This past summer was quite possibly one of the best, busiest, and most awesome I have ever had.
First, my summer began by graduating high school (Divine Child High School to be exact). After much work (and not a whole lot of sleep) I finished high school as one of the top ten students in my class and with a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
In early May, I had the incredible opportunity to have dinner with Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple in Detroit, MI for a few hours. It was a truly amazing experience. Mr. Wozniak was extremely generous in person with his time, open to discussion of ideas, and full of advice. I talk more about the experience here: http://www.codevs.com/2011/06/dining-with-the-woz/
I began the summer by working with Joe Constan and David Cicala on small freelance projects for Codevs. Both are incredibly talented, and it was always fun to bounce ideas off each other and see what we could hack together.
In early June, Detroit Labs co-founder Nathan Hughes sent me a message on twitter simply asking what I was doing for the summer, and asked if I would like to check out some of the really cool things Detroit Labs had been up to in Downtown Detroit.
So, a few days later I went to meet with him and the rest of the Detroit Labs crew in the Compuware building. I was blown away. I could not believe that a high energy iOS, web, and Android team existed in middle of Downtown Detroit. I clicked with team instantly, and started a few days later as an iOS intern.
Throughout the summer, I worked with Henry Balanon and Jeff Kelley to develop iOS apps. I learned an incredible amount about developing for iOS, programming in general, and how to be great developer. In addition, the rest of the Detroit Labs team taught me basic business skills, more about design, and even a bit of backend web development. Now, I will keep on board Detroit Labs throughout the school year as a part time iOS developer. I also became quite the talented scooter rider around the office, and frequent consumer of Faygo slushies.
In early August, Detroit Labs was able to sponsor my way to the Teens in Tech Conference in Palo Alto, California. In 3 long, packed days, I was able to experience Silicon Valley with Henry Balanon. In one day I was able to have lunch at Apple ( thanks to Henry’s connections) and dinner at Google thanks to my friend, and Youtube software engineer, Mike Yurko. (Well, and I hung out at Stanford University in between) While in Palo Alto, I was able to both meet new people, as well as Twitter and Facebook friends in real life for the first time.
The conference was awesome, and completely worth the trip out to California. Daniel Brusilovsky did an incredible job organizing the event, and running every aspect of it. I was able to meet other teen developers and entrepreneurs. To name a few:
- Sahil Lavingia – an awesome iOS developer and designer (http://sahillavingia.com/)
- Kristina Varshavskaya – an incredible motivated person who dropped out of school to work with her sister on Wanelo.com
- Brett Neese – (http://brneese.com/)
- Spencer Schoeben – (http://twitter.com/#!/netspencer)
- Jack Rodgers
- Akash Gupta
- Jake Mates – http://www.jakemates.com/
- J.d. Remington – http://jdremington.com/
- Parth Dhebar – http://twitter.com/#!/pdparticle
- Zak Kukoff – http://zak.co/
- Adam Debreczeni – kickass designer, developer, everything. – http://debreczeni.com/
- sorry if I missed anyone!
Also, I met Stacey Ferreira – a student at NYU, entrepreneur, thinker, and co-founder of My Social Cloud. When she isn’t flying across the country or hanging out with Sir Richard Branson, she is designing, developing, or doing homework. She has an incredible amount of motivation and focus. We also have agreed to work on an iPhone app together as a side project. Since we think things like that are fun….well, and making money is always nice.
Now. I am a freshman at the University of Michigan pursuing a degree in Computer Science Engineering. Should be fun.