One of the very first App of the Week reviews we wrote was on Codea, a £6.99 iPad application designed to help people learn how to build their own iPhone applications. This week I’m taking a look at the first app from Codeacademy, called Hour of Code. Rather than being a tool to help you learn how to build an application from start to finish, it’s an introduction to coding designed to help complete beginners familiarise themselves with the basic structure of code and development.
The lifespan of the app is (as the name suggests) only about an hour, the tutorials are designed to be completed in short bursts throughout the day and are quite neatly broken up so you can have a quick go while you’re sat on the bus or eating lunch. Broken up into five different topics, I had a quick go at ‘Getting Started’ this morning which basically just helps you to create a “Hello, my name is¢â‚¬ ¦” page and create a very simple formula. The other topics are Data Types, Variables, Comparisons and If¢â‚¬ ¦ Else¢â‚¬ ¦ which are supposed to be followed in that order but if you wanted to, you can skip straight to the end.
At the end of each set of exercises, the app presents you with a score of how well you did and you’re prompted to share the result through Twitter.
Overall it’s a really simple app, but that’s the idea. Codeacademy: Hour of Code isn’t designed to be a complete start to finish ‘learn how to code’ guide and you certainly won’t feel comfortable undertaking a project of any real scale by the time you’ve finished the five tutorials. However it’s an excellent tool to see if, after an hour of learning how to code, you feel hungry for more information and want to get stuck in.
The app is free of charge (as are all of the courses on the Codeacademy site) so hopefully this will attract quite a bit of attention and hopefully get a lot more people interested in learning one of the modern days most essential skills.