state of swift

March 2017: The Current State Of Swift

In February 2016, I published a post that discussed the state of Swift at that date. Time to look what has changed since then.

Let’s start by talking about Swift:

Swift

It’s very impressive how quickly Swift has grown: Since its announcement in 2014, it has become the number one programming language for iOS development. And this hold true especially for these areas:

  1. WWDC sessions: Apple is heavily pushing Swift. Nowadays, almost only Swift is used in WWDC sessions.
  2. iOS development blogs: Almost all of the important iOS development blogs are using just Swift. This holds true for this blog as well.
  3. Books: New books about iOS programming are also almost always written in Swift.
  4. YouTube: All the best iOS programming YouTube channels are using Swift.

So as you can see, especially in the area of teaching iOS development, Swift has become the standard. It’s has become impossible to stay up-to-date on iOS development without looking at Swift code.

Objective-C

Nevertheless, there isn’t just Swift. Instead, many iOS developers are still using Objective-C. Recently, I made a pool about that topic on Twitter:

More than every second iOS developers has been using Objective-C within the last six months – despite the fact, that Swift has become very popular in the community. What’s the reason for that? One reason is for sure that there are developers how just don’t like Swift and prefer Objective-C. And that’s totally fine because people do have different preferences.

But because of the fact that Swift has become the dominant language in teaching Swift, I think every serious iOS developer have to deal with Swift.

Besides personal preferences, there’s an even more valid reason to still use Objective-C: Maintainance of long term projects. If a project has been coded with Objective-C, it doesn’t make sense to migrate the whole project to Swift – why should it?

However, for new features Swift could and should be used. Swift and Objective-C work perfectly fine side-by-side in one project. And by doing so, a long term project can be migrated to Swift over time without having more effort.

Conclusion

It hasn’t changed a lot in the last 12 months: Swift is still on the rise and is definitely the future of iOS development. And in many areas it’s already state of the art. But on the other hand, Objective-C is still used and is an important skill for iOS developers.

Resources

Title image: @ enterlinedesign / shutterstock.com

Book Tip

Big Nerd Range Guide: iOS Programming: Excellent introduction to iOS development. Some programming experience is recommended.

Amazon