Regardless of which app you're using on your phone, you probably rarely spare a thought to who wrote the code behind it. If pushed, you'd probably guess that it was written by a recent graduate or established programmer — and not one of a new wave of childhood developers.
The Wall Street Journal has a wonderful piece about the flock of young teenagers that are building apps, concentrating on the fact that Apple dropped the age restriction at last week's WWDC so that kids as young as 13 could turn up to the conference. From the Journal:
"Paul Dunahoo went on a business trip to San Francisco last week, where he attended technical sessions at Apple Inc.'s developer conference, networked with other programmers and received feedback from Apple engineers on his six productivity apps.
"Then, Mr. Dunahoo, chief executive of Bread and Butter Software LLC, returned to Connecticut to get ready for the eighth grade."
In fact, WWDC drew 150 teenage developers to its doors, all chaperoned by their parents. For them, the conference was just the same as for grown ups: they attended the keynote, took part in workshops and classes, and did their fair share of hanging out. Unlike the older attendees, though, they had their own child-friendly lounge — complete with bean bags and skittles.
Now, a series of tech summer camps across California is bracing itself for its busiest season yet. As the Journal points out, for these young developers its not all about money: most of them do it to explore their interest in technology and learn to code. Admittedly some of them earn thousands of dollars through the sale of their apps but then, as one interviewee points out, that sure beats working as a midnight shelf-stacker. [Wall Street Journal]
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