A SOUTHAMPTON student has won an Apple coding competition twice in a row.

Andrew Glen has recently finished at the University of Southampton after studying for his bachelor’s degree in computer science.

The 21-year-old, a self-confessed Apple fan, has been one of many applicants to a coding competition held by the tech giant to encourage innovation and creativity.

Apple asked global applicants to showcase their passion for coding by creating an app of their choice that would be downloadable from the official Apple Store.

Andrew – a self-taught coder by the age of 12 – was chosen as one of the winners among a group of 350 students, from 40 different countries.

Daily Echo: Andrew Glen won Apple's coding competition for the second year in a row.Andrew Glen won Apple's coding competition for the second year in a row.

A 'magical' experience

His interest in coding started when Apple first introduced the iPad.

Andrew was captivated by innovation and creativity, and it fuelled his interest in wanting to innovate and create things that could impact people’s lives.

He said: “I remember feeling excited about seeing Steve Jobs demonstrate the new features that he had created holding the internet in your hands. I came to realise that, although I have huge respect for hardware, the software side captivates me the most.

“The ability to add features to a device, to design arbitrary experiences that can actually make day-to-day tasks more convenient just by tapping the keys on my keyboard, is magical.”

Daily Echo: Andrew's screen showing his codingAndrew's screen showing his coding

Co-founder of a start-up at the age of 17

When Andrew was 17, he co-founded a start-up company called Phyxercise, where he worked with physiotherapists to build an app called Physio Exerciser which helped patients to perform their exercises more efficiently.

Using phone motion sensors, the app recorded how well patients were carrying out their exercises and doctors would be able to access the data via a website.

In 2019, the company was awarded funding by SBRI Healthcare, which works with private sector companies to provide services for the NHS, of just over £92,000 to continue work in the field and to run clinical trials.

While studying for his A levels, Andrew started tutoring programming students on a one-to-one basis and has done that for the past four years even whilst studying for his degree.

It’s very nice to have the work I have done get recognized by the company that inspired me to start

As his entry for the coding competition, Andrew created an app that teaches people to program and allows users to visualize their coding.

This is the second time that Andrew has been chosen as a winner of the competition hosted by Apple, as a reward he has received some Apple merch as well as a free year to the Apple developer program.

When asked about how others can make an impact and feel inspired to do the same, Andrew shared the secret is to have a genuine interest in programming.

He added: “The drive to learn programming is a genuine interest in how things work and ambition to build projects to make people’s lives easier.”

“For people learning to code, my advice is to find a problem in your life that could be solved through programming and make it so it doesn’t have to be big and complicated.”

Andrew also shared that he has accepted a software engineering job offer at Apple.

The Student Swift Challenge happens every year and aims to encourage would-be developed to take part.

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