Apple has partnered with an educational institution in Australia to help teach students to code using its programming language, Swift. TAFE Queensland is set to start offering the program – which will mark the state’s first iOS course created in collaboration with Apple – to students in October 2021. It is hoped that the course will help to keep Australia in step with the latest international innovations, as the industry demand continues to grow.
“Developing in Swift blends creativity and coding to problem-solve in a way no other language can, giving our students the fundamental skills to create the world’s next transformative apps, from ideation to design, development, and distribution through the App Store,” said Jackie French, the director of Creative Arts and Digital Design at TAFE Queensland.
The open-source language has provided the base for a huge range of apps available in the App Store. Since the store’s inception in 2008, the iOS app ecosystem has seen incredible growth. There are currently around 2 million apps in the App Store that facilitated more than $600 billion in billings and sales in 2020.
“There are plenty of jobs and courses for developers. Currently, there are around 160,000 people employed in the industry in Australia and 408,000 in the UK,” reported the founder of the digital learning portal www.Metalecture.com. “The app economy is booming and Swift is a great language to teach new programmers as it is fast, safe, and highly readable.”
Two Queensland high schools – St Augustine’s College and Siena Catholic College – are also using Swift to teach students the basics of app development. And the reception from both students and teachers has been very positive, with both believing that the language develops both creativity and analytical skills.
“Our decision to choose Swift was clear and based on the simplicity, versatility, and limitless creativity the language provides. Every day we’re seeing our students develop enterprising ideas and designing real-world solutions to problems, building the essential skills for success in the 21st century. We have future blockbuster developers here today – I am certain of that and incredibly proud,” said Paul Dionysius who teaches at Siena Catholic College.
Energy Queensland, a company in charge of the management of the state’s electricity, is also getting in on the action. The company first gave its employees the opportunity to use Swift to develop software solutions in 2018 when it distributed iPhones to 7,500 workers.
More recently, Energy Queensland ran a five-day program that gave students a chance to see how Swift is changing the way the company operates.
Energy Queensland’s Dan Massey from Energy Queensland said: “Innovation is central to the success of Energy Queensland, both in terms of how we use technology to provide better outcomes and service, but also how the organization is sharing these insights with schools and students… A solid skills pipeline is essential for the success of our students and our state, and this program is something we’re passionate to introduce and plan to grow.”