Google Has An App To Help You Learn Programming And It’s Free!

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar
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Area 120 -the internal incubator of Google- has released a mobile app for beginner-coders, Grasshopper. The app is meant to teach beginners JavaScript.

The best part of all this is it’s entirely free. Free to download, and the courses are free as well so this is a perfect way to learn and see if this is a viable career path for you without parting with your valuable dollars. I think this is a great way to start coding if you are Zimbabwean (or in any developing country) and you are very conscious of how you use your money.

What’s the point of this Area 120 program?

Area 120 has been around for two years and Grasshopper is their most mainstream offering as their other projects have been quite niche.

The application is a ‘passion project’ by some internal Google employees and they built it because:

Coding is becoming such an essential skill, and we want to make it possible for everyone to learn even when life gets busy. We made Grasshopper to help folks like you get into coding in a fun and easy way.

Back to Grasshopper…

Right now the app offers the basics on JavaScript. The app is setup in a way that tackles the lessons in an interesting manner and is supposed to be inviting for beginners.

The app has some beginner courses, starting with ‘The Fundamentals.’ In this stage, users learn how code works and get acquainted with some of the key programming terms such as functions, variables, strings, for loops, arrays, conditionals and so on and so forth.

There are two other courses where users go on to learn how to draw shapes using a library and then creation of more complex functions using a similar library (D3 library).

There are visual puzzles to ‘develop your problem-solving skills and solidify coding concepts’ according to the app description. The reason why there is a focus on visual learning is because the goal of the app is to get coders (or would-be-coders) proficient in the basics and core concepts, so they take the next steps in their coding education – be it online classes, attending bootcamps or the grasshopper online playground which enables coders to create interactive animations.

There are also some features that are meant to motivate users: achievements, progress indicators and coding streaks. There will be more features added to the app as time goes on and the curriculum will also grow.

There’s more to look forward to as well

Grasshopper has promised to add more content to The Fundamentals section and an entirely new course. The new course will still be based on JavaScript, as the team behind grasshopper made it clear they have no intention of expanding beyond the language which is used by over 70% of professional developers. There’s a lot to interact with and also look forward to going forward.

The fact that more content will be coming and will all be free makes this one of those must-have apps. I mean what’s the reason not to have this?

The app is available on Android and iPhone. Android users can download it here.

One response

  1. Tafie Mc

    this is a great way to learn programming but me am a python programmer maybe they could make one for python