Mimo — Codified Fun

The popularity of the smartphone has taught us one thing — Apps are the way of the future. The web will always be around, but the most future-proof interaction paradigm for today’s users is a smartphone app, backed by a solid web-based back end. The jobs of the future, for instance, will increasingly tend to this philosophy. People, however, don’t need to learn to code only to earn a livelihood, however. There are always the people who have a niche requirement, and find nothing on the market to fulfil it. Learning to code, therefore, can be as important in the near-future, as learning a language is in today’s world.

Apple launched Swift Playgrounds last year, to much excitement. Swift Playgrounds is a baked-in app that allows anyone with an iPad to learn the basics of programming in Swift, through the use of gamification. It’s a great concept, but Apple’s solution is geared almost certainly for a younger audience. While there is nothing inherently wrong with learning a language this way, some of us (yours truly included) prefer a slightly more, shall we say, structured approach.

Enter Mimo — an app designed to teach several languages to the user via the iPhone or iPad. Mimo can teach more than just Swift, however – starting from the very essentials of Programming, all the way to C#, JavaScript, HTML and even SQL. Mimo combines the gamification aspects of Swift Playgrounds with a vast library of learning options. It does so with a syllabus-like approach, ensuring that, at no point does the user feel like she/he is playing a game. Learning is also broken down into byte-sized (pun VERY MUCH intended) chunks, allowing you to learn at a pace that you can set for yourself. How big of a chunk depends entirely on the user. Think of it as a Duolingo for programming languages – complete with badges, achievements and points.

For us, besides the great idea and design of the app, the best thing about Mimo is its sustainable business model – you can sample what the app has to offer for free, and then make a recurring subsciption to their service – monthly, semi-annually, or annually. At the highest, annual tier, the service will run you approximately $60 a year – which is a steal, considering what you’ll get. The developers have also promised to keep adding new courses, and even completely new topics – such as Machine Learning, PHP and Raspberry Pi, to name a few.

If you’ve always dreamt of learning to code, but just can’t find the time, give Mimo a shot. Its approach to teaching you how to code is unique, and wonderfully implemented. It got me hooked, and I’m currently a happy subscriber. With great content already, and the promise of more to come, Mimo is exactly what this amateur code-enthusiast was looking for. Take the app for a spin, and you’ll find yourself instantly in love.

Mimo is available for Free on the App Store, with two free-to-complete lessons baked in. The Android app for Mimo is also coming soon.

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