Teach kids in your community to code in a fun and collaborative environment


5 Step Guide to



CoderDojo "Welcome to the ChangeX CoderDojo Guide! We're excited that you're thinking about setting up a Dojo. We only have one rule, be cool! Setting up a Dojo is super easy and there's someone to help at every step along the way" - John McAtominey, Head of CoderDojo

5 Steps

Who? Someone who...

Resource Checklist


You'll need approximately 2 hours a week to set up and maintain your Dojo.

Become a Champion

Champions are people that care about their community enough to take the initiative to add some CoderDojo magic to it. Champions put some energy into organising a Dojo. Once the Dojo is open, its champion is the person everyone can count on to show up, to make sure the doors are open, and to be the person who takes care of things. Without champions, there would be no Dojos. So we want to assist you in every way we can to be a champion and help your Dojo grow and grow. You are not alone.

The first step in becoming a CoderDojo champion is to register your Dojo to let us know you are starting your journey. From this point on, we can support you by providing helpful materials and advice. 

Register your Dojo here:

Now that you are a Champion, learn what that means and get lots of helpful tips and advice on how to make your Dojo a successful reality. 

The Champion's Handbook has a decade's worth of experience from around the globe distilled into an easy to read handbook. You won't need to read it cover-to-cover, peruse the sections and let your interest and curiosity guide you. 

This guide is designed to give you an initial overview so you know what you are getting into, and we want to make the experience as easy, fun, and rewarding as possible. Nothing will happen without taking the first step so make the choice and become a Champion!

The Champion's handbook is available in 9 different languages!

We believe that a child, young person, or vulnerable adult should never experience abuse of any kind.

We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children, young people, and vulnerable adults, and to keep them safe. We are committed to follow practices that protect them. These practices are laid out in our safeguarding policy.

We require every volunteer to complete this interactive 20-min training on safeguarding practice in CoderDojo. 

Be sure to sign in with the same email address that you registered your Dojo with, so that the completion is logged for you.


Find a venue

Kids learn best in a collaborative way and they learn best when it's fun. The venues that work best to set a productive and fun environment for a Dojo are ones that you might not expect. Dojos run successfully in company canteens, board rooms and training rooms. We have them in conference centres, hotels, and even shopping malls. They run well in colleges and in community centres. We have had successful Dojos in town halls, libraries and churches.When you ask for the venue, do not ask for yourself. Ask for the hundreds of kids whose lives you will touch when your Dojo takes off. Ask for the families who will be inspired.

Once the venue owner really understands the essence of CoderDojo, they will be inclined to generosity, so have faith!

Be clear that you do not require anything special or costly; just heat, light, power, and WiFi. Bear in mind that the venue’s IT person may need to know, so make sure you find a high level “sponsor” at the venue who has the power to push past any reflexive bureaucracy.

CoderDojo has managed time and again to find totally free and cooperative venues. The venue is crucial to making the unique flavor of your Dojo, so go for the best venue you can.

Gather your Team

For a Dojo to succeed it's a team effort. You are the champion and if you try to do it all yourself you might burn out. For the first few sessions it is useful to have some regular mentors who can assist with basic technical knowledge, like installing a text editor, who keep track of attendance and safeguarding or who are comfortable to lead icebreaker activities with the young people in attendance.

You can look for mentors with technical expertise in local IT companies, colleges, universities and schools.

Parents must stay anyway during the sessions (CoderDojo is free and it's not a free ride!) so put them to work! Have them set up rosters of things to do; bringing snacks, ride sharing, cleaning up after.

Mentors don't teach, they share their knowledge to inspire, to lead by example, to encourage and to admire young people's success, and to assist the young coders to figure things out with their peers.

Promote your Dojo

Social networking is a great way to join the CoderDojo community and reach out to other interested people.

Establish an online presence by:

  • Sending your Dojo listing to CoderDojo and encourage parents, mentors, and Young Coders to follow the Twitter account and like the Facebook page to stay informed.
  • Creating a Twitter, Facebook, and account for your Dojo, and connecting with other established CoderDojos.
  • Setting up your community page on ChangeX and using that to share events and updates.
  • Get on the local radio and into the local papers. Remember, it is for the kids, so don't be shy!
  • Asking parents to make contact using social media and set up a google group.

If any of that is too technical for you, get one of your team to do it! When you have an online presence, visit local schools and reach out to other parents through the teachers.

Also, visit other existing Dojos as a visitor and share your thoughts, concerns, and experiences.

All Champions agree that word of mouth is best way to promote your Dojo. Spread the word throughout your community and get them talking.

All that's left to do is to set a date and get started with your first session! 

We recommend starting with a small number of ninjas (participants) and growing as you go along. If you wait until you feel fully prepared, you might never get started. 

Have fun, embrace the chaos and learn and improve as you go along.