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Old Jan 3, 2013, 01:06 PM   #1
swwack91
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WATCH: 14-year-old programming prodigy

Fourteen-year-old programmer and software developer Santiago Gonzalez might just be the next Steve Jobs. He already has 15 iOS apps to his name and dreams of designing for Apple. At age 13, Santiago became a full-time college student and is on track to earn his bachelor's degree in computer science and electrical engineering by age 16. By 17, when most teenagers are excited to just have their driver's license, Santiago will have his masters degree.

You can watch Santiago's story here:

In the latest episode of THNKR's hit web series PRODIGIES, Santiago shares his passion for the art of programming and technology's power to change lives. He can already code in 12 computer languages, but that isn't enough to keep him satisfied: "I really enjoy learning. I find it as essential as eating," he shares. "Either you die or you're pretty miserable without learning."

I figured you guys would love the story, so I wanted to share!
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Last edited by dejo; Jan 3, 2013 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Please use [youtube] tags.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 01:48 PM   #2
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kudos to his parents for nurturing his talents and interests and the school for taking him on.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:27 PM   #3
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kudos to his parents for nurturing his talents and interests and the school for taking him on.
I agree! Not all parents would take the time and care to nurture such a unique talent!
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:30 PM   #4
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too bad he isn't on the other side of the fence and has no drive towards jailbreaking the devices... that would have been awesome!
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by swwack91 View Post
Fourteen-year-old programmer and software developer Santiago Gonzalez might just be the next Steve Jobs. He already has 15 iOS apps to his name and dreams of designing for Apple. At age 13, Santiago became a full-time college student and is on track to earn his bachelor's degree in computer science and electrical engineering by age 16. By 17, when most teenagers are excited to just have their driver's license, Santiago will have his masters degree.
Yeah, Steve Jobs made tons of money as a software developer. Not.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:38 PM   #6
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Steve Jobs wasn't exactly what I'd call a good software developer, either.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:44 PM   #7
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Steve Jobs wasn't exactly what I'd call a good software developer, either.
I think the point was just that he sees things differently than his peers.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:46 PM   #8
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Sorry no way in hell he can be on track to be the Next steve Jobs. Jobs could not program or engineer his way out of a paper bag. Hell Jobs was pretty good at not listening to his engineers and programmers who told him what he wanted was a BAD idea or way to difficult. The attenanegate is an example of this.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:48 PM   #9
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It's really not that hard to learn programming at that age. I mean it takes effort but it's not an exceptional feat, it just means you're a hard working geek. Which is good, and I hope he has a bright future, but I wouldn't call him the next Steve Jobs or a prodigy or whatever.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:51 PM   #10
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This is a great story. I wish him all the luck in the world and I wish I had 1% of his drive and talent.

But I do have a concern that he is missing out on childhood and relationships with people his own age.

I understand that he won't share many interests with kids his age. Hopefully his parents are not forgetting about his emotional development.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 03:56 PM   #11
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I think the point was just that he sees things differently than his peers.
Yeah, and I respect the kid for it. 14 years old and he can write code like most of us breathe, and already has a number of apps in the app store. No, he's not making tons of money, but...

...he will. That much raw talent rarely goes unrewarded.

Hell, I even begrudgingly respect Steve Jobs. The guy was exactly what the computer world needed to bring their products to the masses. He was a nongeek with a flair for design and a truly astounding talent for marketing. But...

...I question why he was brought up in this thread to begin with. See? We're going off rails in a thread that should stay right on track.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 04:25 PM   #12
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It's really not that hard to learn programming at that age. I mean it takes effort but it's not an exceptional feat, it just means you're a hard working geek. Which is good, and I hope he has a bright future, but I wouldn't call him the next Steve Jobs or a prodigy or whatever.
oh the kid is a prodigy that much is pretty much clear due to the fact he is already in college. Beyond that not so much.

Now I do hope he is going to follow best pratices in programming because I have seen those type of "prodigies" to be a pain in the ass to deal with and they do not work well with others. Plus their code is a pain to deal with as they are about the only one who can understand it because they use poorly named variables and formatting. They suck working on a team and that is by far more key to being a great programmer than just raw skill.
Knowing 12 programming languages honestly is not that impressive. Once you learn the basic of programming it is not hard to pick up new language. The key part is knowing the basics of programming and many of the core thing. After that it is mostly just syntax.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 04:33 PM   #13
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Plus their code is a pain to deal with as they are about the only one who can understand it because they use poorly named variables and formatting.
Watch the whole video. There's a little section on it about the necessity of clean, easy to read code, and how he strives to make what he writes as nice and neat as possible.

The kid knows what he's doing. Just from what I saw him writing onscreen, I was able to kindasorta follow along with what he was doing and recognize the ebb and flow of it. That's pretty impressive, considering I'm a bare neophyte with only a passing interest in programming.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 06:20 PM   #14
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Watch the whole video. There's a little section on it about the necessity of clean, easy to read code, and how he strives to make what he writes as nice and neat as possible.
I agree! That's my favorite part. I never really thought of code as an art form. I really don't know anything about programming so that POV was super fascinating to me.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 06:50 AM   #15
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I find these articles kind of funny. I was making applications and games when I was 8, such was the way of things if you had an Amiga, Spectrum growing up. I used to be a member of various game development forums during my teens. There were people who weren't even in their teens who could produce (at the time it was deemed) "console quality" games. True renaissance characters who could code, create both art and music all by themselves.

All before this thing was cool and interesting, so there are no articles on our generation.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 01:23 PM   #16
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They also posted a follow up video:



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Originally Posted by swwack91 View Post
They also posted a follow up video:

YouTube: video
Not sure why the YouTube plug-in isn't displaying correctly. Here's the link: http://youtu.be/XWny9lZ9fM8
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