Google's Area 120 Launches App With Beginner Code Lessons

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The developers at Google's Area 120 have now released their very first application, called Grasshopper: Learn to Code for Free, which is intended to give absolute beginners a place to start learning to code. As its name implies, the app is entirely free. It should also work on most handsets and tablets with the single caveat of requiring Android 5.0. This app obviously isn't intended for use by those with even just a base knowledge of the concepts associated with programming or coding. In fact, it will probably be all but useless and may even seem counterintuitive to anybody who has spent time creating their own programs. However, it does seem to serve as an excellent starting point for those who don't understand how the logic behind a computer program or app work. By providing a solid foundation, it should be a relatively small step for somebody to graduate from Grasshopper and into full-blown coding sessions.

That's because it centers around the use of real-world JavaScript. Although some will immediately decry the language as not being "true code," it does bring with it a base understanding of logical flow and code structure. Understanding those precepts and the purpose of syntax is arguably a much more vital skill than knowledge of APIs or a given SDK. JavaScript has a simplicity to it that should make those concepts easier. Moreover, JavaScript is also used in a variety of ways on a huge number of platforms, including Android. So it's a practical skill to have, even if other forms of code will most likely need to be learned later on. Obviously, Grasshopper seeks to make things even easier than that and uses visual puzzles, snippets, and other tricks to make developing those skills easier. However, it also provides real-time feedback and guidance, while tests break up the process and allow users to see if they are really understanding what they're being taught. An achievements system, meanwhile, provides encouragement.

The application itself, as mentioned above, is completely free and there aren't any in-app purchases at all. Being made by one of Google's subdivisions is yet another perk to using the app and one means it would be difficult to not recommend the app to anybody who wants to learn the basics of coding. So anybody who may want to see if they've got what it takes to learn the skills involved with coding should go ahead and give it a shot via the button below.

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Junior Editor

Daniel has been writing for AndroidHeadlines since 2016. As a Senior Staff Writer for the site, Daniel specializes in reviewing a diverse range of technology products and covering topics related to Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and has a background in Writing and Graphics Design that drives his passion for Android, Google products, the science behind the technology, and the direction it's heading. Contact him at [email protected]

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