At WWDC, Michelle Obama says diversity is key to innovation


This week, student Kenny Batista will be writing a diary
from Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose,
California. Kenny
won a coveted WWDC Scholarship
, which includes food,
lodging and VIP access.

SAN JOSE, California — Amazing first two days here at dub dub.
Let me give you a detailed, eye-witness journal entry!

Today was Day 2 of WWDC. Former first lady Michelle Obama came
in to speak on stage. She was truly inspirational. And
Christine Darden, a NASA engineer portrayed in the
book Hidden Figures, taught us all about
ultrasonic airplanes.

NASA engineer Christine DardenNASA engineer Christine Darden talks at WWDC.
Photo: Kenny Batista

Hidden Figures‘ Christine Darden on hard work and

NASA engineer
Christine Darden
— of Hidden Figures fame — told
us about how she was one of the first female aerospace
engineers at NASA. I learned more about ultrasonic airplanes
than I ever knew before during her presentation. She was
telling us about one of her greatest accomplishments —
ultrasonic planes boom minimization.

There was a lot of “you can achieve anything with hard work and
perseverance.” She talked about how she went to segregated
schools until college. At first she worked at NASA’s Langley Research
as a human computer where she basically worked in a
room solving math equations, which were then passed to the

She wanted to be an engineer herself, but she was assigned to
be a human computer, even when the other engineers had the same
level of education as her. But she proved herself, and
eventually she was assigned to sonic boom minimization.

Michelle Talks Diversity and Innovation

Michelle Obama was truly inspirational today. She gave her
views on diversity and encouraged developers to collectively
empower the world by making it a better place through

On stage, she asked developers to innovate by building apps
that also serve women.

She hinted how there was a huge market for applications for
women, that ladies need apps that fill essential needs.

And I totally agree with her. A female student at my
school — Y
Combinator’s Make School
— built and app for herself that
allowed her to quickly and easily buy lipstick. Her name is
Olivia Brown. She has uncovered an untapped market and has
since received 250,000 downloads and has joined Facebook’s F6S incubator program.

Facebook doesn’t give her cash, but is giving her a space to
build a startup out of her app. And she gets access to help
from some of Facebook’s top, most-experienced employees who
will help her scale up her app into a bigger business.

Back on stage, Michelle Obama was saying that if entrepreneurs
want to reach a very large audience with whatever they’re
building, they should start with their own community. They
should start small, and not to try to target everyone
immediately. Developers should help those that are the closest
to us, to empower and help our communities get to where they
want. And that by starting small and focusing on those close to
us, we’ll learn how people really work and what people
truly need.

That way, we’ll learn to build something that’s truly needed.

Her talk gave me the chills, it was very motivational.

Also, WiFi sucks here.

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