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← A 12-year-old app developer | Thomas Suarez | TEDxManhattanBeach

Most 12-year-olds love playing videogames -- Thomas Suarez taught himself how to create them. After developing iPhone apps like "Bustin Jeiber," a Whac-A-Mole game, he is now using his skills to help other kids become developers.

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Showing Revision 4 created 06/17/2015 by Ivana Korom.

  1. Hello everyone,
    my name is Thomas Suarez.
  2. I've always had a fascination
    for computers and technology,
  3. and I made a few apps for the iPhone,
  4. iPod Touch, and iPad.
  5. I'd like to share a couple with you today.
  6. My first app was a unique fortune teller
    called Earth Fortune
  7. that would display
    different colors of Earth
  8. depending on what your fortune was.
  9. My favorite and most successful app
  10. is Bustin Jieber - (Laughter) -
  11. which is a Justin Bieber Whac-A-Mole.
  12. I created it because
    a lot of people at school
  13. disliked Justin Bieber a little bit,
  14. so I decided to make the app.
  15. So I went to work programming it,
  16. and I released it just
    before the holidays in 2010.
  17. A lot of people ask me,
    how did I make these?
  18. A lot of times it's because
    the person who asked the question
  19. wants to make an app also.
  20. A lot of kids these days
    like to play games,
  21. but now they want to make them,
  22. and it's difficult,
  23. because not many kids know where to go
  24. to find out how to make a program.
  25. I mean, for soccer,
    you could go to a soccer team.
  26. For violin, you could get lessons
    for a violin.
  27. But what if you want to make an app?
  28. And the kid's parents might have done
  29. some of these things when they were young,
  30. but not many parents have written apps.
  31. Where do you go to find out
    how to make an app?
  32. Well, this is how I approached it.
    This is what I did.
  33. First of all, I've been programming
  34. in multiple other programming languages
    to get the basics down,
  35. such as Python, C, Java, etc.
  36. And then Apple released the iPhone,
  37. and with it, the iPhone
    software development kit,
  38. and the software development kit
    is a suite of tools
  39. for creating and programming
    an iPhone app.
  40. This opened up a whole new world
    of possibilities for me,
  41. and after playing with
    the software development kit a little bit,
  42. I made a couple apps,
    I made some test apps.
  43. One of them happened to be
    Earth Fortune,
  44. and I was ready to put Earth Fortune
    on the App Store,
  45. and so I persuaded my parents
    to pay the 99 dollar fee
  46. to be able to put my apps
    on the App Store.
  47. They agreed, and now I have
    apps on the App Store.
  48. I've gotten a lot of interest
    and encouragement
  49. from my family, friends, teachers
  50. and even people at the Apple Store,
  51. and that's been a huge help to me.
  52. I've gotten a lot
    of inspiration from Steve Jobs,
  53. and I've started an app club at school,
  54. and a teacher at my school
    is kindly sponsoring my app club.
  55. Any student at my school can come
  56. and learn how to design an app.
  57. This is so I can share
    my experiences with others.
  58. There's these programs called
    the iPad Pilot Program,
  59. and some districts have them.
  60. I'm fortunate enough to be part of one.
  61. A big challenge is,
    how should the iPads be used,
  62. and what apps should we put on the iPads?
  63. So we're getting feedback
    from teachers at the school
  64. to see what kind of apps they'd like.
  65. When we design the app and we sell it,
  66. it will be free to local
    districts and other districts
  67. that we sell to,
    all the money from that
  68. will go into the local ed foundations.
  69. These days, students usually
    know a little bit more
  70. than teachers with the technology.
  71. So - (Laughter) -
  72. sorry - (Laughter) -
  73. so this is a resource to teachers,
  74. and educators should recognize
    this resource
  75. and make good use of it.
  76. I'd like to finish up by saying
    what I'd like to do in the future.
  77. First of all, I'd like to create
    more apps, more games.
  78. I'm working with a third party
    company to make an app.
  79. I'd like to get into Android
    programming and development,
  80. and I'd like to continue my app club,
  81. and find other ways for students
  82. to share knowledge with others.
  83. Thank you.