Cambridge-based Raspberry Pi has been at the centre of a coding revolution with its affordable credit card-sized computers. Partnering with the likes of VMWare and Google, the foundation has seen its gear in the hands of countless kids and adults alike all over the globe (in fact, PCR was in attendance as the organisation celebrated the sale of its 10 millionth unit).
A big focus of the Raspberry Pi Foundation is education, and the company has today boosted its classroom clout with the announcement of a merger with CoderDojo. Dublin-based CodorDojo helps volunteers to create programming clubs for children and teenagers aged seven to 17. There are currently more than 1,250 clubs – or 'CoderDojos' – in 69 countries, which serve more than 35,000 children and teenagers. Raspberry Pi hopes that this move will significantly improve CoderDojo's presence and that they have set an 'ambitious goal to quadruple the number of CoderDojos worldwide, to 5,000, by the end of 2020'.
While it is most famed for its bite-sized hardware, a big reason for Raspberry Pi's success as an organisation has been its vocal and passionate community. The foundation offers resources for educators who want to teach coding and runs its own 'Code Club' network of programming clubs which are regularly attended by over 150,000 kids. Much like CoderDojo, Code Club was originally its own entity before merging with Raspberry Pi in 2015.
Photo: Raspberry Pi
The pair however assure anyone concerned that CoderDojo 'will continue as an independent charity' and that 'nothing about CoderDojo’s brand or ethos is changing as a result of this merger'. A statement from Raspberry Pi says that the clubs will 'continue to be platform-neutral' meaning that, should they want to, the organisers are free to use non-Raspberry Pi hardware.
"Raspberry Pi will work closely with CoderDojo to advance our shared goals, pooling our resources and expertise to get more adult volunteers and young people involved in the movement," continues the statement. "Our combined scale will allow us to invest more in the infrastructure and systems that underpin our work, and to offer a wider range of products and services to our communities."
Overall this is undoubtedly a great bit of news. Hopefully this merger will help to build on the foundation's aims to plug the skills gap that has been identified as a key issue for the industry going forward.