Tech giant Apple and Binus University have collaborated to run a free, nine-month-long course on application development. The short course has been completed by 156 students, earning them the title of first-generation, Apple-sponsored, local iOS developers. Over the years, the Indonesian government has encouraged Apple to invest in educating Indonesians. This is largely due to Indonesia’s significant number of smartphone and social media users.
The graduation ceremony was attended by three ministers: Information and Communications Minister Rudiantara, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto, and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati. Ricky, 25, a business management graduate from Binus University is among the first batch of students to have graduated from the joint collaboration. “We basically learned three things: basic coding, app design, and how to do business,” he said. Ricky added that the business training covered different aspects of project management, research, and app monetisation. The basic coding was however, limited to Swift – which is a programming language created exclusively for Apple and its products.
One of the most important topics covered by the training was how to identify and solve four social problems with technology. Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President, explained that this is what they call “challenge-based learning”. Ricky himself teamed up with five other students to create a job interview training app called Koda, which is available for free at the App Store. Koda asks users standard interview questions and evaluates the user’s confidence levels, based on their tone and eye-contact. The team continued to improve Koda’s accuracy by measuring intonation, speech speed, as well as content. Their next step will be monetising Koda, offering the app to various investors and tech companies, such as e-commerce platform Tokopedia. Apple’s greatest limitation is the fact that it only controls 13 per cent of Indonesia’s smartphone market. Apple’s apps are exclusively available to iOS users, limiting its customer reach. Koda, however, aims to remain open to other operating systems and mobile phones.