SmartThings ordered

So I’ve just ordered a SmartThings hub and a few accessories. My question is how hard is it to automate using SmartThings? I’m looking at making modes for sleep, arrival, exit basically along with some other basic automations. The videos and guides don’t do a good job explains how it works. Is it basically apps in apps or is there native functions or do I have to code apps?

There are many apps supplied with the mobile app. Then there’s a light wizard to do basic light automation, and community apps that can be installed via the IDE to do custom things the out of the box software can’t. If you’re not doing anything too complex, the setup is relatively easy and can be done with the smart apps supplied within the mobile app.

It should already have the modes “night”, “home” and “away”. Use the routines to set the modes or tweak it like

Goodbye! - Away (SHM set to Arm-away)
I am back! - Home (SHM set to disarm)
Goodnight! - Night (SHM set to Arm-stay)
Good morning! - Home (SHM ser to disarm)

Based on your needs you add additional modes. Shown above is a very basic scenario.