I’m really excited to post this interview with one of my new favorite iPhone developers: 16 year old Austin Evers. I get lots of emails from folks asking advice or wanting to promote their products so I wasn’t surprised to get an email from Austin asking for some marketing advice for his upcoming iPhone game Shuzzle (launching October 27). What did surprise me, though, is that he is a Junior in High School. But hey, lots of kids mess around with Objective-C—what’s so special? It’s the quality. I’ve been testing out Shuzzle for a bit now and have to say, though simple, it is a top notch game in terms of quality and in terms of fun, from the sounds to the gameplay. Take a look at shuzzleapp.com/ to get a taste. I was quite impressed and thought he deserved some attention.
Without further ado, the interview:
Jeremy: What inspired you to start building iPhone apps?
Austin: I was driven by the movement of the App Store business as a growing industry, and I have always admired well designed products and thought that I could combine my passion for starting my own business, making well designed products, and technology, and come out with a really strong concept.
Jeremy: You are about to release your first app but judging from the complexity of the app and the quality of design in your app and on your website, you must have been programming and designing for a while now. How did you get started on this path & could you tell me some of the story leading up to now?
Austin: I have always taken an immense interest in business, and because of my amazement with the pace that technology is advancing, I knew that iPhone app development was where I needed to be. Life has always been about moving forward and progressing and through understanding that and then doing whatever needs to be done to get there is what Appuous and our apps are all about. I began this road at around age twelve not realizing the amazing places it would take me. At first it was some minor programing but the realization of where the App Store was going pulled me into real development such as Shuzzle and other apps that are in the works.
Jeremy: What did you do to learn iPhone development & design?
Austin: I learned by pulling from different sources, such as books, online tutorials, and looking at sample code. A lot of hours were spent in trial and error. Also I spent a good bit of time researching successful apps and saw what other developers did to ensure the success of their apps in terms of design.
Jeremy: Have any advice for others getting started in iPhone development (books, blogs, websites, etc.)?
Austin: To be passionate about anything is priceless and that falls into iPhone development as well. For me, Apress, both their books and website, were very helpful when beginning into development. I’d also recommend looking at several open source applications because in getting started they can really help you learn from real-world applications. For marketing and overall inspiration there are hundreds of apps that have made it big and I recommend taking a look at what at made them so successful. I think making an iPhone application comes down to two things; an extremely good idea that hasn’t been done and designing it in a way that people admire how much work you put into the design.
Jeremy: Do you have any long term plans for your company? Do you think this is something you would want to do for a living?
Austin: I plan on making more applications in the near future, and being only sixteen I think this is a great opportunity for me to start. I’d really like to see where my company can take me at the moment and that’s what I am most excited for. I definitely see myself doing this for a living.
Thanks Austin for taking the time to talk to me. I’m only 20 but I love to see my fellow younglings take the bull by the horns and do amazing work. Follow @appuous on Twitter and look for Shuzzle on the app store on October 27. Oh and folks, lets make sure Austin’s hard work pays off on launch day. He deserves it.
UPDATE: I’ve updated the Shuzzle launch date to October 27 — Austin decided to change it since Apple’s event on the 20th would overshadow pretty much all other news that day.