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New tech academy is helping Saudi Arabia to train app developers

Saudi Arabia’s tech scene is experiencing a surge in innovation, driven in part by a new wave of female developers empowered by Apple’s groundbreaking Developer Academy in Riyadh.

This first-of-its-kind academy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is exclusively for women and aims to bridge the gap between education and the future of technology.

Ohood Al-Nayel, the academy’s director, has a clear vision: to transform Saudi Arabia into a regional hub for AI research, entrepreneurship, and development. By equipping female developers with the necessary skills, the academy is fostering a new generation of tech leaders who will shape the future of AI in the kingdom. Ohood Al-Nayel - androguru

The academy offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to nurture both technical expertise and a passion for lifelong learning. The program includes:

  • “The Academy”: A nine-month intensive program accepting 200 students annually.
  • “The Foundation”: A four-week introductory program for 330 students.
  • Second-Year Visionary Program: A selective program for 50 students focusing on cutting-edge advancements.

The core curriculum, launching this fall, will delve into:

  • Fundamentals of AI: Students will gain a solid understanding of the core concepts and frameworks underpinning AI technology.
  • Machine Learning on Apple Devices: The program focuses on leveraging machine learning’s capabilities for optimal performance on Apple devices.
  • Building and Training AI Models: Students will gain hands-on experience in constructing and training their own AI models from scratch.

The academy’s approach emphasizes project-based learning, allowing students to apply their knowledge through real-world projects. This is further enriched by the guidance of hundreds of mentors and a global network of over 12,000 academy alumni.

The curriculum’s emphasis on AI empowers students to address pressing social issues. Examples include:

  • “Artector”: This app, developed by a student team, utilizes AI to provide visually impaired individuals with an accessible audio guide to explore artwork and gain insights into its history and meaning.
  • “PiClean”: This app encourages environmental awareness by helping students clean up their surroundings.
  • “iSpeak”: This app tackles public speaking anxieties by providing tools to enhance communication clarity.

Building the Future iOS App Economy

The academy is not just about technical skills. It fosters an entrepreneurial spirit, encouraging graduates to contribute meaningfully to the local app development scene. The curriculum stays up-to-date with industry needs, ensuring graduates possess the most relevant skills for the Saudi job market.

Students at the academy benefit from the latest advancements unveiled at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC24).

Tools like Xcode 16 offer enhanced features and performance improvements, allowing students to streamline coding tasks and explore new frontiers in app development.

By empowering Saudi women to become leaders in the field of AI, the Apple Developer Academy in Riyadh is playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of technology in the region.

With a focus on social impact, innovation, and practical skills development, the academy is equipping its students to become the driving force behind a thriving AI ecosystem in Saudi Arabia.

Arab News

Nisha Mehta

Nisha Mehta is a talented Android app developer and an avid enthusiast of all things related to the Android platform. With her expertise in app development, Nisha creates innovative and user-friendly Android applications that cater to a wide range of user needs. She shares her valuable insights, tips, and tricks on Android development, empowering fellow developers and enthusiasts to excel in their craft.

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