Chris Lattner, the creator of Apple’s premiere coding language, Swift, bid his goodbye to the company as he announced his resignation on the Swift mailing list on Tuesday, January 10, 2017. No reason was given by him so as to why he left Apple, as he only stated that he wishes to ‘pursue an opportunity in another space’.
Swift is a powerful and intuitive programming language for macOS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS. Writing Swift code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and Swift includes modern features developers love. Swift code is safe by design, yet also produces software that runs lightning-fast.
He had joined Apple in 2005 after leading the creation of another developer tool, “LLVM” for his PhD. LLVM was integrated into Apple’s developer tools and Lattner went on to build much of Swift that helped beginners to pick up and begin using and creating apps for macOS, iOS and beyond, a lot more easier.
Just a few hours after his departure from Apple was reported, Tesla confirmed that Chirs Lattner will be joining the automaker as Vice President of Autopilot Software, replacing Jinnah Hosein, SpaceX’s Vice President of Software, who has been serving a dual role at Elon Musk’s rocket company and the automaker as the interim lead on Autopilot software. Lattner is definitely one of the most high-profile hires from Tesla ever and the latest example of the “poaching war” between Tesla and Apple.
Apple’s Swift language was developed to replace Apple’s older programming language Objective-C as the company’s preferred way for third-party coders to write software for its devices like the iPhone and the MacBook.
Many coders outside of Apple praised the Swift language for its simplicity compared to its predecessor. Companies like ride-sharing startup Lyft and IBM incorporated the language into their own services. In December 2015, Apple made the Swift language available to coders to use for free in what’s known as an open-source model. Compared to other technology giants like Facebook and Google , Apple has generally been quieter about advocating for open-source technologies.
In recent years, however, Apple has made public its use of open-source technologies to run its popular services like the Siri digital assistant, likely as a way to court developers and show the company is on top of the latest coding trends.