If Swift is your iOS/Mac development language of choice, my goal in this post is to persuade you that you should not only write Swift… you should write about Swift. Here are 7 reasons (in the order in which they flowed out of my brain):
1. Swift will never be new again.
How amazing is it that every single Swift developer (besides the ones at Apple) had the opportunity to become a Swift developer simultaneously when Apple announced the new language at WWDC in June of 2014. What an incredible opportunity!
Swift is young, but it’s growing up fast! The content that’s published about Swift today is, in many cases, the first of its kind. You could be that first publisher, helping newcomers to the language and to iOS/Mac development along. You could be contributing the first thoughts, the first guides, the first perspectives to this new world.
Has someone already beat you to the punch on something you’ve thought of writing about? Write it anyway! They didn’t share it the same way you can share it with your unique writing style, background, illustrations, examples, etc. I can’t tell you how often I’ve read something on someone’s blog and it just didn’t click… But two or three blogs later, someone else had the perfect illustration that made total sense in my brain. You can be that someone else! If you write, that is.
2. You know something I don’t know.
Think you have nothing to share? Wrong. You do. You know something I don’t know about Swift. You may know a lot of somethings I don’t know about Swift. I want to learn from you! Many others would join me in that sentiment. The greater the variety in terms of difficulty-level, content, and style, the better (in my opinion).
Contribute to the learning of others – you’ll be glad you did (and we will, too)!
3. Writing leads to better understanding.
When you write about Swift, especially in the op-ed realm, you put yourself out there in what feels like a very vulnerable position. In some cases, you’ll be off-target. I have been before. What I found is that folks were not hateful or insulting to me (after all, I’m just sharing bits of what I’m learning). Comments led to very huge lightbulbs going off in my brain and I wrote about those lightbulbs in a second post. I understand things better now that I’ve written, showed my lack of understanding, and written more, once I received constructive feedback that I needed from those who knew better than I.
In other cases, you’ll write about Swift, and the very act of writing to help others solidifies the concept you’re explaining in your own mind. It’s astounding to me how the attempt to educate another illuminates things that could have never been illuminated any other way.
Write what you know – it’s good for us, and it’s good for you.
4. Writing shapes the Swift developer community.
The Swift developer community is the first community that I’ve ever gotten involved in, and it’s truly been amazing to connect with other Swift developers. From Twitter and from direct contact through e-mail, I’ve had the opportunity to brainstorm with and learn from others who are also programming in Swift.
The Swift developer community is new… it’s vibrant… and it’s active and waiting for one more contributor. Will you be that new Twitter handle tweeting about Swift? Will you be that new blogger sharing your thoughts and ideas with the community? Join us. Shape us.
5. Great opportunities may lie around the corner.
Swift has brought me several great opportunities in terms of building business and building friendships. Who knows what’s next?
Objective-C isn’t going anywhere, but neither is Swift! Employers, while not yet able to legitimately request Swift devs with 5+ years of experience (though some will undoubtedly try), will inevitably desire Swift developers. The sooner you embrace Swift, the more experience you’ll be able to report.
But how amazing would it be to say to a future potential employer, “I’ve been writing Swift since June of 2014, but I’ve also been writing about Swift at www.myBlog.com for nearly as long.”?
In my experience, Swift has also brought me new friendships and an expanded network. I “know” more Swift developers than I do developers of all other languages combined. I follow more Swift bloggers than any other language’s bloggers. I’d love to follow your blog and engage with / share thoughts about what you’re learning.
Who knows what else awaits? The potential for great opportunities are ripe right now. Join in!
6. Reading is more time-efficient for many. Write!
I love screencasts. I listen to podcasts every time I’m in the car alone. But you know what? I can read a blog post or a transcript faster than I can watch a screencast or listen to a podcast. Written content about Swift has the potential to greatly increase the speed and efficiency at which others can solve their problems.
Screencast – do it! Podcast – you bet!
But don’t forget to write, too!
7. Your written words will outlast you
Not a shocker, obviously. This is the “leave a legacy” argument. One way to make a lasting impact is to write what you’re thinking and learning about this language that you’re intrigued by or maybe even passionate about.
Scott Hanselman is one of my favorite people in the developer / educator world. He’s written about writing and impact, and he’s said it way better than I can. Essentially, his argument is that you’ve only got a finite number of keystrokes left in your life before you die. And he’s right. The point of the linked-to article is that if you desire your precious, remaining keystrokes to have the furthest reach and the highest potential impact, you should write… and not just write, but write on the web.
Some love Stack Overflow. Others love forums, or Reddit, or whatever. I prefer blogging. Whatever you favor, your writing on the web travels far and impacts many. I’ve received e-mails that have spawned blog posts and replies with link to the blog post, rather than a direct reply. Why? Well, if one person is asking, others probably are too – why not put it out there for others to benefit from as well?!
I love reading about Swift and I’ve benefited from many in the community who are working hard to make programming in Swift a great experience for everyone.
I enjoy writing about Swift, myself. I write about other things too, of course (see the right-hand sidebar). But for the 7 reasons just mentioned, I’ve been writing a lot on Swift these days, and I’ve really had a great time doing it.
My hope is that this post has sparked some ideas in you, or perhaps even motivated you to get in the game and start contributing your share of bytes to the Swift conversation. Holler at me on Twitter if you’re currently publishing about Swift – I’d love to connect with what you’re creating!