A Swift Playgrounds Evening

Nov 10, 2017 · Follow on Twitter and Mastodon swiftios

Tonight, I sat down with my oldest daughter, to play with Swift Playgrounds and to teach her a bit about programming in Swift.

iPad Pro with Swift Playgrounds

I’ve been meaning to do this for quite some time, but have never gotten around to it. I did involve both of my daughters in iOS development a few years ago, to create two kids apps for iPhone & iPad. We had a really fun time, but haven’t continued after that.

A few weeks ago, I attended a conference where several earlier colleagues brought their kids to an all day coding event. Their kids were encouraged to play around with code and deploy their creations to real, physical devices.

Watching these kids thrive inspired me to show my own daughters what programming is all about. So we sat down this Friday evening, downloaded Swift Playgrounds and got started with coding in Swift.

Starting from the beginning, with very little previous knowledge, it was amazing to see her approach the problems, intuitively breaking them down into smaller parts, solving problem by problem, as we together ventured into more difficult territory.

When she shouted “this is FUN” for the first time, I knew we had something good going.

Swift Playgrounds was a fun way to give her an idea about what it’s like to solve problems with code. How can we detect repetitive tasks and create a function that simplifies solving them? Why doesn’t a program work the way we expect it to? Swift Playgrounds walks you through these issues in a fun manner.

However, the most fun we had all evening, was when Swift Playgrounds ran into a bug and started to execute our correct instructions in a very strange way.

Play Video

After spending some time in Swift Playgrounds, we had a look at the app I’m working on on a daily basis - BookBeat. It was nice to open Xcode and show her code that is responsible for handling a task she often uses in the app, and show her that it’s not much different from what we just created together in Swift Playgrounds.

If you have kids and enjoy coding, I can recommend spending some time with your kids in this nice app. And if you’re not into coding, why not use the app to learn?

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