Swift Knowledge Quickly Becoming One of the Most In-Demand Skills for Freelance Developers

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Popular freelancing website Upwork today released its quarterly study ranking the fastest-growing skills employers are looking for, and Apple's Swift programming language scored the number two spot, meaning it's one of the most sought after skills for freelance developers.

    Swift, along with the other top 10 skills that made the list in the fourth quarter of 2016, experienced more than 200 percent year-over-year growth. Other skills that have become more essential on Upwork alongside Swift include natural language processing, Tableau, Amazon Marketplace Web Services, and Stripe.

    Introduced in 2014, Swift is Apple's programming language, developed in part by Chris Lattner who made headlines recently when he left Apple for Tesla. Designed to be concise yet expressive, Swift replaces Objective-C and is being increasingly adopted by developers.


    Swift is meant to be simple to learn, something Apple highlights with Swift Playgrounds, an app that teaches children to code using the Swift language. Apple has been updating and refining Swift since its 2014 debut, and is set to unveil Swift 3.1 in the spring of 2017.

    Upwork's Skills Index measures year-over-year growth rates based on freelancer billings through the Upwork site.

    Article Link: Swift Knowledge Quickly Becoming One of the Most In-Demand Skills for Freelance Developers
  2. Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

    Feb 12, 2006
  3. nrose101 macrumors regular


    Sep 9, 2011
    Delray Beach, FL
    Any good books for beginners on swift that have a background in C++ and C#?
  4. R740 macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2015
    There are much more and much easier ways to learn Android programming than Swift. Sadly.
  5. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    Wait, I don't believe Swift works for Android. Did I miss a joke?
  6. eyeseeyou macrumors 68030

    Feb 4, 2011
    Time to finally take that intro class I paid for on udemy months ago lol
  7. ^VE1N macrumors newbie


    Apr 18, 2013
  8. Gorms macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2012
    To be honest, I'd just pull up a few tutorials from raywenderlich.com and dive in. Swift is a pretty nice language but the entire point of it is objective C without the C. Personally I hate Objective C, it's convoluted and difficult to read but I think it's because I come from a web background. Syntax-wise, Swift feels much closer to ActionScript3 or jQueried JavaScript. If you have any experience with those should should be fine

    Java is gross too.
  9. strayts macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2011
    They're saying that there are more resources out there to learn Android programming.
  10. Vorkeyjones macrumors member


    Aug 20, 2016
    Objective-C is so much easier to read.
  11. Avieshek Suspended


    Dec 7, 2013
    If google engineers had the guts to adopt Swift.
  12. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Swift's problem is it seems like it was created by someone who was incapable of the word no. Thus it's a language full of many ideas, great and terrible alike.

    In the end, it comes out as a mediocre language.
  13. shansoft macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2011
    It's a ****** language with so many bugs underneath the compiler level. Garbage collections are completely broken in certain scenario that has been reported years ago, which still havent fixed yet. Not to mention the terrible performance with Swift compare to Objective C. There is a reason why even Apple themselves are not bothering adapting to it internally.

    The syntax itself is even more bizarre and crazy to read. The entire idea of unwrap and wrap is like the a beginner's protection against null pointer. They tried so hard to reinvent a language with all other language combine, it just not working out. Essentially a DoA project.

    Whoever think this language is on demand, you must be on some special kind of kool-aid. Most company's CTO or engineering director have no clue or any idea on what to use, they just follow the news and hype train to decide.
  14. edenwaith macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2001
    Check the Apple iBookstore for the official documentation about Swift.

    If you come from a more C-centric background, the syntax is more familiar than trying to learn Objective-C, which is somewhat odd with its extraneous use of square brackets.

    One of my co-workers, an Android programmer, said he likes Swift and found it easier to learn than Objective-C.
  15. lincolntran macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2010

    I genuinely like to see examples of this please.

    The latest version of Swift has been very nice to me.
  16. khaan macrumors newbie


    Sep 22, 2015
    This is some quality ********. First of all Swift does not have a garbage collector, it uses ARC(automatic reference counting). If you don't understand what a retain cycle is, you will have memory leaks.

    Optional, what you call wrap/unwrapping is not an idea that Swift came up with, a lot of functional languages like Haskell, Scala have it. It's not a beginner's protection, it's a way to guarantee that you never touch dangling pointers, the best part is the compiler does the heavy lifting and checks it for you. Once you grok the idea that you can map over optionals, they can even save you time and lines of code.

    I agree that it has somewhat of a learning curve compared to objective-c, but it's nowhere near rust. And who told you that it has worse performance than objective-c?

    I seriously believe that Swift will become the go-to language in a couple of years, both in the server-side space and in the mobile space.
  17. DMH0630 macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2016
    Garbage collection? Swift and Objective-C both use reference counting.

    Performance in apps is no longer greatly different between Swift and Objective-C since probably Swift 2.2.

    The entire syntax is incredibly similar to Objective-C, especially semantically.

    You do realize that Apple has nearly 20 years of code written in Objective-C right? No company would rewrite their entire codebase just because they have a new language, they'll phase it out with probably new development being done in Swift.

    Seeing as null pointers and null pointer exceptions are one of the biggest causes for bugs I think safety is good, also Java has also adopted it the Optional type in Java 8.

    Apparently someone is paying for people that do know Swift so regardless of it being hype or anything else the money is flowing and also its the language supported by Apple for all of its platforms so I doubt it'll die although it might become a niche used only for Apples platforms (thats the case of Objective-C anyway) and IBM is also spending money on Swift for the server.

    So either IBM, Apple and everyone else spending money on it are stupid and you're incredibly smart or the other way around, the future will tell which is which.
  18. shansoft macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2011
    ARC is a form of garbage collection, just because it wrap the invisible autoreleasepool doesn't mean its really automatic.

    Optional is nothing but a beginner protection. It doesn't save code, it add extra codes to save awful engineers from making corporate / enterprise software into oblivion.
  19. khaan macrumors newbie


    Sep 22, 2015
    ARC is not garbage collection.

    ARC is compiler being smart and adding the retain/release calls to correct places automatically during compile time. The downside is every retain/release has some overhead.

    A garbage collector sweeps the object graph in regular intervals during program execution, detects objects to release, and cycles. The downside is for large object graphs, this is a quite expensive operation and sometimes results in the application being frozen while the collector is running.

    Optionals are an abstraction that makes life easier. You may see it as a beginner feature for awful engineers. But to be honest you sound like a beginner too.
  20. Zwopple macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2008
    Swift actually makes little use of auto release pools anymore that was an Objective-C thing and ARC in Swift mostly releases in the spot. Auto release pools are 100% non-existant on server side Swift and only there still for compatibility with Objective-C.
  21. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Honestly the only book that make Swift click for me was "Hacking With Swift". Too many books put too much information up front and its hard to weed through what is necessary and what isn't. HWS doesn't do that and gives you what you need up front and expands on it as you go.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 26, 2017 ---
    I personally had a really hard time learning Swift and I hated optionals, but after being forced to work in C# for awhile, optionals (and many other things) in Swift suddenly made sense. Now I like them.
  22. adib macrumors regular


    Jun 11, 2010
    Just dive right in. "The Swift Programming Language" should be more than enough.
  23. bartvk macrumors 6502


    Dec 29, 2016
    The Netherlands
    I can attest to its popularity. I picked up the language when it was still in its 1.0 phase, in the evenings of my day job as a Python/C++ developer. Put my resume online and within two months, had a client. Now I'm freelancing fulltime and almost every week, a recruiter asks me if I'm available for a project.

    Right now it's a good business.
  24. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008
    Why would they? Google has Go and they already support a bunch of more popular third party languages, e.g. C, Java and Python. Swift doesn't bring anything new to the table.
  25. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    How do you explain Google endlessly introducing new languages and frameworks then promptly dropping support for them? Dart, Go, GWT, ART, etc...

    It seems like every year Google introduces a completely new developer framework or language that completely throws out the one from last year.

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29 January 26, 2017