Terence Williams began his mobile development career while an undergraduate engineering student at Mississippi State University. Now 23, he’s on his way to Cupertino, California, as Mississippi’s first-ever recipient of one of Apple’s coveted scholarships to the Worldwide Developers Conference. Keep reading to learn about his path from small-town Mississippi boy to world-class mobile developer.
During his freshman year at MSU, Williams took a course taught by Dr. Rodney Pearson that taught him the intro of writing iPhone programs. “After the course ended, he told us about the iOS Developer Program through Apple, which allows developers to submit apps to the App Store,” Williams says. “The following summer, I began my first app, Timster Beats, and my journey began. From there on, I’ve produced multiple gaming apps, utilities, and navigational apps.
His most recent app is Bully Walk, a campus navigation app for Mississippi State University that contains routes to every place around campus and real-time bus routes. “In all, I’m nearing 10,000 total downloads in over 75 different countries worldwide, and my current portfolio includes 12 apps,” he says.
When Williams says he’s from a small town, he means it: Oakland, Mississippi has a population of around 520 people. “Growing up in a small town in the South, I wasn’t exposed to many opportunities at an early age,” he says. Small towns like that offer limited opportunities for people like WIlliams, who says being from Oakland and having a career in tech or STEM was definitely rare. Joining the Upward Bound Trio Program, a Department of Education initiative at Coffeeville High School to support low-income, first-generation college-bound students, was a game-changer for him. “Being involved in the program was the starting point of a life-changing moment,” he says. “There, with the help of Dr. Tilda Neal, I was able to meet some very inspiring mentors.”
With the help of the Mississippi State University Entrepreneur Center, Williams was recently able to launch his very own mobile development company, Nobility Tech. But his goals are loftier than simply making the next big app. “I want to inspire the youth in my community to follow their dreams; not for the prestigious status or awards, but simply because they have a passion to do so,” he says.