Swift & Swift Playgrounds, a fantastic place to start

I've been tutoring coding using Swift Playgrounds for the last year and it is a fantastic place to start not only because of the environment they learn in but the path they are put on that doesn't stop when they reach the end of the lessons.

The reason that I think that the path is so fantastic is that I'm a software engineer who has released iOS apps that use the same coding language. It's a really possibility that this start could lead to bigger things.

So here's the question, how can I help? Quite often the first step into coding is the most daunting but once your there you wonder what all the fuss was about. I'm already an Apple Teacher with Swift Playgrounds recognition, run after school coding clubs and deliver basic coding courses. What do people feel is their biggest blocker to giving it a try? How could I help you get over it?

I find coding a fantastic skill but you could say I'm biased. If I can share just some of my enthusiasm for the subject then great. I don't expect a world full of developers but understanding these computers just a little bit can always help.


4 replies

August 28, 2022

Hi Bob,

Are you using SpriteKit scenes in SwiftUI?

I am curious if it is better from students moving from a “block programming environment” (which are Sprite Scene environments with an update method baked in) to a typed environment to start out with a familiar Scene, or should they work with the UI environment first and then add in the scene if they want to make games?

I currently transition my students from block programming to a python based sprite scene (maybe you have tried pythonista3 on the App Store) but considering dropping it form Playgrounds.

So would you recommend focusing on SwiftUI first and work in to a SpriteKit Scene or start with a familiar SpriteKit Scene and work out the the wrapping SwiftUI?

August 28, 2022

I would take the SwiftUI route and then embed a SpriteView to gain access to the SpriteKit. You wouldn't have to do a complete deep dive into all of SwiftUI at first, just enough to embed a full screen SpriteView. By using SwiftUI you could start off with a full screen SpriteView before looking at SwiftUI and it's layout to add more user interface elements (hi scores, lives, start screen with button or help screen with return navigation). The reason is that Apple is focusing its future developments on Swift and SwiftUI and anything it wants to continue supporting it's creating wrappers for.

Hope this helps,


August 28, 2022

Thanks Bob, it does help to hear an outside opinion from someone who is already using SwiftUI.

I understand what you mean about covering just some basics of SwiftUI, just enough to embed a full screen SpriteView. I probably will start with scores, lives, time, etc as nodes in the SpriteView at first, and then at some point backup and move them outside into the VStack of the SwiftUI file

Thanks again, for the feedback!


August 29, 2022

Hi Justin,

No worries 👍🏻


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