More Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much computer skill does my child need to get started?
A: Absolutely none. We’ll take anyone from beginner to someone on the verge of making history.
Q: When can we start?
A: At the next event. Go to Get Tickets and select the next open event near you, then sign up for free tickets for you and your child. We always have a starter curriculum for kids to jump into. We never want to make a kid who wants to learn have to wait to learn.
Q: Do I need to bring a computer?
A: Yes. Bring your own WiFi capable laptop. If you cannot, we have a limited supply of laptops, Chrome books, or Kano Kits parents can check out by leaving their ID with the laptop coordinator at one of our events. Let us know when registering that you'll need a loaner. Please do not request one unless you really don't have a laptop to bring.
Q: Can I bring a tablet?
A: A tablet can be a good starter, but as a full-fledged development environment they’ll eventually need a laptop.
Q: My child wants to move up to the next level. What does she need to do to qualify?
A: They move on when they’re comfortable. They may even find themselves repeating concepts they learned, but applying them to a new way of using the concept.
Q: When are you bringing CoderDojo to my area?
A: The CoderDojo movement is an open-source initiative. Any person or community can start one. Our mission is to encourage the creation of many dojos in the region, not be the only game in town. If you can't make it to our sessions, gather members of your community and talk about starting your own.
Q: I can't make your dates and times. When will you add more or switch up?
A: Our current schedule is based on many things, including the availability of our location and mentors. Please remember that coderdojos are free and volunteer-led. If we have enough volunteers (this means YOU) and registrants to warrant switching back to a weekly schedule, we will. If not, CoderDojo is an open-source movement and you can gather members of your community to start your own.
Q: I’m thinking of buying my child a laptop. Should I get Mac, Windows, Chromebook, or Linux?
A: Coding is actually not as resource intensive as a lot of other things your child will want to do. If you’re just getting them a utility machine for coding, get a $200 Chromebook or a $300 Windows laptop. It’ll do the job for education, surfing the web, and playing a few games that don’t require heavy graphics performance.
On the other hand, if your kid wants to play Minecraft and Portal with better framerates, you’re going to need to spend closer to $800-$1000. At this point, you’re in mid-range Windows land or entry-level Mac land and you can easily spend twice this much to go high-end. Both Windows and Mac machines are great options with positives and negatives depending on your use, budget, and preferences.
If you’re a techy person, you will have your own point of view here and we have no desire to change it. If you’re not technical, this is where you ask: “what do the people I’d turn to for help run?” CoderDojo is not your support desk. That’s not a service we provide. So when you think about who among your family and friends you’d go to for help, get their advice.
Notice we didn’t recommend Linux. It’s a great OS, but can be tricky. There are not a lot of options for getting Linux pre-installed (though there are a few like System76 or the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition), and because many hardware manufacturers do not release drivers for Linux, getting it running on newer hardware can be a challenge. Before picking hardware to run Linux on, do your research.