Anyway, the app is called Grasshopper. It’s available for both Android and iOS, and it’s free.
“Grasshopper was created by a team of passionate coders from Google’s workshop for experimental products, Area 120,” the Grasshopper site explains. “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. And we put Grasshopper on a phone so you can turn your commute or waiting in line into a learning moment. We hope you like it and that it helps you embark or continue your journey in learning to code.”
I installed the app on my Google Pixel 2 XL and stepped through the opening wizard, which eventually asks if you’ve coded before. I have, so I suspect that it was smart enough to adjust the difficulty level a bit. That said, it still appears to be pretty basic. Which is understandable.
After running through the initial lesson, you choose a practice schedule, similar to how Duolingo works. I will try to use the app daily, but you can choose every other day, twice per week, or no reminders.
As to whether you can learn to program this way, well. No, of course, you can’t: If you want to learn to code, you need to code. And code. And keep coding. But this does seem to work somewhat like Duolingo in that you can fill your off minutes learning something instead of wasting that time. And it may be just what the real beginner needs to take the next step.
I will try to use this daily to find out.
<p>“Coding is becoming such an essential skill"</p><p><br></p><p>No, it's really not. </p>
<blockquote><a href="#264418"><em>In reply to lvthunder:</em></a></blockquote><p>I think you're somewhat optimistic about the future success of "physical" automation. Legal and insurance issues may slow down or even kill self driving vehicles as the dominant transportation approach.</p><p><br></p><p>But in any case, the disappearance of low-skill jobs will neither increase the need for STEM work nor will it make it easier for people to qualify for it. The claim that there's an STEM shortage is a myth that's been propagated almost continuously since the 1960s. </p><p><br></p><p>The loss of good jobs for unskilled workers may turn out to be a problem in the future but the most viable solution may be a minimum guaranteed income rather than flooding the STEM market with people who are working in it solely because the have to.</p>
<blockquote><a href="#264308"><em>In reply to lvthunder:</em></a></blockquote><p>That might be true if software development or IT work were the only well-paying jobs in the future, but I doubt that. </p>
<blockquote><a href="#264326"><em>In reply to rafaelsolmaker:</em></a></blockquote><p>I think the burden of proof would be yours given that you are claiming something for the future that clearly isn't the case now. </p><p><br></p><p>Yes, most people use computers in one form or another (although smartphones are used more as an appliance than anything else) but that doesn't mean they will be programming in the future any more than everyone using a car leads to everyone becoming car mechanics. </p><p><br></p><p>The last thing most companies want their non-STEM employees to do is play junior-IT. In fact the trend is away from people managing their own workstations in favor of providing them with a restricted environment they can't customize.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p>