For a long time, Apple has used their native programming language, Objective C, to write all their apps and give developers an opportunity to code for iOS as well. Objective C is supposed to be a improvement on both C and C++, making it easier and faster for developers to write the apps that eventually make Apple the money they need to run. But back in the last WWDC in mid-summer, Apple dropped a bomb that nobody was expecting: behind the scenes, they had been secretly been creating a new, modern coding language from the ground up. And they called it Swift. Swift is a big improvement on Objective C, and as the Apple representatives showed off at the event, it’s new way of coding can shorten a 15 line code into a 5-10 line code.

So after the event, all the developers attending went home and learned Swift through the only way avaliable back then, Apple’s Swift manual they released at the WWDC, a medium sized booklet on everything to do with Swift. But, for beginners, that’s a terrible way to learn. It’s already been 6 months since the release, and many new apps are starting to pop up everywhere on the app store taking advantage of the couple different development software and new capabilities that were added into iOS 8, such as Metal, third party widgets, Sprite Kit and SceneKit, and more. So, now that the advantages of Swift and iOS 8 are apparent, it’s a good idea to learn the language, especially since it is supposedly much easier to learn than Python, Objective C or others. Nobody really wants to learn through the Apple manual, but luckily for us other third party courses have popped up over the internet recently, and I’ll highlight the best for you here.


Team Treehouse – Swift Course

Although there are only a couple of ways to learn Swift, as the people that would be teaching you the language have only just learned it, Team Treehouse have done a very good job in a small amount of time. Team Treehouse in general is a web-course site, all on things to with technology; HTML, WordPress, Ruby, Javascript, iOS design, and more. All the courses are first-party, so the quality is great. It is subscription based, but if you are really going to use all their services to their full potential, meaning learn the basics of many skills needed in todays technological world, then it’s definitely worth it. The design of the site is fluid and easy to use, and if you’re like me, and have a hard time using badly designed apps and sites, you’ll have no problem. As I’ve taken a couple of the Swift courses myself, I can say a couple things about the way the courses are structured. First of all, the content goes fairly slowly, not to slow so that it’s boring, just enough so it’s easy to learn. This is great for people who Swift is their first programming language, for instance, me. Also, the course isn’t so, well, strict and confining. Like you can’t do anything out of what you’re being taught. Every so often, in between the videos explaining to you how to do certain things, there are challenges. In Swift’s case, there is a built in code reader, so you have to figure out how to code certain things via what you learned in the last video. It makes you put your knowledge to the test, something that might be missing in non- interactive videos or just plain writing.


Udemy – A Variety Of Courses

Udemy, another online course website, runs a bit differently than Treehouse. It is a platform for third-party teachers, so anyone could potentially make a course a profit from it. The content in the courses isn’t necessarily to the same level as other courses such as Treehouse, but there are a couple courses that have gotten outstanding reviews. For instance, The Complete iOS8 and Swift Course: Learn by Building 15 Real World Apps by Rob Percival and Swift for Absolute Beginners by Tim Schneider both have 5 star reviews from many of the course’s completed students. The content of the courses might be very educational and interesting, but the platform doesn’t have a way for easy multiple choice questions and tests like Treehouse does, which I think is an important part of the learning experience.


Text Based Tutorials

Both of the options above are not free, s0 if you are interested in learning Swift, but not spending the money, there are a couple options. For instance, there are some just text tutorials that you can read through and practice to. Swift Tutorial – A Quick Start and An Absolute Beginners Guide To Swift by Amit Bijlani, of Team Treehouse, are both examples of medium sized articles you can read to learn the language to start. But, if you really want to get deeper into the language, you will need to pay some amount.

A helpful that may be useful for the time you don’t want to pay is SoSoSwift, which takes articles from around the web about how to learn Swift and brings them together in one website for you to look through. Although this is an option, I would highly recommend the video courses, especially Team Treehouse, if you will actually want to start programming real apps.

And of course, if you would really like to go basic, you can always read Apple’s basic Swift manual, on their developer site here.