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7 Best Free Swift Tutorials for Apple’s Newest Language

POSTED 06/26/2014
By Joseph Rauch

The programming community exploded with excitement after Apple announced its release of the Swift programming language a few weeks ago. Since then, a number of free tutorials have sprung up. The only problem is that a lot of them are crap, especially at this early stage. Don’t worry though! We scoured the web for everything Swift and found the best ones so you can learn more swiftly (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun).

Swift is going to be essential to any career as an iOS developer where you can make an average of $80,000 a year!1 It will become the new life blood of the skill so make sure you know it. Objective-C might be enough for now but things will surely be different after a year. If you’re an experienced programmer or aspiring developer who wants to save money, it’s time to start learning Swift so you can stay in the game! Start with these free tutorials, especially since it will take a while for more quality courses and bootcamps to become available.

The Swift Programming Language – Apple

You can read it with iTunes on your computer or iBooks on any iOS device.

You can read it with iTunes on your computer or iBooks on any iOS device.

Why not start at the proverbial horse’s mouth? Apple released a free 500-page e-book that you can download from iTunes. Even after almost a thousand reviews, it is still averaging over 4 stars! This is because it acts as a manual, tutorial, and reference guide with lots of helpful screenshots for beginners. If 500 pages seems too long, keep reading this article so you can find something more to your taste.

An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Swift – Treehouse

absolute-beginners-swift-screenshot

Treehouse is likely to launch courses on Swift as well within the coming year!

It’s no surprise that Treehouse, a top-tier resource for learning web development, would be one of the first organizations to make a great Swift guide for beginners. This tutorial walks you through each technique with code examples and screenshots. It starts with variables and then continues to strings, arrays, looping, and much more.

Swift Tutorial: A Quick Start – Ray Wenderlich

swift course

Ray Wenderlich is an experienced developer that the programming community has recommended in the past.

Once you have the latest copy of X-code, you’ll be ready to take this tutorial, which acts as a quick alternative to the Apple e-book. Ray explains each feature briefly by using code examples. He then shows you how to make a tip calculator using Swift!

Learn Swift: Build Your First iOS Game – Bloc

bloc-swift-screenshot

Bloc also has great courses and online bootcamps for aspiring programmers.

If you love playing Tetris, you’ll love learning to code Swift by building “Swiftris,” a 2D puzzle game you can access as a free e-book. Bloc gives you 11 steps to follow starting with the essentials like downloading Xcode and then teaching you how to create classes for your Tetris blocks and perform other necessary features. If you love games and want to have fun while you’re learning, this is the tutorial for you.

Developing iOS8 Apps Using Swift – iOS Blog/Jameson Quave

ios blog swift course

Jameson Quave is also an experienced developer.

This tutorial is similar to Ray’s but is better for intermediate-level learners. It gives basics but also spends more time on building apps. Jameson also believes in brevity so don’t worry about this tutorial taking up too much of your time.

Swift Tutorials – Novall Khan

ios developer youtube tutorials

Novall is a professional iOS Developer and Harvard Alumni. Make sure you watch her videos starting with the highest number since #1 is the newest video.

Novall breaks down the Swift learning into 6 videos on 5 elements (the first video is an intro): buttons and actions, universal storyboard, colors in playground, playground in Xcode 6 beta, and switches in Xcode 6. She puts in the code during her videos so you can see how it’s done. Make sure to go in the order we just listed!

Swift Tips – Udemy

Udemy Swift Tips

Udemy has some Swift tips for beginner-intermediate level programmers to accelerate their learning. Some show you how to do basic tasks faster such as type inference and variable declarations while others teach you something entirely new. Dive in if you already have some experience programming and learning Swift. If you enjoy the tips and are itching for more, try taking the course these tips are part of.

Prepare for the Future of iOS Development

Because Swift is a fledgling programming language, the community is sure to grow rapidly within this coming year. This means more tutorials will pop up so we’ll be sure to update this list. If you know of something really good but don’t see it here, let us know in the comments so we can include it. Until then, best of luck learning Swift! You might also consider taking a look at Objective-C so you can get some perspective. If you’re a complete programming and web development beginner, make sure you learn basic HTML and CSS before even taking look at Objective-C or Swift. Keep in mind that these simple tutorials could your first step to becoming an iOS developer!

Footnotes
  1. http://www.simplyhired.com/salaries-k-ios-developer-jobs.html[]
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