Swift Month

Apparently I’m making my blog into a monthly read, unintentionally so. I have wondrous goals of writing frequently, and there are many rough drafts of posts stuffed away here and there that I’ve started on a wide variety of topics. Unfortunately none of them have gotten past the initial dump of thoughts phase.

It’s not simply pure laziness that’s keeping me from getting things done this time. I’ve been spending a lot of time diving into learning Swift and iOS development. So many times in the past I have started dinking around with iOS app programming and have never gotten very far with it. There are a few reasons for this, but this time I think I’m much more likely to make some progress.

I know if you’re an Objective-C programmer, you won’t like this, but to be honest, the syntax of Objective-C is a mental barrier. I’m not at all saying it’s a real barrier – in fact I doubt that learning Objective-C is that much harder (if any) than learning Swift. But Swift looks a lot more like programming languages that I’m used to, creating the illusion that I’m closer to understanding what’s going on with it than I am with Objective-C. I fully admit it’s probably a lie, but just the feeling that it’s more accessible with less time required for learning is enough to provide some motivation. For time limited people, that can actually make a difference.

The other reason is that I’m actually making use of more of the great resources available to would-be iOS developers. The company I work for recently added full Lynda.com access as an employee benefit. I’ve been making use of that, particularly the Swift related courses such as iOS App Development with Swift Essential Training. It’s a pretty quick skim of topics, but it’s good for exposure to some of the concepts to help them start percolating in the brain.

I’m also working through the latest incarnation of the Stanford CS193p class, Developing iOS 8 apps with Swift, available in iTunes U. I’m not trying to trash talk anyone, but I’m pretty sure no one else going through the homework assignments has an icon for their calculator app equal to mine.1

Unlike a lot of people getting into iOS programming, I’m not doing this for anything other than the enjoyment of it and the learning experience. I’ve done a lot of programming in the past, and while I’ve certainly never been known for my speed or algorithmic genius, I enjoy it. Learning iOS programming with no specific goals in mind reminds me a lot of when I first started learning programming with Basic and Pascal back in the day.2

I’ve never been a great time manager. Cycling through interests is the only way I know how to get to them all. What it means is that some of them get ignored for long periods of time, and unfortunately writing has been in that category lately. I’m sorry. I know how sad you’ve been without a fresh dose of banalities from me on a regular basis.

If your name is John Nemo, and you’re reading this, I know I owe you a couple articles, one of them being an exciting tome on iOS Scanning Apps. I haven’t forgotten. Just let me get this calculator history ticker working real quick first.

  1.  See what I did there? Calculator… equal… Ok, never mind… Sigh. 
  2.  I know it’s hip to look back on Pascal with an upturned nose, but it’s indefensible. I loved Pascal. Greatest learning language ever, in my opinion.