Teaching kids programming

I wrote this short article after showing my 11 years old boy howto develop a simple web app.

We using a mac but it works just as well with windows or some linux flavour (or any other OS).


Three applications needs to be installed and you need to register for a free Heroku account:

  • NodeJS and npm - http://nodejs.org/download/
  • Heroku account and toolbelt
  • Register for an account at https://id.heroku.com/signup
  • Download toolbelt - https://toolbelt.heroku.com/
  • git - download at http://git-scm.com/downloads

A text editor is also needed. we're using nano which is included in OSX, this way we only need a terminal window and the browser.

Open a terminal window and do this:

>heroku login

Enter the mail adress and login you registered with heroku.

Article 1

Create a folder to put the app in:

>mkdir web-appar
>cd web-appar
>mkdir hello
>cd hello

Create a git repository (just google git for an introduction) and create a new heroku app:

>git init
>heroku create

Create these three files.


>nano app.js
var express = require('express');
var PORT = process.env.PORT || 8080;
var app = express();
app.get('/', function (req, res){
  res.send('hello everyone i am Algolt and i am eleven years old.');
app.get('/bajs', function (req, res){
  res.send('Harry loves poop.');
console.log('running on http://localhost:' + PORT);


nano package.json
  "dependencies": {
   "express": "*"


>nano Procfile
web: node app.js

Try to run the app on the local computer:

>npm install
>node app.js

Open http://localhost:8080 in your favorite browser.

Then hit ctrl+c in the terminal to stop the web server.

Publish the app to heroku:

>git add .
>git commit -am "my first app"
>git push heroku master

This will open the heroku app in a browser:

>heroku open