Learning to code as a 30-year-old kid with Apple’s Swift Playgrounds

“If you’ve installed the iOS 10 public beta since it came out last week, you’ll know that compatible iPads come loaded with the ‘Swift Playgrounds’ app that Apple announced at WWDC,” Andrew Cunningham writes for Ars Technica.

“The app is Apple’s first crack at anything that even resembles an iOS-native development environment — iPad hardware is now fast enough (and Swift is now stable and mature enough) to make such a tool palatable,” Cunningham writes. “But while Swift Playgrounds uses and executes actual Swift code, it’s not going to let you make actual apps. Its aim is educational, specifically for younger kids who are familiar with and comfortable around technology but who have never been exposed to coding before.

“I played with the app for a few hours, working my way through the first few tutorials in the public beta — I’m a little older than the intended age group, but I still managed to learn a few things,” Cunningham writes. “I also spoke with the team at Apple to learn more about their goals and intentions when they designed the app and to learn how it will continue to develop throughout the public beta process up to the release of the iOS 10 Golden Master.”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Note: The final version of Swift Playgrounds will be available in the App Store for free this fall. Swift Playgrounds is compatible with all iPad Air and iPad Pro models and iPad mini 2 and later running iOS 10. For more information including videos, images and demos, visit, apple.com/swift/playgrounds.

Apple’s new Swift Playgrounds for iPad a killer app for teaching code – June 22, 2016
Apple’s free Swift Playgrounds app for iPad makes learning to code easy and fun – June 13, 2016


  1. At first all the interest in helping people to learn to code seemed like a good idea. Now it just seems like so much hype.

    Even if you could churn out actual “GOOD” programmers at a substantial rate, what difference would it make?

    Not when you’ve got Google and Apple creating initiatives in India to train massive numbers of engineers. Google alone just announced a program to train 2 million coders in India.

    Coding isn’t the answer to unemployment in the U.S. And advanced algorithm skills won’t come from learn to code in 6 weeks programs.

    In addition, we need talented people in all sorts of STEM fields, not just code cobbling. Technology is great, but we need people going into chemistry, biology, physics, math and all areas of science.

    Coding is fine, but I’d rather see initiatives that help teachers master technology in mass. You don’t need to be a software engineer to understand the basics of cloud computing and helping your students do their homework using the tools that are available to them now.

    Math teachers in particular can make use of coding to reinforce the algebraic skills most often required, but the answer to California’s water problems, for example, won’t come from Python alone. Water Resources Engineers are needed.

    This morning on CNBC or Bloomberg or something Sal Khan (Kahn Academy) was trying to suggest that coding would be a necessary skill for all people in the not too distant future. I am reminded of when I was but a wee lad and people were saying airplane piloting skills would be necessary for everyone in the not too distant future, for all those flying cars.

    I couldn’t tell if Kahn really believed this, or if he was trying to recruit more people into his school. (Which is pretty nifty.)

    1. Personally I think teaching people the way to break problems down into manageable pieces, a skill at the core of coding/programming, is one that everyone should have in their skill set.

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