Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
A number of high profile campaigns have aimed to put coding onto people’s new year’s resolution lists, Programr is one company in Asia that is helping wannabe coders to get to grips and develop their skills using a different approach.
Impressively, Programr has 25,000 fans on Facebook, which is considerably more than Codecademy’s 6,600 odd, albeit that the latter has seen 50,000 new coders sign up to learn the trade this new year.
The Next Web spoke to Rajesh Moorjani, co-founder of Programr, to find out more about the service’s approach to encouraging new coding talent.
Moorjani believes that Programr offers more as it “empowers aspiring coders to learn and accomplish so much more using its cloud-labs technology”, here are some of the examples that he raises.
Community-based learning through hands-on coding
Moorjani is particularly excited about the community that Programr has built up, and he explains that users are actively encouraged to get involved with other projects, and tweak the efforts of others:
We actually encourage users to tinker with and enhance each others’ projects to get the ultimate hands-on coding experience.
He cites a number of examples that include an animal game, hangman, Web-based Pizza Store, while there are more than 1,000 other examples which trainee coders can get involved in.
Opportunities to display and show off work
Programr users are given the chance to show off and display the product of their learning. The apps can be tinkered with — as explained above — or embedded to other sites in the same way that you can display a video or text on a blog or website.
Indeed, one notable example is this game, which is based on prominent anti-corruption figure Anna Hazare in India. The game itself has helped draw plenty of attention to Programr as Moorjani explains:
The “Help Anna Fight Corruption” game he made has become an instant rage, embedded and discussed on over 15+ big media sites, leading to us to get coverage in newspapers, TV and magazines on account of it.
On top of this, Programr also stages regular competitions — here is the challenge for January — which adds a fun element and provides a small ($50) incentive for learners to get creative with their efforts.
Users can also earn points to unlock other paid-for ‘advanced IT training’ service from Programr. Each program uploaded to system earns 10 points, once users have 90 points to their name then they are able to access the courses, that are worth $30.
Another option for learning to code
There is no doubt that a number of endorsements over the last week have helped bring coding to a greater audience. Mobile has a big part to play as the growth of smartphones and apps have made coding sexier than ever before. The idea of building apps is suddenly attractive to a lot of new people, as Google’s Eric Schmidt recently pointed:
If you’re a young programmer today, you’re building for the mobile phone, that’s where the action is.
So, if you’re considering learning to code this year, then be sure to check out Programr and take advantage of its community-based learning program.
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