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UPDATE 27 September 2021

Apple expands Naples Developer Academy, creating new opportunities for European entrepreneurs

Students collaborate at the Naples Developer Academy.
Established in 2016, the Apple Developer Academy in Naples has helped prepare thousands of European students for jobs in the thriving iOS app economy — which supports more than 1.7 million jobs across Europe.
Apple today announced a significant new investment in its Apple Developer Academy in Naples, which will provide learning and career opportunities to thousands more aspiring coders, creators, and entrepreneurs across Europe. In collaboration with the University of Naples Federico II, Apple is expanding academy programming through 2025, and launching a new alumni resource program that will allow students to have more opportunities to build and develop their business ventures.
“At Apple, we believe education is a powerful tool to uplift communities and provide new pathways for innovation and economic development,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives. “We are so proud to be expanding Apple’s investment in Naples, fostering new opportunities for young people in the region and across Europe to develop critical skills that will enable them to build careers in the thriving iOS app ecosystem.”
Since the opening of the Naples Developer Academy in 2016, nearly 2,000 students have gone through the program, which provides tools and training to find and create jobs in the thriving iOS app economy — which supports more than 1.7 million jobs across Europe. The Apple Developer Academy curriculum covers coding, design, marketing, and professional skills, preparing students with the full suite of skills needed to participate in the iOS app economy and even start their own businesses. Another 3,000 students have gone through introductory 30-day foundations courses offered in partnership with several universities and nonprofits across the country. Foundations courses are designed for students who are interested in learning more about coding, providing basic instruction and a stepping-stone for further opportunities in the industry or at the academy.
Students work at tables at the Naples Developer Academy.
Apple’s new investment will extend programming at the Apple Developer Academy through 2025 and create a new alumni program to help graduates pursue new opportunities and business ventures.
The academy’s class of 2021 begins courses today, bringing together students from nearly 20 countries across the world to learn, collaborate, and innovate. 
Aristide Lauga is one of those students. After falling in love with coding when he enrolled in a four-week Swift coding foundations program that Apple supports through Simplon, an education nonprofit in Paris, Lauga decided to leave his job and move to Naples to attend the academy. “It was love at first line of code,” Lauga said about learning Swift. “I have been waiting for this moment, and I am looking forward to being fully immersed in the international culture of this academy, to learn as much as I can about Swift and coding, and to gain a different approach to work. It is my dream now becoming reality.”
Graduates like Giada Di Somma showcase how the training provided at the academy can be transformational for students, opening doors to new opportunities and entirely new careers. After studying Chinese language and culture at the Università L’Orientale in Naples, Di Somma took a Foundations course and then applied to the Apple Developer Academy, hoping to find a way to merge liberal arts with technology. Di Somma graduated from the academy in 2017 and now works full-time as a UX design lead in Milan, using knowledge and skills she developed at the academy — including teamwork and project development — on a daily basis.
“The academy really helped me understand what I wanted to do in life,” said Di Somma. “The international environment and the immersive experience we all had were key to the learning experience, and prepared us for successful careers here in Italy and around the world.” 
From left to right: Aristide Lauga, from France, is a new student at the Apple Developer Academy who looks forward to pursuing his newfound passion for coding. Giada Di Somma graduated from the academy in 2017 and now works full-time as a UX design lead in Milan.
From top to bottom: Aristide Lauga, from France, is a new student at the Apple Developer Academy who looks forward to pursuing his newfound passion for coding. Giada Di Somma graduated from the academy in 2017 and now works full-time as a UX design lead in Milan.
Apple’s academy does more than just train students for jobs in the iOS app economy — it also supports them in their career journeys once they have completed the program. More than 100 companies have participated in job fairs and recruiting events for academy graduates, and program participants have found successful careers in Italy and across the world. On average, graduates looking to transition directly into a career receive multiple job offers based on the skills and experience they gain through the academy.
The day after graduating from the academy, Roberto Frenna received a job offer at ASOS as an iOS engineer. He moved to London with the company a year later and took a new iOS development role at Twitter this summer. 
“App development has always been my passion,” said Frenna. “First I did it for fun, then at the academy, and now for a living. The academy opened up a world of international possibilities; it was a really mind-opening experience, and I’m so grateful for the support I’ve received and the relationships I’ve made. I’m proud of the career I’ve built and excited for the opportunities to come.”
Two students collaborate at the Naples Developer Academy.
In addition to teaching the basics of coding with Swift, the Apple Developer Academy also emphasizes collaboration and encourages students to make an impact in their communities.
The new alumni program builds on these existing career placement resources. Through the new program, all academy graduates will have access to a Mac and iPhone for an additional two years, along with scheduled learning programs, networking, and featured guest speakers. The goal is to support alumni with resources to continue developing and establishing new companies. Students can remain in Naples or access the alumni program from anywhere in Europe, expanding the reach of the academy across the continent.
Apple already offers a full-time continuing education opportunity in Naples for academy graduates called the Pier. The program pairs second- and third-year students with private- and public-sector organisations to continue their learning and provide app development support. Students in the Pier help organisations envision, design, and create apps to support their communities and solve real-world challenges.
Students in a classroom at Naples Developer Academy learn from an instructor.
Second- and third-year students enrolled in the Pier have the opportunity to put their training to use by providing app development support for organizations based in Italy and around the world.
This includes working with the Voluntary Service Overseas to design an app that will help manage over 6,000 iPad devices spread across more than 150 schools in Malawi; partnering with the regional government in Campania, Italy, to make it easier for local entrepreneurs to apply for grant funding; and collaborating with Centro Spazio Vita Niguarda, a disability services organisation in Milan, to make it easier for medical professionals and staff to communicate with their high-needs patients as they recover from severe trauma.
Stefania Chiesa, Centro Spazio Vita Niguarda’s TechLAB coordinator, has witnessed firsthand the work the academy’s Pier students have done to translate classroom instruction in real-world project management and app design.
“The team’s passion and the dedication for this project was beyond expectation, but what I really liked was the granular attention to every single element of the user interface,” said Chiesa. “For our users, these are not trivial details, but rather key elements that are integral to using the solution. The Pier students understood our clients’ needs, listened to our feedback, and executed an effective solution that works for all our stakeholders.”
The exterior of the Apple Developer Academy in Naples, Italy, is shown.
Based in Naples, Italy, the Apple Developer Academy welcomes students from across the globe. This year’s class brings together students from nearly 20 countries.
As the academy opens its classrooms today to new students from across Europe and expands its alumni programming, graduates like Roberta Napolitano see an opportunity for personal and professional development — and a major moment for the local community.
Napolitano grew up in San Giovanni a Teduccio just blocks away from the academy. She says the international experience she received at the academy changed her career trajectory and is making an impact on her community too. She sees how other residents are inspired by the academy students and are able to gain a new appreciation for the lifelong opportunities the academy provides. 
“The academy changed my life,” said Napolitano. “And what is even more meaningful is to see how the academy has transformed my community and inspired others to learn and pursue new opportunities.”
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