Yemi Agesin, 22, has been recognized by Apple for his baseball-themed app.
In middle school and high school, the New Jersey native played baseball. He had a natural love for the sport, which he later merged with his interests in programming.
He was able to strengthen his knowledge after being introduced to a website called Code Academy by middle school students in Germany.
Agesin often moved around to different areas of the world, since his parents were senior clinical data managers and loved to travel. His family eventually settled in the United States.
“In my head, long term I always thought even when I started baseball, about making sports games, but instead of the usual way that they are, I wanted to emphasize a very small component in the sense where for my game, it was the batting and pitching, or I want to emphasize the teamwork aspect of it. Most sports games, it’s just you playing as one entire team against another person. And I think like the beauty of sports, especially team sports, is that you always have to like use your skills and collaborate with another person’s skills to work together,” he explained.
Agesin envisioned submitting his application to Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference Swift Student Challenge, per Kennesaw State University News. However, it wasn’t until his final year in college that he became intentional with his desire. He almost reached a stumbling block that could have eliminated him from the challenge. One minute before the submission, his browser crashed.
“The main thing I learned was just to keep trying. Almost every hurdle I faced when I was submitting the challenge, I almost thought I wanted to give up,” he expressed. “I remember one minute before the submission, my web browser crashed. So all my responses, all the things I wrote, were basically gone, and I didn’t back them up. So, there’s like a minute left so I quickly have to write out there, right, one sentences or even just one word responses and just quickly submitted my experience.”
He continued, “What I learned from that is you might think that something is not going to go well or people won’t like it, but it’s not up to you to decide that. It’s up to the world to decide that. You deserve the fruits of the work itself. I realized people really did like my app, especially Apple.”
Agesin was reminded there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Participants were tasked with creating an application utilizing the Swift coding language. He was one of nine winners of the challenge and received the news on May 19, 2023.
“I never thought I was gonna be a winner,” he said. “In reflection, it made me realize why my game might have won. It was just that I picked something I’m passionate about and then I showed it. I think a lot of people, some people, think that they need to, they need to invent a new problem. And it’s like, just look for a problem that you’ve already had or that someone else that’s close to you has and that you actually have a passion for and just go ahead and build that.”
As a winner, Agesin was able to present his app to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple Head of Developer Relations Susan Prescott.
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Additionally, the Apple Developer Program will also grant him a one-year membership.
In the near future, Agesin intends to release a more advanced version of his app, Diamond Duel.