Top speaker and workshop line-up for Kilkenny event DojoCon 2018

Global conference: From Building Your Own Alexa, to Drone Coding and Setting Up a CoderDojo Club


Members of Kilkenny CoderDojo Club Finn Beck (12yrs), and Zoe Beck (8yrs) pictured at the announcement of the programme of workshops and headline speakers for DojoCon 2018

A bumper tech programme of workshops and headline speakers has been announced for DojoCon 2018, which takes place in Kilkenny this October.

Hundreds will flock to the city for the global conference for the worldwide community of CoderDojos, which has something to appeal to every tech interest, age and ability. Tickets are still available.

“Whether you’re a parent looking to support your kids love for all things tech and set up your own club, a secondary school student or teacher with an interest in computer science, or a college student pursuing your dream in IT, there will be something for everyone”, says DojoCon Coordinator Margaret Ahearne.

Institute of Technology Carlow, one of the primary sponsors and collaborators in DojoCon 2018, will deliver several workshops with mass appeal. These include: ‘Adios Alexa! – How to build your own intelligent digital assistant with readily available components’; how to make your own VR headset with cardboard; Drone Coding – learn how to code flight and special workshops in code generated art and music.

Expedia, another main sponsor, will send members of its international engineering teams in London to present workshops on web analytics and design and speak on the main stage.


Oracle Academy, another key sponsor, will host workshops on 3-D animation using Alice and in building games using Greenfoot. Both programmes are perfect for taking back to CoderDojo clubs or for use in schools.

Explorium, Ireland’s National Science and Sport Centre, will teach attendees to make their own flashing light boxes. Programming tiny Arduino-based microcontrollers, children will learn about circuits and automation and can take their awesome creations home with them.

Contemporary Kinetic Sculptures will focus on how to make Origami kinetic sculptures from paper/card , mated to Arduino microcontrollers.

A specific coding stream at DojoCon 2018 will teach new ideas and skills in Python, Kinect, Hollow Lens, Alice, Greenfoot, Microbit and HTML. Attendees will learn how to create their own app. Workshops in Meet Edison and RasberryPI will highlight the many possibilities with robotics, outline how to make traffic lights and a reaction timer or thermometer.

The team from Emagine, who have built the technology behind the King of the Vikings VR experience in Waterford, will be sharing their experience around working in VR. Cartoon Saloon will also be joining DojoCon2018 and have a workshop on animation and Glasseye will run a workshop on Visual Effects with the team at Kilkenny CoderDojo.

A dedicated workshop stream on important issues around technology will include talks by other CoderDojo clubs on how to start a Dojo, which will be warmly embraced by parents and teachers who want to keep abreast of their childrens and pupils growing interest in and knowledge of technology.

A workshop by IT Carlow on striking the right balance when using technology will also be of interest to parents.

Also scheduled is a talk by David Pollard of Rehab Group on inclusiveness and accessibility in technology and a discussion on using technology to save energy, by Dayse Kilkenny.

The last day of CoderDojo is dedicated to a Hackathon featuring various age-appropriate challenges for seven-to-17-year-olds. DojoCon2018 is expected to attract over 1,000 attendees, including ‘ninjas’ (coders) over the age of 13, parents and adults volunteers from Coderdojo clubs around the country.

Separate to the workshops, an impressive line-up of keynote speakers will draw the crowds in their own right. They include: Tech entrepreneur Jordan Casey, who set up his award-winning video games company at 13 years of age; award-winning game designer Brenda Romera; scientist-astronaut candidate Norah Patten; presenter of Tech Talk on Newstalk FM, Jessica Kelly; David R Pollard, founder of Learning Tech Labs; Darya Yegorina, Founder and CEO, Cleverbooks AR for Education; Nicky Thompson from Future Learns and James Tubbritt, VR/AR Developer at Emagine

There will also be two speakers from Expedia — Nasreen AbdulJaleel and Connor Culleton — one of the main conference sponsors.

“Kilkenny CoderDojo started planning DojoCon 2018 over a year ago, and the amount of support we have received has simply blown us away,” said Janet Beck, CEO, Glasseye and, DojoCon 2018 organiser, speaking at the announcement of the DojoCon 2018 programme.

“From the speakers to those running the workshops, we will have an eclectic mix of options for attendees throughout the day. Kilkenny has long been a centre for design, from its medieval architecture right through to Oscar-nominated animation.

“We cannot wait to welcome, share, network and work with all the visitors who travel to Kilkenny for DojoCon 2018.”

You can book tickets for the event here.

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