Everything you need to know about Apple's programming language

It’s no secret that mobile apps are fundamentally changing the way we live. We use apps to shop, keep tabs on social media, save time on travel and curate our news and entertainment. Because mobile apps are such an integral part of day-to-day life, the demand for mobile programmers has skyrocketed.

There has never been a better time to join the booming market and learn how to code in Swift. As Apple’s official programming language, Swift was designed for user-friendly iOS app development.Get to know the most accessible coding language in the mobile industry and be sure to reserve your spot for courses that begin online every eight weeks.

How Swift Got Its Start

Despite its recent release in 2014, Swift has already become one of the most popular programming languages for iOS apps. This is largely due to the fact that Swift was created with coding education in mind. While Swift is powerful enough for professional developers, its intuitive design makes it an ideal first language for novice programmers.

Swift was created as part of an Apple initiative called “Everyone Can Code.” Their mission is simple (and pretty self-explanatory) — create systems in which anybody can learn to create applications for phones and computers. 

Apple introduced Swift in 2014 because it needed an alternative to Objective-C, its favorite programming language. Objective-C wasn’t created for mobile devices, so it has its limitations for mobile developers. Some programmers also have noted that Swift is superior to Python for potential machine learning and AI applications.

In 2015, Swift became an open-source language. That means programmers around the world can tweak the code, fix bugs and improve its performance. This global team of developers ensures the software will be adopted pretty much everywhere. Right now, Apple is the biggest company on the planet but if something went wrong and Apple went away, Swift programmers could carry on its strong and promising future.

Generally speaking, Swift does what all programming languages do — it requires syntax that uses logic to deliver instructions to a computing device. They all use strings of “if-then” commands to make software do its job. If you’ve never coded before, you need to learn how computer logic works, and how programming language syntax enables the logic. It’s just optimized to make it easier to learn while delivering better performance on mobile devices. With this approach, everyone can code. And we’re already seeing evidence of its success.

For example, this summer Columbia College Chicago Online partnered with Genesys Works (a career development program for high school students) to teach 25 rising seniors how to code in Swift. Students were opened up to a world of career opportunities and a new level of confidence that comes through demystifying the coding process.

And it isn’t just students who are benefitting — the earning potential for working professionals and seasoned coders is limitless with Swift.

the rise In Demand

In the summer of 2018, Apple’s market capitalization passed the $1 trillion mark — a first in the history of business. Apple has become the industry standard, setting the bar for innovative mobile hardware, software and development.  

The combination of Apple’s market dominance and the relentless demand for mobile technologies naturally makes Swift a valuable programming language. If you don’t know Swift coding, you’re missing an opportunity to tap into the strength of Apple’s business and the people around the world who love their products.

Of course, there are plenty of competing technologies that don’t use Apple software, and there are all kinds of programming languages. But keep in mind that Swift developers cherry-picked the best features from other languages to make a simpler, more elegant coding language.  

Think of it this way: Imagine you want to update your classic car with power steering. You’ll need to replace the steering wheel as well as the hydraulic steering system, even if you feel that the car’s authenticity will be compromised. Now, imagine building a career in mobile app development in a 20+ year-old programming language like Objective-C. Doing so without knowing Swift will be a bit like trying to drive a car without power steering. It can be done, but why would you?

Join the swift community today with Columbia Online

While Swift is designed to make learning easy, taking online courses gets you there faster. Columbia Online currently offers two 8-week Swift courses — Foundations of Swift Coding and iOS and App Design with Swift Programming. Our Foundations course gives Swift beginners all the tools you need to write simple programs in Swift using Xcode. Then take what you’ve learned and explore the exciting world of app creating in our App Design class.

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