iOS developers are switching to Swift according to this Upwork study

Apple’s programming language Swift has been around for a while, but iOS and macOS developers can still develop apps using Apple’s Objective-C. According to a new study from Upwork, tech companies are increasingly looking for developers who know how to develop in Swift.

Upwork is the biggest freelancer marketplace in the U.S., so the company can identify trends on the freelancer market. The company’s new study finds out the fastest-growing skills in Q4 2016 compared to Q4 2015.

Interestingly, the first five skills are all tech skills, with natural language processing leading, followed by Swift, Tableau, Amazon Marketplace Web Services to automatically list products on Amazon’s marketplace, and Stripe integrations.

Apple first introduced Swift in June 2014 at its WWDC event. It was introduced as a modern programming language that was supposed to replace Objective-C. But these things tend to take a while, so Apple tried to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Swift and Objective-C code can live side-by-side in the same application on iOS, macOS, tvOS or watchOS. The programming language has evolved quite a lot and was open sourced in December 2015.

Since then, Swift has become more mature and versatile. Some developers are even thinking about using Swift for server-side development.

And today’s Upwork study is a tangible sign that companies are switching their main iOS programming language from Objective-C to Swift. Objective-C was first released in the 1980s after all. So maybe it’s time to switch to a newer programming language.