Last Saturday several thousand people attended the RDS for the CoderDojo Coolest Projects awards and around 800 young people from across Ireland and Europe entered the CoderDojo’s annual Coolest Projects awards. The awards featured robots, gadgets, games, blogs and websites designed by coders between the ages of seven and seventeen.

There was so much to see and do at the RDS which was divided into the following seven areas:

The Dublin Commissioners for Startups and Cartrawler Mentor Area.

The Intel Evolution Hall.

The Microsoft Hall.

Aol Launch’d.

The Mastercard Code Summit.

The Games Summit.

The Discovery Zone.

You could literally spend hours in each area as there was more than eight hundred projects to look at and the judges would have had a very busy day judging.

Each area was unique and based around a certain topic and theme with guest speakers and stands showcasing various projects. Launch’d was a bit different in that it was a new event that ran in parallel with Coolest Projects. It featured Ireland’s one hundred top tech start-ups and a host of top international speakers whilst also providing mentoring on the day.

The Discovery Zone impressed me a lot as this was where you could find the 3D printers and a retro section where you could find computers and games consoles from the 1980’s. It was great to see an early model Apple Macintosh but what really peaked my interest was seeing kids play about with the Commodore Vic 20 which was my first computer and also when I first started to take a big interest in tech

Vic20. I also started coding in basic on the Vic 20 and seeing kids trying to master the Vic 20 brought back pleasant memories.

When James Whelton started CoderDojo in 2011, he probably didn’t think it would be the world wide success that it is and when Noel King started Coolest Projects  he probably did not see an event as big as this. They should both be proud of all the kids who were exhibiting their products and I can’t wait to see what these kids will be doing in ten years.  A podcast of Coolest Projects will be available later in the week.

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