Apple to host free workshops to take the mystery out of coding

Tech giant will hold Hour of Code events next week at its stores -- from New York to London to Tokyo -- to spark kids' interest in computer programming.

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More than 65,000 Hour of Code events around the world are scheduled for next week. Screenshot by CNET

For all the hours you spend obsessively playing the latest mobile game, think about all the hours a developer spent creating it. Wonder what it takes, but don't have a clue about coding?

Not to worry. Anyone can learn computer programming basics. That's the goal behind Hour of Code.

Apple is offering free coding workshops at its retail stores around the world next week as part of the second annual Hour of Code. The campaign is spearheaded by nonprofit Code.org, whose mission is to make computer science accessible to kids everywhere.

The hour-long workshops -- think of them as a sort of Intro to Computer Science class -- will be held December 11 at all 446 of Apple's retail locations. Though the target audience is kids, people of all ages can sign up for a slot on Apple's website. Reservations are required. As part of Computer Science Education Week, some stores -- from New York to London to Tokyo -- will also host events December 8 to 12 with developers and engineers sharing how they got their start.

More than 65,000 Hour of Code events worldwide are scheduled for next week at schools, public libraries and coding clubs. Other companies hosting events include Disney Interactive, Microsoft and Best Buy. Google, Target, Salesforce.com and about three dozen other companies are also encouraging staff to participate in Hour of Code employee programs.

"The Hour of Code, we hope, will continue to spark a creative fire that students might otherwise never discover," Hadi Partovi, co-founder of Code.org, said in a statement Thursday.

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