Raspberry Pi extends its reach: Now it's merging with global coding skills network

Raspberry Pi and CoderDojo are teaming up to help more young people become tomorrow's programmers.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

The Raspberry Pi-CoderDojo merger won't mean members need to build exclusively on Raspberry Pi. Both organizations say content will remain "software and hardware neutral".

Image: Nick Heath/TechRepublic

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is merging with the Dublin-based CoderDojo Foundation's network of over 1,000 coding clubs across the world.

Together, the pair aim to expand the coding network to some 5,000 clubs by 2020, quadrupling the current network of 1,250 CoderDojos across 69 countries, supported by 9,000 volunteers. They aim to reach 185,000 people in 100 countries.

The two charities are retaining their respective identities, but will cooperate on a shared mission to teach more kids aged seven to 17 years how to code and make things, including apps, websites, and gadgets.

CoderDojo was launched in Cork, Ireland, in 2011 by Irish entrepreneur James Whelton and Australian entrepreneur Bill Liao. The pair of programmers wanted to create a place where kids can learn from mentors how to bring their ideas to life with code.

Besides designing the hugely popular Raspberry Pi boards, the charity in 2015 got behind the UK's Code Club, a similar project to CoderDojo, aimed at children between nine and 11 years.

"Bringing together Raspberry Pi, Code Club, and CoderDojo will create the largest global effort to get young people involved in computing and digital making," said Philip Colligan, CEO of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

In June CoderDojo is hosting the 2017 Coolest Projects conference in Dublin where "code ninjas" can demonstrate their latest creations with Pi, Arduino and other devices.

The merger won't mean members need to build exclusively on Raspberry Pi. CoderDojo assures members its content will remain "software and hardware neutral" and says this value is shared with Raspberry Pi Foundation.

However, there will be leadership changes on both sides. Philip Colligan, CEO of Raspberry Pi Foundation, will join CoderDojo's board, while Whelton and Liao will get a spot on the Raspberry Pi Foundation's board.

"In practical terms, this merger will see our two organizations working closely together to advance our shared goals. It will enable us to leverage assets and capabilities ultimately driving further value for the CoderDojo Community," CoderDojo said in a statement.

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