Swift is one of the hottest languages around right now, and it’s made a lot of people excited, for good reason. OS X and iOS apps take up a huge portion of the market. Being able to build iOS apps natively is a big deal for folks who don’t want to dip into the murky depths of Objective C (although there are many great reasons to learn C too).
If you’re new to programming, you can certainly benefit from learning a newer language such as Python or Ruby. Swift fits into this box as well, cutting out some corners which some believe to be a hindrance for a beginner learning to code.
Since Swift is native to Apple, it might seem hard to know where to begin if you don’t own a Mac. There is no “out of the box” way to compile Swift on Windows. Does this mean that Windows users cannot learn Swift? As it turns out, no! There is a way.
This article will guide you through creating a simple Swift program, and how to compile and run it in Windows 10.
What Is Swift?
Before we get started, let’s look at what Swift actually is. Swift is a programming language designed by Apple, which takes ideas “from Objective-C, Rust, Haskell, Ruby, Python, C#, CLU, and far too many others to list” according to project originator Chris Lattner.
It’s a relatively young language which was released to the public in 2014, though it is already widely regarded. The TIOBE Index of top programming languages in 2017 placed Swift at number 11, making it one of the fastest growing languages of all time.
In short, if you’re programming for OS X or iOS, Swift is for you! For a more in-depth look at the uses for Swift, take a look at these reasons why Swift is worth learning.
Getting Started With Swift in Windows
Firstly, we are going to need an editor to write our code in. You can use any IDE you are comfortable with, though it isn’t strictly necessary to use one and any text editor will also suffice. It mostly comes down to personal preference, though if you need help deciding what to use this guide may help you.