12 March 2019

A Dream, a Project and a Ticket. From Rome to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference

Gabriele, iOS developer at TMP, won a spot at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference through its Scholarship program. The story of his “journey to Mars”

Passion, ability, a desire to put oneself out there and the idea of gaming that makes you stay up until 4:00 in the morning to finish in time for the application at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. 

That’s how it was for Gabriele Cassetta, a computer engineer born in 1990, who won a spot at the WWDC18 in San Jose, the annual event for Apple developers to present new company software and hardware. 

For the 2018 edition, 350 scholarships were made available to students and members of the STEM organization to fly to California, attend all WWDC 2018 seminars, stay for free for the duration of the event and get a subscription to the Apple Developer program, valid for one year.

The Playground developed by Gabriele, which made him one of the 350 winners of the scholarship program, is a speed memory game and involves clicking on pairs of identical cells as quickly as possible.

The squares are generated randomly and placed in the empty ells of the grid. When a match is made, the pairs of identical squares are removed from the main grid to make space for new ones, increasing the speed in proportion to the cells clicked. 

Based on the clicks, a counter is implemented that affects the difficulty of the game, with the possibility of setting a countdown and playing against time. 

For scholarship winners like Gabriele, WWDC18 started at the Steve Jobs Theater, with the first previews of the conference, several gifts and the honor of a private meeting with the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook.

Gabriele describes it like this: “it was a bit like landing on Mars and a bit – actually a lot – like finding myself in the right place to do my job and follow my passion. The WWDC is the top event for the presentation of new Apple technologies, but that’s not all: it’s a chance to be completely immersed in the productive and innovative pace of Silicon Valley".

The 5 days in San Jose flew by with various workshops, useful for getting advice straight from engineers and Apple experts about problems or even curiosities about apps.  It was an unparalleled opportunity to meet and talk with developers from all over the world and share their own projects, like the new LUISS app which Gabriele worked on at the Mashfrog Group’s company focused on mobile tech, TrustMyPhone

What was really amazing”, said Gabriele, “is how everything happened in a really agile, informal and product-oriented way. To give you an idea: if you want to test applications and games in beta with augmented reality during the WWDC, you can play them in a space just for that, the AR Game Room”. 

It was an incredibly educational and useful experience that Gabriele already wants to repeat: for days, he’s been watching the WWDC site and its countdown, which is about to come to an end and reveal all the details for the 2019 edition.