You may think you know how to code, but most likely, you have no idea how to do it in 2016 standards. I thought I had a minor grasp on coding, learning HTML and CSS, but was never under the impression that I was a master coder. When I was asked by a snotty engineer if I knew any code and I responded with that, he laughed in my face. Yes, my coding knowledge is woefully out of date – I get it! However, Apple is looking to help me and millions of others who are behind or simply have no idea how to code with an app launching this fall that will teach us mere peons how to do so, naturally through an addictive mobile gaming experience.
Called Swift Playgrounds, Apple’s goal is to turn us all into computer programmers and coders, whether we like it or not. To be fair, coding is becoming a more and more valuable skill to possess, so being able to learn how to do it for free by playing an app isn’t the worst possible thing Apple could shove down our throats. Apple, naturally, developed its own programming language a few years ago called Swift, and this streamlined and easier to manage coding technique has become quite popular, powering many apps available on Apple products. With Swift Playgrounds, Apple is looking to put the ability to code in Swift into the hands of everyone.
“Swift is not just a thing that pro developers can use,” Wiley Hodges, Apple product marketing manager, said. “It could be someone’s first programming language.” Designed to be an educational tool, it teaches the fundamentals of Swift coding by constructing a game around it. Your ability to input commands, algorithms, functions and loops will control aspects of the game and help you advance the more you’re able to pick up and learn. You’re essentially learning code while coding, and navigating a game by advancing your coding skills. You’ll start out being given a few basic commands in Swift to get you started when you open the app, and then you’re off on an interactive learning experience.
As you get a better grasp on Swift, the app will allow you to build expansive levels called “playgrounds” using code you develop. That means this app is not only perfect for novices to pick up and start learning code, but is just as useful for experienced coders to refine and hone their skills as well. As you build your own playground in the app using Swift, you can physically see the results of your own coding unfold right before your very eyes. While Swift Playgrounds will only help teach you Apple’s Swift code, you can at least rest easy knowing you’ll become tech literate in some capacity in one of the most widely used codes out there. What could it hurt to play a game and build your own playground while learning some coding?