You Might Actually Be the Next Zuckerberg


Thanks to these playful apps, becoming a programming genius is as easy as a tap and a swipe.

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If You're a Total Coding Neophyte

The App: Swifty

Where You Can Find It: iPhone; The app and the first few lessons are free, but you can unlock all of the lessons for $3.

Best for Learning: The basics of Apple's custom app-development language.

The Takeaway: Everyone has to start somewhere. Swifty's addictive, quiz-based lessons will help you grasp the fundamentals of coding, so that you can be on your way to developing your first iPhone or iPad app.

If You're a Visual Learner

The App: Lightbot

Where You Can Find It: iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle; $3.

Best for Learning: Programming logic and concepts.

The Takeaway: This game is intended for children, so it's super-cute and super-sneaky (and actually fun for all ages). You won't type any code; instead, you'll solve visual puzzles that command a cartoon robot to do your bidding. These little games disguise the fact that you're learning important programming concepts, even as the challenges become more difficult over time.

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If You Want to Have the Work Done for You

The App: ScriptKit

Where You Can Find It: iPad; Free.

Best for Learning: The basic code structure for iPad apps.

The Takeaway: The goal of this app is to type as little as possible. Lines of code are written for you, and all you have to do is drag and drop them until you've coded the base for an iPad app. You won't learn many code complexities, but you'll still get all the bragging rights. 

If You Want to Customize Your Code

The App: Codeacademy: Hour of Code

Where You Can Find It: iPhone; Free.

Best for Learning: Bits and pieces of everything, including basic web page creation, JavaScript programming, and social media development.

The Takeaway: This app condenses the simple, but hefty lessons from the Codeacademy website into hour-long challenges that feel more like games than their online counterparts. Each lesson lets you build creative skills, from learning to animate your own name to creating an entire website. 

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If You Want to Learn the Core of Coding

The App: Encode

Where You Can Find It: Android; Free.

Best for Learning: Basic and universal computer programming and languages, like JavaScript.

The Takeaway: This app covers the bare bones of computer programming with bite-sized lessons on the mathematics that control a computer's functions. You won't become an app developer off the bat, but understanding these concepts with Encode will make the rest of your journey much easier. 

If You Want to Master All of It

The App: Khan Academy

Where You Can Find It: iPhone, Android; Free.

Best for Learning: Any skill level of computer programming, web page development, or data management.

The Takeaway: With the widest range of skill sets and levels, Khan takes a whole lot of dedication, but those who stick it out will find themselves pretty proficient in coding and programming. It's more like reading a textbook on important concepts than it is actual practice—so this one's for you, bookworms.

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