Female app developers launch startups and praise Apple’s support

RIYADH: Since the Middle East’s first all-female Apple Developer Academy opened in Riyadh in February, Saudi and Arab women have had the opportunity to develop their coding skills and contribute to the iOS apps, and now produce designs. for finance, education and the tourism industry.

Fay Al-Shiban. (Provided)

“As a Saudi woman who cares about technology, I can say that Apple has done an incredible job of supporting Saudi and Arab women by bringing the first all-female Apple Developer Academy to the Middle East,” said Fay Al. -Shiban, a student at the institution.

Al-Shiban is also one of the winners of the Worldwide Developers Conference 2022, or the WWDC22-Swift Student Challenge. The initiative allowed students to showcase their design skills by creating a Swift Playgrounds app project in any industry of their choice.

The Kingdom Academy received a lot of attention following a video announcement during the WWDC conference, when Apple CEO and board member Tim Cook spoke about the initiative in Riyadh.

“In Saudi Arabia, we launched our first female developer academy in February, our entrepreneurship camps provide developers from underrepresented communities with mentorship, inspiration and insights from Apple,” Cook said.

In partnership with the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones, represented by Tuwaiq Academy and Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, the program officially welcomed its students in February for an intensive nine-month coding program.

Despite many global programs held remotely, students at the Riyadh-based academy attended sessions entirely in person.

“The first time I found out that Apple was opening an academy in Riyadh, I was excited,” Al-Shiban said. “I’ve always wanted to develop my app development skills and there’s no better way to do that than at an Apple Developer Academy. Apple is my role model when it comes to creativity and I want to become an app developer. world-class apps.

The programmer said she received immense support when she was accepted into the program.


Sara Al-Ghamdi. (Provided)

Sara Al-Ghamdi, a student and apprentice developer, is currently working on creating an app that will help the Kingdom’s tourism industry. “I am currently working with my team to develop a tourism-based application to promote and publicize various tourist spots in Saudi Arabia.”

“Apple’s constant effort to provide new tools and programs for app development has really made life easier for other developers like me…it ensures that my app, which is under development, can be made more user-friendly, more engaging and ultimately increase the apps reach among people,” she said.


Lina Ismail. (Provided)

Lina Ismail, another student, wants to use the skills she learned to help her community. “I enrolled in the academy program because I always wanted to have a positive impact on the community and somehow improve the lives of future generations,” Ismail said.

Ismail is currently working on his app called Naeem which will help people save money. “My inspiration for creating this app came from my experience of living alone away from my family and having to manage all my expenses while saving some money,” she explained.

The app studies users’ spending habits, including where money is being spent. “Then, using machine learning, it will give you personalized suggestions and special offers,” she said.

“Apple Developers Academy taught me how to find a niche idea and turn it into a business. I had a mentor who supported me and helped me pitch the idea to big Saudi Central Bank and Saudi Fintech investors,” Ismail said, revealing that his app is now being tested on the Internet. ‘AppStore.


Maryam Arif. (Provided)

Student Maryam Arif said the academy helped her see the wide range of business opportunities. “The great thing about the program is the endless options of projects you can create! You can work in any field you want,” she said.

Arif chose to create an expense management application for the financial sector called E-pockets. “The idea came from the number of receipts and guarantees that a person collects during (a lifetime) and must keep.”

“The idea and development of the app was so groundbreaking that it impressed our Apple reviewers when they realized it was the first time such an app had been run,” she said.

The academy helps develop skills, but also helps bring apps to market, with support for improvements such as design, Arif said.

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