Manuela stands smiling in an office hallway, holding an iPad and with a book bag on her shoulder. She’s wearing black pants and a black shirt with a colorful pixel pattern across one side.

Inspiring minds by augmenting reality.

Manuela’s story

To see more women in tech, we need to reach more
girls in school.
Manuela, Systems Engineer
Munich, Germany

QuestionBefore Apple, you worked at a place where your official title was Technical Evangelist. What exactly were you evangelizing? AnswerApple’s iOS! I was spreading the word about how to use that company’s services on iPhone and iPad. Ever since the first iPhone, I knew that’s what I wanted to work on. So when I finally came to Apple, it felt like I was coming home.

QuestionWelcome home. What kind of work are you doing as a systems engineer? AnswerI’m an app development specialist on our Enterprise Sales team. QuestionWorking with Apple’s business clients? AnswerYes. I show them how to build their own iOS-based applications, often including augmented reality. QuestionSounds like you’re still a technical evangelist. AnswerSince I was 10 years old!

Multiple bright yellow-white sparks appear.

Question Did you know many girls into tech at that age? AnswerNot many, and even in my career, I’ve often felt like a colorful unicorn. Question Easy to spot and rare? AnswerRight. I’m less rare now, but still colorful. At Apple, we’ve been really working on this for a while, so globally, the number of women in R&D here has been growing, though there’s lots of room for more of us. Question How do you keep up that momentum? AnswerWe need to get to women even earlier — and we are.

We’re sparking more imaginations with augmented reality — it really feels like magic.
A multicolored unicorn appears.
More bright yellow-white sparks appear.

Question You’re helping to train teachers, right? AnswerYeah, for the last one and a half years now, I’ve been helping our Education team show teachers how to code and then show them how to teach code, using ARKit and Swift Playgrounds. This is something a 10-year-old can do. QuestionA 10-year-old you? AnswerAlmost anyone! This is working with kids as young as eight.

Question You’re inspiring adult beginners, too. AnswerYes, after a pause for the pandemic, I’ll continue to teach a wonderful women-only class for refugees. That one is for the women who just want the basics, but some of them have gone on to take the Python programming course afterward! QuestionSounds like you lit a few sparks. AnswerIt’s so great to see them feel empowered and super proud.

A bird representing the logo of the Swift programming language flies into frame

QuestionAnd in higher education, you’re working with medical schools? AnswerWe’re showing them how to code Apple Watch and iPhone apps so med students can learn how their patients can share health data. Question These are software developers? AnswerNo, no — med school professors with no coding experience. They said they couldn’t do it and I said, “You’ll have your own application deployed on your phone by dinner tonight!”

I made med school professors code with me! It was amazing.

Illustrated on iPad