Teen Developers – Erik van der Plas

Teen Developers   Erik van der Plas

Erik is our youngest developer to be interviewed, at only 13! Despite this, he’s accomplished a lot!

Could you start by telling me a little about yourself?

I’m a 13-year iOS Developer and Designer from the Netherlands. I started building apps when I was 11 years old. Since then I’ve built 6 apps and visited Apple’s WWDC as the youngest scholarship winner.

You’ve already created four apps, yet you’re only 13! What got you into programming?

I’ve actually built six apps, but only four of them are in the App Store. For my 10th birthday I received an iPod touch. This was litteraly my first touch with Apple and apps. Since then I got interested in apps. Less than a year later I released my first app.

Which of your apps was your favourite to develop?

I enjoy building apps in general. You learn lots of new things and those things are always different. Because the stuff you learn by building apps is always different, I can’t choose which app I most enjoyed building.

What’s the most difficult challenge you’ve had to overcome?

To build apps you have to overcome a lot of problems, not only programming problems but also design and marketing issues. For the KeyTouch update we’ve worked on, I had to overcome a lot of problems, but after all I solved them and learned from them. I think this update was the most difficult challenge I have ever had to overcome building apps yet.

Your latest app, KeyTouch, was co-created with Tom de Ruiter, who has also been interviewed by Cool Smartphone. How was creating an app with another person compared to making one on your own?

As I said in the previous question, you always learn new things. By building KeyTouch I learned to collaborate. It’s nice that you can do more things in the same time, but sometimes you have a different opinion and that can be hard sometimes.

You were the youngest recipient of Apple’s WWDC Student Scholarship in 2014. Could you tell us about your experience there?

Indeed! To receive a WWDC Scholarship you had to build an app where you tell about your self, including projects, education and interests. I got invited by Apple! For me, WWDC was an awesome experience! I met so many awesome people including Apple employees and executives.

Rumours claim Apple should be announcing their 2015 Student Scholarships this week. I take it you have plans to apply again?

I hope they’re announcing WWDC 2015 as soon as possible, I really enjoyed building the app last year, so I’m looking forward to build an app this year again!

Anything else you’d like to add?

I think I told everything, I only want to note that the KeyTouch update I just told about is coming really soon!

Thanks so much Erik! If you’ve like to get in touch with him, he’s @erikvdplas on Twitter!

As always, feel free to contact Kaleb if you’d like to be featured.