When Swift moved to open source, IBM shared our IBM Swift Sandbox with the developer community. Given how much we loved working in the Sandbox, we thought the community would too. Since that first release, we’ve added a number of features and improved the overall quality of the experience.
With each update we see its popularity and use grow. Today, the community is using the Sandbox in a variety of creative ways. From learning the language, to building prototypes, and to sharing code snippets with other developers, we’re really excited the community likes the Sandbox.
As the Swift community continues to build and update the Swift language and tools, the IBM Swift Sandbox remains the easiest means for a developer to get access to the latest Swift environment on Linux. It is always just a click away.
And today, as we engage developers using the sandbox, we see three popular use cases:
1. Getting acquainted with the language We’ve heard it said and we’ve said it ourselves – Swift is easy to learn. For developers new to Swift, the IBM Swift Sandbox is a great way to become acquainted with the language. Just access the website and begin writing code.
Swift usage is growing and we’re pleased we can help grow the community of Swift developers. Our engineers created a helpful introduction for students learning the basics of computer science during the Hour of Code, a global movement that reached tens of millions of students. And we’re hearing from developers who are familiar with other languages, who are leveraging the Swift Sandbox as they add this new language to their repertoire. We’ve even seen universities using the IBM Swift Sandbox in their courses already.
2. Get Busy Building and Testing Code Developers already familiar with Swift can use the Sandbox as a starter coding environment. You can prototype logic and see the results immediately in the browser. Developers are also exploring algorithms and APIs. You might even test how your Swift code functions in a Linux environment. Maybe even test a potential bug fix you are considering contributing to Swift.org?
3. Share Solutions and Insights The Swift Sandbox is being used by developers to help fellow developers with technical questions. Developers are creating code snippets in the Sandbox, and then sharing them with other developers to get input. We are seeing developers post links to the Swift Sandbox on StackOverflow, like this example. Recently added features enable developers to write up solutions in the Sandbox and share their link back with the original developer.
It’s been exciting for our team to see all the ways developers have been using the Sandbox. At the time this blog post was published, the Sandbox has grown to serve over 100K users and well over half a million code runs. It still has limitations but bear with us. We’ll continue to add new features. You keep coming up with new ways to make the Swift Sandbox useful as we work to bring Swift to the Cloud.