A Quick Start to Code: Find Patterns

Steve and I are back with Earlston Primary School in Scotland to talk about finding patterns, from the Quick Start to Code with Swift PDF from Apple.

We talk a lot about finding patterns and turning those patterns we use repeatedly into functions. Find out more on our mini-site for our extended EU Code Week sessions.

What’s in a Function?

A function is a way to group a set of commands you’ve deemed useful enough that you want to re-use. So to write a function we need to think about what problem we’re trying to solve.

Your first pass may also not be your last! Often we’ll revisit code after solving a problem to see if we can improve on our original solution.


With Steve we work on turning left to turn right in the real world and we also play a game of “Dots.”

Come check out our session and get back to Swift Playgrounds with us!


EU Code Week: Logistics

EU Code Week is right around the corner (10-25th of October), so here’s a bit of info about the free sessions I’ll be running with Steve Bunce.

What is it?

We’ll be presenting follow-along coding sessions that follow the A Quick Start to Code PDF from Apple.

A Quick Start to Codehttps://education-static.apple.com/teaching-code/quick-start-to-code.pdf

The material is aimed at teachers, students, parents, and children. Steve and I will give plenty of tips and tricks for simplifying the material; for extending it, for experienced coders; unplugged ways to approach the same concepts; and answer questions might you have had.

When is it?

Weekdays, 9:45-10:30am

We’ll be streaming every week day during EU Code Week from 9:45 to 10:30am, Irish and UK time.

You can find the stream at https://youtu.be/CxKrMvkpJbs (first up is an info session for teachers wanting to run the sessions in class with us on the 6th of October, feel free to sign up here).

The first five sessions will run from the 12th to the 16th of October and then we’ll repeat the sessions from the 19th to the 23rd of October, for you to catch up if you were on school break or if you didn’t get to attend a session.

What do I need?

I can’t wait to get coding with all of you. You just need a few things:

Join Us!

We have a whole mini-site at https://www.thecodehub.ie/eu-code-week-2020/ with a ton more info, including details on specific days, how to use the class in your classroom or at home, and where to go once you’ve exhausted all of these coding resources.

See you online!

EU Code Week: “How To” Session

As I’ve mentioned, we’ve got a big EU Code Week special coming up really soon.

And I’ve also mentioned that it’s not just for schools.

So if you happen to fall into one of these two categories: You’re in a School or You’re Not in a School; then have I got something for you!

“How-To” Session

On Tuesday, October 6th we’ll (myself and Dr. Steve Bunce, my co-host for the EU Code Week special) be hosting a special “How-To” session.

We’ll run through what the sessions are all about, how they’ll be structured, and then how best you can follow-along with the session from the comfort of your own home or the classroom.


This session is for everyone, not just teachers. Not just parents. If you have an iPad and you want to give this coding lark a try, we’d love to have you!

It’ll be a chance to find out what we’ll be doing, ask some questions, and even offer input, if you like.

So sign up for the how-to session and get ready for EU Code Week!


EU Code Week: Not Just for Schools

Our sessions for EU Code Week aren’t just for classrooms! Just in case you were looking at all the materials, like the Using this Site in Class page, and thinking it was aimed at schools only, I added a new page: Using this Site at Home.

It’s a bit like our Coding at Home series: the video session will be designed for you to follow along, no matter the setting. If you can view the video on a big screen while you code along on a separate iPad that would be amazing, but if you only have one device at home, you just make due with what you have.
All this stuff, the site, the videos, the links, they’re all designed just to give you a bit of support to explore coding on your iPad.

Code Week, European or Otherwise

Wherever you are, you’re more than welcome to catch our sessions. Heck, we’ve got an American living in Ireland co-presenting with someone from the UK.

So if you want to follow along and try to embrace coding during EU Code Week, feel free to register your event, even if it’s your own household! We’ve got some instructions for doing so here.

So grab your iPad, sit back, relax, and get ready for some coding!

EU Code Week: The Most Wonderful Time of Year!

EU Code Week 2020 is from the 10th to the 25th of October this year.

This isn’t some odd quirk that leaves actually weeks in Europe a whole 8 days longer than elsewhere in the world; it’s to let those folks who get a week off in October experience a full week of coding activities.

This year, I’ll be partnering with Dr. Steve Bunce to bring you some live coding session in your classroom!

Quick Start to Code

Each week day during EU Code Week we’ll be on from 9:45 to 10:30am. We’ll say hi, show you some cool unplugged activities you can do in class, then we’ll spend a few minutes writing some code so you can follow along as we go through five days from the Quick Start to Code PDF from Apple.

At the end we’ll take some questions that might have come in during the session or that have been sent to us beforehand and try our best to answer them.

Get Ready!

If you want to participate, or even get a jump on the sessions, feel free to visit our little mini-site for the event: Quick Start to Coding with Swift Follow-Along Sessions

We’re so excited to code with you this EU Code Week. While I’m bummed not to be in the classroom with everyone this year, I think we can still have a ton of fun online. So grab your iPad and Swift Playgrounds!

If you’re a teacher, head over to the site. If you’re a student, tell your teacher about EU Code Week and the fun we’re about to have! And if you’re a parent, you’re more than welcome to follow along, too!

Coding at Home: May 22nd, Lookback Session #3

Sign up to get onto today’s lookback session, where we’ll cover the beginner playground, Code Machine!

Even if you’ve never done any programming before, so long as you have an iPad, we’ll get you set up to start your journey!

Yesterday’s Session

In yesterday’s session (part 4 of 3, yes, you read that right), we built more of our app/game aquarium.

We added a stepCounter for our fish, we added a button to add more fish, we laughed, we cried. And we definitely debugged a bit, too.

We worked on some of those esoteric skills needed in development: tracking down an issue when it looks like you have everything set up right.

New Landing Pages

We added a new landing page where you can access each one of our playlists from the past 53 videos. Hopefully this will make it easier to follow along with a given series we’ve been running.

We’ve organized them into one mega-playlist, the first one, kids.code().

The next is just the videos for the Everyone Can Code Puzzles material.

Then we have the Lights, Camera, Code playlist, which covers both the Lights, Camera, Code and the Assemble Your Camera playgrounds if you’re a little more advanced.

Lastly, we have the current playlist-in-progress: Build an Aquarium App.

So if you’ve fallen behind on the live sessions, feel free to catch up on one of the playlists.

Or… you can do that and come join us for our lookback session today at 1pm! Just sign up on the registration page!

Coding at Home: May 15th, Lookback Session #2

We’re live on a Zoom call today for our second beginner session, so make sure you register with us to get the details! The sessions are still free, just a little more personalized.

We really hope you’ll join us, I swear to you I’m not paying the folks on the session last week to say that they’ve had a ton of fun and are eager for more this week.

Yesterday’s Session & the Swift Student Challenge

We did some stuff yesterday that would get you a long way towards a submission for the Swift Student Challenge.

If you want to re-watch that session, it’s available here:

And we’ve published a new playground with the camera stuff stripped away a little bit that you can use to build out your own idea for an app.

You can get it from https://thecodehub.ie/playgrounds/ if you haven’t already added our playground feed, but if you’ve been taking our course it’s likely already in your More Playgrounds section.

Just tap the GET button and you’ll be able to create to your heart’s content.

We’ll also go over building an app with this playground on Monday and replicating the aquarium I built for yesterday’s session.

So sign up for the Hello, Byte Lookback sessions, designed for beginning coders, complete novices, where we go through this introductory playground at a very manageable pace, and we’ll see you today!

Otherwise, we’ll see you on Monday at 1pm, Irish time!

Coding at Home: Lookback Session #1, Hello, Byte

Today we kick off the first of our lookback sessions, designed for coders of all experience.

We’ll be covering the Hello, Byte playground.

We *won’t* be broadcasting this session on Twitch today, because this session is going to be a little more interactive with the students.

Feel free to register at https://ti.to/the-code-hub/lookback-session-may-8th/en so I can send you the details of the session and we can get coding!

Coding at Home: The First Lookback Session TOMORROW (May 8th)

Tomorrow (Friday, May 8th) we’re going to hold our first loopback session.

The Goal of this Session

The goal of this session is to allow folks who are maybe joining us later than from the very start, people who are finding the latest sessions far too into the deep end, or people who want a bit of practice to join in a live session with us and others to get the feel of a real, in-person class.

We’re taking registrations on https://ti.to/the-code-hub/lookback-session-may-8th/en simply to get you the details for the video piece of the class. The sessions, themselves, will be free, just like our live stream on Twitch.

We’ll be holding the class over Zoom, and we’ll be giving out the details to those who have registered, simply to have an idea of numbers and to better interact with students if (and when) you have questions.

We’ll be holding the class over Zoom, and we’ll be giving out the details to those who have registered, simply to have an idea of numbers and to better interact with students if (and when) you have questions.

The Material

To prepare for the session, make sure you’re set up like in our Coding at Home video. The key is to have Swift Playgrounds downloaded and, ideally, the Hello Byte playground.

I really hope you’ll take advantage of the session, I’m looking forward to seeing those already registered tomorrow.

We’ll see you tomorrow at 1pm!

Coding at Home: Friday, 27th March

We’re streaming live today at 1pm, Irish time at https://www.twitch.tv/thecodehub

Today’s Session @ 1pm Irish time

For today’s session we’re going to show you a good setup for following along with our live stream or videos and coding at the same time. We’ll also recap a little bit about functions.

If you miss any of the sessions, or simply want to re-watch them, you can check out our kids.code() playlist on YouTube.

The best place to start is with the Getting Started Video. This video will show you where to get Swift Playgrounds and the optional book, Everyone Can Code Puzzles.

We’ll see you at 1pm!