About HeXKcD

What’s a Dojo?

We are a ‘dojo’-style club. Attendees bring their own equipment and work on their own projects. We provide the venue (with WiFi), mentoring, and the opportunity to learn from peers and collaborate with each other.

Dojo‘ (道場 dōjō?) A Japanese term which means “place of the way” – a training place for Japanese martial arts. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dojo

In our case the ‘martial” art is that of coding – and the only way to learn coding is to practice and train at it.

Who is this club open to?

We are open for kids aged 7-17, who have been registered online beforehand. A parent will need to attend the first time to complete our consent form. Younger children will need to have their parent remain with them.

When and where is it?

We meet in the Priors Hall of Hexham Abbey (upstairs from the café), normally on the last Saturday of each month. This is our room kitted out for 20 just before everyone arrives!

We also run events at other times so please like and follow our facebook page or sign up for email notifications to stay informed

How much is it?

Normal club events subs fees are £3 per meeting (£2 for additional siblings). This is a not-for-profit club, and as such we’ll aim to keep the subs to a minimum. I, and other volunteers, will be donating our time for free. After paying for our venue costs any surplus funds will be used for shared equipment or snacks.

If we are running an official CoderDojo (whenever funds permit) we’ll open up our event free of charge. 🙂

What do we need to bring?

  1. Yourself
  2. Your subs – £3!
  3. Some ideas. This isn’t a formal lesson or course with a set curriculum. Plan what you will be working on.
  4. Some equipment. A laptop, raspberry pi, arduino, cables – whatever you need to get cracking.
  5. Liquids and most computers don’t mix – but you may like to bring along a drink in a sports bottle.

Some things to remember…

  • Raspberry pi’s may need ethernet cables, keyboards, screens (or a laptop to connect to it remotely)
  • Tablets aren’t good for coding – they can be used for researching online though.

How do I get the most out of your events?

Check out our useful dojo guide here.

Can I attend part of the event?

For safeguarding practicalities we do not allow ad-hoc arrivals and departures. However, by prior arrangement, we can allow kids to attend for one of the hours: from 10:00-11:00 or 11:00-12:00.

What equipment does the club have?

In addition to a few old loan laptops and a tangle of 4-ways so everyone can get power; we have a veritable stash of equipment for people to borrow at our events. Check out our equipment page.

Can I donate equipment to the club?

That would be brilliant! Let us know what you have. At the moment we are looking for…

  • Reasonable quality 2nd-hand laptops.
  • Electronics – i.e. breadboards, resistors, switches, LED’s etc.

Who’s behind this?

This club is organised by Peter Davies (linked-in, facebook) (and his eldest son Billy). Peter is DBS verified, a STEM Ambassador, and an experienced programmer who has worked in the computer games and web-development industries for over 20 years. Peter started programming at age 10 on the ZX Spectrum, and has used Basic, Assembler, C, C++, Python, Javascript and many other languages across the years. Billy is the Scratch, C# and Unity expert.