What is Swift Programming?
Swift is an easy-to-learn programming language, developed by Apple in 2014. It’s become one of the fastest growing languages in history, and is responsible for powering a significant chunk of iOS applications (you can also use Swift for Linux systems and Android).
Swift has a few advantages over other languages. It’s now the dominant iOS programming language, and it’s also open-source, with a clean and powerful syntax. This makes it perfect for beginners, or anyone looking to code on the Apple ecosystem.
When it comes to Swift vs Objective C – or Swift vs Rust – there are some obvious differences. Generally speaking, Swift is faster and safer than Objective C, with a much simpler syntax. Rust is more targeted towards browser-based coding, while Swift is better for mobile apps. In simple terms: Swift values simplicity, Rust values performance.
Swift vs Objective C?
Let’s dive into the differences between the two big Apple programming languages: Swift vs Objective C. Programmers sometimes prefer one language over the other, but Swift officially overtook Objective C as the most popular iOS language in 2018.
Here’s what makes Swift so popular.
- Swift is an open-source project with a much bigger, more active developer community.
- Swift is considered more beginner-friendly than Objective C. It’s faster, safer and easier to write.
- Swift has better memory management. It supports the ARC for all APIs.
- Swift supports dynamic libraries, too, while Objective C does not.
- Objective C’s syntax uses a lot of symbols, lines and parentheses. Swift behaves more like readable English.
- Swift is a bit easier to maintain, since it doesn’t use two separate files of code.
Apple still supports Objective C, and many iOS apps are still powered by the old code, but thanks to its open-source model, Swift is growing faster and evolving in more interesting ways. It’s unlikely that Objective C will entirely fade from the iOS ecosystem, however Swift is emerging as the preferred developer language.
Why learn Swift programming?
The beauty of Swift is that it’s both easy to learn and incredibly powerful. RMIT Online offers a variety of Swift for Beginners short courses, and you’ll be surprised by how quickly you can achieve basic fluency. Swift isn’t an intimidating or exclusive programming language.
Swift’s popularity should increase over time. It’s currently ranked 10th on the TIOBE Index, and has already leapfrogged Apple’s original language, Objective C – not bad for something that’s only been around since 2014. Swift has a friendly open-source community that answers questions and supports new programmers. You can even contribute yourself!
Here are some fields where your Swift skills might come in handy:
- Mobile app development
- Software engineering
- Library engineering
- Machine learning
- 3D systems development
- Audio engineering
- Database programming
5 Reasons To Learn Swift Programming
It’s the dominant iOS language
Although Apple only released Swift in 2014, the language didn’t take long to officially overtake Objective C. Today, Swift is the dominant iOS programming language. It’s ranked 10th on the international TIOBE Index and shows no sign of slowing down. If you want to work with iOS, you’ll need to learn Swift.
It’s in demand
iOS isn’t as big as it used to be, but it still makes up about 22 per cent of all mobile operating systems. As such, Swift Programmers are in high demand. Mobile Developers are among the 10 hardest to fill tech jobs, according to Indeed, and App Developer jobs are expected to grow 31 per cent by 2026.
It’s a Growth area
Wages aren’t everything, but they certainly help. The average iOS Developer salary in Australia is $118,893 per annum, and this can increase as you get more experience. Software Engineers also have excellent income potential, with experienced engineers earning around $110,000.
It’s easy to learn
As with everything Apple, Swift is clean, intuitive, user-friendly and easy to learn. Apple designed it with education and training in mind. You don’t need any prior coding experience, and the syntax is generally straightforward. Along with Python, Swift is one of the simplest coding languages in the world.
It’s open source
Why is open source code important? Because it allows for creativity, experimentation and community! Swift.org is a great place to learn more about Swift, chat to freelance developers, and get answers to difficult problems. You can even contribute yourself (once you get the Swift basics under your belt).
Why learn Swift? The career prospects for people trained in Swift are excellent. Swift careers have grown steadily since the code’s inception in 2014 (1,500,000 jobs have been creates around app design since the App Store launched in 2008). The average iOS Developer salary in Australia is $118,893 per annum, and this can increase with time and experience.
How to learn Swift for beginners
Like Python, Swift is simple, quick, and great for beginners. Students can often start building basic apps within a few months of study. It’s worth pointing out, you can also use Swift code on Linux, too (Apple provides pre-built Ubuntu libraries) and even Android.
Our learning content is purpose built for online study and our curriculum is divided into easy-to-follow units. Each unit combines interactive webinars, 1-on-1 tutorials, group work and practical coding tasks. The ultimate goal is to give you the skills you need for a career in Swift programming.
Here’s a taste of what you’ll need.
- Commitment. Our course content is divided into bite sized chunks, and designed to fit in around your schedule. We recommend studying a few hours every day to stay committed and on track.
- Notes. Your RMIT Online mentors will encourage you to take lots of notes. It’s a good way to flag any potential problems or questions.
- Collaboration. As part of your course, you’ll be working with other Swift developers, including industry experts. You’ll also have access to an online peer community.
- Knowledge. Like any language, Swift is always changing over time. We’ll help you stay up-to-date with current iterations and best-practice models.
- Resources. RMIT Online will provide cutting-edge online Swift resources. These tools and forums can be used during the course, or even after completion.
There’s plenty more to learning Swift, of course, but this should give you an idea of what’s involved. All RMIT Online programs are designed alongside industry experts, so you know you’re getting practical, job-ready experience.
Learn about Swift programming
Want to learn Swift? This is the best place to start. Read as much as you can. Ask questions. Contact one of our RMIT Online course counsellors. You can find all of our Swift-related news and coverage below.
To hear from some RMIT Online students who have studied App Development with Swift and are now working as developers, check out some of the student stories on the blog here:
Teacher learns Swift to help students build apps
Watch: What was it like studying App Development with RMIT Online?
Watch: John changed his career from Train Guard to App Developer with RMIT Online
Watch: How studying with RMIT Online landed Michael his dream Job
To read more about how RMIT Online is working with industry to help fill the skills shortage in programming and tech check out these news articles below:
RMIT delivers app dev skills for jobs of the future with Swift
RMIT Online expands regional footprint with SkillsFuture Singapore partnership
RMIT Online Swift courses
RMIT Online is a great way to learn the Swift foundations. We offer a range of Swift courses and iOS development courses, depending on your career goals and experience. You can learn Swift online, at your own pace, and get support from expert industry mentors.
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