How can I learn Coding?

iOS & iPadOS

Hello everyone,
I really want to learn how to code, because I think it would be cool. I do not have an Ipad so I don't think I can get Apples Swift Playgorunds app, or at least, when I click the get button, it doesn't do anything. There was an app that seamed to be accessible, but it is expensive and as of right now, I don't have the money for it. I also tried, but I couldn't use their drag and drop stuff with voice over. Are their any apps that I could get? I don't care if I have to pay for an app, but I do not want to have to subscribe for an app, or a product.
Thank you for all your help



Submitted by PaulMartz on Friday, November 3, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

You said you don't have an iPad, but you didn't say what you do have. If you have a Mac, you should get Xcode from the App Store.

Submitted by hamiltonthemusicallover on Friday, November 3, 2017

I have an iphone6s and a macbookair does Xcode teach coding or does it expect you to know how to code?

Submitted by Mani on Friday, November 3, 2017

teach you to code. It is Apple's IDE for writing Swift code and developing iOS or Mac apps. I suggest your learn Swift and use Xcode to write and test your code. You can start by using the Terminal app on your Mac and trying out code in Swift's REPL which is interactive. I found it to be a good starting step. There is a learning curve associated with Xcode.
I hope this helps. .

Submitted by Deborah Armstrong on Friday, November 3, 2017

If you have never written any code before, my opinion is that you should try to learn JavaScript first.
Why? JavaScript isn't what "real" programmers call a "real" language; it's a scripting language that runs inside a browser. But that means it is operating system independent. And because it's not a full-featured language it's not very complex. Easy to learn but teaches important concepts. You can use any text editor to create a script. You can debug in the browser, no inaccessible development environment to fight with.

Learn some HTML first. This lets you know if you even like the idea of working with code, because even simple HTML is a code!

You can also look in to other scripting languages, AppleScript, Windows Powershell, PHP, Bash. They are much easier than a true object oriented language like C++ or Java.

I work at a college where we teach computer science. I see many blind and visually impaired students drop their first course because they are struggling with the foreign concepts of a full-fledged language plus the lack of access in an integrated development environment (IDE). If you want to learn because "it would be cool" that might not carry you forward with enough motivation to master a more complicated language, yet!

But if you start with JavaScript, the way I started out with BASIC in the early 1980s, you might like me discover you can handle assembly language!

Submitted by Deborah Armstrong on Friday, November 3, 2017

In reply to by Deborah Armstrong

I learned, and continue to learn by borrowing books from Learning Ally and Bookshare. If you are outside the U.S. there are some limitations but you can still get a huge variety of books for beginners. There are also free books online; for example when I type "Python free book" in to google without the quotes I get many hits.
If you do not like learning from books you are at a disadvantage. You can always watch YouTube but many techniques are demonstrated rather than described. You can take a class, but be sure you get good support from your disabled student services folks. Don't wait until you're three weeks in to it and hopelessly behind like so many of my students do. You can use iTunes U as well, especially if you have some vision or a friend who will helpfully describe what's being demonstrated.

Not all free resources are accessible, but not all accessible learning sources cost money either. Bookshare is free for students in many places and free for library patrons in some places as well. Learning Ally is offered free in our state California, to most college students through the disability support services for that college.

Also, once you know a little code, pick a project that is important to you. One of my first projects was software to create Braille on a daisy wheel printer. Another was MailMuncher, which turned email and newsgroup postings with lots of quoted content in to something that could easily be read nonstop with speech. Another early project was software to convert text in to Morse code and a very simple JavaScript page (which is still up)
converts phone numbers with characters in them to all numbers. You are far more motivated if you have a problem that you need to solve with software!

Submitted by hamiltonthemusicallover on Friday, November 3, 2017

I live in Canada and I do have a bookshare account how do I find books on coding? Are all the courses in itunesu free and can you take them even if you’re not attending that specific University? Can you get apples swift playgrounds app on the Mac? I thought I heard someone say you could but I’m not sure.

Submitted by Weather Gods (Scott) on Friday, November 3, 2017

I might be wrong, but I think iTunes U does have some free coding courses as well.

Have to agree with Deborah, Javascript is a good starting point for learning to code, as is Python.

Once you have mastered the basics, you can move on to objected oriented languages such as Swift, Java and DotNet.

I always think the best approach to learning a language is to set an achievable goal - it might be something like a simple dice game, a card game (blackjack), quiz game etc. You can package the code and send to friends and family and get some good feedback.

Start small and work up from there.

Good luck and happy coding!


Submitted by Kyle on Friday, November 3, 2017

I can't attest to any iTunesU course as I've never taken one. One of the better ways to learn to code is in a degree program at a school. This may not be the best way for you however. Schools do cost, some are better than others for accessibility, and you may not be at the stage of your life where you could take a college or university degree program of computer science or computer related courses.

that being said, there are many great tutorials on line. I first got started as was mention above with a touch of html code. I moved on to python from the learn python the hard way book. It used to be free, but I think its like 30 USD now. really not that expensive. Python2.7 is built into your Mac and a python 3 book is in the works. I also reference the site from time to time for my classes. we are obviously learning c++.

like it was mentioned, xCode is and IDE or integrated development environment. it doesn't teach you to code it is a tool to right code. Similar to a car. a car can't teach you to drive. you just drive it and learn from an instructor or your parents. lol i just realized i'm talking to blind people who will probably never learn to drive. I hope you understand the concept though.

as far as basic python or html scripting, textedit should be fine. for python because of the necessary indention you might want an IDE, text-mate works well for that. If you're doing any apple coding with objC, C++, or swift, i'd recommend getting used to xCode.

Submitted by Teresa on Monday, June 25, 2018

Thanks, Deborah, Skott, and Kyle. I'd like to see if coding is something I could do, since I seem to have a knack for parsing out details. I've created a webpage using HTML before, and liked doing it. Many of the tutorials I've found online assume a fair bit of prior knowledge, and as was pointed out earlier, they have visual examples. This forum thread helps to give a starting place. I don't think I'll be going to college in the near future, so I'll investigate home courses. Thanks!