Apple is inviting any aspiring developers or entrepreneurs to put in an application for one of their 400 free spots at this year’s Apple Developer Academy. This is open to students from anywhere in the world, and the tuition will be fully sponsored by Apple – with absolutely no cost to students. In addition, students will also receive a free Mac and an iPhone. But it doesn’t stop there, students will also have some of their living expenses paid for during their time in Naples, Italy. It’s almost a full ride, but if you ask me, it’s a pretty sweet deal.
This is a great move for Apple since they are currently pushing hard to get their platforms into education. Take, Swift, for example – establishing Swit courses to promote its use in schools. They have also recently announced a reduced fee for schools to purchase iPads, in order to better compete with Google and Microsoft. But this is also a really good move because it’s giving kids the ability to learn how to use Apple technology. While there are a lot of people who don’t use Apple products, Apple isn’t going anywhere and we need people who can create new software and apps.
Apple first announced this initiative in early 2016. Back then, it was referenced as its first iOS Development Center for Europe. In July of that same year, it confirmed that it would be partnering with the Università di Napoli Federico II and then opened applications for its tutors. The inaugural program opened that year and had only 200 students. That class graduated last year, and now they have opened it for another year – this time doubling their enrollment.
The Developer Academy is open to students from across Italy and around the world with the current student intake including students from 25 different countries, from as far as Venezuela and Peru through India and Nigeria. Students from Italy come from 16 different regions across the country.
Some of you might be thinking that this is just another educational opportunity, so who cares? But it matters to young people who are interested in learning more about this technology and who might not have these kinds of opportunities. Ash Thomas, a 26-year-old student who is currently enrolled, had this to say about the program:
The Apple Developer Academy is a truly once in a lifetime experience to explore fresh ideas whilst collaborating with innovative minds from all over the world. It is the ideal place to dive deep into design thinking and to learn in a way that is like no other. I’d recommend the academy to anyone who wishes to learn how to develop mobile apps, or to anyone wanting to follow a career in technology or design.
After this upcoming class graduates in 2019, Apple estimates that approximately 1000 students will have been trained at the Academy. In addition, Apple is offering an “Enterprise Track” which will also be open to 36 students who are looking to secure a more in-depth training into the entire life-cycle of an app – from design to implementation – through to deployment in the cloud, security, troubleshooting and data storage.
To apply you have to go to the Developer Academy website. By the looks of it, it’s a very streamlined process. If you are applying, I wish you luck. This sounds like an incredible and a once in a lifetime opportunity.