Apple released their own programming language ‘Swift’ over a year ago and since then I know only one person who has actually used it to develop a production app out of all the iOS developers I know.
Why is this?
Is it because it’s not ‘mature’ yet?
Is it that radically different from Objective-C that developers have had a hard time transitioning?
The answer is actually as always the simplest, existing apps are already written in Objective-C and iOS developers have had years of experience in that and know what’s happening.
So why did I transition?
I have to say that like all the other iOS developers I felt like Swift was something I would eventually get into when I needed it, my one friend who has used it kept on pestering me about how great it was and I just couldn’t hear it, it sounded like a bit of a waste of time based on all the work around already written in Objective-C.
My push came when I started a new contract and the company wanted Swift to be used, and ever since I am asking myself the question ‘Why did it take me so long to start programming in it?’ It’s faster, easier, more streamlined, all the things that you would expect in a ‘modern’ language.
One of the things I noticed as soon as I started in it is the lack of support on sites like Stack Overflow and the knowledge within the language base. It felt like when I started Objective-C on iOS way back on version 2.1, however this time around I had a friend already using it.
Currently he is still the only other person I know who is using Swift and has helped me greatly in all the niggly parts of the language that you would otherwise need to read Apple’s Swift documentation from front to back on.
I have decided that I am going to start writing example projects in Swift and have posts on here detailing how it would be used and what the niggly parts are so you don’t have to read the documentation from front to back.
So my transition to Swift has been very smooth, and I now wonder why all the other developers haven’t done it as it is really that much better.