A typical 13-year-old spends free time playing and socializing. Not Netherlands-based Klaas Schoenmaker, though. At 13, he was becoming frustrated with the limitations Adobe Flash was having on the mobile apps he was building. Two years later, he’s a seasoned Titanium developer and has shipped apps for multiple clients. Here’s his story!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello, my name is Klaas Schoenmaker. I’m a 15 year old application developer from the Netherlands, I started building apps when I was around 13 years old, I started developing with Adobe Flash CS6, but you couldn’t really build professional apps with it.
So one day I got a book from my father “Basiscursus apps ontwikkelen” (Dutch for “How to build very basic apps”), it was a book with tutorials on how to use Titanium for building native iOS and Android apps, at first I didn’t understand anything about it, but as I got further, it became a lot clearer to me.
I started making apps for little companies like SSPB and Bouwmensen Kennemerland (https://itunes.apple.com/nl/app/bouwmensen-kennemerland/id650615189?mt=8), and I made an app for my school, Trinitas College (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.studiokapps.trinitascollege).
Why do you use Titanium?
I picked Titanium because it’s a very advanced program, you can make very detailed apps with it, and the best is, that it all ends up as a native application.
The most challenging parts as a developer were the parts involving the network, for example the news bit in the Bouwmensen Kennemerland, I find it very challenging to make something work on the internet, and I also had to make a platform where my clients could post their news on (http://www.studiokapps.com/dashboard).
I also build all my apps alone, because none of my friends really know anything about programming, this is also quite challenging sometimes.
What do you love about being a mobile developer?
Most of my programming life I spend with Titanium, I learned a lot of tricks that can be used with almost every programming language, like C# etc, so I could easily build Windows programs for my clients with my knowledge of Titanium.
Being a mobile developer is the best job on the planet because you can make whatever you want and make it look however you like, but it has to fit in that little device, this makes it very challenging, but also very very fun.
I love creating mobile apps because the apps seem so simple, and easy to make. But if you make it, you see that it’s very difficult to make something very simple, so if you finally finish the app, it gives a great feeling of accomplishment.
You have to keep your design very simple and easy to use, you don’t have to make people think. And the apps must be responsive, if it’s slow, people are gonna think “Oh, yeah, it’s an app”. They have to think that it’s a real thing they can touch.
The most exciting problem was when all of the sudden my app stopped installing on the iOS simulator, I couldn’t get it to work for almost 3 days, then I thought of the “Clear this project” button, and that solved everything (stupid me…).
How is mobile changing the world?
The mobile development community is a powerful agent for change, because almost everyone has a mobile device, whether it’s an iPhone or a Samsung phone, they all use it, so if someone changes anything on that mobile device, he makes a change all over the world.
Mobile is changing the world because you can use mobile apps every time, anywhere you want. It’s revolutionary that you can do so much with such a tiny device. It really blows my mind.
What inspires you about the future of mobile?
The future of mobile inspires me because it makes such big steps every year, you have to update your apps almost every month, which is very difficult, but also very good, because you see that the mobile world is revolutionizing almost every day
Klaas’ website is http://www.studiokapps.com, and you can follow him on Twitter at @klaasscho98