Buzz, Chris Lattner, Developer, Swift, TC, Tesla

Swift creator departs Tesla after just six months

Chris Lattner has built a solid reputation after working for 11 years at Apple on low-level software technologies. In particular, he developed Apple’s most recent programming language, Swift. In January, Tesla announced that it had recruited Lattner as VP of Autopilot Software.

Six months later, he announced on Twitter that he was leaving the car company. “Turns out that Tesla isn’t a good fit for me after all,” he said. Lattner doesn’t have a new job in mind just yet.

Apple first unveiled Swift at WWDC in June 2014. It is slowly but surely becoming the default programming language on all Apple platforms, such as iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS. Swift is supposed to be more modern, flexible and future-proof than Apple’s previous programming language Objective-C.

Before Swift, Lattner created the Clang compiler and the LLVM compiler optimization infrastructure. He also worked a lot on Xcode, Apple’s software development tool. Let’s just say that millions of developers around the world have been affected by Lattner’s work.

In October 2016, Tesla announced that all Tesla cars now have all the hardware sensors needed to turn them into autonomous vehicles. But the software stack is not there yet. That’s why Tesla proudly announced that it poached Lattner to head the software effort when it comes to self-driving features.

Given Lattner’s impressive resume, he’ll have plenty of offers at other tech companies. And it’s going to be interesting to see which company ends up hiring him.

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