Swift has rapidly become one of the most popular programming languages for developing iOS and macOS applications. Its growing popularity and versatility have led to an increasing demand for skilled Swift developers in the job market. Since there can be a lot to learn about a new programming language, senior Swift developers are expected to know about certain things that CTOs and other top management can test them on. These things have often been the foundation of Swift ecosystems and frameworks.
Senior Swift devs should stay up to date with the latest best practices and techniques to remain competitive and effective, and here's how you can spot if they do.
Before we explore some of the essential things a senior Swift developer should know to take their skills to the next level, let’s understand Swift’s popularity a bit more.
The demand for Swift developers
It was designed to be a more modern, efficient, and safer alternative to Objective-C, the previous primary programming language used by Apple for their applications. Since its release, Swift has become increasingly popular among developers due to its user-friendly syntax, easy-to-use interface, and growing community support.
Swift has become the go-to language for developing iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS applications and creating server-side applications and frameworks. With the growing popularity of these platforms, the need for skilled Swift developers has skyrocketed.
In the USA alone, for perspective, there are over 6000 open vacancies on ZipRecruiter, more than 1000 on Indeed, and around 750 on Glassdoor.
Companies across various industries, from healthcare to finance, seek experienced Swift developers who can build innovative and scalable applications that provide a seamless user experience. As a result, there is a high demand for Swift developers in the job market, making it an attractive career path for those looking to specialize in mobile and server-side development.
So, does Irmin Dzevlan, an iOS developer, agree that Swift developers are in demand? Of course he does. And it’s due to several reasons.
“Firstly, due to the popularity of iOS devices: Apple's iPhones and iPads are incredibly popular, and many businesses want to develop apps for these devices. As Swift is the primary language used for iOS development, the demand for skilled Swift developers has increased significantly.”Irmin Dzevlan
Here are a few more reasons why Irmin thinks Swift developers are in demand:
➜ Rapid growth of mobile applications: With the rise of mobile devices, the demand for mobile applications has also increased. Swift is one of the best options for developing iOS applications and is, therefore, in high demand.
➜ Speed and efficiency: Swift is known for its speed and efficiency, which makes it an excellent choice for app development. It is optimized for iOS devices and is faster than other programming languages, which can help businesses deliver better app performance.
➜ Active community: The Swift community is large and active, with many developers sharing knowledge and providing support. This makes it easier for businesses to find skilled developers and access the latest tools and resources.
➜ Versatility: Swift can be used to develop a wide range of applications, including mobile apps, desktop apps, web apps, and server-side applications. This versatility makes it an attractive option for businesses developing applications for multiple platforms.
Five things that are important for a senior Swift developer to know
After everything that’s been said, let’s get to the point of why you’re reading this article. As you consider hiring a Swift developer to join your team, what are the five things you should test their knowledge on during the interview? Irmin suggests the following:
1. Advanced concepts of Swift: A senior Swift developer should have a deep understanding of the language, including advanced concepts such as generics, closures, protocols, and memory management. This knowledge will help them write efficient and effective code and will also enable them to mentor and guide junior developers.
2. Best practices for iOS development: Swift is a language specifically designed for iOS and macOS app development. A senior developer should be well-versed in best practices for iOS development. This includes understanding how to design and build user interfaces, handling network requests, working with databases, and integrating with other APIs and frameworks.
3. Debugging and testing: Debugging and testing are critical skills for any software developer, and senior Swift developers should have a deep understanding of these processes. This includes knowledge of Xcode debugging tools, writing unit tests, and integrating testing frameworks such as XCTest and Quick.
4. Architectural patterns: Swift is a powerful language that supports several architectural patterns, such as Model-View-Controller (MVC), Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM), and Model-View-Presenter (MVP). A senior Swift developer should have a deep understanding of these patterns and know when to use each one.
5. Continuous learning: The technology landscape is constantly evolving, and a senior Swift developer should always be learning and keeping up to date with new developments in the language and platform. This includes attending conferences, participating in online communities, and reading technical blogs and articles.
How would this benefit your company?
“A Swift developer's knowledge can benefit the company by enabling them to develop high-quality, efficient, and secure iOS applications that provide an excellent user experience. Swift's cross-platform capabilities can help companies save time and resources by developing apps that work across multiple platforms.”Irmin Dzevlan
Here are a few more benefits you will reap when hiring this developer:
➜ Native app development: A skilled Swift developer can create high-quality, robust, and efficient iOS apps that provide a seamless user experience. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction and better business outcomes for the company.
➜ Cross-platform development: Swift can also be used for cross-platform development, allowing developers to simultaneously create apps for multiple platforms. This can help companies save time and resources by developing one codebase that works across various platforms.
➜ Improved app performance: Swift is a compiled language, meaning the code is translated into machine-readable code before it is executed. This leads to faster performance and fewer errors in the app. A skilled Swift developer can optimize the app's performance by utilizing the language's features, resulting in faster load times, smoother animations, and improved user experience.
➜ Better team collaboration: Swift has a clean syntax, making it easier for developers to understand and collaborate on projects. A Swift developer's knowledge can help streamline the development process, leading to better communication and collaboration among team members.
➜ Security: Security is a critical concern in app development. Swift has several security features built into the language, such as enforcing memory safety and eliminating null pointers. A Swift developer can leverage these features to create more secure applications that protect user data and prevent security breaches.
This hiring guide for Swift developers explains, in further detail, the benefits of hiring a Swift developer. It also contains more information on what you need to know when hiring for this role.
As you’ve learned, there are many things experienced Swift developers should know, even though Swift is still evolving. This is especially true for senior developers working on the cutting edge of development.
Why Swift is a good choice for senior developers
Senior developers are often attracted to Swift's ease of use, performance, and versatility.
One of the primary advantages of Swift is its readability, which makes it easy to understand and maintain code. Swift's syntax is also concise, reducing the amount of boilerplate code and making it easier to write and read.
It’s designed to be safe
This reduces the risk of memory corruption and other issues that can occur in other programming languages. This makes it an excellent choice for senior developers who want to avoid the complexity of low-level languages like C and C++.
Swift's performance is also impressive, particularly compared to other high-level languages. Its speed and efficiency make it an excellent choice for building apps that require fast response times, such as gaming or real-time data processing applications.
Swift's versatility is a crucial advantage for senior developers. Swift can be used to develop applications for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, making it a valuable skill for anyone who wants to build apps for the Apple ecosystem. It can also be used for server-side development, making it an excellent choice for building web applications.
The best thing about using Swift
“Swift offers several advantages, including safety, performance, ease of use, open-source availability, and interoperability with Objective-C. These benefits make it an excellent choice for building high-quality and reliable applications for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS platforms.”Irmin Dzevlan
In Irmin’s opinion, this is what makes Swift a pleasure to work with.
➜ Safety and security: Swift has been designed with safety and security in mind, making it less prone to errors and crashes. It also provides robust memory management and eliminates common programming errors like null pointer exceptions.
➜ Speed and performance: Swift is optimized for performance, and its fast compilation speed makes it an ideal choice for building high-performance applications. Swift also supports various programming paradigms, including object-oriented, functional, and protocol-oriented programming. ➜ Easy to learn: Swift has a simple and intuitive syntax that makes learning easy, even for developers new to the language. It also has a robust standard library that provides many valuable features and functions.
➜ Interoperability with Objective-C: Swift is designed to work seamlessly with Objective-C, so developers can use Swift alongside existing Objective-C code. This makes it easier for developers to transition to Swift and build applications compatible with older versions of iOS.
It is no secret that as a CTO, you can hire the best developers. But how effective will they be if they don't know the language they are hired to write in? Even if they know the language, how do you know if they're any good?
Well, we hope you’ll refer to this article before you hire a Swift developer.