Code Club Aruba – How it all started

What started out as a spontaneous conversation among two friends in the Netherlands about how they can contribute when they move back home, turned into Code Club Aruba. 

During a winter month in Amsterdam, two friends Aad-Jan (AJ) de Gruijl and Terrick Mansur fantasized about turning young Aruban minds into world class developers with the potential to serve a global remote market. While AJ was trying to find a solution for this goal, Terrick wanted to share his experience and knowledge with others.

For too long, our community has been dealing with the challenge of diversifying its economy and becoming less dependent on tourism. Terrick, as a software developer, is well aware of the future of technology and the lack of skills in this field on the island, and the scarcity of good Software Engineers globally. Being a remote software developer Terrick knows that their vision holds realistic opportunities for Aruba.

The two of them envisioned the possibility of local Aruban Youth being trained from an early age in the field to set them on the path of becoming remote developers. They believe that in order to build a tech industry in Aruba, you need to start from the ground up. And what better way to do this than by teaching our young minds from an early age.

Once the two had moved back to Aruba, they did not hesitate and commenced on their objective. AJ visited various schools to recruit potential candidates and Terrick started drafting his curriculum. With much enthusiasm, AJ and Terrick interviewed many candidates and narrowed down their pool to seven teenagers. AJ found a location, which was Antraco Plaza of Mr. Robert Croes. They are very grateful for his hospitality for hosting the first pop-up Code Club.
And so May 2021 was the initiation of what is now known as Code Club Aruba.

Code Club Aruba is an initiative of a free, open, volunteer-led movement that organizes coding meetups. Coding, or Computer Programming, is the skill of taking a problem and creating a set of instructions — which we call a computer program — for a computer to solve that problem. Computer programs can be anything from simple ones that add two numbers together, all the way up to complex websites, video games, or apps. At a meetup, participants learn to develop these programs with the support of their fellow peers and volunteer mentors.

If you haven’t already, please follow our social media channels. We will be writing/posting about how the club is going, what the pupils are learning, our short, medium and long goals and much much more.