Teen Developers – Tom de Ruiter

Teen Developers   Tom de Ruiter

Tom’s Workspace

Howdy all! I hope you’ve all enjoyed your holiday festivities! I took last week off, but this week we have our longest interview yet! So take a break from a week of busy CES news and enjoy hearing about Tom de Ruiter’s life!

Could you start by telling me a little about yourself?

So, my name is Tom de Ruiter. I am a 14 years old developer and I live happily together with my two sisters and parents in Heerhugowaard, Holland. I started programming on my 11th, with some basic HTML and Objective-C. I made a ‘My first app’ app about my own blog (technederland) and started to get interested in Programming.

What were some of your first projects?

In July 2013 I made my first real game, Mokie. In Mokie, you need to tap the Monkey as much as you can in the time you have. I got published on a few dutch apple blogs, and it was my motivation to keep moving.

So I made an app for my school, Trinitas. With Trinitas, students could see their grades and calendars on their mobile phones. Responsive.

In February 2014 I made an Android version of Trinitas.

I was doing it well in the app business, so I built a company, Rydee, together with my friend Melvin. Who is student on my school.

You’ve certainly had a busy summer. What did you work on?

In the summer of 2014 I made Molecules, my second game. In Molecules, you need to connect molecules together to get points. I worked very hard on this, but it was (and is) not downloading that well.

Sorry to interrupt, but you say Molecules was your hardest app, but isn’t doing so well. Have you considered what needs to be done to increase downloads? Does it have its own website, Twitter account, etc?

Molecules was indeed one of my hardest apps to build, I’ve contacted a lot of people to review me or give me some app promotion. But there was still not a lot of interest in my new game. Since then, I’ve discovered (and experienced) that good games for a mobile device are a lot harder to build, and above that, they’re a lot harder to promote and let people know that they have to download your game. This is because there are a LOT of games for iOS and only a few apps get the attention they want. Molecules does have a twitter account, but no real website, only a headline on the website of http://www.rydee.nl/en.

Alrighty. What else happened during the summer?

I also won a Apple WWDC Scholarship, which allows me to go to the WWDC in San Fransisco. Too bad for me, I did not had a passport at that time, which was a bummer, because I could not go to the WWDC.

After all, this gave me a lot of motivation for my next move.

And what was this next move?

While scrolling through Twitter, I noticed an other young iOS app developer from Haarlem, Holland. His name was Erik van der Plas (@erikvdplas on twitter) We started to chat and came to the conclusion that we needed to make an app together, because we were both awesome. 😀

I brainstormed, and invented an awesome idea, KeyTouch (not available yet).

Could you tell me a little more about KeyTouch?

KeyTouch allows you to unlock, lock and enter your password on your Mac with Touch ID. So I explained the idea to Erik and we made it. KeyTouch is now waiting for a review of Apple and will be available within a few weeks or earlier. We really think KeyTouch is changing the way to enter your password on your Mac.

KeyTouch sounds like a great idea. Was it the first app you made with someone else? How is the proceeds different when working with two people instead of one?

KeyTouch was the first app that I made with someone else. The plan was that KeyTouch was going live in the App Store in 2014, but after I discovered some bugs in the App Store, I pulled it out, fixed the bugs and send it back to Apple for review. Unfortunately, Apple always has a christmas stop in the review process, so KeyTouch had to wait a few more days. The plan now is, is that KeyTouch is coming out this week and that we’re still making new features for new versions. Such as an API/Extension for your webbrowser that you can also enter your password on supported websites with your fingerprint.
Together with Erik I built this app, as I said before. I actually like to make an app with an other person. You can divide the work that has to done, but you still can call it ‘your’ project. And as always you can help the other person, or he can help you.
A giant thanks to Tom, who went into awesome detail with his answers! You’ll notice I didn’t include the “anything else to add?” question, because he already included everything!

As always, feel free to contact Kaleb if you’d like to be featured. Posts come out Thursday mornings every two weeks.