Google Launches Smartphone Game For Teaching Adults to Code

In an effort to teach adults the basic principles of coding, Google has today announced the launch of a new smartphone game called ‘Grasshopper’, which is now available as a free download for iOS and Android.

While nearly 5,000 users have already graduated from Grasshopper’s JavaScript Fundamentals course during the app’s testing phase, Google says it is making the game publicly available for the first time today (via TIME).


Developed by Area 120, Google’s internal workshop for experimental projects, Grasshopper focuses on three main barriers making it hard for adults to learn to code i.e. Time, access, and money. Citing a survey of current Grasshopper users, Laura Holmes, founder of Grasshopper and a senior product manager at Google, said that most people interested in learning how to code are hoping to do so to further their career.

Turning coding lessons into something more like a smartphone game makes them easier to fit into a busy schedule, she says. “Many of our users actually find spare moments when they’re sitting on the couch unwinding after work or in bed at night,” says Holmes. “They’re using those moments to learn how to code.”

Google’s puzzle game won’t turn you into a programming wiz overnight. But by introducing players to the basic fundamentals through JavaScript, it may help them decide whether coding is a viable career switch for them.

When setting up the Grasshopper app, users will be able to choose how often they want to practice coding. Grasshopper suggests playing daily, but offers other options like every other day, twice per week, or no reminders at all.

You can try Grasshopper on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad by downloading it for free.