Don't Panic!

Minutes after the Swift announcement today, I got a bunch of texts and emails from my iOS students at Code Fellows and from a few other friends, primarily worried that the skill set they've built is being depricated. This is far from the truth, but here's a few steps for Objective-C devs thinking through the implications of the release of Swift:

1. Don't Panic!

Outside of handful of Apple's own devs, no one is an expert on Swift yet. Furthermore, if you're a student or a recent graduate, you're already in full-speed-ahead learning mode, which means you're positioned to be a Swift expert faster than many of the veteran Cocoa devs who will struggle to un-learn all their old habits and square bracket muscle memory.

2. Cocoa is still Cocoa

Any iOS/OSX dev knows that the majority of what you have to learn to develop apps in Cocoa is learning how apple's frameworks work. Since these are all still the same, you don't have to fundamentally re-learn everything, just go slow and focus on the differences. By contrast, it would take orders of magnitude longer for an iOS dev to learn Android development than to learn Swift

3. You've got time

Swift is available for developers to start learning and writing today as part of the Xcode 6 beta, but you won't be able to ship apps written in Swift until iOS 8 is released to the public this fall. Even then, Apple will give you at least another year (if not more) where they will fully support Objective-C, and when they do start to deprecate ObjC, they've promised to do their best to provides importers and conversion utilities (similar to the Carbon -> Cocoa transition a few years back.)