. CoderDojo, as a free movement is an ideal fit for the businesses of many Rotary members who seek deeper engagement in a good cause with their local communities.”

Bill Liao, Co-Founder CoderDojo


The event is supported by Edina.


Edina are proud to support such a wonderful youth event representing young people North and South of Ireland – “Happy Programming”.


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CoderDojo TotalMobile Code For Better Competition 2015

CoderDojo Belfast and TotalMobile are proud to present their Code for Better CoderDojo competition!

NOTE: The information sheet below has been updated on 27th March with further details on how your entry will be judged!

The competition has a health theme and you can choose to create a game using GameMaker, a mobile app using AppInventor or a website.  Submissions using other technologies are also welcome if you have a particularly good idea. Your entry must fall into one of these 3 themes:

  • Healthy eating
  • Exercise and fitness
  • Preventing illness

Some examples for inspiration would be:

–          A game in which collecting healthy food items gains points where collecting unhealthy food reduces points

–          An app or website to keep track of your activity/exercise during the day and/or your calorie intake and monitor them

  • This could be further expand to have a social aspect with link up with your friends and sharing your data and commenting/chatting/voting about it

–          A game which rewards good hygiene or prevents the spread of diseases or illness by performing tasks

TotalMobile are kindly donating the following prizes:

1st Place – Android Tablet

2nd Place – Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

3rd Place – £50 Amazon Voucher

Full details of the competition can be found here: http://www.coderdojobelfast.com/resources/Comp2015.pdf 


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CoderDojo Belfast June 2014 Belt Awards!

(Rear L-R) Niall Casey (Invest NI), Dr Jonathan Heggarty (Belfast Met), Prof Paul Hanna (University of Ulster) (Front L-R) CoderDojo Belt award winners – Maisie, Olivia, James & Daniel

(Rear L-R) Niall Casey (Invest NI), Dr Jonathan Heggarty (Belfast Met), Prof Paul Hanna (University of Ulster)
(Front L-R) CoderDojo Belt award winners – Maisie, Olivia, James & Daniel

On Saturday 7th June CoderDojo Belfast celebrated another successful year of developing young coders programming skills by awarding 70 belts to kids aged 6-16. The awards ceremony was attended by over 120 including CoderDojo Belfast young coders, their parents and representatives from those who support CoderDojo Belfast.

Professor Paul Hanna from the University of Ulster was our guest speaker and spoke about the importance of programming and the career prospects of those with programming skills.

Niall Casey from InvestNI, who sponsor the Dojo, presented the belts to the young coders.

CoderDojo is a movement orientated around running free not-for-profit coding clubs which teach young people to learn how to write computer code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more.

CoderDojo Belfast was founded by Belfast Metropolitan College in association with Momentum in April 2012 and makes development and coding fun and tries to make coding a sociable and rewarding experience which will hopefully encourage young people to pursue a career in ICT.

Further information on CoderDojo Belfast can be obtained from Peter Doherty, CoderDojo Belfast Champion and organizer by visiting www.coderdojobelfast.com or following us on twitter @CoderDojoBMC.

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