My journey to a WWDC 19 Scholarship.

So, I recently received an email from Apple about my acceptance to a WWDC19 Scholarship! In this post I’m going to share my journey to learning and developing a successful playground.

My Submission

Before I get into how I created my submission and some tips for future applicants, I would just like to showcase my submission for those who haven’t seen it. It’s about developer’s journey to the conference in AR (Augmented Reality). It takes the user from the home to San Jose where they can view some attractions and finally reach the conference building where they face new challenges. View it here: My Submission

What is WWDC?

WWDC stands for the World Wide Developer Conference which Apple Inc. hosts annually. In the conference there is the keynote where they unveil new software and hardware updates. There are also sessions with useful presentations and talks about new developer related updates and labs where you can demo new features and chat with other developers and engineers. The ticket for the conference is USD$1599 without the inclusion of flight ticket prices. It takes place during June 3-7 in 2019.

What is a WWDC Scholarship?

Apple offers scholarships to talented students who must apply with essay responses and a demo of their swift proficiency. Included in the scholarship is a ticket to the conference and room and board for the duration of the event. It’s a great oppurtunity to learn new things and meet new people!

What do you need to do?

To apply to a WWDC Scholarship, you need to submit essay responses on a few prompts and submit a special type of coding project known as a playground or playgroundbook. A playground is meant to showcase any idea easily and needs to be written in Swift. A playgroundbook is very similar but instead has multiple pages such as with a story or progress of tasks. They can be either made to run on the Swift Playgrounds app on iPad devices or in Xcode, the development platform on Mac devices. The essay responses traditionally ask about your coding background and your playground submission.

What did I do

I really wanted to create something in AR this year as that was a new technology that is fairly new. It was really interesting to see how 3D models can be simulated in the real world within your device. I initially wanted to build a game in AR where you would navigate through tricky obstacles and try to reach a goal but soon found out it wasn’t the best idea. The collision detection was tricky to implement and I began to feel like the ideas was quite basic. Then I came up with an idea to share my interest in WWDC as it has always been my dream to attend and AR. With this I decided a playgroundbook would be best to simulate different steps in the process such as from home to airport and airport to conference center. I began building my project and polished it as I continued working. I started it on March 17 and had only around a week until the deadline on March 24. I had to work countlessly everyday to accomplish the deadline. Thankfully it was that week when I had my spring break so that worked out coincedentally. I finished the essay responses quickly and managed to submit on the last day.

Tips for future applicants

  1. Brainstorm a bunch of ideas and pick one out of those It’s best to have a lot of ideas in case some don’t work out and also because as you keep thinking you could think of improvements as well. Pick your favorite and the one you think you can excel in during your time frame.
  2. Learn Swift and necessary frameworks beforehand Before you begin working on your project, you should have a good understanding of Swift and any other frameworks. I had been taking a course on ARKit in the past which helped me create my submission. Also any errors you encounter can more easily be solved.
  3. Work on the main features before adding extras When you come up with an idea, be sure to finish the main idea and main functionalities before you add on extra features or UI changes. It’s easy to get sidetracked and lose a lot of time!

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. I just wanted to write about my journey and provide knowledge to those interested. Thanks for reading. New posts coming soon!

Written on May 2, 2019