Every year at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference there’s a few young developers trying to crack the big time, thanks to Apple’s Swift Student Challenge.

Since Covid the program is a bit different with far less people in attendance at Apple’s HQ and the WWDC program of events now primarily online.

But, the Swift Student Challenge continues, a chance for student developers to show their love for development buy building real-world apps to showcase their skills which will create a career for them into the future.

Now in it’s 13th year, in 2024 Student Challenge winners get one year of free membership in the Apple Developer program, as well as a voucher to take an App Development with Swift Certification exam and, a special gift from Apple (Probably some pins and merch).

Fifty Student winners from around the world will also be invited to Cupertino for a three-day experience.

This year, Seven Aussie’s – aged from as young as 14 – are the Swift Student Challenge winners.

Dinith Meegahapola, Melbourne 

  • Dinith is 16-year old student from Haileybury School in Melbourne. 
  • Building on his coding skills from a young age, this is his first time winning the Swift Student Challenge after entering in 2023 and 2022. 
  • Empowered by machine learning, his wining entry is a learning app to help students understand circuit components. The app can identify circuit components based on user images and create circuit design prototypes. 
  • Dinith has been awarded for building an automatic locker using a fingerprint sensor and hopes to continue creating tech innovations in the future.  
  • Dinith has plans to attend the US event at Apple Park in person. 

Mason Cao, Melbourne 

  • Mason is 20-year old student studying a Bachelor of Computer Science at RMIT University in Melbourne.
  • His love of programming started in July last year when he first learned Swift programming as part of the Apple Foundation Program at RMIT. 
  • Addressing his own struggles with ADHD, his entry MorningDew helps people kick start their day and manage the many distractions mornings can bring. 
  • Designed with accessibility and inclusivity in mind, the app is a small bid to lessen the stigma around ADHD and show how those impacted can be just as high-functioning as anyone else in the workforce.
  • After completing the Apple Foundation Program at RMIT, Mason was inspired to take on more challenges and won his first hackathon. He hopes to continue on his tech journey to create revolutionary and disruptive Apps. 

Levi Rigger, Sydney 

  • Levi is a 14-year old student from Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt Campus. 
  • An avid coder, he has been mastering his skills since age 9. Starting with Scratch, a coding program for young kids, before moving onto Python and Java Script, and finally App development. This is the first time he has entered the challenge.
  • His entry, Blockli, helps students problem solve. In a series of challenges and levels, students rearrange and rotate building blocks to pass through each level. 
  • Levi has previously built his own website and has high hopes of becoming a software engineer. 

Mac Rogers, Queenland 

  • Mac Rogers is a 19-year old student from the University of Queensland. 
  • Inspired by his love of drones, Mac’s winning submission, ControlFREAK, gives people a better understanding for how drone control systems work. The App dynamically navigates flight system components and algorithms and converts them into flight paths, in an easy to understand manner. 
  • Proving STEM and sports can go hand in hand, Mac is seasoned gymnast and is the current Guinness World Record title holder for the most muscle-ups completed on gymnastics rings within a 24 hour period after reaching a whopping 1,308. 
  • His academic achievements shine just as bright. He was the 2022 the Proserpine State High School captain and dux, Whitsunday Regional Council’s 2023 Young Citizen of Year and winner of the Ultimate Classroom challenge. 

Anh Nguyễn, Sydney 

  • Anh is a 24 year-old student in his final year at the University of UNSW. 
  • A self taught coder, he has been teaching himself the ins and outs of programming through YouTube and online courses. 
  • Inspired by his friend who is colour blind and a mistaken purchase of pink shoes, his winning entry is a visual simulator of different vision impairments, allowing people to better understand and empathise with the everyday challenges people experience. 
  • Anh has previously developed an AI travel companion app that generates travel itineraries based on real time weather, hotel and pricing information. 
  • Anh’s love of coding extends to teaching and he runs tutoring classes so others can learn to code too. 

Rohan van Klinken, Queensland 

  • Rohan is a 19-year old studying maths at the University of Queensland. 
  • A self-taught coder, this is the first time he has entered the Swift Challenge.
  • Rohan’s entry, The Black Hole Playground, renders how black holes in space might look in 2D and 3D. 
  • He is a member of the Cyber Security Club, where he teaches students about the security of compiled Apps. 
  • He has previously rewritten popular games in Swift to optimise for Mac and iOS. 

Jesaiah Creek, Sydney 

  • Jesaiah is 16-year-old student from St George Christian School in New South Wales. 
  • He is a self-taught coder, teaching himself at the age of 13. 
  • Jesaiah won the Challenge in 2023 with his entry, PocketsSax, which allows anyone to play an instrument transcending financial restrictions or disabilities, particularly those hypersensitive to noise. He has since made improvements to win the 2024 Challenge accolade. 
  • Since winning the Challenge last year, he has continued to enhance his love of tech and has even met Tim Cook! 
  • He has a love for music and plays the Saxophone and Bass Guitar and found that by combining his loves for both app development and music he could be most passionate. 
  • In order to teach other kids his age how to code he has started a lunchtime course teaching fellow students at his school.