CoderDojo is a movement oriented around
running free, not-for-profit, coding clubs and
regular sessions for young people.

At CoderDojo NOVA, young people learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more. The Dojo is set up and run by volunteers. The Dojo makes development and learning to code a fun, sociable, and cool experience. The Dojo also puts a strong emphasis on open source and free software, and has a strong network of members and volunteers globally.

Our current location: 

Northern Virginia Community College
Annandale Campus
8333 Little River Turnpike
Annandale, VA 22003


Thomas Debass (@debass) and Gelila Teshome (@GelilaAmare) co-founded CoderDojo Nova in 2013, driven by their desire to expose their three daughters the universal language of the future: coding. We’ve now grown to host biweekly workshops with dozens of youth, and reach over 200 families across the Northern Virginia area.

We are a program of the 501(c)3 non-profit Startfield; and we are an independent chapter, unaffiliated with any other organizations such as CoderDojo DC or CoderDojo USA.


CoderNova has just one rule: “Above All: Be Cool”, bullying, lying, wasting people’s time and so on is uncool.


CoderNova is made possible by an awesome set of partners, parents, and mentors.  If you would like to join us, please email us at


Steve Trickey | Lead Mentor
Steve was captivated by the hour of code promotional materials and decided to use his coding powers for good. He does R&D for the Navy at the Naval Research Lab in DC. Steve wants to share the thrill of solving puzzles and creating something from nothing using the magic of coding.


Al Luna | Mentor

Al is the manager of Mott Clubhouse and leader of the Rockets and Robotics program for the Fairfax County Clubhouses.


Patrick Bailey | Mentor

Patrick is a Database Engineer for i360, a political data provider for non-profits and national campaigns. He graduated with a Computer Science degree from Georgia Tech in 2008, and has been hooked on computer programming ever since he was introduced to it in the 10th grade. His favorite thing about coding is how empowering it can feel to have a computer do something you told it to do. He wants to share that excitement with students (and parents!), to enable them to harness the technology changing the world.


Zerai Araya | Mentor

Zerai is an Operations Officer at NDI. He’s passionate about technology and photography. He is a graduate of Addis Ababa University (LL.B.), Universite de Montpellier (DU Legal Information Systems), and George Mason University (M.A. International Commerce and Policy).


Evan Grob| Mentor

Evan is a programmer/web developer at Ntiva. He loves to code. Evan enjoys creating something out of nothing through programming. He also enjoys playing computer games, history, watching movies, and being the web admin for


Samson Adefres| Mentor


Chris Sherman| Mentor


Nathan Sanford| Mentor


George Lively| Mentor

Mentor Alumni


Michelle Shu | Mentor | @michellewshu

Michelle is a software engineer at Applied Predictive Technologies, a data analytics firm that helps businesses evaluate the impact of their decisions. She learned how to program and how to teach others to program at Dartmouth College, where she received her B.A. in computer science in June 2014.


Jason Victor | Mentor

Jason is a program assistant at the World Bank Group in Washington DC. He is a member of a team that produces the World Development Report—one of the Bank’s annual flagship reports. Jason has over 14 years of experience in technical and administrative support. He has traveled internationally to China, Kuwait, and Australia to provide technical support at conferences.  Jason has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from George Mason University where he developed his passion for robotics and automation. His other interests include Graphic Design, iOS Mobile App Development, DIY Projects, Soccer, and the guitar.


Anteneh “Antony” Tefera | Mentor

Antony is an IT Consultant with over 12 years of experience in programming.  His interest in programming started at T.C. Williams high school with the introduction to Word Perfect 5.1.  He enjoys coding and solving problems.  He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.S. in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in application development.


CoderDojo NOVA is supported by SySTEMic Solutions which provides a venue and other critical support to run the program.