Chris Lattner spent a year and a half creating a new programming language — a new way of designing, building, and running computer software — and he didn’t mention it to anyone, not even his closest friends and colleagues. He started in the summer of 2010, working at night and on weekends, and by the end of the following year, he’d mapped out the basics of the new language. That’s when he revealed his secret to the top executives at his company, and they were impressed enough to put a few other seasoned engineers on the project. Then, after another eighteen months, it became a “major focus” for the company, with a huge team of developers working alongside Lattner, and that meant the new language would soon change the world of computing. Lattner, you see, works for Apple.
OK so I started investing some time and money into it. I began by watching some really great WWDC Videos by Apple. Those videos were really helpful in getting me started quickly. I watched following videos to get upto speed quickly:
- Introduction to Swift
- What’s New in Cocoa Touch
- What’s New in Xcode 6
- Storyboards and Controllers on OS X
These videos should be sufficient to get started, if you have done even a little bit of iOS programming sometime in your life. Rest of the videos you can consume, as and when time permits or need arises. Next I headed to Apple’s official book on Swift. Do checkout the ‘About Swift’ section to better understand the philosophy behind this new language. Some pearls of wisdom from there are:
- Swift is not compatible with C unlike Objective C. It frees itself from constraints of C by doing this.
- Swift is friendly to new programmers.
- It supports playgrounds, which is really a much improved REPL
Next is the very useful ‘Swift Tour’ section in the book which introduces you to the basics in a 30 mins read. If you have done all these things, you should be ready to do some programming in Swift. Fire-up the X-Code 6 and create a Playground project and start playing. If you don’t have a Mac or Xcode installed yet, don’t worry, you can write Swift code in Browser without installing anything at all, thanks to Skip Wilson
OK so I did all that and was feeling pretty happy with my progress so far and was all pumped up to really dive-into this new language and become an expert, but I didn’t know what to do next so really kind of got stuck for a few days, trying to figure out what should be my next step in learning Swift. Watching WWDC Videos one after the other or just reading a book didn’t really look interesting to me. I needed something to do, that’s the best way to learn I think. What did I do? Please wait for my next post to find out.