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

Question: Before Apple, you worked at a place where your official title was Technical Evangelist. What exactly were you evangelizing? Answer: Apple’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.

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

Multiple bright yellow-white sparks appear.

Question: Did you know many girls into tech at that age? Answer: Not many, and even in my career, I’ve often felt like a colorful unicorn. Question: Easy to spot and rare? Answer: Right. 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? Answer: We 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? Answer: Yeah, 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. Question: A 10-year-old you? Answer: Almost anyone! This is working with kids as young as eight.

Question: You’re inspiring adult beginners, too. Answer: Yes, 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! Question: Sounds like you lit a few sparks. Answer: It’s so great to see them feel empowered and super proud.

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

Question: And in higher education, you’re working with medical schools? Answer: We’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? Answer: No, 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