Swift first appeared on the scene in 2014, but it’d been in development behind the scenes for years before then, thanks to some hush-hush development by Apple. When it finally emerged, it was hailed as a user-friendly language that enables the development of fast, effective solutions.
There are several other languages to choose from, so you may be wondering if you should invest the time in learning Swift or not. Keep reading to learn how it’s used, the kinds of developers that should learn it, and how our courses can help you get started learning this up-and-coming language.
What is Swift?
As a programming language that was developed by Apple as an alternative to Objective-C, Swift is used for a wide variety of applications. But, it’s most commonly used by developers to build apps for Mac OSX, iPhone, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.
Since every Apple operating system after OSX 10.9 and iOS7 is compatible with Swift, it’s a great language to learn if you’re interested in iOS and MacOS development.
With some of the best aspects of Objective C, Swift is also a convenient language for developers working outside iOS and MacOS development, like Game Developers who rely on it to produce fast and readable code.
Also, as of September 2020, there’s official support available for the full Swift ecosystem on the Windows platform, opening up an even wider range of developers who may want to tap into this powerful, general-purpose language.
Why learn Swift?
One of the most appealing features of Swift is its efficiency, which ultimately saves programmers time during the dev life cycle. The Apple developers who created Swift actively sought to make it a more convenient programming alternative, and based on its popularity, their hard work paid off.
As Swift has grown in popularity, it’s become a go-to for many organizations. Learning Swift can make you an appealing candidate for open roles and ease the learning curve for you to address concerns and improve application performance immediately after starting a new job.
Here are some other reasons to learn Swift, some of which may appeal to new programmers and others to developers who are already fluent in other languages.
Great memory management
Swift’s ability to help you manage memory more efficiently is a big plus for many developers because memory plays a significant role in developing and operating applications.
Its automatic reference counting feature allows you to track and manage an application’s memory usage. If a function of an app uses too much memory, it can cause the app to slow down, and other apps running simultaneously can also suffer performance issues. In some cases, if too much memory is being used it can cause the app to shut down or force a reboot.
Because Swift makes it easier to manage memory through automated management features, you have a few convenient options. You can check how much memory is allocated to specific functions of your app and make decisions with a higher degree of certainty. You can also rely on Swift’s own automatic memory safety and management functions.
This memory management feature could make a big difference for end-users, particularly those that run several apps at the same time.
Compatibility with Apple devices
As we mentioned, Swift was designed by Apple engineers partly to create a language that would play well with Apple devices. Apple reported $274 billion in revenue in 2020, and half of that came from the sales of iPhones.
Apple’s iPhones have become ubiquitous in the mobile device universe, so knowing Swift will make it easier to make apps for businesses without having to worry about compatibility.
Swift offers convenient error handling features
Errors are a natural part of the development process, and Swift’s creators understand this reality. Swift’s error handling system is designed to make it easier to recover in the event of an unexpected error.
This feature can save you time, effort, and human resources. As a result, the cost of development, whether you’re on a large DevOps team or doing freelance work, goes down, increasing relative profits.
Who should learn Swift?
Swift is useful for the majority of programmers, but the following types of developers may see the most benefit.
Anyone who wants to code for the following Apple operating systems should learn Swift:
While it’s possible to design apps for these devices without Swift, having this language in your portfolio can make it easier to develop quality Apple solutions in a shorter period of time.
Those learning their first programming language
Apple is known for making its operating systems and devices as user-friendly as possible. This tradition was carried through to the design of the Swift language as well.
Swift streamlines the development process, and even though some may, at first, feel it’s a “young” language, it can still be used to create comprehensive, end-user-friendly solutions.
Those who need the support of a tight development community
Because Swift is relatively new and typically not among the top 10 most popular languages, its development community is a tight-knit group that’s known to be supportive of each other.
This can be a comfortable safety net for someone just getting their feet wet with Swift. The general advice and specific help you get may make it easier to get into the Swift swing of things.
How to learn Swift
Learning Swift is straightforward with our help. Our courses and Skill Paths simplify the process while giving you the knowledge and practice you need to become a Swift expert. Check out the following courses and skill paths to get started:
- Learn Swift
- Learn Intermediate Swift
- Build iOS Apps with SwiftUI
- Build an Intermediate iOS App with SwiftUI
As you take your courses, you’ll benefit from the knowledge of your teachers, as well as the experience and feedback from fellow learners in the community. Our Swift-related courses and skill paths can get you designing Apple-friendly apps quickly, giving you a highly marketable skill set. Get started today.