Interview with Swift Student Challenge Winner Dai Zanglong Everyone can code, don’t set too many limits for yourself

Swift Student Challenge winner, Dai Zanglong, on coding Everyone can code, don't limit yourself

As the top event for global developers, WWDC is no less than a grand celebration for them. Developers from around the world will gather together to celebrate this festival that belongs to them. Among the huge community of developers, there are also energetic student developers. Apple holds the Swift Student Challenge every year, and winning students not only have the opportunity to receive official support from Apple in programming learning, but also have the chance to attend WWDC in person.

In this year’s Swift Student Challenge, more than 10 students from mainland China won prizes, including Dai Zanglong from Central University of Finance and Economics. After winning, he was also lucky enough to unlock a new life experience, which is to communicate with Apple CEO Tim Cook online.

Every year during WWDC, Apple encourages student developers to unleash their creativity and submit their works by holding the Swift Student Challenge. This year, more than 350 students from different countries won prizes, including more than ten from mainland China. Among them, Dai Zanglong was one of the winners, and on the early morning of June 5th, he participated in an online meeting with other student developers from around the world who won the Swift Student Challenge. In this online meeting, he had the opportunity to have a conversation with Tim Cook.

In this meeting, Dai Zanglong showcased his work, “DebitCredit”. As a student majoring in international economics and trade, he developed an app that makes “double-entry bookkeeping” simpler by starting from the most common “borrowing and lending” around him.

Apple CEO Tim Cook also gave high praise to this App, “As a member of the vibrant iOS developer community in China, Dai Zanglong is helping people find new ways to make their lives better. By enabling anyone to easily manage their finances, his work can help many people achieve their goals.”

Screenshot of the “DebitCredit” software

When interviewed, Dai Zanglong also believed that such an experience was extraordinary for him, which could also inspire him to continue doing what he loves in the future.

Many students who participated in the Swift Student Challenge have broadened their horizons through programming and found new directions for their own development. Dai Zanglong also has his own considerations for his future. He hopes to become a product manager, to think about how products interact with users through insight into user needs, and then to mobilize more resources through the identity of a product manager to help more people with the App.

PhoneAuto has been reporting on the Swift Student Challenge continuously since 2019. As time goes by, we have found that more and more non-computer majors have also joined the competition.

Dai Zanglong

As a “non-professional” student developer, Dai Zanglong believes that professionalism will not be his constraint. On the contrary, he believes that as a young generation, this period of time at university is the most creative for everyone. As long as they want to learn programming, they all have the opportunity to master it.

Previously, Apple CEO has said that if children can only learn one language other than their mother tongue, it should be programming, because “programming is a global language.” At the same time, Apple itself is also reducing the threshold for programming in various ways. From the earliest Objective-C language to the more popular and understandable Swift language, and then to the lower-threshold Swift Playgrounds, these lower-threshold programming methods have also allowed more students who previously did not understand programming to have the opportunity to understand its charm and expand their horizons.

In addition to more concise and understandable programming languages, Dai Zanglong also loves many development tools within the Apple ecosystem. The App that won the Swift Student Challenge award this time was developed based on the SwiftUI framework and MVVM architecture. In his view, SwiftUI is one of the best UI frameworks, and Apps can be quickly built through declarative methods, while not requiring too many modifications to be compatible with different terminals such as iPhones and iPads. In addition, the components provided by SwiftUI are also very beautiful, such as List, Sheet, NavigationView and other components that are very easy to use and practical. Moreover, the SF symbols provided by the Apple system allow him to complete the entire App without paying too much attention to icon design.

Similarly, the development cycle of this award-winning App is also quite short, from the creation of a new project on April 12th to completion and submission on April 20th. Dai Zanglong only intensively developed for three days, about 8 hours per day, and is expected to spend a total of 30 hours to complete the development. This also shows that Swift development is easier to learn.

For many students who have not touched programming languages, programming or computer languages always seem “unreachable”. However, these student developers are telling us with their actions that programming is not so difficult. When we no longer limit ourselves, there will be more unexpected gains. Moreover, “everyone can program” is also the concept that Apple is practicing. Now you don’t even need to use a Mac, just an iPad and download the free Swift Playgrounds from the App Store, and you can start your programming journey.

In the interview, Dai Zanglong mentioned the importance of interests, which is not only the key to opening the door to the programming world, but also drives him forward. The experience of participating in the Swift Student Challenge and winning the award also inspired him and motivated him to continue doing more of what he loves in the future.

Finally, we congratulate Dai Zanglong again on winning the Swift Student Challenge this year. We also hope to see him seize this opportunity to achieve his dreams in the future.

We will continue to update Phone&Auto; if you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us!

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