Apple invests in tomorrow’s coding talent
While Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn’t think a four-year degree is necessary to be a proficient coder, he’s still prepared to invest in the nurturing next-generation engineering talent. And today Apple opened up the application process for new students to join its Developer Academy in Naples, Italy.
The Naples connection
The program focuses on software development, startup creation, and app design with an emphasis on creativity and collaboration.
The Academy is based in a renewed facility at the university that was specially designed by Apple working with the architecture department there. Teaching takes place in open, collaborative working spaces rather than traditional classrooms.
Students are provided with the hardware and software they need for their studies, including an iPhone and Mac. Some students may be provided with a little financial support in the form of a small scholarship, while others may be able to get regional support – more here.
Thirty-five of this year’s students were selected to attend WWDC. The App Store offers over 50 apps that were developed by students at the Academy, including a revolutionary hearing aid app called Hear Me Well, which uses the iPhone’s microphone to reinforce sound so people can hear it using their headphones.
What students learn
The course provides coding, collaboration, software development, and app and business management insights. Students must go through a recruitment process to join, but the courses are completely free.
Apple has trained almost 1,000 students since it began offering coding courses at the Academy in 2016.
The company says it will continue to train people for another two years, including the 400 new students it is looking for today.
Discussing his experience of the course, Italian Academy student Michele Marrazzo said: “I’m proud that I learned new skills, including things I’d never tried before like design and managing a team and made some great friends…”
Former student Ash Thomas, 26, called his year at the Developer Academy “a truly once in a lifetime experience…. the ideal place to dive deep into design thinking and to learn in a way that is like no other.”
An eye on the enterprise
Apple’s continued success in developing its enterprise business is reflected in the enterprise-focused track it offers at the Academy.
With an eye to the needs of enterprise developers, Apple’s teachers will help prospective enterprise app developers get a grip on the big concepts that govern enterprise IT.
These include looking across the entire lifecycle of an app, not just the challenges of building an app – things such as app deployment, cloud provision, security, and data storage.
The idea is that students who follow this track will emerge with the kind of sophisticated understanding they need to create enterprise solutions for themselves or for an employer.
Apple knows that there is a global shortage of talented developers, and its investment in training is part of its effort to help address that.
In related news, at the Tech for Good Summit in Paris, Apple announced that the Malala Fund is joining its partnership with Simplon to teach Swift, with a new focus on refugee and displaced young women and women from underserved communities.
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, said:
“We’re committed to transforming lives through the power of technology, and look forward to seeing the solutions these new coders develop.”
How to apply to the Apple Developer Academy
Students from Italy and around the world are welcome to apply for the course. To secure a place, students are required to complete an online application by June 21, 2019. Successful students will then be invited to take a test and attend a July interview in either Naples, London, Munich, or Paris.