WWDC. The third time.

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Sometimes, in your life, you could get a second chance, whether positive or negative. While studying, working or after bad circumstances.
One of my second chances was in 2015: after the experience of 2014, I was selected for the second time in a row for an Apple WWDC Scholarship. For those who don’t know: WWDC is the annual conference of developers held by Apple in San Francisco, where new features for iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS are presented.

I retried to submit my scholarship application in 2016, but without success. In return, a variant of the app I submitted is published on the tvOS App Store.

This year, I got the third chance.

Apple moved the conference to San Jose and requested the scholars to make not a standard app, but a Swift playground. A playground is a sort of “prototype” of an app, a simple sandbox which can be ran on both iOS (with the Swift Playgrounds app) and macOS (via Xcode). At the first glance, a playground may seem to be limited: yes, there are some limitations on libraries and performances, but is an almost-complete standalone platform to run iOS apps. A perfect environment for beginners.

My application for this year was a game. In fact, this was my first game wrote by me starting from scratch, since I never loved to write games. But I wasn’t discouraged, I wanted to try this way and I started building Shapes on Rails using SpriteKit.

Shapes on Rails is an endless game where you need to collect the major number of points. These are the rules, taken from the playground: you’ll need to switch between tracks to collect points by tapping or swiping on the right or left side of the screen before reaching the next shape. You collect points every time you pass over a shape, but if you meet your same shape, the result will be unexpected! You could earn more points, losing some or move backwards or forwards in the game… who knows? 😊

But pay attention when you change your current track: you may encounter a node where you need to choose between two tracks. If you don’t choose nothing, you’ll lose! 😱 So be sure to select the correct way before reaching the node – the player will blink in red.

These are some screenshots of the playground:

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Submissions were open until April 2nd. Last friday, I received the mail from Apple Developer: “You won an Apple WWDC Scholarship!”. I was very excited for this announcement!
I also needed to confirm my participation… in case of doubt 😂.

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And so, I’ll fly to San Jose between June 2nd and 14th! In between, I’ll also visit San Francisco and Los Angeles. I’ll attend interesting sessions and meet a lot of developers from around the world.
My desire – since 2014 – is to take a picture with Jony Ive 😁.

Really, I can’t wait 😍 I’ll post some pics here.

See you there! 🌉



Nicola Giancecchi

Born in '93 in a tiny state lost in the middle of the italian peninsula (hint: it's not the Vatican City). Great computer science enthusiast and Apple fan, I love to write code in Swift, but I also like to work with other languages and environments (PHP, Android, Windows, etc). Three times Apple WWDC Scholarship Recipient. Coding since 2008, developing iOS apps since 2012.


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