The Best Places to Learn Swift, Apple’s Programming Language
When Apple announced their brand new programming language Swift , the programming community rejoiced. Up until then, there was no choice but to develop Mac and iOS apps with Objective C, an archaic language from the 1980s. Swift proved to be a welcomed breath of fresh air.
And then Apple went ahead and announced that Swift would soon be open source , bringing in a new wave of support from developers all over the planet. It wouldn’t surprise me if Swift rose up and became the world’s most popular language within the next decade.
So if you want to learn Swift, now is the time to dive in. The language has a bright future ahead of it and the faster you learn it, the sooner you’ll be able to reap the rewards.
SoSoSwift is a key site for anyone interested in the language, whether newbie or veteran or even just bystander. Not only is it the largest collection of Swift tutorials on the web, but it also has a blog section with up-to-date news on Swift developments.
The best way to get started is to click on the Tutorials link and browse through the Collections. For example, Swift Tutorial: Introduction Series is great for an absolute beginner while iOS 8 Game Development is ideal for aspiring game developers.
SkipCasts is a collection of tutorials written and maintained by Skip Wilson. It used to have a subscription service with premium videos alongside free videos, but that service shut down in May 2015. The premium videos were taken down, but the free videos remain.
It’s a shame, but the silver lining is that there are still 23 Swift tutorial videos, mostly for beginners with a handful aimed at experts. Many people find Skip’s material to be quite helpful for grasping tough concepts, so don’t skip over these!
Ray Wenderlich’s Tutorials (Free)
What started as a one-man venture has grown into a massive tutorial operation with dozens of skilled developers sharing their knowledge in written, audio, and video formats. Ray Wenderlich started it all, but it’s far bigger than himself now.
The site focuses mainly on game development and there are sections dedicated to engines like Unity and Unreal, but there’s a wealth of information for fundamentals in Cocoa, Objective C, and now Swift.
Ray Wenderlich tutorials are some of the most in-depth tutorials I’ve ever seen, so you have to check them out. You’ll do yourself a disservice if you don’t.
There’s also a store with paid tutorials if you’re interested. You’ll find several different Swift bundles available along with other goodies like starter kits for different game genres. Well worth it if you can afford it.
Learn Swift Tips (Free)
There are a lot of great Swift resources out there — too many for us to list in one place. The good news, however, is that a guy named Zaheer maintains a curated list of awesome Swift tutorials from around the web. This list can be viewed at Learn Swift Tips.
These tutorials cover all range of skills, starting from the basics and ramping up to higher-level concepts that were presented at conferences and talks by expert developers. The list also includes a couple of useful books and several awesome resources, like cheat sheets, API references, and code examples.
Swift Programming on Medium (Free)
Back when Medium first launched , it generated a lot of hype based on who was behind it (the co-founders of Twitter) and what it was trying to do (seriously longform thoughts and musings). Has it succeeded? It’s hard to say. Many still see it as “just another blogging platform”.
But one good thing to come out of Medium is the Swift Programming channel where several developers have come together to write about Swift. Here you’ll find tips, tricks, and tutorials that are geared more towards the intermediate rather than newbie Swift developer.
If you’ve never used an app to learn how to program, you’re in for a treat. The Swifty app, currently available on the App Store for free, is an excellent way to get familiarized with the Swift language whether you have prior programming experience or not.
The app is divided into over 200 interactive tutorials, each one small enough to keep you from feeling overwhelmed. It won’t make you into a pro, but it provides an easy and soft introduction that will make you feel comfortable — and that’s half the battle when it comes to learning programming without the stress .
Swift Essential Training ($25)
I’m a big fan of Lynda, the online network that’s similar to Udemy, Coursera, Khan Academy, and other online video course websites, except Lynda is a subscription-only service — which is in stark contrast to its competitors, all of whom offer some kind of free tier.
How much is Lynda? The base membership starts at $25 per month, but I will attest that it’s well worth the price. One subscription grants access to hundreds of different courses, each one at least 3 hours long (with many exceeding 10+ hours), and these courses are quality.
Some even rival the kind of education you might get in a college or university course.
Swift Essential Training is the one we’re highlighting here. It clocks in at just over 3.5 hours long and teaches you everything you need to know about the Swift language, starting with core syntax and ending with advanced language features.
Any Other Swift Resources?
Despite being one-year-old already, Swift is still a relatively new language and we recognize that tutorials and communities are still being built and molded, so we expect to see many other resources crop up over the next few months.
Know of any good Swift tutorials that we missed? Feel free to link them in the comments below. How do you feel about Swift as a programming language? Tell us what you think!
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