RIYADH: The first Apple Developer Academy in the Middle East opened its doors last week in Riyadh, offering female tech enthusiasts an opportunity to become programmers and developers.
“Our goal is to become the region’s premier center for female iOS developers while supporting them in becoming active and effective entrepreneurs leading the digital transformation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Ohood Al-Nayel, Apple Developer Academy director, said.
“We’re excited to welcome the first class of women to the Apple Developer Academy facility at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University,” Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of education and enterprise marketing, said.
The Apple Developer Academy is the first coding institution in the region partnered with the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones, represented by Tuwaiq Academy and Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.
Students learn the fundamentals of coding, design, marketing, project management and entrepreneurship. Graduates can go on to start businesses, create and sell applications on the App Store, and contribute to their community’s industries.
“At Apple, we’re committed to ensuring everyone has the tools and resources to thrive in the app economy and be part of that transformation,” Prescott said.
The academy’s long-term goal is to build a strong foundation for careers in the app economy, further contributing to social reforms under Vision 2030.
“Through the power of technology and innovation, we are proud to be helping prepare these leaders for new career and entrepreneurship opportunities,” Prescott said.
Students are between the ages of 20-35 and are from various regions of the Kingdom. They are also from diverse sectors and career backgrounds, including IT, finance, art, law and medicine.
“Like all Apple developer academies around the world, we will focus on enabling and empowering our students to actively contribute and benefit from the booming app industry,” Al-Nayel said.
The academy gives any student with an idea the chance to design and bring their application to life through programming and coding lessons.
As part of the program, students traveling to study in Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University will have their living arrangements provided, including dormitories, sporting facilities, and access to Riyadh activities and events.
About 70 percent of the training mentors are women.
There are over a dozen Apple Developer Academy sites around the world. The academy aims to empower more than 600 women per year through its international programs.