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Python vs Swift: Which Language is Better to Learn


#Custom Software Development
Among the variety of programming languages, two languages gain massive popularity in particular these days – Python and Swift. If you are new to development, you may be asking yourself which language is better to learn to get your foot in the door of the industry.

Let us have an overview of each of the language and consider their advantages and disadvantages to help you choose.

Python is currently ranked as the world’s most popular programming language. Introduced back in 1991 and having undergone through number of changes in uses, Python is a versatile language and it is widely used for data science, machine learning and back-end development. Its wide use explains the popularity towards it. In fact, many companies turned to using Python as a result, including Dropbox, Spotify, Facebook, Netflix, Instagram, Reddit etc.

It is important to note the order of what Python is best used for: Data science (data analysis), web development (Django), machine learning and DevOps.

Advantages of Python:

– Simple and easy to read code – is the reason why a large number of developers, including newbies, prefer this programming language.
– Multi-paradigm – allows supporting more than one programming paradigm to select a programming style that suits best for a task.
– Open source – allows downloading and modifying the source code and offers access to large Python community.
– Integration with other languages – provides developers with flexibility to integrate with Java, C and C++.
– Compatibility – is compatible with other platforms and allows moving projects without changing the code.
– Large collection of libraries and frameworks – allows performing wide range of tasks and provides versatile opportunities with the most popular libraries and frameworks like Pandas, Plotly, NumPy, Pipenv, Django, Flask, CherryPy, and PyTorch.

Disadvantages of Python:

– Not suitable for mobile apps and game development – Python is not considered an official language neither by Android nor by iOS operating mobile platform and appears somewhat slow for game development.
– Design limitations – due to its dynamic typing, Python may cause runtime errors.
– High memory consumption – requires a lot of memory space and results in slow processing speed.
Other than that Python is an excellent programming language for desktop and web server-side development.

Swift is a relatively new programming language. It was introduced in 2014 by Apple’s annual WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference). Engineers at Apple took all their previous knowledge with Objective-C, made their research on the new and modern languages and the build Swift positioning it as Apple’s next generation programming language for their future. Swift undergone massive changes up until 2017, so searching for up-to-date and relevant information is very important if you need to address an issue or find answers to your question concerning this language. Those changes started to slow down and the language started to mature after 2017. The current most recent version of the language is Swift 5.2.

A good proof of Swift’s maturity is that it started to leak out onto non-Apple native platforms, for instance, machine learning at Google via TensorFlow. These days Swift can be used for writing server code. In addition, Swift components are being worked on, so this code can soon run on Windows. Although Swift is a young language, its 5-10 year prospective looks rather good.

As an Apple’s product, Swift is mainly used for developing applications for iOS. It found its use in Hubspot app, Lyft, Pandora, OpenTable, Airbnb, LinkedIn, Yahoo Weather and Khan Academy.

Advantages of Swift:

– Easy to use – by virtue of simple syntax, Swift is an easy language to read and write. Developers who know other programming languages will find it easy to understand.
– Safety and security – being 40% better than Objective-C, Swift is great at fixing the bugs allowing safer programming.
– Open source – after becoming an open source, Swift gained popularity and grew its community.
– Potential – being a cross-platform language, Swift is now available on Linux and soon to be available on Windows. With IBM contribution, Swift Sandbox with its cloud storage allows server-side Swift integrating with a large number of tools for back-end development.
– Concise syntax – allows increasing development performance and testing by virtue of shorter code.
– Memory management – Automatic Reference Counting helps to manage application memory usage, thus optimising performance.
– Interoperable –Swift and Objective-C RTL allows writing programs using Swift, C, Objective-C, and C++ at the same time.

Disadvantages of Swift:

– Limited talent pool – being a young programming language, compared to a giant like Python, Swift lacks development professionals.
– Lack of native libraries – most native libraries were made for earlier versions of Swift, which makes it hard to apply to more recent versions.
– Lack of stability – due to frequent versions updates, Swift may demonstrate certain instability. Finding the right tools can be tricky at times.

Both languages although seem to be quite different, yet have some features in common. They have simple syntax, multiple paradigm, are easy to fix errors and bugs and are quite easy to learn. Choosing which language is better to learn depends largely on your purpose. What is worth noting though is that Swift is a niche language and it is a great tool to learn if you plan to tie your career to Apple.

Python, on the other hand, has spread on to so many job requirements in IT sector that potential candidates feel the need to fill in the gap if this programming language is missing from their skillset. Most IT jobs require knowledge of more than one programming language, so consider all the advantages or disadvantages before you choose which language to tackle. Think ahead!

Here at Magnise we are proud of having professional developers who are genuine experts in Python and Swift. We have flexible approach and work to satisfy our customers’ requirements, whether it is Python or Swift or other programming languages.

We welcome new ideas and are always at hand to implement them for our customers. Get in touch with us to get detailed information on how we can help you develop your ideas into a unique product.


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