A 12-year-old app developer | Thomas Suarez

A 12-year-old app developer | Thomas Suarez


Translator: Joseph Geni
Reviewer: Thu-Huong Ha I’ve always had a fascination
for computers and technology, and I made a few apps for the iPhone,
iPod touch, and iPad. I’d like to share a couple with you today. My first app was a unique
fortune teller called “Earth Fortune” that would display
different colors of Earth depending on what your fortune was. My favorite and most successful app is “Bustin Jieber,” which is — (Laughter) which is a Justin Bieber whack-a-mole. (Laughter) I created it because
a lot of people at school disliked Justin Bieber a little bit, so I decided to make the app. So I went to work programming it, and I released it
just before the holidays in 2010. A lot of people ask me,
how did I make these? A lot of times it’s because
the person who asked the question wants to make an app also. A lot of kids these days
like to play games, but now they want to make them,
and it’s difficult, because not many kids know where to go
to find out how to make a program. I mean, for soccer,
you could go to a soccer team. For violin, you could get
lessons for a violin. But what if you want to make an app? And the kid’s parents might have done
some of these things when they were young, but not many parents have written apps. (Laughter) Where do you go to find out
how to make an app? Well, this is how I approached it,
this is what I did. First of all, I’ve been programming
in multiple other programming languages to get the basics down, such as Python, C, Java, etc. And then Apple released the iPhone, and with it, the iPhone
software development kit, and the software development kit
is a suite of tools for creating and programming
an iPhone app. This opened up a whole new world
of possibilities for me, and after playing with the software
development kit a little bit, I made a couple of apps,
I made some test apps. One of them happened to be
“Earth Fortune,” and I was ready to put
“Earth Fortune” on the App Store, and so I persuaded my parents
to pay the 99 dollar fee to be able to put my apps
on the App Store. They agreed, and now I have
apps on the App Store. I’ve gotten a lot of interest
and encouragement from my family, friends, teachers
and even people at the Apple Store, and that’s been a huge help to me. I’ve gotten a lot
of inspiration from Steve Jobs, and I’ve started an app club at school, and a teacher at my school
is kindly sponsoring my app club. Any student at my school can come
and learn how to design an app. This is so I can share
my experiences with others. There’s these programs
called the iPad Pilot Program, and some districts have them. I’m fortunate enough to be part of one. A big challenge is,
how should the iPads be used, and what apps should we put on the iPads? So we’re getting feedback
from teachers at the school to see what kind of apps they’d like. When we design the app and we sell it, it will be free to local districts;
and other districts that we sell to — all the money from that will go
into the local ed foundations. These days, students usually know
a little bit more than teachers with the technology. (Laughter) So — (Laughter) Sorry. (Laughter) So this is a resource to teachers, and educators should recognize
this resource and make good use of it. (Laughter) I’d like to finish up by saying
what I’d like to do in the future. First of all, I’d like to create
more apps, more games. I’m working with a third party
company to make an app. I’d like to get into Android
programming and development, and I’d like to continue my app club, and find other ways for students
to share knowledge with others. Thank you. (Applause)

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