Objective-C or Swift for iOS Software Development

Objective-C or Swift for iOS Software Development

Most software developers I encounter are aware that Apple is gradually changing the programming language used for iOS software development. Objective-C is the outgoing language and Swift is the incoming language.  But which one is the correct choice for new projects? Apple are helping to smooth this transition by allowing developers to mix and match. You can add Swift classes to your existing Objective-C projects without any problems. For existing iOS developers the dilemma is: “Should I begin to use Swift in production code?”. And new iOS developers are asking, “Which language should I learn”. So far my feeling has been to stick with Objective-C. I’ve been in the software industry long enough to be cautious of anything too new. I prefer to let other people iron out the teething problems, before jumping in. I’m aware that my somewhat cautious approach has been informed by the fact that I’ve mostly worked for or trained companies in Financial Services sector, and they generally prefer established and proven technologies. So does that make me wrong?  Does that make me too cautious?  And what is ‘conventional wisdom’ saying? In the last iOS course I delivered, one of the course delegates recounted, “a contractor came into our company and wrote some classes in Swift. Now, every time we do a build, the Swift parts break”. This is probably a slight exaggeration. What I’m sure he meant was, “every time Xcode gets an update, the Swift parts break”. Last year (June – June) Swift went from version 1.0 to 1.1 to 1.2. Then Swift 2.0 was released for iOS9.  Therein lies the problem. That’s 4 updates to the LANGUAGE in little over a year. Every time...
PWC Data Analytics Academy has 100% success

PWC Data Analytics Academy has 100% success

This year’s PWC Data Analytics Academy concluded last Friday (25th September), with an award ceremony at PWC’s Belfast office. The 8 week course was funded by the Department of Employment and Learning, and hosted at Belfast Metropolitan College’s e3 campus. In attendance were the 16 course delegates, representatives from PWC, Mary McIvor (Director of Further Education at DEL), and Jonathan Heggarty (Director of Curriculum at Belfast Metropolitan College). The students comprised an eclectic bunch. All had a 2:1 degree or better, but that was where the similarity ended. Some had come straight from university, others had worked for a few years.  One was a former primary school teacher, another had a degree in Computer Science, and a PhD in Business this is indicative of the broad range of backgrounds that people had. The nature of the work that PWC do is that there is a role for all these people; in fact diversity is a good thing. You may think that putting such a diverse group into one classroom to study data analysis techniques wouldn’t be a good idea? You might expect that someone with a Computer Science or Maths degree wouldn’t be challenged, while those with an English or Arts degree wouldn’t be able to keep up? This isn’t the case at all. I teach SQL (a programming language used for querying databases) it is widely regarded to be the hardest part of the academy. Those coming from a background in computing have probably encountered SQL before, however, in my experience, the Universities only cover the topic superficially. Given the depth we go into, you can really consider SQL a new topic for...
Data Visualisation Training for RSM McClure Watters

Data Visualisation Training for RSM McClure Watters

Last week we delivered training on advanced data visualisation techniques for RSM McClure Waters. This was a bespoke training course built to their specifications. The objective was to filling some gaps in the knowledge of their team with regard to data visualisation and infographics. As well as looking at visualisation techniques, we looked at some excellent cloud services that could be utilised to provide visualisations quickly and easily; especially for things that Excel finds tricky. Plot.ly is among of my favourite. RSM McClure Watters is Northern Ireland’s 7th largest accounting firm with additional offices in Dublin and Longford. They provide Audit, Tax and Consulting services. You can find out more about RSM McClure Waters at http://www.rsmmcclurewatters.com. To make an enquiry about training from Coding Fury, please go to our training...
SQL Training for Deloitte and some SQL Tips

SQL Training for Deloitte and some SQL Tips

Last week I was delivering SQL training for Deloitte once more. Previous cohorts comprised a room of non-IT graduates. But this time, around half the class had an IT related degree and some experience of SQL.  This wasn’t a major problem because the level of SQL that is taught at university, even for computer science degrees, is rather rudimentary. The first time I delivered this course for Deloitte, they requested one of the Microsoft courses. From the outset I knew that it wouldn’t be a good fit.  Most of the Microsoft courses are designed to teach a particular release of SQL server rather than SQL in general. For example Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 is designed for those who are already proficient in SQL, but want to learn the nuances of SQL Server 2012. Therefore I would recommend it to those migrating from SQL Server 2008, or maybe to someone with with a strong background in Oracle, or some other database.  Certainly not for someone new to SQL. That first course started off following the Microsoft syllabus as requested, but by the middle of the week the training manual was in the trash, and we were actually *learning* to write SQL. By the end of the week, the entire class were able to write stored procedures that joined across 4 tables. I reckon that’s quite an achievement. I always like to focus on good coding standards for SQL. Having worked on large database projects for some Fortune 100 companies, I’ve picked up a few things that you won’t find in the Microsoft courses. One of my tips revolves around the placement of commas. Let’s consider a simple SELECT statement...