It’s time to get proficient at Swift
Apple’s open source language has hit the headlines more than once this year — it had its ups and downs but a lot of people seem to believe that it’s here to stay, which is why you should give it a go if you haven’t yet.
Over the past few years, Swift programming has become one of the leading programming languages and an important successor of Objective C in IOS application development.
The technology has been widely adopted by programmers in various areas of the marketplace but do you know why?
Swift consolidates code requirements
For processes such as string manipulation and repetitive statements, Swift works to minimize the required code. Objective-C can be highly verbose and require multiple steps to combine two or more programming elements in a code. The technology allows users to combine strings with the “+” symbol, reducing a complex code.
This means developers can easily insert variables inline into a code string. Whereas using a non-compatible strong token in Objective C can cause the entire application to crash without means of changing the inline text until the process is completed.
From static libraries to dynamic libraries, Swift-based applications can be linked to the newer versions of Swift that are released at regular intervals. In case of any change in the library, things can be included in a new update through the app store. All it requires is for the applications to be smaller as external codes are only linked when they are used for an update.
Playgrounds can be considered an ideal tool for an IOS developer to build an application right from scratch. It is a space in which a developer creates 5-20 lines of code without having to create an entire application to see if the product works. The Swift technology ensures that any bugs can be worked out of the application before the wide release of the product and allows the developer to determine the best way to create a product for a specific kind of users, ensuring greater levels of precision within the development process.
Why learn Swift?
Since its first announcement at WWDC 2014, Swift has seen a myriad of improvements. Here, I’ll mention a few reasons why it is the right time to start learning the technology.
- Open source — One of the main reasons for worldwide adoption of the technology is its open source feature. Apple’s decision to make Swift open source contributed in ranking the technology among the top 10 programming languages across the globe.
- Easy to learn — The Company has created the language in such a manner that it is easy in terms of learning as well as syntactically simple to match with Python. This means you can actually begin building your app at a faster rate than you would be able to with any other development platform; it may take only 3 or 4 months.
- Fast — I have come across many people who claim that code created using Swift is as fast as compiled C code. Wearisome tasks such as entering semi-colons in line breaks in order to create a more responsive development environment can be easily dispensed with the help of the language. Apple claims search algorithms are completed up to 2.6 times faster than Objective-C and up to 8.4 times faster than Python 2.7.
“Swift is a fast and efficient language that provides real-time feedback and can be seamlessly incorporated into existing Objective-C code,”
- Approachable– Code languages do not come naturally. And maybe that is the reason why most of the IOS app development companies put emphasis on hiring professionals who have already learned the language. In fact, Apple has made available a huge range of learning resources, including the Swift Playgrounds app, which helps you learn faster the concepts behind the language.
- Safe– Nowadays, technology is quite focused on security and Swift is no exception. It is often said that one should not come across any unsafe code while working with a language and should use modern programming conventions in order to keep watertight security in the apps.
- Familiar– Apple has worked hard to make sure that learning Swift becomes easy. Hence, when the languages dispense with some of the frustration of other languages it also continues to use the elements that work.
- The future of development– No matter how facetious it may sound Apple is indeed the world’s biggest company. Therefore, it makes sense to use the development platforms it prefers. Based on the company’s success, it is logical to support Apple’s platforms especially IOS but let us not ignore macOS, tvOS, watchOS and carOS.
- Enterprise-ready– The fact that Swift is an open source makes it possible to use it on Linux and Android. Yes, Apple provides pre-built Ubuntu binaries which is great for developers creating client/server solutions.
- Apple’s commitment to Swift– To this day the language has reached version 4. What is also interesting to note is that Swift v.5 development has already begun. This is a very important point to understand since the company is offering a clear roadmap for regular improvements to the software and developers are reassured that the language is here to stay.