Grasshopper is an app for learning JavaScript through mini-games

Google’s in-house incubator Area 120 just released an app
called Grasshopper,
which teaches you how to code JavaScript through a series of
fun mini-games, as reported by
9to5Google
. The goal, according to the coders
who worked on the app, is to make coding feel fun and
approachable as it increasingly is becoming a necessary skill.

The app works with bite-sized puzzles and quizzes, so you can
breeze through a couple lessons each day when you have some
spare time. You log in with your Google account, are walked
through basic coding definitions, and then you start the
exercises. The further along you get, the more complicated the
puzzles become. The app will also ask if you’d like to set a
practice schedule and get reminders — daily or a couple of
times a week — so you don’t lose any recently learned skills.

Grasshopper begins with what it calls “The Fundamentals,” which
includes things like calling functions, variables, and strings.
Every time it introduces a new concept, you get several puzzles
for practice. For example, an early puzzle dealing with shapes
asks you to draw the French flag. It shows what the solution
looks like, and then below is a space where you can tap on
blocks of code to build a script that replicates it. Later
courses cover animations and more complex functions using the
well-known D3
library
.

Drawing on reward structures that many mobile games currently
rely on, there’s also an achievements section within
Grasshopper. Here, you can see how many concepts you’ve
unlocked, the number of JavaScript keys you’ve used, and how
many days long your current coding streak is.

Though the team says it is working on adding new lessons and
expanding the curriculum, it doesn’t plan on teaching languages
other than JavaScript. As the app’s site notes, JavaScript is
used by more than 70 percent of professional developers, and
“Grasshopper uses JavaScript to teach fundamental programming
concepts that are universal to almost all programming
languages.”

Grasshopper is free to download from both Google’s
Play Store
and Apple’s App Store.

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