Learning to Code apps
September 21, 2016 1:20 PM   Subscribe

I'm interested in learning to code using lessons that are simple, basic, easy, insert descriptor that illustrates how I know absolute zero about this subject and consider me a typing monkey. I was thinking maybe through an app I can put on my phone and muck with on breaks and such.

Maybe something made for kids because dry and boring things will make me lose interest, plus ...typing monkey. I'm tired of looking for apps that should exist and don't or exist but poorly or saturated in glitchy ads. If I could eventually make my own, that would be neat. I have an android phone.

I'm interested in apps right now, but a simple website maybe with lessons from kid level to adult would be okay to have for later. But I mostly want apps. I'm on my phone more than my home computer these days.

Thank you.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Are you interested in learning a coding language or are you interested in programming apps?

If you want to program apps, try MIT AppInventor which takes all the language-knowing requirement out of coding the app. Basically you have to understand what the program needs to do, understand the concept of variables, loops, and triggers and how to create a list of steps for the app to do what you want, but then you can code up instructions for those steps without needing to know anything about the syntax of any particular language. I've used it to make a relatively complex app that I have on the app store, with a modest number of users and I am not a programmer.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:24 PM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Codecademy's mobile site was terrible for a long time but is supposed to be pretty good now. I did their Python and API courses a couple years back and thought they were great. They're designed for beginners but I'm not sure I'd say it's at a kid's level.

This is slightly off question, but if you have access to an iPad and you want to learn Swift, Apple's programing language for iOS/macOS/etc, try the Swift Playgrounds app. It's very slick and is designed for kids and/or people with zero programing experience.
posted by not_the_water at 3:26 PM on September 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm not aware of an app that lets you write code. Programming languages are built for keyboards and you'd have a hell of a time trying to learn on a smart phone. I recommend getting Android Studio (or Apple's equivalent) on your home computer and playing around with that a bit. It lets you run your creations in an emulator. This is probably the easiest way to get something up and running, although the SDK might be a little overwhelming if you've never written a single line of code before.
posted by deathpanels at 7:05 PM on September 21, 2016

Seconding Swift Playgrounds. I'm having a lot of fun with it, and I'm not even that interested in programming.
posted by Joleta at 10:16 PM on September 21, 2016

I haven't tried it myself, but I saw this app for learning Python in the Google Play store the other day. It looks like the same company makes apps for learning other languages as well. However, I think Python is a lot more intuitive/explicit than other languages and makes it easier to learn the basic concepts of programming.

I also thought this online book was a pretty good guide when I was learning Python too. (And since last time I used it, they made it interactive so you can run the code examples in the browser!)
posted by sevenofspades at 9:33 AM on September 25, 2016

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