I first met James Whelton in 2011 as he was just launching CoderDojo in Ireland. At that time, I saw huge potential in his vision for educating a new generation of developers through free coding clubs worldwide. What further inspired me about James was that he was unencumbered by the magnitude of what he was trying to accomplish and the resources and commitments it would take to accomplish it. Today, just two years later, there are 130 dojos across 22 countries with 10,000 kids learning to code for free each week. One student, 13 year old Harry Moran, developed Pizzabot, a game that debuted at the top of the iPhone paid downloads charts in Ireland, beating out Angry Birds!
We are very pleased to announce James as one of our keynote speakers at Distill, Engine Yard's inaugural developer conference, where he will talk about inspiring others, dreaming big, reaching your goals and striving for more. Here is a little more information on James: James Whelton hails from Cork, Ireland. A 20 year old developer and social entrepreneur, passionate about using technology to improve the world and making the opportunity to experience the awesomeness of coding available to young people around the world. A background in iOS and Web development, he's ventured in everything from building Twitter powered doors to proximity controlled kettles to realtime services to teaching 11 years olds Objective-C. He was named a Forbes 30 under 30 in 2013 for social entrepreneurship and Irish Software Association Person of the Year 2012. He likes hacking the system, using code to achieve big things, pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.