Philip Harney

Philip Harney

Philip makes educational content at the CoderDojo Foundation — part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation — producing projects for young people to work on as well as guides and courses for volunteers.

Location Dublin, Ireland


  • I think ice breaker games at the start might help introduce them to each other a bit and speed up the group forming. It can also let you delay the seat selection by a few minutes, which can be useful if you want to ensure that most of the learners have arrived by the time they're choosing seats. This can help to avoid things like girls being isolated from each...

  • I ran out of space in that comment!

    To get in touch with the larger community, you can check out either the CoderDojo Forums, the Facebook group, or the CoderDojo Global Slack. We discussed those back in week one, here:

  • @JuliaE.Schult At this point the CoderDojo Foundation's educational materials have essentially been merged in with the Raspberry Pi projects site (, to take advantage of the more advanced features of that site. So yes, you can consider 'projects' and 'sushi cards' as interchangeable terms.

    As for finding the...

  • Hi @JulietteCulver there's an appendix of online resources at the end. You'll find them on pg. 67 (if you go by the page numbers) or 34 (if you're using the PDF).

  • Sure! When we say shell, we usually mean a program that, when launched, appears as a window on your screen which displays text in a pretty basic fashion. You type commands into it and see the results of the commands appear. The command prompt on Windows, the terminal on Mac/Linux, and the Python interactive shell are all examples of this.

    A script is a...

  • We talk about working with young people in weeks two and three of the course, but I've generally found that patience, enthusiasm, encouragement and asking leading questions are the tools I rely on most when mentoring/coaching. If you have any specific concerns or questions, though, the discussions on the 'working with young people' page later in the course...

  • Hi @CharlesGagnon, welcome to the course! I hope we'll answer all your questions and help you get your Dojo up and running very soon!

    Libraries are great spaces to run Dojos and we actually have a short supplement to the Champions' Handbook (which you'll see mentioned in the course a few times) that was developed with librarians and specifically focuses on...

  • Sorry, I'm afraid this is the only way to get it, but you need to make sure that you don't just save once it loads in your browser: you have to click the download button at the top-right of the page to ensure you get the PDF, as it loads inside a web page.

  • @StevenHolliday I've used that car/mechanic analogy myself. We're big fans of young people becoming active creators rather than passive consumers here, so hopefully you'll find something in this course that can help you pass your skills on with exactly that aim in mind!

  • Your English here is pretty great! I wouldn't have been able to tell you weren't a native speaker if you hadn't told me!

  • Hi @LeonieM welcome to the course! If you're not already familiar with them you should get in touch with CoderDojo Western Australia (, the regional body for your area, and check out our guide to running a Dojo in a library too at

  • Hi @ElizabethKalitsiroMwale that's great, welcome to the course! I'm looking forward to seeing your Dojo get started!

  • Hi @hasnafeghouri welcome to the course! You'll definitely find information about projects you can use to help young people learn to code, particularly in the later weeks!

  • @ReaFraser that sounds great! There are lots of Dojos in Spain, so you might be able to get in touch with them for ideas/tips.

  • Hi @FrancisA. you'd use an `if…then` control block with an operator block of `score > [some number]` as the condition, put it in the main loop (`forever`) of a sprite, or the stage, and then set some cool stuff to happen inside the `if…then`. You could also include the `stop[all]` block to end the game.

    There is no way to export a Scratch game like that, at...

  • Hi @RhondaO that sounds great! Lots of Dojos run in libraries too, so you've got your venue right there! Hopefully you'll pick up a couple of things as you work through the course.

  • @MichaelDarrenClifford might be able to help out answering a few question in the comments too!

  • @MyronSnelson you can also just share the links to particular resources, or a collection like the Raspberry Pi resources site that Ninjas can choose their own projects from.

    @VirginiaCail This is actually something we've discussed ourselves and we think it's a good learning experience. Coding often requires juggling many files across multiple windows....

  • Sounds great!

  • That would be great to see @DavidHernandez ! We've got a few Dojos in Mexico, but non in Mexico City. Hopefully you'll change that!

  • Hi @ElenaJiménez that sounds great! There are quite a few clubs in Spain, you can search for them (and find their contact details) at

  • That sounds amazing @SusanHoyle ! You sound like you've got a great skillset to start a Dojo, so hopefully you'll find everything you need in this course,

  • Hi @BosedeE welcome to the course! There's actually a guide to encouraging girls' interest through your Dojo that you can check out here:

  • @JosephMolloy UCD was my first Dojo, in an earlier incarnation. Maybe there are some postgrad students who might have a bit more schedule flexibility, particularly early on in their research? Feel free to drop me an email — — and I'd be happy to see if any of my old lecturers know anyone who might be interested?

  • Hi @ChandraOrrill glad to hear our colleagues made an impression! Hopefully you'll see how the CoderDojo ethos and movement can help kids get involved with coding and offer them great opportunities like participating in Coolest Projects. It sounds like you'll have a lot of wisdom to share in the comments too!

  • Hi @YueJi that sounds great! I hope you get everything you need out of the course to get your Dojo off the ground!

  • Hi @JoyceOmoregbee hopefully you'll find some useful ideas here, particularly in weeks two and three.

  • Hi @BenHitchens that sounds great! It sounds like you have a lot of experience to share. Maybe in a few years your children will be able to join the Dojo you set up too!

  • Hi @SophieBirch welcome to the course! Hopefully you'll learn a little more about coding and maybe you'll have some ideas how to relate it to maths that you could share with all of us!

  • Hi @KrishaDhana welcome to the course!

  • Welcome to the course @lauramcguire

    Hopefully you'll learn a bit of coding here then! We'll be doing a couple of projects using CoderDojo content later in the course.

  • Hi @LukeCasey that's great and you should learn everything you need to do that! Kilkenny is actually hosting DojoCon this year, which is the big meetup for mentors from around the world, so you should time a trip home and check it out!

  • Hi @SnježanaFrketić welcome to the course! You should learn everything you need to know to do that by the end!

  • Hi @JamieSweeney! You can totally introduce a Dojo for the young people in your club and you'll see where to get some cool ideas for projects for them as we go along!

  • Hi @MaireadManifold! You'll find all of that, and hopefully all of the answers to your questions, in this course. Week three should be of particular interest to you.

  • Hi @JosephMolloy, sounds like you have lots of experience you'll be able to share on the course. Looking forward to hearing from you!

  • @AlessandroMarra All you should need to do is follow the link and then click the download arrow at the top right of the page.

  • All you should need to do is follow the link and then click the download arrow at the top right of the page.

  • I think you'll see quite a few ideas (and one picture!) from WA in the course!

  • @TaalibAlexander you're welcome! Thanks for participating, and good luck with setting up your Dojo!

  • The mapping is current, I'm afraid. The map on the website is updated as Dojos register and are approved. Working with other local tech groups is a great idea though!

  • That's great to hear @BrianBalmer!

  • Hi @JayS, we do have a video that shows a Dojo in action in step 1.6. What specific aspects of the Dojo in action would you have liked to see that we don't have there, so we can try to fill in the gaps for next time?

  • Hi @NatalieBoscott we do have a video that shows a Dojo in session in step 1.6. What specific aspects of the Dojo in action would you have liked to see that we don't have there, so we can try to fill in the gaps for next time?

  • @ConnorAdams I think the idea of having Dojos that are open to being visited like that is a good one and I'll see what we can do in that area in future.

    We do have a video that shows a Dojo in action in step 1.6. What specific aspects of the Dojo in action would you have liked to see that we don't have there, so we can try to fill in the gaps for next time?

  • @ZItaD. I've also tried, wherever possible, to use groups of mentors and volunteers that are larger than what the Dojo actually needs. It means volunteers can skip a session without leaving us shorthanded.

  • My Dojos have mostly met fortnightly, but I have also run a weekly Dojo in the past. I think the weekly model is probably the best for learning, but it's a lot to ask of the mentors. Fortnightly is a good balance, in my experience.

  • There are a variety of plans at various stages of conception and implementation around making the foundation and community created resources more discoverable. In terms of age suitability, I tend to avoid that particular criteria as it's far more about the Ninja's knowledge and previous experience. Within the CoderDojo Foundation materials, we clearly label...

  • Not as long as you do it under the name of your Dojo, or some group of Dojos you've agreed to do it with and follow any applicable local regulations. You can't just use "CoderDojo" as the name you run it under though.

  • You can do some coding activities on a tablet, but you will find some limitations as they're not fully featured computers. A good example is that you can't install Scratch on an iPad and it won't work in the iPad browser as you can't install Flash on an iPad either. That said, you will be able to do HTML & CSS Sushi Cards on a tablet, though the typing may be...

  • It can't hurt to ask! We have a template letter/email you might want to tweak and send them:

  • @PasqualeSpica we have a template for a letter/email you might want to send to the school with information about CoderDojo at

  • That sounds like a great venue!

  • @JayS Could you explain a little more about what you mean here? Are you suggesting an online Dojo that people could dial into?

  • The Dojo I setup, which ran in a busy office where people might suddenly have to miss sessions due to late meetings, etc. had a group of mentors, only some of whom might make it to the Dojo for any particular session. By having a few extra mentors on the team — which were lucky enough to be able to do because it was a tech company — we were able to deal with...

  • I think, if mentors don't have much technical experience themselves, it's definitely a good idea, and can be a bit of fun, for them to try to work through the projects themselves. The other thing they can do is work through things with the Ninjas — it's ok to admit you don't know how something works and figure it out together!

  • Great point! The ask three, then me rule makes an appearance next week!

  • What has helped me, in showing non-technical people that they could help mentor, is showing them step-by-step guides and instructions that we planned to use at the Dojo. When they could see that it would all be written down for them to check against, it helped build up their confidence.

  • While there are some translations available, mostly done by community volunteers, I'm afraid Latvian and Lithuanian aren't among them. However, our promotional flyers (an older, but still good looking, design!) are available in Latvian at

  • You can usually find a local t-shirt printing shop, or order them online. The CoderDojo logo is available in a number of formats at and you can also get the Ninjas at your Dojo to invent your own Dojo logo.

    In terms of paying for them, I've historically done it by getting the business that was hosting us to sponsor the t-shirts in...

  • @KirstyM three is definitely enough to get started with! Just make sure you use tickets, or some other method, to avoid getting too many young people for you to manage!

  • Hi @HerbertEduardoFernandezTamayo, as a general rule, since 18 tends to mark legal adulthood in many countries, we do set the age limit for Ninjas at 17. People aged 18 or over can be mentors or volunteers, as long as they meet all the local requirements. If you're looking to target an older age group, check out Raspberry Jams

  • Hi @TonyGoodhew, we talk about a lot of this in week two, but broadly Dojos aren't funded. They generally use a venue donated by someone in the community: a company office, a community centre, a sports club, a library or a school. That covers power, heat, internet, etc. in most cases and, quite often, public liability insurance too. The essential kit is really...

  • Well, hopefully we'll demystify things a little for you! If you have more you want to understand, then please ask us in the comments!

  • Hi @HelenWright, welcome to the course! Hopefully we'll have a few new ideas for you and maybe you'll set up a Dojo in your community too!

  • Hi @PasqualeSpica, welcome to the course! Hopefully we'll give you all the information you need to help the young people in your area learn to code in your new Dojo!

  • Hi @marinaWhitnell, welcome to the course! Starting a Dojo can be a great way for you to help young people in your community develop their tech skills together. Libraries also make great homes for Dojos!

  • Hi @JoPrice, welcome to the course! Your Code Club experience will transfer pretty directly here, so please do join us in the comments with any examples or ideas you have from your experiences.

  • Hi @TonyGoodhew, welcome to the course! It sounds like you know your stuff anyway! I started off with some flavour of BASIC myself, years ago, and I'm quite pleased that nobody has to write a GOTO anymore! Hopefully you'll learn what you need to take those skills and apply them to setting up a Dojo in your community. If you have any questions or issues we...

  • Hi @LasithaAtapattu, welcome to the course! Hopefully you will learn a few new things and be encouraged to set up a Dojo in your community too!

  • Hi @FatimaAl-Bahrani, welcome to the course! That sounds great and we hope you'll be successful in sharing what you learn with your community!

  • Hi @LizJackson-Smart! Great work starting your own Dojo! Hopefully we'll have lots of useful advice for you, but please do share any questions you have that we don't answer in the course materials. We can both get to them in the comments and make sure to add the answers to future runs of the course.

  • Hi @RowanTanner, welcome to the course! CoderDojo is a great way to get young people involved in making things with digital technology and lots of Dojos are already running in libraries. Hopefully you'll find everything you need to know to set up a Dojo and start supporting young people in developing their technical skills!

  • Hi @FrankSteudle, welcome to the course! It's great to hear that you want to help young people in your area learn to code. I'm not totally sure what you mean by "earning money with CoderDojos", but attending a Dojo is always completely free for everyone involved. Any costs that can't be avoided are usually handled through sponsorship or other fundraising. We...

  • Hi @JanetScott, welcome to the course! Hopefully we can change your mind! Particularly for coders who are just starting out, there are lots of tools and languages specifically created to make learning to code fun and avoid the overly maths-y stuff. We'll be looking at one of them, Scratch, in week two of the course!

  • Hi @OanaCristinaVasilache ! That sounds great! Take a look at the Champions' Handbook in particular as I tried to put all the ideas I thought would be helpful in running a Dojo in there and it's something you could choose particular sections from and translate them for your community.

  • Hi @AdamKeeper, that sounds great! While you can't actually setup a Dojo in your home, you're welcome to take what you learn here and use it with your own children and, when you're comfortable with it, get started on creating your own Dojo for your community.

  • Hi @JoshvaFernandez! No, you don't need to finish the course to start a Dojo near you. If you follow the Dojo registration process ( on the CoderDojo website it will take you through all the necessary steps. We created this course to make the process of starting a Dojo easier and to provide useful advice and best practices to help you...

  • Hi @JohnCraig, welcome to the course! That sounds like a great skillset to bring to running a Dojo! Once Ninjas have developed some coding skills, we encourage them to start creating their own projects and we have some materials (which you'll see later on!) to help them work through the steps of the design process at that point. I think it'd be a great way to...

  • Hi @HuwWaldron, that sounds great! We'll show you everything you need to know about getting your Dojo setup and if you have any questions along the way we're here in the comments. After the course, there's the whole CoderDojo community to support you as well as the Foundation team at

  • Hi @HelenThomson, welcome to the course! This course starts from the assumption that you know nothing about code at all, so hopefully it'll be a good jumping-off point for you!

  • Hi @EstelleEvans, welcome to the course! There are lots of Dojos running in libraries, but that sounds like an amazing space for young people to learn to code in. We're here to answer all your setup questions and help get you off the ground, but I can't wait to hear what you and your Ninjas get up to with all that cool kit!

  • Hi @SusieCrowley, that's great! You're going to learn the basics of a few coding languages in this course, and find out where you can get lots more content to develop those skills, including helping young people in your Dojo develop them.

  • Hi @NicolaTubbs, that sounds awesome! We're happy to support you in taking that step and answer any questions you may have along the way!

  • Hi @MuhammedSalem, welcome to the course! This course will walk you through everything you need to know to start a Dojo in your community and, if you have any other questions, just ask us in the comments or contact the Foundation by email (!

  • Hi @ReenaHora, that's excellent! We'll be introducing you to the basics of a few coding languages during this course with our educational content, which is free open source material you can use with the kids in your classroom and in your Dojo once you start one!

  • Hi @kazuohonda, great to have you on the course with us! If you've ever done any programming you'll find the cool block-based languages like Scratch quick enough to pick up — the logic is still the same. We also have lots of educational content that you can use to help you choose projects for your nephew and, hopefully, other members of the Dojo you'll start.

  • Hi @DaleWershler! I've visited Victoria, it's a lovely place. It'd be great to get a Dojo setup there to give me an excuse to visit again! I think you'll find everything you need to get started in this course, but if not you can always reach out to us at the foundation ( with any questions you have!

  • Hi @JeffPlayle, welcome to the course! The most important thing you need to start a Dojo is passion, and it sounds like you've got that. In the next few weeks we'll be looking at how you can use educational content to help you setup and run a Dojo even if you've never written a line of code.

  • Hi @LauraM ! Great to hear that you're enjoying the other Dojos and even better to hear you want to start your own! We'll give you all the information you need to get up and running, and we'll even give you a bit of advice in upcoming weeks on getting that local business support.

  • Hi @LauraOwens Great to have you back with us! Peer mentoring is ultimately where we love to see Dojos end up, so it sounds like this could be great!

  • Philip Harney replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Hi @JoseMunoz ! Welcome to the course! I agree that coding is a great skill for young people to learn and that becoming a creator, instead of just a consumer, of technology is important in the modern world. This course will show you how CoderDojo helps young people learn to be digital creators and understand a bit more about how the high-tech world around us...

  • Hi @AndyMoxon! Great to have you on the course! Hopefully you'll learn everything you wanted to know about CoderDojo on this course (if not, questions in the comments!) and decide that becoming a Dojo is something that you want to do with your club. The particular benefits for you might be our worldwide community and our regional and international community...

  • Hi @JacquelineWiddowson — welcome to the course! Hopefully we can help you turn that intrigue into a Dojo your new arrival can join in the future!

  • Hi @LornaHulme — welcome to the course! Setting up a Dojo in your library is a great way to do it! We have guidance and best practice available online (like this course!), a recognised brand and a fantastic community team that can support you through the process, as they have done for other libraries in the past.

  • Hi @CatherineSaunders — welcome to the course! You can absolutely set up a Dojo with a school as a venue, it's quite a common choice. Hopefully, by the end of this course, all your questions will be answered and you'll be confident to get started.

  • Hi, I'm Philip. I've been a CoderDojo volunteer as a mentor and champion for about six years now and have been involved with a Dojo in my university, in the company I used to work at, and now the Dojo run by the CoderDojo Foundation. I've also visited many other Dojos and attended a host of CoderDojo special events in that time.

    I'm really excited to be...

  • Thanks! We're looking forward to it too!