Maybe you have a cool app in mind that you would like to develop, but you don't know whom to hire to code it, much less have the money. No problem: For DIY types of people, Apple has released a free app development curriculum in the iBooks Store.

While the curriculum is designed for high school and community college students -- and select schools will start offering the curriculum this fall -- you don't have to attend school to learn to code in Swift, Apple's programming language. (It's not the "junior" version of app development: Apps for companies like Kayak, Airbnb, Yelp, and TripAdvisor were all created using Swift.)

And in case you aren't aware, you can also learn to code with Swift using Swift Playgrounds.

Granted, downloading a set of textbooks and teacher guides isn't the same as taking classes; then again, for many people self-paced learning is the best kind of learning. You don't have to wait for other students to catch up; you don't have to worry that you're holding other students back.

And you can learn to code whenever you have time, not on someone else's schedule.

But if you like the thought of taking classes, here are community college systems serving nearly 500,000 students nationwide that will teach the new curriculum starting this fall:

  • Alabama Community College System
  • Columbus State Community College
  • Harrisburg Area Community College
  • Houston Community College
  • Mesa Community College
  • San Mateo Community College District

Check it out. And if you have kids, definitely check it out. The app economy is already huge, and the automation economy -- and the need for the ability to, if not program, at least understand the technology and issues underlying automation programming -- will grow exponentially in the years to come.

Plus, you might find out you enjoy it. Plenty of people already do: According to Apple, Swift Playgrounds has been downloaded more than one million times, and the add-on "Everyone Can Code" has been downloaded nearly half a million times.

Published on: Jun 27, 2017
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