Computer Futures had the privilege of exhibiting at the recent Coolest Projects event, run by CoderDojo, a not-for-profit organisation. It’s become incredibly popular in recent years and now has a global reach. At the annual event, young people aged 7-17 years old (referred to as Dojos) can showcase what they’ve developed and built over the last 3-12 months, with a number of great prizes available.
Computer Futures judged the Coolest Projects
Our Computer Futures judges were each tasked with the tough job of scoring the Dojos’ projects throughout the day. Mark Kelly, Computer Futures’ Director in Ireland, has been judging the Coolest Projects for several years. This year, he was joined by some of his colleagues as Anthony Kelly, Paul Toal, and Lauren Campbell were also on the judging panel.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team managed one of the busiest stands at the event. We had a Wii competition running all day long from our stall which was great fun and really helped with engagement.
During the full day event, which was held at the RDS, we saw drones being driven by tweets, robots built by children, and multiple games developed that you could play on laptops. It’s fair to say the children’s innovation and imaginations were incredible.
Inspiring the innovative minds of the future
We spoke with some of the Computer Futures team to see how they found the experience and what this means for the future of the tech industry.
Anthony Kelly, Senior Recruitment Consultant for Computer Futures in Ireland, was blown away with what some of the children had achieved. “Their apps were excellent and listening to them describe how they solved the problems they had in their code was unbelievable for their ages. One particular child had built an application suite, where you had to create your own profile and then access the built-in apps. It was great to see them talk about their projects and passion for coding.”
Fellow judge Paul Toal, Client Relationship Manager for Computer Futures, said “It was a privilege to get to chat with the children about their various amazing projects. The imagination involved in the 30 or so I judged were incredibly. The future’s certainly bright for creativity in gaming now and into the future.”
Encouraging everyone to get involved in STEM industries
At Computer Futures, we want to invest in the future talent of IT and CoderDojo plays a key part to this. Technical people volunteer their time at weekends to mentor younger people, so they can develop their skill and passion for the industry.
There were workshops happening throughout the event, including a Minecraft themed one where they taught everyone how to create their own Minecraft world using code. Needless to say this, was a huge hit with the Dojos.
One key focus of the event was encouraging young females to get involved, something we’re also passionate about at Computer Futures. Elaine Clements, Senior Sales Team Manager at Computer Futures, explains “For us, encouraging all children to engage with technology from a young age is key to seeing them move into STEM areas, which is heavily predicted as the future of our workforce demands in Ireland. Supporting this initiative is close to our hearts at Computer Futures.”
We look forward to supporting this fantastic charity again next year. If the passion of the young children involved in the Coolest Projects event has inspired you to take the next step in your career, click here to see all of our available jobs.