Johnny/Jane should learn to code!

In the past year or so, I've noticed a definite uptick of people asking me for advice on helping get their kid or kids in general to learn to code. This is probably mostly because of all the Mojang/Minecraft kool-aid I've drank - I can go on and on about how great that company is at embracing outreaches like what they've done with MinecraftEdu or Minecraft: Pi Edition. It's also mostly because I'm a woman very involved in the tech community - a lot of the questions are about people's daughters.

I want to compile what I tell people about a bit here, mostly so I stop forgetting groups and then can just point people at this blog post.

CoderDojo TC - This is a group for all kids aged 8 - 17. I've mentored with them a couple times. It's really cool because they get mentors out of their pool to sign up, and then only release tickets so there's a 3-1 student/mentor ratio. I really think people with kids should participate in it, and I think it's great for the kids too. The best thing about it is there's really no pressure from anyone. I've mentored the Minecraft/raspberry pi/python group - basically my role is to show them what's up with the game, how to put in code and run it, and show them the example scripts and the few pages of notes - then check in once in a while to see if there are any questions. If the kid just wants to play Minecraft the whole time, it's not my job to force anyone to do anything.

Katie CoderDojo This is the same as the above, but for young women. They have fewer types of sessions, but it's still a great resource for young women who would learn better in a single-gender environment.

CodeSavvy This is the group that runs Katie Coderdojo and a bunch of other programs for young women in the Twin Cities. I went to their Technovation event, where groups of young women demo'd the apps they had researched and built together with a mentor. It's awesome that people are building this to help young women.

Geekettes TC This is an international group that is for women of all ages, but I would say their focus is mostly on women at their mid 20s or older. I still think some events would be really awesome for some outgoing young women, especially if it was set up where they were introduced to some people beforehand.

Girls in Tech This is a group that started before the Geekettes. They also do a lot of programs and spotlights on women in the community. The name of it is girls, but the focus is mostly on women in their mid 20s or older. They have a yearly unconference that I've heard people bring their teenage daughters to, however.

So that's it, I'll add to this blog post the more things come up or if people correct me on some assumptions.