Swift grew, er, really fast in 2015


Swift is wide open and growing fast.
Photo: Apple

Swift, the programming language that creates apps for all of Apple’s hardware, had a pretty happy 2015, according to a report from job site Freelancer.com.

The data comes from 1,429,842 “good” projects — that is, “those which have been filtered for spam, advertising, self promotion, reposts, or that are otherwise unlikely to be filled,” the published report says. And Swift was the big winner, especially when you compare its numbers to 2014’s.

You can see more in the infographic below.

Freelancer 2015 Fast 50 Swift
That’s a big graphic with a lot of numbers, but you can click on the image to see it full size.
Photo: Freelancer.com

That’s right: Swift-related jobs grew 566 percent year-over-year according to Freelancer.com’s Fast 50 report. If you want more specific numbers, out of the total number of “good” projects, 344 were Swift-related in 2014, and 2,292 were in 2015.

That’s still a pretty small percentage of the whole — 0.16 percent of total jobs — but it’s an impressive jump for a single year. It was the fourth-highest improvement in the whole report behind Delivery (1,874 percent), Instagram (1,328 percent), and Blog Install (1,133 percent). The big winner of the year was Facebook Marketing, which saw a 12 percent drop but still made up 28,421 projects.

Swift launched in June 2014, and this past December, the code went open-source. We figure its growth is at least partly (if not mostly) due to the fact that the language was only around for seven months in 2014, but we can’t dismiss Apple’s attempts to simplify programming. And some major, job-creating players are in on it; apps like car service Lyft, LinkedIn, and Yahoo Weather all use Swift code, Apple says.

“Touted as safe, fast, and expressive, Swift appeals to developers who are aiming to build on Apple’s multiple platforms, such as iOS, OS X, and WatchOS,” the report says. “And with Apple’s release of its iPhone SE and the 9.7­inch iPad Pro, Freelancer.com predicts that interest in Swift will continue to surge as programmers rush to meet the demands of the Apple­-crazed market.”

The report also claims that Swift’s numbers might be ushering in the final doom of the slowly dying Blackberry platform, which had “a dismal ­27 percent (to 1,107 jobs) growth last year,” Freelancer says.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.