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It often starts with a spark — a fledgling curiosity that develops into a more dedicated interest and then slowly grows into an all-consuming passion for solving unique problems and forging long-lasting connections in an entirely new language.
For some app developers, this spark was ignited in school by an encouraging teacher or parent, while others came to coding later in life, driven by an innate desire to pull things apart and understand how they work.
Ahead of National STEAM Day on November 8, seven inspiring creators — from college roommates who bonded over their love of sneakers to a pair of engineers looking to help fellow moms find quality childcare — are sharing their unique journeys that led them to entrepreneurship through app development and the App Store. Below, they 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.
Follow Curiosity Wherever It Leads
Anne K. Halsall (2022 Apple Entrepreneur Camp participant), co-founder and chief product officer at Winnie, a childcare discovery platform that helps parents find high-quality daycares and preschools
“When I was a kid, computer-assisted artwork and computer design were the things I spent all my time doing; I was just obsessed. What was strange for me was that that was always like a hobby — something I pursued for fun, kind of in the privacy of my home. I didn’t have opportunities to bond with other kids about this, because I didn’t know any other girls who were into computers. And when I went to college, it never occurred to me to do this as a career. I didn’t even consider going into technology as a career, despite having computers in my life since I was very young. I, of course, ended up there because it was meant to be. It was the thing I wanted to do and the thing I was passionate about. So as much as I tried to do other things with my life, I ended up in technology inevitably, in spite of myself.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Change Course
Amanda Southworth (2017 and 2018 WWDC Student Scholar), founder and executive director of Astra Laboratories, a nonprofit that develops technology solutions that offer vital resources to marginalized communities
“I created my first app, AnxietyHelper, and I thought it was going to be just a thing I might talk about on college applications. I thought, ‘I kinda like mobile development, but I’m going to move back to robotics. I’m going to go to college.’ But I ended up doing none of those things. With AnxietyHelper, I put out something I knew had a need because I was experiencing that need. The response has and still is completely overwhelming; it was a really beautiful thing that came out of a lot of struggle and strength. It was very pivotal to understand that there are a lot of forms of action someone can take,