7 reasons to start developing with Swift

By Charisse Lu

Developers have discovered many advantages of using Swift, a fast, modern programming language developed by Apple that was open-sourced last year. With the developer community growing rapidly and Swift 3 being released soon, the following are seven reasons why you should get started developing with Swift now:

1. You can become a full-stack iOS engineer with Swift

Once commonly associated with iOS programming, the Swift language has evolved to be much more. It is actually a general-purpose language that can be used for all types of applications. iOS developers can now work on server-side code and develop an application end-to-end using the same language and tools they are already comfortable with. Architects can design more efficient systems that share components and code.

2. Everyone can learn Swift

Swift is easy to read and learn. With the new iPad Swift Playgrounds app, everyone can learn to code by playing a fun and interactive game. Curious developers who use Xcode or don’t have a Mac can try some code right in their browser with the IBM Swift Sandbox. Both playgrounds are easy to use and deliver immediate results. You can also develop and host your Swift server-side application with IBM Bluemix.

3. Swift developers are in demand

Swift is one of the most in-demand languages in the developer job market. Because Apple tends to create big shifts in technology, it’s good sense to keep your development skills up-to-date and continue moving along with each new iOS release.

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4. Better performance runtime and smaller footprint

According to Apple, a common search algorithm completes much faster using Swift. Search algorithms complete up to 2.6 times faster than Objective-C and up to 8.4 times faster than Python 2.7. Apple noted 10,000 integers were found in a graph using a depth-first algorithm.

5. Take advantage of cool tools in Xcode 8

New features in Xcode 8 will make developing with Swift even better. The new memory debugger tool will visualize objects, helping to identify and prevent memory leaks and other runtime issues. You can use the migrator tool to update Swift to Version 3.

6. Develop across platforms

In addition to being the default choice for iOS mobile and server-side applications, Swift is also used for macOS, Apple TV and Apple Watch applications. Since Swift became open-source, developers have been looking at the language for Android, IoT devices and Serverless. It can even be used as a scripting language.

7. Open-source community support

If you have any questions, there is a great community of Swift developers and supporters. If you are interested in developing with Swift, you can follow the evolution of Swift and contribute by visiting Swift.org and Swift@IBM.

Written By

Charisse Lu

Senior Software Engineer at IBM

Charisse Lu is a senior software engineer and a member of the CIO Office at IBM in Somers, NY. She has worked on many social collaboration projects, such as expertise location, real-time brainstorming tools on the Web, and 3D virtual spaces for business. Charisse is currently an architect…