We’ve seen countless pre-teens pound eye-melting video games into submission and treat laptops and mobile phones like the devices are extensions of their bodies. So we can’t be completely floored by Thomas Suarez, a seasoned iPhone app developer who’s about five years away from qualifying for a driver’s license.
Suarez, a sixth-grade student in Los Angeles, boasts a poise beyond his years as he tells his story at the TEDx Manhattan Beach conference. At an even younger age, he taught himself basic programming. Then he got his hands on Apple’s software development kit, and young Mr. Suarez went to town.
His signature app is Bustin Jieber, which allows us to pummel our least favorite pop star, Whac-A-Mole style. He has started his own company, and oversees an app club at his school.
“These days, the students usually know a little bit more than the teachers with the techology,” Suarez says without a smidgen of guile.