If you’re Yuma Soerianto, you start a whole new career.Currently Yuma has seven apps in Apple’s App Store. He learned how to code five years ago, finding it a more entertaining alternative to watching TV reruns.Also, Yuma is just 11 years old.
“I got into coding at the age of 6,” he told me while demonstrating his latest app at a recent event in Sydney, Australia, where he travelled from his home in Melbourne. “I got back from school and I usually watch TV, but there were reruns and I hate reruns. They’re boring. At the time I just wanted to do something else other than watching TV.”
Talk about turning a negative into a positive. Yuma, with some guidance from his father, taught himself through online games and tutorials, figuring out how to make his own website. From there, he made some simple browser games. He even made online birthday cards for his friends that involved playing a minigame to unlock Yuma’s well wishes.
“I showed him an iTunes U course from Stanford university,” said his father, Hendri, himself a user interface designer. “In the course there were some math concepts such as trigonometry that he hadn’t learned before, so he had to learn that too.”
This was in 2015, when Yuma was 8 years old.
“He woke up before me and my wife and I often found him watching the lectures by himself in the mornings. That’s how much he wanted to learn coding!”
Yuma’s latest app is Let’s Stack AR!, a simple but addictive game in which you help a duck, piloting a UFO, stack blocks. Naturally. Previous apps include Weather Duck, in which a duck tells you how to dress in accordance with the weather, and Hunger Button, which suggests a nearby restaurant in situations where you and your friends can’t decide where to eat.
Hendri says he and his family become beta testers for Yuma’s creations. One of Yuma’s browser games, Jackpot, was built for his grandmother. Let’s Stack AR! is an updated version of a previous Let’s Stack app, and Yuma’s first venture into augmented reality developing.