Computer Programming Languages: Swift

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Are you looking to learn a new programming language? Look no further than Swift, the powerful and intuitive language used to build some of the world's most popular apps.

Apple developed Swift in 2014. It has quickly become a go-to language for developers looking to build fast, efficient, and reliable software for iOS, macOS, and other Apple platforms.

As of 2021, Swift was the 8th most-loved language, according to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey.

Whether you are a seasoned developer or just starting, learning Swift can help you build the skills you need to create the next big thing in the tech world.

Our guide is the perfect starting point for mastering this dynamic language. We cover everything from Swift's features and benefits to its use cases and learning resources.

So why wait? Dive into our guide today and discover the power of Swift for yourself.

What Is Swift?

Swift is a general-purpose, compiled programming language. It is fast, safe, and easy to use, with a modern syntax accessible to beginners and experienced programmers.

Developers use Swift primarily to create software for Apple platforms, including iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

Apple first introduced Swift at its Worldwide Developers Conference in 2014. It addressed some of the limitations of the existing programming language used by Apple, Objective-C.

Swift is more efficient, secure, and easier to use than Objective-C. Many applications utilize Swift, including mobile apps, desktop applications, server-side software, and machine learning.

Three specific applications of Swift include:

iOS app development

Swift computer programming languages are primary to developing iOS applications. The language's speed and safety features make it ideal for building secure and reliable apps.

Server-side development

Swift helps with server-side development, thanks to the introduction of SwiftNIO (Swift Non-blocking I/O), an asynchronous event-driven networking framework. SwiftNIO lets programmers build high-performance, scalable servers that can handle significant traffic.

Machine learning

Swift for TensorFlow is a project that combines Swift's ease of use and performance with TensorFlow's powerful machine learning capabilities. This allows developers to build and train machine learning models using Swift.

Why Use Swift?

There are several compelling reasons to learn the Swift programming language:

  • First, it is the primary language for developing iOS apps, making it essential for anyone interested in mobile app development.
  • Second, Swift has a modern syntax and powerful features, making it easy to learn and efficient to use.
  • Third, Swift is fast and secure, making it ideal for building reliable and high-performance applications.
  • Finally, as it gains popularity, learning Swift can help people potentially secure lucrative job opportunities in the tech industry.

Pros and Cons of Swift

Pros Cons

Fast and efficient language optimized for performance.

Limited use outside of the Apple ecosystem.

Built-in safety features that help prevent common programming errors.

Relatively new language that is still evolving and changing.

Clean, modern syntax that is easy to learn and understand.

Does not support older iOS devices.

Companies That Use Swift

Many companies and organizations are using Swift to develop apps and software for Apple platforms. The companies below rely on Swift for building reliable, high-performance apps and software.

  • IBM
  • LinkedIn
  • Uber
  • Airbnb
  • Lyft

Swift vs. Objective-C and Java

Apple created Swift to replace the Objective-C programming language and other popular languages like Java and Python.

Comparisons between these languages often focus on ease of use, performance, and popularity, among other factors.

Although these comparisons can be useful for understanding the relative strengths and weaknesses of different languages, note that each language has unique features and use cases.

The best language for a given project depends on various factors, including the project's specific needs and the development team's expertise.

Swift Objective-C Java


Simple and concise syntax that uses type inference.

Verbose syntax that is less natural. Must declare the variable type explicitly.

Similar to other C-style languages like C++ and C#.

Memory Management

Automatically handled through Automatic Reference Counting.

Developer is responsible for managing the allocation and deallocation of memory for objects (i.e., manual memory management).

Automatically handled by the Java Virtual Machine through a technique called garbage collection.

Error Handling

Uses the "try-catch" mechanism to handle errors.

The NSError class often represents errors.

Exceptions signify errors.

Use Cases

Ideal for developing apps for Apple platforms.

Suitable for developing native apps on Apple platforms or cross-platform applications.

Commonly used for server-side development.

Ease of Use

Relatively easy to learn and use; interoperable with Objective-C.

Steeper learning curve compared to more modern languages.

Platform-independent code that can run on any other platform without modification.

Where Can You Learn Swift?

There are many resources for learning Swift, including online courses, books, tutorials, and video lectures.

Some popular online learning platforms for Swift include Udemy, Coursera, and edX, which offer courses for beginners and advanced users.

Apple also provides free resources for learning Swift, including the Swift Playgrounds app and the Swift documentation.

Several computer science and software engineering programs teach Swift at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Students pursuing a degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field may encounter Swift as part of their coursework.

For those who want to learn quickly and get hands-on experience with computer programs, a coding bootcamp could be a good choice. Many coding bootcamps offer intensive training in programming languages and web development.

Online courses and tutorials can also be a great way to learn Swift at your own pace.

Free online courses can be a good starting point for learning Swift, but they may not be enough to provide a comprehensive understanding of the language.

Supplementing free courses with books, online forums, and hands-on projects can help solidify understanding and develop practical skills.

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Additional Swift Resources

Apple's Swift resources: Apple provides lots of resources for learning Swift, including documentation, tutorials, and sample code. The Swift Programming Language book is also free on the iBooks Store, providing a comprehensive introduction to the language. The official Swift website provides news, updates, and resources for the Swift community. The site includes a blog, documentation, and a forum where developers can ask questions and share their experiences.

Swift Playgrounds: Swift Playgrounds is an iPad app that teaches Swift programming concepts through interactive puzzles and challenges. Aimed at beginners, it can be a great way to start with the language.

Ray Wenderlich: Ray Wenderlich's website provides several tutorials and resources for iOS and macOS development, including many, focused on Swift. The site also has a forum where developers can ask questions and share their experiences.

Swift by Sundell: Swift by Sundell is a weekly podcast covering various topics related to Swift and iOS development. The show features interviews with developers, deep dives into specific topics, and news and updates from the Swift community.

Books About Learning Swift

Swift Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (2nd Edition): "Swift Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (2nd Edition)" by Matthew Mathias and John Gallagher covers the basics of Swift programming, including syntax, data types, control flow, and functions.


Swift in Depth: "Swift in Depth" by Tjeerd in 't Veen is tailored for intermediately skilled Swift users. It covers more advanced topics, including memory management, concurrency, and functional programming concepts.


Advanced Swift: "Advanced Swift" by Chris Eidhof, Ole Begemann, and Airspeed Velocity is for experienced Swift developers and covers advanced topics like type theory, generics, and protocol-oriented programming.


FAQ About The Computer Programs Swift

  • What is the history of Swift?

    Apple introduced Swift in 2014 as a modern programming language to replace Objective-C for iOS and macOS development. The aim was to create a fast, safe, and easy-to-use programming language, and it has since become a popular language for building iOS and macOS applications.

  • Is Swift the best computer program to learn first?

    Whether Swift is the best computer program to learn first depends on an individual's goals and interests. However, Swift is a popular language for building iOS and macOS applications, and its modern syntax and ease of use make it a good choice for beginners interested in these platforms.

  • Is it worth it to learn Swift?

    Learning Swift can be worth it for those interested in developing iOS or macOS applications. Swift is a modern and easy-to-learn language that is fast and safe, making it a popular choice for building software on Apple's platforms.

  • Do computer science programs teach Swift?

    Computer science programs may teach Swift as part of their curriculum, particularly those focusing on iOS or macOS development. However, this varies by program, and computer science programs do not universally teach Swift.

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