Getting experience with Swift

The best way I’ve found to learn new programming languages is simply to start using them. So when I had an app idea I wanted to itch I decided to use Swift 2 and jump straight in.

Using the new Xcode 7 you don’t even need a developers license to install your own apps on your phone. Which is great for when you want to make a hobby app or are learning as the near $150 NZ fee was an expensive barrier to iOS development previously.

As a primer to get started I quickly skimmed over the iBooks swift programming guide and Meng To’s great book Design + Code which has great targeted videos and a guide to complete walkthrough of making an app (in Swift).

While I’ve only been using Swift a very short time I’m already loving these things about Swift:

  • Constants are first class citizens – I’m using “let” all the time rarely using “var”.
  • The emphasis on immutable data – not changing values can make some great simple code.
  • Syntax is more like C# and JavaScript – I’m not going to sugar coat it, but Objective C’s syntax is horrible and it never stuck with me. To use a syntax similar to C# and JavaScript is helping me be more productive with Swift sooner.
  • Not having to have header files is a great change, compared to Objective C.

All in all I’m really enjoying the language and finding it easy enough to get started and already feel proficient enough to build something bigger.