In celebration of the upcoming National STEAM Day on November 8, Apple has shared seven helpful and inspiring tips from app creators to ignite a “spark” in coders to learn a new language and deliver innovative solutions through tech.
STEAM is an educational program in the United States that promotes learning of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics in learners as young as pre-schoolers in fun and engaging ways.
As a tech giant, Apple invests in teaching coding at schools starting at the elementary level because it says it’s an essential skill for young minds to acquire to solve problems through tech.
Recently, the tech company expanded its Community Education Initiative in partnership with California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). They hosted over 300 elementary and middle school students from Los Angeles at CSUDH’s Center for Innovation in STEM Education (CISE) lab for a “STEAM Max” event, started after-school coding clubs and a regular Saturday STEM Exploration Day where activities are coached by CSUDH computer science majors at six elementary and middle schools.
Here are 7 tips from Apple’s app creators to make a career in coding
To keep young and adult coders’ spirits high and focused, Apple has seven tips that seven iOS app creators live by in making a career in coding.
1. Anne K. Halsall’s tip is to “Follow Curiosity Wherever It Leads”.
She is the co-founder and chief product officer of the Winnie app, a childcare discovery tool that helps parents find high-quality daycares and preschools. She says it is essential for everyone to follow their passion even if it makes them the odd one out.
She chose a career in tech much later in life because growing up she didn’t have anyone to share her passion one thus, she never considered it as a career option.
2. Sara Mauskopf’s tip is to “tell people you’re never too old to learn to code.”
Mauskopf is the co-founder and CEO of Winnie and she discovered coding in college. Although she thought she was too late, it turned out that people can learn anytime.
3. Amanda Southworth’s tip is “don’t be afraid to change course”.
She is the founder and executive director of Astra Laboratories, a nonprofit that develops technology solutions that offer vital resources to marginalized communities.
Southworth shared that she developed her first app “AnxietyHelper” as a decorative achievement on her college application and more importantly, out of necessity; “with AnxietyHelper, I put out something I knew had a need because I was experiencing that need.” She had not expected that the app development would completely change her and her plans.
4. Akshaya Dinesh’s tip is to “cultivate community to build confidence.”
Dinesh is the founder and CEO of Spellbound, a tool that allows companies to embed interactive user experiences directly into their marketing emails.
Her journey as a coder started in high school when she organized a nonprofit to teach coding to middle school girls. She says to see a community flourish is uplifting and “awesome”.
5. Nicco Adams’ tip is to take the “path less traveled.”
He is the co-founder of Kickstroid, a discovery app using machine learning to help sneaker enthusiasts discover their next favorite pair.
Adam shares that growing up not many people in his community pursued STEAM and it was later in high school that he found people like him interested in technology. So, he professes it is okay to be vulnerable and take the path less traveled to make one’s mark in the world.
6. Alandis Seals’ tip is to “seek mentorship”.
He is a junior developer and assistant instructor at Ed Farm, a nonprofit and Apple Community Education Initiative partner that encourages kids and adults to pursue careers in STEAM.
Seals explain that his instructor who taught him coding was his mentor at first who answered his questions very responsively and helped him find answers. He credits his mentor for bringing him to the point where he can now pass on the language to others.
7. David Alston’s tip is to “pay it forward.”
He is the co-founder and CEO of Kickstroid and professes to pass on the knowledge to as many people as one can. Alston shares that a generation of innovators can be built by sharing knowledge with others.
Apple states that these tips “offer insights for those looking to take the leap into coding and underline the endless opportunities available for aspiring app developers at all stages of life.”