Two types of changes on people’s lives that I found through MAC…

Applied Computing Foundation
3 min readOct 24, 2020


There are two types of changing people’s lives.

Type 1. Something flashes across their eyes on a screen and they know you exist. Congrats.

Type 2. Your actions penetrate a heart and change the human enclosing that heart from the inside out. Not literally, of course.

More people. More followers. More lives “changed.” We love the word “more” and simply can’t get enough of it. In our modern data-driven world, we are looking for numbers. Big numbers, the bigger the better; numbers are backed with some arcane wizardry of math and statistics that instantly subdues the suspicion in most minds. Similarly, let’s look at the following — who would you hire if two applicants handed in their resume like this:

“Co-founder, Monthly App Challenge. Influenced 100,000+ people in our global applied computing initiatives.”

“Co-founder, Monthly App Challenge. Heavily influenced 5 people in our global applied computing initiatives.”

This is precisely the reason why many choose to pursue Type 1.

In the weeks leading up to the July App Challenge, I started our ACF Instagram account and grew our followers by the hundreds; now we have over 1,000 followers who see our stories and like our posts. Yet, how many people actually submitted to one of our monthly challenges because they saw our posts on Instagram? Not 1,000. This is a perfect example of Type 1.

During our second July App Challenge workshop, only four students attended. It was disappointing to see that the extra effort we put into making this month’s challenge seemed to not to be met with a proportional increase in participants. After kicking off our workshop with a quick slideshow, I joined our breakout rooms to facilitate. And in the eyes of our participants, the immense passion that was there for months but has always eluded my consciousness — I realized just how much of an impact we had made on our regular students since they first joined. New skills, new experiences, new passions — we helped to plant the seeds that will one day grow into a vast tree. This is a perfect example of Type 2.

Our Monthly App Challenge pursues Type 2. We will not be swayed by the allure of big numbers, but instead, focus on each individual’s development. Therefore, we only ask for one thing.


~Benjamin Tang (ACF Junior Developer and ACF MAC Co-founder)



Applied Computing Foundation

Develop mastery in technical and collaborative skills; Empower young leaders to drive change in communities