He Is Only 13 Years Old, and He Is Probably the Youngest iOS Developer in China

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[Editor: this post is written by Bowen Zheng, a 13-years-old iOS developers from Shanghai.  We are really impressed by his talent, his passion and even his ambition. It's probably too early to say what his future would be, but definitely we need more Chinese young men like him, who dare to dream big!]

Year of 2012, what its meaning to you? The end of the world? The year of Olympics? For me, it was an important year that I made a lot of changes to myself and other people. It was a thrilling times that I was able to present the best product and the best me to other people. It’s a year of my app deePrac (download). And this year, I was 13.

Sometimes, things just happened.

I once attend a tech salon and met the director of the Institute of Computing Technology Chinese Academy of Science who then posted a status update next day to describe how surprise and amazed by me and my age. To my surprise, a Baidu staff saw the update and invited me via microblog to be a keynote speaker of this year’s Baidu Developer Conference. Without doubt, I accepted it. I don’t know why? I just feel this is a vital component of my way to the future and my dream.

Being the youngest speaker (13 years old), I deliver a presentation at the Beijing International Meeting Centre facing over 3000 people on 23rd March. This is a day I would never forget. The video link of presentation has been clicked for over one million times within just four days. In the presentation, I talked a lot about my development experience and views of apps’ future. I pointed out three trends of apps: Simple, Touch and Green. The keynote encourage many other young people in China who share the same dream to start developing iOS apps. My presentation gains popularity among Chinese iOS developers, and I received interviews from some of the medias. Then many Chinese people think of me as a symbol of Chinese young iOS developers, I am very popular in China.

After the presentation, it’s not a time for showing off. Instead, it’s about new works. I decided to make an app, an app totally developed by myself that worth the time I would spend on it. I need to pour myself in this project, do the best of that time. This is how deePrac was born.

Coincidentally, I read a book about how geniuses got trained by the author Professor Yong Xue from the Boston Suffolk University. He mentioned Deep Practice, a theory first suggested by Dr. Gary, which can help people learning things more effectively. He believes this is the key of genius training and take English Education of Chinese as an example. I was shocked by this method after a few tries. Most importantly, the whole progress of learning is based on my interests. I read what I love, Technology Reviews or Latest NBA Updates, then remember the words that were difficult for me. Unlike those methods that are using in Schools in China, this is motivated instead of being forced.

A friend of mine once complained to me about the English Education app on the App Store are not able to meet his demand perfectly. Lightbulb! Why don’t combine this fantastic method with the platform of iOS? Sherlock Holmes once said “First instinct, usually the right one!” Now I got a great idea, what is left is months of hard works. FYI, the name “deePrac” is a combination of the words “deep” and “practice”.

Since I’m still a student, this whole development could just be a part-time job, which means more tired, more time to take. 1~2 hours a day is so generous for me. I got success while I got bugs. Yes, this is tired. Yes, it’s exhausting. Yes, maybe what I’m doing is just a garbage. But you know what? Much of what is out there in life is garbage. There are thing that transcend the garbage. Why don’t take this bet. Try to do something extraordinary, even if it’s only extraordinary for me. This is the exciting part about the Technology Culture today. And what I did then was pushing myself again and again, with one app, one dream and my passion.

Finally, after six months crazy works, I am prepared for the release day. Actually, this is the day that I was always thinking about. You know, like an Apple release event?:) However, this is just a wish. What actually happened to me is quite awesome, by the way. I got the chance to give a presentation on the stage of TEDx event on September 9th, 2012. I talked about the next generation education that based on the impressive development of the Internet. As a figure of this, I introduced deePrac 1.0 version to the audiences and got a widely positive response, which is completely unpredictable for me.

Harsh time continues. After the impressive release event, I still have to update the app constantly by my own hands and minds. I got a lot of apps on my iPhone. And I always take some notes about the amazing features they got. Thinking about why they are so out-standing? Then try to let it happen to deePrac in order to provide users the best user experience. Improve my app by learning!

The feedbacks from users are quite important as well. Luckily, I got many of them from my users that gave me some suggestions from their point of view. Some said I should simplify the logic of the app, others indicate some existing bugs. I’d like to appreciate them. Because they are the best users! They are people who use deePrac everyday and love this app deeply. So, improve my app by listening!

On November 20th, I released the first major update of deePrac: deePrac 3. During the Christmas vacation, I released deePrac 3 Christmas special version and a limited-time free to celebrate the holiday. More and more people began to know deePrac, to use it, which made me feel very proud.

Every day, crazy people crashed with crazy ideas. This scenery not only happens in the places like Silicon Valley, but also appears everywhere in the world.

I’d like to use my favorite quote to end this.

In 1970, a 14-year-old boy dialed into a nationwide computer network, uploaded a virus he had written and caused the entire network to crash.

That boy was Bill Gates. Five years later, he founded Microsoft.

A few years later, two young men went around college dorms in California selling boxes of wires that let students bypass telephone-company restrictions and make long-distance calls for free.

Those young men were Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and a later venture they started, Apple, is now the most valuable company in the world.

What is the future of me? Who knows!