Did you see the new Swift tutorials Apple released this week? It’s great to see more official tutorials appear, especially ones like these that target people brand new to programming, but as I was browsing the first tutorial it struck me what an amazing first introduction to programming this would be. The code in the tutorial was so clear and readable, and unlike Swift Playgrounds (which is great in its own way) these tutorials have you building an iOS app within minutes of opening the first tutorial. That's incredible.

Before Swift arrived, I used to teach in-person training courses covering Objective-C and UIKit development. But even requiring a pre-requisite of being comfortable with developing in any other programming language, the first day of the course was learning Objective-C. There was just too much legacy knowledge from C needed to tackle it at the same time as dropping a firehose of UIKit on people. It all falls apart so quickly when you need to stop teaching UIKit to explain what an NSNumber is and why you need a pointer to one so you can wrap an int up before passing it to an API.

But look at that last screen of code from this tutorial. It's so readable. That's not just because of SwiftUI, it's even just Swift, that's years of progress and centuries of person-hours that have gone into taking us from needing a very dry day (or more!) of learning about pointers and why NSNumber is even a thing ten years ago, to this today. 🤯

Like many of you, I also have concerns about how complex Swift has become over the years, but there is none of that in sight when you start out. It was a lovely reminder that the complexities of worrying about strict concurrency warnings, typed throws, and non-copyable generics is not what people are faced with as they first approach the language and I'd like to take a moment to congratulate everyone involved with the last decade or more of progress that made this tutorial possible. I've not seen it in quite such a striking way as this before.

Dave Verwer  






Senior iOS Engineer - Voloco @ Resonant Cavity – Voloco is the best mobile recording studio in the world! Small profitable company with an Engineering driven culture. We ship with minimal process and meetings. You’ll work closely with the founders, who still regularly commit code. – Remote (within US timezones) with some on-site work (United States in CA or MN)


And finally...

and beyond!