Cracking the code to success

Dinith Meegahapola with his parents Prasad and Erosha. 402376_02 Picture: ROB CAREW

by Cam Lucadou-Wells

Sixteen-year-old whiz kid Dinith Meegahapola has cracked the code, winning a coveted visit to Apple’s HQ in the US.

The Haileybury student and app developer was one of 350 worldwide winners of Apple’s Swift Student Challenge.

Most exciting is the rare opportunity to join a Worldwide Developers Conference 2024 at the stunning space-ship-like Apple Park in Silicon Valley, California in June.

“I’ve always been interested in Apple. I’m one of those who is always waking up at 3am for the Apple events.”

Apple Park is where the magic happens for Apple fans – where the new software and new technologies for developers are unveiled, Dinith says.

“I’m really excited. Not only to see the new stuff but also to meet the people there and explore Apple Park.”

Dinith’s win was a case of third time lucky, having also entered the Swift Student Challenge in 2022 and 2023.

His winning entry was a learning app to help students understand circuit components.

Powered by machine learning, the app can identify circuit components based on user images and create circuit design prototypes.

Dinith has also been awarded for building an automatic locker using a fingerprint sensor.

Eight years ago, his mother Erosha taught him programming. But he only delved into learning the Apple program language Swift while bored in Covid lockdowns.

“I mainly self-taught myself from the free resources online.”

He hopes to start developing apps for the Apple Store, with an eye for a career in robotics or engineering.

But unsurprisingly, he says his dream job is to work at Apple.