There are plenty of apps and initiatives designed to help you to code – Codeacademy, Code.org and Code Institute among them – but the truth is whatever approach you take, there isn’t a magic trick to mastering it.
In the same way that the best camera is the one you always have with you, it may be that your smartphone is the best classroom to get started with coding.
I raced through the set of free tutorials the app begins with and quickly paid $2.99 for the complete course (you can also opt to pay $0.99 per module.)
The lessons are written in an entertaining but unpatronising tone and each task uses multiple choice to guide you through code examples. At the end of each module you’re given a series of recap questions to reinforce your learning.
It’s not perfect – you’re slotting answers into pre-written code, after all – but the fact that the course lives on your smartphone, offline and accessible anywhere, is great.
Requiring an in-app purchase to unlock all the modules is also a plus; it means you’ve made a commitment, however small, to completing it. That really does make a difference.
I’m looking forward to seeing the next set of quizzes Lrn put together and hope to see it tackle more languages soon. It’s a great entree to programming and will hopefully encourage lots of people to explore further.
An Android version is in the works, by the way.