Originally posted on my blog: SanaaSqualli.com

Recently, I won a scholarship for WWDC 2016. Since being asked several times how I managed to get the scholarship, I decided to write a post to share my experience with other people that might be interested.

Before I go into details I’ll start first with a short description of the conference.

What is WWDC?

WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) is an annual conference held by Apple Inc. at the Moscone West convention center in San Francisco, California.

The conference is a one-week event, bringing together several thousand developers from around the world.

It starts with a keynote speech where Apple usually announces the future of their operating systems (OS X, iOS, watchOS and tvOS). During the week, developers can attend valuable workshops and software sessions to learn and practice how to use the latest Apple technologies. Also, there is a huge party to celebrate the end of the week with WWDC new friends and music.

How do you participate?

WWDC tickets are allocated through a random selection process due to limited availability.

Developers who want to attend must a member of Apple Developer Program before the announcement day, and submit their registration by a deadline set by Apple. If they win the lottery, they will be charged $1599 for the ticket.

What’s a WWDC Scholarship?

Apple rewards 350 talented students and members of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) organizations–such as App Camp for Girls, Code.org, LaTechLa, Women Who Code, Blacks in Technology, etc.–with the opportunity to attend WWDC free of charge.

The winners are invited to an orientation day the Sunday prior the keynote event.

Are you eligible for WWDC Scholarship?

To be eligible for WWDC scholarship you have all of the following:

You must be over 13 years old and a student or member of a STEM organization.
Developers have to be registered either under a free developer account or a paid Apple developer program.
They have to submit an application they have worked on that demonstrates a creative use of the latest Apple technologies.
Applications will be judged on technical accomplishment in the submitted application, the creativity of ideas in the submitted application, and quality of written responses to the questions in the application form.

Results of the application status are communicated one week after the submission deadline.


How I Won a WWDC Scholarship

I was rejected from the random selection process to attend WWDC 2016 by Apple, but I knew there are other channels for getting a WWDC ticket. I believe life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Determined to earn a ticket, I did some research and realized that I was actually eligible for a WWDC scholarship as a member of Women Who Code group and as a Mac OS X developer.

For the WWDC scholarship, despite having a very short time (3 days) before the submission deadline, I decided to take the challenge and develop my first iOS app solely in Swift–a powerful and intuitive programming language for iOS, OS X, tvOS, and watchOS. My iOS app allows users to share their current location address with their friends.

screenshot1

It has a list and a map view history of all previously shared positions.

screenshot2

 

The user can also keep track of how many times he/she shared a given location, re-view the address on a map or re-share it using Force touch.

screenshot3

This app groups creative use of Apple technologies such as Swift, Social Sharing, Maps, 3D Touch, Auto Layout, Core Animation and Core Data.

As this was my first iOS app, there were some challenges such as:

How to use Swift correctly
How to send information via Message, Social app .. and receive feedback
How to better use Auto Layout to support the different screens of iPhones
How to store, edit and update data on an iPhone
How to use 3D Touch features on iOS
How to integrate Maps

Reading Apple documentation and tutorials, I managed to overcome these technical challenges.

Developing an iOS app was very interesting for me, I’m proud of what I delivered in a very short time. I’m motivated to continue developing and improving my app.

The application is available on the App Store, you can download it from here Hoona on the App Store.

My Advice for Winning a WWDC Scholarship

I continually push myself to learn the latest technologies to deliver innovative solutions.

I believe WWDC is an opportunity for a developer to stay up-to-date about iOS and Mac OS X technologies.

Getting a WWDC scholarship can be daunting for first-timers. Being proactive and focused is key.
I encourage students and women who want to attend to WWDC to believe in themselves. There are prerequisites for the selection process. To improve your chances of winning the scholarship, make sure you follow the eligibility requirements I described earlier.

Are you planning on applying for WWDC scholarship? Let me know if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.
Please feel free to share your own experience in a comment, personal experience is always interesting to hear. ?