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Book Review

Book Review: Swift in 24 Hours

Sams Teach Yourself

This book has Beginning to Intermediate on the back cover. I would recommend you put that into the context of learning Swift, not learning Object-Oriented Programming. The book does an excellent job of covering the Swift language in detail and it jumps right in after a short introduction to the available development environments - Xcode, playgrounds, and REPL (Read-Eval-Print-Loop). REPL is kind of a command line version of playgrounds running in terminal.

The introduction is hour 1. There are 24 hour long lessons. I have listed the lessons below to show you what is covered.

Hour 1. Introducing the Swift Development Environment
Hour 2. Learning Swift’s Fundamental Data Types
Hour 3. Using Operators in Swift
Hour 4. Working with Collection Types
Hour 5. Understanding Optional Values
Hour 6. Controlling Program Flow with Conditionals
Hour 7. Iterating Code with Loops
Hour 8. Using Functions to Perform Actions
Hour 9. Understanding Higher Order Functions and Closures
Hour 10. Learning About Structs and Classes
Hour 11. Implementing Class Inheritance
Hour 12. Harnessing the Power of Enums
Hour 13. Customizing Initializers of Classes, Structs, and Enums
Hour 14. Digging Deeper with Properties
Hour 15. Adding Advanced Type Functionality
Hour 16. Understanding Memory Allocation and References
Hour 17. Using Protocols to Define Behavior
Hour 18. Using Extensions to Add Type Functionality
Hour 19. Working with Optional Chaining
Hour 20. Introducing Generics
Hour 21. Adding Interoperability with Objective-C
Hour 22. Interacting with User Interfaces
Hour 23. Asynchronous Programming in Swift
Hour 24. Learning Swift’s Standard Library Functions

The hour's titles do a great job of describing exactly what is covered. Sometimes authors like to use goofy chapter titles that need interpreted, but not in this book. Having the topics broken down into individual chapters makes this book a good reference.

Although you can jump into any topic, the book's chapters do build on each other. If you can, I would recommend reading the book cover to cover and then keep it around as a reference.

Each topic is thoroughly explained but the author did a really great job of keeping the chapters short enough that they can be read in an hour. I have had many "in 24 Hours" books and many of them had 2 hour chapters. This book is definitely the lunch break book.

I am reading four books on Swift before moving on to iOS 8. This might seem like overkill since I have spent a lot of time in Objective-C, but this is what I do to learn when I am trying to learn something I am not using at work. I am not that quick or smart, so I need to repeatedly pound stuff into my head for it to stick.

Although I started all four books at the same time this is the second one that I started running away with and finished. The reason for that is this one is in the middle of them as far as being robust goes, but it still contains straight to the point content. No filler at all.

What made this one a little more robust than the first one I read was each chapter end with a Q&A section, a Workshop- Quiz with answers, and an Exercise. These really help to drive home the topics covered in the chapter.

The book comes with all the examples available for download. They are all in playgrounds, except the last 3 chapters, which are in projects. The examples organized by chapter.

This is not an iOS 8 book, it is a Swift language book, so don't expect to be building apps at the end of the book. Although, you can expect to get started with iOS 8 when you are done this book.

As I mentioned above the author says you do not need prior programming experience to get through the examples in the book. He is probably right because he does a really good job of walking the reader through them. However, if you have no prior programming experience, you are going to have to pick up some books on Object-Oriented Programming before moving on to iOS 8.

All in all, I found the book a pleasure to read. The author's writing style is great, and the chapters were the perfect size to read over lunch. I recommend having your Mac with you when you are reading it. A few times I used an online swift compiler to run through some of the examples. I only had my iPad with me.

If you are interested in learning Swift, this is a great place to start!!

Swift in 24 Hours, Sams Teach Yourself

Swift in 24 Hours, Sams Teach Yourself

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Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.