Visiting WWDC is always a special experience, but attending is harder than with many other conferences. You have to win the ticket lottery due to the demand, almost everyone will need a flight of some duration, and let’s not even talk about the hotel prices! 😱

That’s a challenge even if you have a company willing to fund you, but it must feel completely out of reach for almost all students, which is why I love that Apple organises the Swift Student Challenge every year. Apple announced the winners this week, and from the 350 winners, Apple picked 50 to attend a three-day event around this year’s conference. 🎉

I got a chance to talk with a couple of the winners this week: AJ Nettles and Dezmond Blair. In previous years, the students have organised to keep track of everyone’s submissions, and I always loved browsing and linking to those repositories each year. There is no 2024 repository, unfortunately, but getting to meet AJ and Dezmond was a treat.

Their apps are impressive, too, with AJ creating a password manager using CryptoKit and Dezmond making a mountain biking companion app using ARKit.

Congratulations to all the winners this year, and I hope those who are attending the conference will make them feel welcome and part of the community.

I’ll finish with some words from AJ, who had this to say when I asked if he had any advice for next year’s students:

“Don’t be afraid to fail. If your code doesn’t compile then try again with a different approach. It will error. It will have bugs. But if you keep trying to improve it, you’ll get there.”

That’s good advice for everyone, not just next year’s students! 👍

Dave Verwer  





Framework Developer @ PSPDFKit – Design API that will affect hundreds of apps, and create UI used by millions of users. Collaborate globally in a small team working on the leading document SDK for iOS, macOS and visionOS. Make the most of a flexible schedule, and attend annual retreats at exciting places around the world. – Remote (Anywhere)

Senior iOS Engineer - Voloco @ Resonant Cavity – Voloco is the best mobile recording studio in the world! Small profitable company with an Engineering driven culture. We ship with minimal process and meetings. You’ll work closely with the founders, who still regularly commit code. – Remote (within US timezones) with some on-site work (United States in CA or MN)


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