Swift: Another Game Changer for Apple?

Since it's announcement at WWDC 2014, the Internet is about to burst with excitement over Apple's new programming language, Swift. (Yes, I am among them). Witnessing this reaction, one might think that the iOS development community as a whole would love to see Objective-C rot and die. I don't think that's the case. I think we all love and respect Objective-C, but are ready for a change.

What I am really excited about (or rather hopeful for) is that Swift will dethrone Java as the language of choice for university-level programming courses. Here it could really be a game changer.

Swift is much more clean and concise than Java, and, well, more relevant. What do you think a young CS student is more interested in learning? How to get input and display it to Terminal using the language their old man programs in, or playing with code that they can actually run on their iPhone (which, of course, all of the cool kids have).

This is what makes Swift very exciting for me. It gives beginners (and old dogs like myself) an opportunity to learn by tinkering with code using a "playground" (this is technically an Xcode 6 feature that works with Swift, and not a feature of Swift itself). As you make changes to your code, you can see the result of those changes instantly.

Think "instant gratification". If students can see their creation form right before their eyes, the excitement will build. It becomes less like work, and more like art.

I'm turning my CS student son onto Swift over the summer. If my theory is correct, we will have one more iOS developer in the family before too long.