Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

April 17, 2013


Host: Ted Simons

AZ Technology & Innovation: High School App Developer


  • Perry Waxman is just 18 and still in high school in Phoenix, but is already a member of Apple's Developer Network. He’s created two successful apps after teaching himself how to code. Waxman will talk about his apps and his future.
Guests:
  • Perry Waxman - App Developer
Category: Technology   |   Keywords: AZ, Technology, Innovation, app, developer, Apple, ,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: OUR CONTINUING COVERAGE OF ARIZONA TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION ISSUES FOCUSES TONIGHT ON A YOUNG APP DEVELOPER. PERRY WAXMAN IS 18 YEARS OLD, A VALLEY LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT, AND A DEVELOPER OF DEVICE APPLICATIONS THAT LED HIM TO A JOB WITH APPLE.

Ted Simons: GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE.

Perry Waxman: THANK YOU.

Ted Simons: WHAT IS AN APP? HOW DOES ONE CREATE AN APP?

Perry Waxman: IT'S A SHORTENED TERM FOR APPLICATION. APPS CAN DO BASICALLY ANYTHING YOU WANT FOR WHATEVER REASON. SO A CALCULATOR, A GPS IS AN APPLICATION. BASICALLY ANYTHING.

Ted Simons: SO HOW DO YOU DEVELOP ONE OF THESE THINGS?

Perry Waxman: IF YOU'RE GOING TO DEVELOP FOR APPLE YOU HAVE TO USE THEIR ARBITRARY DEVELOPMENT TOOLS. SO YOU REGISTER IT THROUGH THEIR DEVELOPER NETWORK, AND YOU GET CODING.

Ted Simons: WE HAVE SOME SHOTS I THINK OF YOUR NOTES. IT LOOKS AWFULLY COMPLICATED.

Perry Waxman: IT IS. IT'S NOT EASY.

Ted Simons: YEAH. WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT NOW, IS THIS MORE DESIGN?

Perry Waxman: YEAH, THOSE ARE JUST NOTES AND JUST SOME REALLY JUST SKETCHES OF AN APP I'M COMING OUT WITH IN THE COMING MONTHS. IT'S A GAME, IT'S SUPER SIMPLE. IT'S REALLY JUST IN ITS INFANCY RIGHT NOW. IT'S ALL DRAWINGS.

Ted Simons: WHAT GOT YOU STARTED IN THIS?

Perry Waxman: I JUST THOUGHT IT WAS REALLY INTERESTING HOW I COULD REACH SO MANY PEOPLE WITH SOMETHING PRETTY SIMPLE. AND ALSO THAT I COULD CREATE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING BASICALLY.

Ted Simons: AND WE'RE LOOKING AT THE CODE HERE, THIS IS OBVIOUSLY A FOREIGN LANGUAGE TO MOST OF US. EVEN FOR YOU, YOU'RE FAMILIAR WITH THIS, IT STILL TAKES A LOT OF TIME, DOESN'T IT?

Perry Waxman: IT TAKES A LOT OF RESEARCH AND PATIENCE.

Ted Simons: I'LL BET. WAS THERE AN APP THAT FIRST GOT YOU THINKING, I WANT TO DO THIS? LIKE AN INSPIRATIONAL THING?

Perry Waxman: I WOULDN'T SAY JUST AN APP, BUT HOW PEOPLE ARE SO TIED TO SOFTWARE, AND HOW INTIMATE IT CAN BE AND HOW PEOPLE CAN BE EMOTIONAL ABOUT IT. TO ME THAT IS REALLY INTERESTING.

Ted Simons: IT'S A WAY TO CONNECT WITH FOLKS IS WHAT IT IS.

Perry Waxman: UH-HUH.

Ted Simons: NOW, YOU HAVE -- HOW MANY HAVE YOU DEVELOPED SO FAR?

Perry Waxman: THREE.

Ted Simons: AND HOW MANY FOLKS HAVE DOWNLOADED THEM?

Perry Waxman: ABOUT 12,000 OR SO.

Ted Simons: DO YOU GET RESPONSE? DOES SOMEONE FROM MAINE SEND YOU NOTES SAYING I LOVE IT, I HATE IT?

Perry Waxman: SOME PEOPLE CAN REVIEW IT, I CAN SEE WHO'S DOWNLOADING IN WHICH COUNTRIES AND FREQUENCY AND PERCENTAGES, LOSING OR GAINING.

Ted Simons: THEY ARE DOWNLOADING IT AROUND THE WORLD?

Perry Waxman: YEAH.

Ted Simons: IT'S KIND OF A KICK, ISN'T IT?

Perry Waxman: YEAH.

Ted Simons: WHAT DO YOUR APPS DO? SHOW US REAL QUICK. IS IT A GPS KIND OF A THING OR A GAME?

Perry Waxman: ONE OF THEM IS L&L WHICH STAND FOR LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE.

Ted Simons: GO AHEAD AND TELL US WHAT IT DOES AND WE'LL TAKE A LOOK AT IT.

Perry Waxman: IT FINDS WHERE WE ARE, WHEREVER SOMEONE ELSE IS. YOU CAN'T FIND WHERE OTHER PEOPLE ARE BECAUSE THAT'S KIND OF CREEPY. BUT IT GIVES US OUR LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE IN NUMBERS.

Ted Simons: HOLD IT UP FOR THE CAMERA THERE TO TAKE A LOOK AT IT. AND THAT'S ON YOUR IPHONE. WHAT IS IT EXACTLY DOING THERE?

Perry Waxman: IT'S FOUND WHERE WE ARE, SO WE'RE IN THE WALTER CRONKITE SCHOOL.

Ted Simons: WE INDEED ARE.

Perry Waxman: AND IT GIVES US LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE. IT'S HARD TO READ IT BUT IT'S UP HERE.

Ted Simons: THAT'S BASICALLY IT.

Perry Waxman: YEAH.

Ted Simons: WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT?

Perry Waxman: I WAS JUST EXPERIMENTING WITH SOME CODE WITH CORE LOCATION AND FRAMEWORKS LIKE THAT. WHY NOT MAKE IT, I THOUGHT WHY NOT MAKE IT?

Ted Simons: WHAT KIND OF RESPONSE HAVE YOU HAD FOR THAT ONE?

Perry Waxman: NO ONE'S DONE ANY REVIEWS, IT'S NOT THAT SIGNIFICANT OF AN APP, IT'S SUPER SIMPLE.

Ted Simons: SPEAKING OF FRIENDS AT SCHOOL, WHAT DO THEY THINK OF MR. BIG SHOT DEVELOPING APPS AND WORKING FOR APPLE?

Perry Waxman: I DON'T LIKE TO TELL PEOPLE ALL ABOUT IT, I JUST DO MY OWN THING. THEY THINK IT'S COOL, I GUESS. TO ME IT'S KIND OF NERDY. SO MANY PEOPLE USE SO MUCH TECHNOLOGY TODAY, BEING SOLELY FOR A NERDY CROWD ISN'T CORRECT.

Ted Simons: WE'RE LOOKING AGAIN AT THE L&L AS THEY CALL IT. WHAT DOES YOUR FAMILY THINK ABOUT IT?

Perry Waxman: THEY ARE PRETTY IMPRESSED.

Ted Simons: WAS IT KIND OF, THAT'S NICE, GO AHEAD AND HAVE FUN? DID THEY KNOW YOU WERE SERIOUS ABOUT IT?

Perry Waxman: THEY KNEW I WAS PRETTY SERIOUS, I WAS SPENDING HOURS AND HOURS A WEEK DOING IT, GETTING REALLY FRUSTRATED AND TALKING ABOUT IT THROUGH DINNER AND WHATEVER. SO YEAH.

Ted Simons: SO YOU'RE AT VALLEY LUTHERAN, A SENIOR, RIGHT?

Perry Waxman: YEAH.

Ted Simons: HEADED TO --

Perry Waxman: ASU.

Ted Simons: YOU'RE GOING TO ASU, FORGET HARVARD AND STANFORD?

Perry Waxman: I'M GOING TO MAJOR IN COMPUTER SCIENCE AND SOFTWARE ENGINEERING.

Ted Simons: YOU'RE GOING TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR, MAYBE WORK FOR A COMPANY?

Perry Waxman: YEAH, SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

Ted Simons: WAS IT TRIAL AND ERROR? HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO?

Perry Waxman: A LOT OF TRIAL AND ERROR, A LOT OF RESEARCH, A LOT OF BOOKS. I'VE READ A LOT OF BOOKS ABOUT IT. YOUTUBE IS A GREAT RESOURCE TO WATCH PEOPLE DO IT, TALK ABOUT IT. BUT TO ME, LEARNING IS THE BEST WHEN SOMEONE ELSE CAN TEACH YOU PERSON TO PERSON.

Ted Simons: ALMOST A MENTORING KIND OF SITUATION. DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS MENTORING SOMEONE SOMEDAY?

Perry Waxman: YEAH, YEAH.

Ted Simons: DO YOU SEE YOURSELF DEVELOPING MORE GAMES OR MORE LIKE THE L&L?

Perry Waxman: I'M NOT SURE. I THINK THE MOST IMPORTANT SOFTWARE IS THAT -- THAT CAN REALLY INFLUENCE PEOPLE ON HOW THEY DO THINGS, WHETHER OR NOT IT'S SOCIAL NETWORKING, COMMUNICATION IN GENERAL, OR ENTERTAINMENT. BUT JUST TO REALLY GET SOMEONE INTO THEIR TECHNOLOGY IS WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR.

Ted Simons: ALMOST INSTRUCTIONAL IN A WAY?

Perry Waxman: INSTRUCTIONAL, WHATEVER I CAN THINK OF I WOULD PROBABLY DO.

Ted Simons: AND AS FAR AS WORKING FOR APPLE, HOW DID THIS GET STARTED?

Perry Waxman: WELL, YOU JUST REGISTER IN THEIR DEVELOPER PORTAL. THEY GIVE YOU THE RESOURCES YOU COULD ASK FOR, AND THEN YOU JUST START DEVELOPING.

Ted Simons: BASICALLY IT'S NOT SO MUCH THAT THEY CAME AND KNOCKED ON YOUR DOOR AND SAID, HERE, SIGN A CONTRACT, YOU'RE WORKING FOR APPLE ALONG WITH A LOT OF OTHER FOLKS DOING THIS?

Perry Waxman: YES, THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF OTHER DEVELOPERS.

Ted Simons: THIS HAS GOT TO BE PRETTY EXCITING FOR YOU. I'M FASCINATED THAT YOU DECIDED ON YOUR OWN YOU WERE GOING TO DO THIS. WERE YOU EVER DISCOURAGED EARLY ON?

Perry Waxman: EXTREMELY DISCOURAGED, I WAS MAD, FRUSTRATED. BUT WHEN YOU DO SOMETHING, SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS GETTING WORDS ON THE SCREEN IS SO PROFOUND AND EXCITING THAT YOU JUST WANT TO KEEP DOING IT AND DOING IT AND MAKING IT BETTER AND BETTER AND BETTER.

Ted Simons: WHEN YOU SAID YOU'VE DEVELOPED GAMES AND INSTRUCTIONAL STUFF, REALLY, YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO, CAN'T YOU?

Perry Waxman: REALLY.

Ted Simons: IF IT COMES TO YOUR MIND YOU CAN DEVELOP IT?

Perry Waxman: YEAH, CERTAINLY. THE ONLY THING STOPPING ANYONE FROM GOING THEMSELVES WITH THIS, OR ANYTHING ELSE, FOR THAT MATTER.

Ted Simons: THERE'S ALWAYS STILL MORE TO LEARN.

Perry Waxman: OF COURSE.

Ted Simons: CONGRATUALATION, GOOD LUCK AT ASU. THANKS FOR STICKING AROUND FOR THAT TOO CAUSE WE NEED YA. AND CONTINUED SUCCESS, THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

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