Programming can be a very rewarding endeavor, but most people don’t know how to get started. With so many options available, most of which quite frankly suck, folks need to know which educational coding apps are worth the space they take up on their iOS devices. The Terminal Tinkerer is coming to the rescue with my top five apps for learning to code.
1. Swift Playgrounds, Apple’s Answer to Learning to Code
If your goal is to write programs for macOS or iOS, you need to learn Swift. Who better to learn coding for Apple devices from than Cupertino itself? In Swift Playgrounds, you’ll learn to program by solving interactive puzzles. The guided “Learn to Code” lessons allow you to master the basics, and then you can move on to more advanced challenges.
With Swift Playgrounds, you can see your code run in a gorgeous, interactive three-dimensional world. You can rotate with a finger and pinch to zoom to explore the world. New coding concepts are introduced with animatinos before you dive into the puzzles, and a glossary provides you with a comprehensive list of common terms. The downside is that this app only focuses on Swift, not any other programming languages or coding topics.
2. Udacity Prepares You for the Jobs of Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond
Udacity is more than just a programming primer. Rather, it allows you to learn and master the most in-demand skills in the workplace today. Forward-thinking, Udacity also looks towards what will be required of career-seekers in the future, and builds learning programs with some of the world’s most innovative companies. The course material is developed with and by industry experts from Facebook, Google, Amazon, Github, and more.
This learning platform matches you with a mentor, who helps you progress through your chosen track. You can access your classroom, interact with your mentor, and track your progress straight from the app. You can also download classes and content in advance, to better prepare yourself for future lessons. Udacity’s courses don’t have quite the “fun” factor that Swift Playground offers, but the benefit of having a real person to help you understand the concepts can help make this a winning choice for you. Available courses include data science, artificial intelligence, digital marketing, web and app development, and more.
3. Mimo: Learn to code on the go Provides Bite-Sized Lessons and Challenges to Improve Your Coding
With Mimo, you can learn to build websites, apps, and more. Learn about automating tasks with shell scripts, managing SQL databases, and cybersecurity topics. For those wanting to dive into the command line, Mimo also offers a course on the Terminal. The platform is growing, and will soon cover Lua, machine learning, Raspberry Pi, and more.
4. Sololearn’s ‘Learn to Code’ Apps Cover Popular Coding Languages In Depth
This isn’t just one app, but rather a suite of apps. Sololearn offers a variety of “Learn to Code with …” apps that will get you started in programming. Languages availabe in the series include C++, C#, Java, Ruby, PHP, SQL, and more. Each app provides you with a way to learn the coding skills you need through play and interaction. The app teaches you concepts through short interactive texts, with fun follow-up quizzes.
Of course, the code editors for each app are beautifully designed and tailored to the individual language. You can make changes to existing code or write your own, then compile your program on any device to see it run. A lively Q&A discussion group for each app helps you understand difficult concepts, or allow you to enhance your SoloLearner peers’ education.
Start Learning to Code Now
Any of these apps are terrific for learning essential programming skills. Some present the information in shorter chunks than others, but all of them are designed to let you learn on the go. If you’ve often wanted to write your own apps, there’s no better time than now to start learning. Maybe you can be the programmer who finally teaches Siri how to learn.