If you are developing a mobile app or thinking about doing so, then you need to use Apple’s new language, Swift.
This is the take from Nate Murray, who is the co-founder of Fullstack.io, which is an online school for programming languages. As a sure sign of the power of Swift, he cloned “Flappy Bird” within a day!
While Apple’s Objective-C is a great language, it can be intimidating for new users. The fact is that the code functions can get unwieldy.
But there is another nagging issue: you cannot easily try new things. Instead, you have to create a new project, set parameters and implement complex code to launch even simple functions.
So with Swift, Apple solves the problems. “The code is much more concise and approachable,” said Nate. “Swift has lowered the bar for dverlopers.”
But Nate is actually most excited about something called Playgrounds. “With it, you can easily try out new code, without having to add the overhead,” said Nate. “Playgrounds is really a great teaching tool. This is even the case for experienced programmers.”
Playgrounds is certainly a big help for game developers. After all, it’s critically important to get a quick visual of how an algorithm works. “I wish I had Swift when I created some of my games,” said Nate.
Now all this does not imply that – suddenly – everyone will become hot-shot app developers. “Programming is still hard,” said Nate. “You need to understand the logic of what you want to build. This barrier will always be there.”
But Swift will definitely make the process easier – and quicker. The language should also allow for higher-quality apps as programmers can spend more time on the user experience.
In fact, there is no penalty to move to Swift. “Usually when there is an easier version of a language,” said Nate, “there is a performance hit. But this isn’t true with Swift. The compile time is very fast.”
Of course, Apple is pushing Swift. And, the language is interoperable with existing Objective-C code. So there is no need to rewrite everything.
As for Nate, he is already working on lessons for Swift. Actually, when I talked to him earlier today, he was working on the first video.
Tom Taulli (@ttaulli) is an advisor of tech companies and author of books on venture capital, M&A and IPOs.