European Digital Girl of the Year 2016
My name is Niamh, I go to CoderDojo in DCU and I mentor the CoderDojo Scratch and CoderDojo Girls sessions. I’ve been coding at CoderDojo since I was 9 years old and I’m 13 now. As well as coding I like gaelic football, baking, piano, swimming and drama.
My favourite thing about CoderDojo is that you can create anything, no idea is too big or too small! CoderDojo is a great place to learn how to code because everyone is so nice and you learn things in a really fun way. When my mum found out about CoderDojo she thought it would be good to give it a try. Going in I didn’t know anything about coding at all, but from the first day I loved CoderDojo!
Coolest Projects 2014 was brilliant! I presented my project, reCharge My eCar, an app that shows where all the charging points for electric cars (ecars) in Ireland are and whether someone is using each one, so you don’t have to wait in a queue for a few hours! Coolest Projects 2014 was a two day event, on Saturday the competition was held and on the Sunday we got talks from some people that worked in cool businesses, like Brown Bag Films. reCharge My eCar won its category in the Coolest Projects 2014 and in 2015 it won 2 Eircom Junior Spiders!
Check out the website for the app here.
Coolest Projects 2015 was even bigger…and even better! In 2015 the Coolest Project Awards were held in the RDS and there were so many entries. I got to speak on the Innovators Stage about my project, Auto-Journalist. Auto-Journalist is an app that is for people to contact each other using videos even if they live in different time zones or are very busy.
During the summer I got the chance to take part in the very first Outbox Incubator. Outbox Incubator is a programme for girls between the age of 11-22 that is run in London. Girls from all over Europe stay in a huge house together and get talks from people about marketing, pitching, coding etc. I went over toOutbox Incubator with my app, reCharge My eCar. It was lots of fun and not only did I get to learn loads about STEM and running a business, I got to knit, do yoga, go on day trips, watch Pretty Little Liars and much more!
Recently I went to Amsterdam for an Appathon, there I worked on my app, Auto-Journalist. It was a brilliant day, I got to add to Auto-Journalist and I got lots of freebies!
From CoderDojo and the Coolest Projects I have had so many opportunities including – talking at the WebSummit 2014, getting a tour of Brown Bag Films (animation company), talking to CoderDojos in Cork, being a Hackathon Hero at Girls Hack Ireland, speaking at the launch of Inspirefest and going to the Eircom Junior Spiders!
I think all kids my age should be coding, it’s so much fun and your imagination is the limit! Coding helps you understand all the effort that goes into an app, website or game like Angry Birds, Instagram or Minecraft.
My advice to any girls who might be intimidated at the thought of coding is GO FOR IT! Give it a try, coding is a great skill to have for the future, because soon code and technology will be everywhere!!!