Take flight by developing with Swift

By Neil Patterson, on


Swift began as a development language for Apple devices, but in two short years, it has grown to become much more. Swift has quickly gained momentum since its open-source release in December 2015 — RedMonk ranks it as the 17th most popular language, a Stack Overflow survey names it the second most loved language and GitHub ranks it as the most popular programming language in active development. There’s so much excitement over developing with Swift, and the language isn’t even supported on the server yet.

With the upcoming release of Swift 3.0 — which includes support of Swift on Linux — the language will begin a new chapter as it becomes a language for full-stack development on both the client- and server-side.

The following are some attributes that make developing with Swift so popular:

  • Modern programming language constructs
  • Error detection at compile time, not runtime
  • Performance
  • Code re-engineering
  • Scripting like ease of coding

Start developing with Swift

If you’re ready to start developing with Swift, keep in mind that this language is evolving. Swift 3.0 brings big changes from Swift 2.2, and with those changes come stability and Linux support. There is an entire community of Swift developers contributing to the language, so you will never be alone when it comes to solving a particularly difficult problem.

Swift is an easy programming language to learn even if you have limited experience with other languages. There are multiple tools for exploring Swift: For iOS development, you can use xCode, and for server-side development, try the IBM Swift Sandbox.

Resources to help you learn

In addition to Apple’s official Swift documentation and sandbox environments, there are a number of games, resources and events that will help get you developing with Swift.

  • Online courses
    If you thrive on the visual instruction of video lessons, education platforms such as Treehouse and Lynda, among others, could be excellent options. These give you practice projects to apply your new skills and complete at your own pace.
  • Online and in-person communities
    Developer communities such as Stack Overflow, GitHub and Gitter help users find documentation and resources and solve problems. You can refer to other developers’ repositories and advice to keep you moving forward.
  • Swift Playgrounds
    The most fun way to learn to code is by playing games, of course! Swift Playgrounds is a new iPad app that makes learning to code in Swift interactive and exciting. No prior coding experience is required to play, so it’s great for beginners and even kids.
  • Swift@IBM
    Check out Swift@IBM if you’d like to quickly become productive using Swift on the server and from client to cloud. It features resources, tutorials, demos, videos and much more.
  • Swift conferences
    There are plenty of events for iOS developers interested in learning Swift. Check out your local Swift group on Meetup, as more pop up all the time. There are also larger conferences like Swift Summit and iOS Con among many others.

Start learning Swift now as it continues to grow and gain popularity. Continue coding, playing games, attending events, reading articles, asking other developers and referencing online communities, and you’ll quickly gain the skills you need to start developing with Swift.

About The Author

Neil Patterson

Technical evangelist for IBM MobileFirst Platform capabilities

Neil is a technical evangelist for IBM MobileFirst Platform capabilities.

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