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What program do I use on a Mac to begin learning to code? Im thinking of starting with python or swift. Do I use Xcode?


Im a absolute beginner so im not sure of what programs to use on a Mac to begin with. I have macOS Catalina

2 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    Swift is an incredibly easy language to learn and you can get started even before you start coding using an app called 'Swift Playgrounds' in the Mac App Store. It'll teach you quite a bit of basic (and some advanced!) programming.

    To actually code in Swift, you'll need Xcode to create iOS and macOS apps.

    Python is another language you can learn and there are lots of software (IDEs) available to code in it - IDLE, Pycharm...

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  • 2 months ago

    For Swift, you'll probably need Xcode.  I'm not aware of any other IDE ("Integrated Development Environment") that fully supports Swift.

    Python has it's own simple IDE (called Idle) and you can use that without adding anything else.  I use that for nearly all small Python programs.  You can also get Mac versions of PyCharm, an IDE designed specifically for Python development (and there's a community edition that's a free download.)  There are also editors with Python support, like Sublime Text (not free, but there's no enforced time limit on "trial use" so far) as one good example.  You can also find Mac versions of general-purposed IDEs like Eclipse and Apache NetBeans, with installable Python support.

    I'd suggest starting with Idle; and then looking for a more capable tool when you find you need one.  It has a few quirks, to be sure, but it's available on just about every Python installation everywhere so it's handy to know how to use it.

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