Canadian teens who took home Apple’s top scholarship - where are they now?

May 12 2020, 3:32 pm

Apple has long been a champion for young coders. Often using its platforms to offer support and opportunities for students from all over the world to take some big steps towards the rest of their developing career.

With Apple’s WWDC20 (Worldwide Developers Conference) shifting to an online platform, this year’s student challenge and scholarship will have a different feel to it. In previous years, one of the highlights of winning the scholarship was the opportunity to be sent to the WWDC conference in person.

“Attending the sessions and labs allowed me to expand my knowledge to much higher extents than before,” previous WWDC Student Scholarship winner Pranav Karthik, from Vancouver, told Daily Hive.”I also made connections with numerous scholars as well as other WWDC attendees throughout my time there.”

It made a big difference in how I was able to experience the content that WWDC has to offer,” said Toronto’s Allyson Aberg. “I attended a lot of in-person programming sessions and met a lot of people, both students, and working software engineers, that share the same interests in iOS and macOS development that I do!

WWDC truly broadened my perception of just what software can be, and how much of an impact it can have on the world,” said Aiden Olfert of Calgary.

This year, the Student Challenge will offer winners exclusive swag and some intimately valuable insight on applicants’ skills as a coder by a host of professional Apple engineers. Submissions for WWDC20’s Student Challenge opened up on May 5, and the deadline for applicants is Sunday, May 17.

For more details, check out the info page on Apple’s website.

We asked previous winners for any advice to give those who are thinking about applying this year, and for a group of young professionals, their responses were extremely grounded.

I remember the first year I applied to WWDC, I contemplated if I should even apply, if my submission would be good enough to make it, if it was even worth myself to take the chance,” Olfert told Daily Hive. “Looking back now I am super fortunate I decided to disregard those hesitations and just give it a shot.”

Creating something that is truly exciting to you, even if it’s perhaps a bit tricky to pull off, is the key to any great product,” wrote Sasha Ivanov from Calgary.

As a jumping-off point, Apple’s student scholarships have played a major role in the inspiration of Canadian youth, spurring on an entirely new generation of engineers and developers.

“Students are an integral part of the Apple developer community, and last year WWDC saw attendance from more than 350 student developers spanning 37 different countries,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, in a press release.

The Swift Playground application brings coding and learning to the forefront, propped up to teach students how to code for the iOS ecosystem.

With a huge future in the platform, and a continually growing mountain of developers who are working hard at shaping said future, the WWDC Student Challenge is a highlight among the Apple family every single year.