Former Starbucks Worker Says Attending Apple's Developer Academy Was 'Opportunity of My Life'

Apple's first iOS Developer Academy opened in Naples, Italy last October, providing 200 students with practical skills and experience to help turn their app ideas into reality and bring them to market on the App Store.

ios developer academy macbook
One of those students is a young Neapolitan man named Lucio, who left Naples for the United Kingdom to find a technology job, but was enticed to return to the city upon hearing about Apple's Developer Academy.

The Independent says after Lucio applied for the academy, he left his job at Starbucks so that he could study properly. He felt it was a risky move, but fortunately, he passed the test and joined the first year's class of students.

Lucio described the academy as the "opportunity of my life" and, nearly eight months later, said he would "totally recommend" the experience to anyone looking to come from elsewhere in the world.

“I was taking a risk, but this was the opportunity of my life,” he says. He had tried university already, and found it lacking because it had so little focus on student’s enjoyment and the work of actually solving problems and working with other people.

The Independent explains how Apple's Developer Academy has made Naples a more attractive city for young people to thrive in, after years of suffering from "brain drain" following an industrial decline.

“If you stay here you are part of an ecosystem that will continue to train developers,” says Giorgio Ventre, a professor at the University of Naples Federico II. “This is something that you do need if you want to open a company. You want to count on yourself - but you want to count on the skills you need to help your company grow. If you stay here you can find it.”

Apple is accepting applications for the Developer Academy's second year until May 31. Scholarships are available, and each student inducted receives a free MacBook and iPhone to use during the one-year program. Courses are held at the University of Naples Federico II in Naples suburb San Giovanni a Teduccio.

The academy will accept up to 400 students for the new academic year, twice as many as the first year. The program is open to students from across Italy and around the world, with Apple encouraging developers from the United Kingdom and elsewhere to apply in an effort to have a more diverse group of people.

Last year, Apple said it expects to expand its Developer Academy program to other countries around the world in the future.

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Top Rated Comments

Kaibelf Avatar
92 months ago
Of course it was the opportunity of his life, he probably gave his entire life savings to apple for 1 ticket.
The academy curriculum is free and Apple and the university partnered together to pay for it.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sinsin07 Avatar
92 months ago
Of course it was the opportunity of his life, he probably gave his entire life savings to apple for 1 ticket.
Next time dig deeper instead of trying to be first with the negativity and wild speculation.
The info was right in the article with the link "accepting applications".

"Are there scholarships for Developer Academy?

The attendance to the Developer Academy is free.
"
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
92 months ago
I think becoming a developer is a wonderful life skill, no question... but the App Store is hardly the gold mine it was in 2008.
No doubt, but anyone developing for the goal of "get rich quick" probably shouldn't be in the field anyway.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Blackstick Avatar
92 months ago
I think becoming a developer is a wonderful life skill, no question... but the App Store is hardly the gold mine it was in 2008.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
92 months ago
The next opportunity of his life might be to study some elementary AppStore economics.
And find out that you can't earn a living there, except some happy very (very) few
I don't understand why people think learning to code (even if it's just swift) means that it's App Store or bust. Plenty of companies out there that have an iOS app, that requires developers.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NT1440 Avatar
92 months ago
Learning to code is generally a great opportunity but learning to code with the specific intent of developing for macOS/iOS is a really risky if not outright dumb investment of time.
How so? I'm learning to code for iOS right now. I'm not expecting to get money from it, but I have a few tools that I want to make for my own personal use and I get to add iOS/MacOS development to my resume.

Coding skills are only worth it if they lead to a job?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)