4 benefits of Swift for technology startups

By Patrick Fan, on


In my speaking session Introduction to Kitura at the Swift Hong Kong Meetup, I shared the benefits of Swift in cloud development. This prompted some interest around potential cloud development with Swift in the local developer community. There were also a number of friends — ranging from a startup CTO to an enterprise technical director — seeking my view around whether their teams should adopt Swift as their primary language in the future.

My answer was this: Swift is still evolving. Swift 3.0 is expected to be released by the end of this year. At the moment, it may be too early to tell whether a company should fully adopt Swift. However, there are a few trending benefits of Swift that make sense for companies looking for more modern application development capabilities.

Open source and evolving fast

Swift is no longer tied down to OSX or iOS thanks to its open-source status. There are many interesting usages and frameworks that can be built from that and we can even write web servers and websites with Swift and get it running on a little Raspberry Pi. Swift is also available on Linux and work is being done to bring Swift to Windows. With the support of the open-source community, Swift shows great potential.

Server-side ready

With the support of the community and IBM, Swift is now server-side ready. Kitura and OpenWhisk are two projects backed by IBM that aim to port Swift to the server-side for enterprise users. Kitura is a Swift-based web application framework, while OpenWhisk is a cloud-first, event-based programming service that supports Swift. Swift developers can write iOS mobile applications and server-side applications to enable full-stack development.

Easy-to-use package manager

One of the reasons why Node.js is easy to use is its incredibly practical node package manager (npm). Developers can push their packages to npm to collaborate with others, focus on their logic and leverage different packages to quickly assemble applications and reduce time to market. Swift package managers share similar visions to improve development experiences. There are also different repositories of Swift package managers such as IBM Swift Package Catalog, which aim to provide high-quality dependency management.

Developers love it

There are many factors that make a technology company successful, but one of the most important are the developers. Developers focus on and embrace modern technologies to make the development environment fun and engaging in order to retain top talent. According to a 2015 study in Stack Overflow, Swift is one of the most-loved language, receiving votes from 77.6 percent of developers. This will help companies using Swift retain the best developers and attract talented new ones who are entering the field.

Swift 3.0 is currently under beta, and though we can’t see the future, these trends surrounding the benefits of Swift are promising. For more information, find out more about Swift and stay tuned for its new release.

About The Author

Patrick Fan

CEO / Founder of beNovelty

Patrick is currently co-founding a technology startup in Hong Kong in 2015. Patrick was a Certified IT and UX professional by IBM and HFI with exceptionally strong proven track records in banking, transportation and public sector projects - received over 10 recognition awards including "IBM Outstanding Contributor Award"​ within 8 years. With his outstanding insight in mobile enterprise, he was entitled as "IBM Redbooks Mobile Enterprise Thought Leader" in 2014.

Articles by Patrick Fan
See All Posts