Viewing: Meet the Mentors – Meet Joseph

Meet the Mentors – Meet Joseph

Next up in our series about our amazing mentors is Joseph. As well as wearing cool (and sometimes very cryptic) t-shirts, Joseph has a natural talent for witty one-liners and a passion for maths. He's volunteered as a mentor since the inception of CoderDojo Scotland. Over to you, Joseph!


  If you were a super-hero, who would you be?

"Oh… I’ve never been good at superheroes. I was off school that day! One up is that my comic-book-mad pal is impressed that I’m getting better at knowing who’s Marvel and who’s DC! But what superhero?… well.. Sheldon likes The Flash and I like Sheldon so …. I’m gonna go The Flash! (Which is DC!)" How did you get into coding?

"I’ve always been into computing and technology in some way. When I was 8 or 9 I sat and typed out lyrics to a show we were doing in my primary school, at a speed of about 5 words per minute and on an old, hand-me-down Windows 95 computer my aunt gave me! I sort of took it from there, taught myself what I could about computing and became known as the tech support guy in my primary and then high school! My first experience of coding of any sort was some web design, but other than that I was pretty late to programming – hadn’t really done much until I studied Higher Computing and into University. It’s important to remember coding doesn’t always have to mean writing a brand new piece of software or game to stand on its own – I’ve used my coding ability to help me with things like my Maths courses at Uni and even organising our Grad Ball (prom) there!"  


What awesome tip do you have for young coders?

"Do what interests you. Start small and work up. You can maybe even apply your coding skills in situations you never thought you’d be able to – I’ve done some work as a technician in a theatre (really fun btw!) and coding skills are really useful there for things like programming the lighting. It’s all about logical thinking!"  


You need to be a real genius to code, don't you?

"Well I code…. and I don’t work at the Apple store…."  


If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be (and why!)?

Maybe Bill Gates or the like – I’m sure I could learn a thing or two from him about coding AND about entrepreneurship. But then again maybe just Santa Claus – I really wanna check if that beard is real!    


Why did you start mentoring with CoderDojo?

"Well I thought I was doing my good companion Craig Steele, founder of CoderDojo Scotland, a wee favour for a couple of hours one Saturday – now look what he’s roped me into!! But no, Craig graduated from the course I studied at University a few years ahead of me so I felt quite connected to and interested in the idea. I still remember that first ever session back in July 2012 in Glasgow Science Centre. Batman: The Dark Knight Rises had just been released and we were enjoying the soundtrack which could be heard loud and clear from our spot right outside the Imax cinema in GSC. The organisation has grown hugely since then of course, which is great. For the next 2 years I mentored at the GSC Dojo most months, but moved to Castlemilk when John decided to start up that Dojo and was looking for mentors. And the rest is history!"  


What do you like about coding?

"It’s really useful sometimes (see above!) and I like the logical thinking and problem solving skills it helps you develop!"  


Ant or Dec?

"Potato or potato? I’m easy!"  


What’s the best thing about being a CoderDojo mentor?

"It’s great for meeting new people – mentors and young people and hearing about their experiences and helping them develop great ideas. I love the fact that we get so many returning young people at Castlemilk – after a while it started to feel like our little family-away-from-home!"

Robotics Unplugged with Joseph
Robotics Unplugged with Joseph

What one tech do you wish you’d invented?

"The smartphone! I don’t know where I’d be without one! It’s just such an incredibly useful pocket sized device! I never thought when I started using computers on that Windows 95 machine my auntie gave me, that less than 15 years later I’d have a device a fraction of the size, which did about 100x as much stuff in about a hundredth of the time, which I can easily carry around with me at every minute of the day. What a great invention! Kudos, smartphone inventor! Kudos!"

  If you're interested in becoming a volunteer mentor with CoderDojo, great! Get in touch here.  

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