Eight-year-old Builds Windows Phone App; Watches Spongebob

| Lauren Metter

Photo via BetaBoston

Eight-year-old Tariq is watching cartoons again.

…on a Windows Phone app that he created himself in a few hours called Kids Zone.

Okay, that’s a pretty snappy lead. But we can’t really beat the headline of BetaBoston’s article about little Mohamed Tariq Jaffar Ali (aka Tariq), who they met right here at MSNE: “Boston has a hot new app developer. Oh, yeah, he’s 8 years old.” We welcome more startup, tech and innovation news with open arms.

Tariq designed the app using a really cool program for Windows Phone, App Studio, which is ultra-accessible because you don’t need to know how to code to use it. Kids Zone aggregates online videos from cartoons and sorts them into channels. Tariq created the app at a Nokia DVLUP Day in Boston, where he was the youngest participant and beat his Dad to the punch.

So what does this mean? It means if eight-year-old Tariq can build an app, why not you? Here are some local resources to help you get started:

  • Sign up for the App Studio workshop series at the Microsoft Store in Hartford starting in April.
  • Microsoft Stores offer personal training sessions in the area of your choice, from one hour ($49) to only $99 for a year’s worth of classes. New England region stores with training programs include Boston, Natick, Burlington, Danbury, Salem, Buffalo, and West Hartford. You can pick your location and personalize your training here.
  • Students can enter Microsoft Imagine Cup, the world’s premier student technology competition, open to students over 16. Every year, the Imagine Cup encourages students from all around the globe to come up with creative ideas using technology to help solve the world’s toughest issues. We offer over $1 million in prizes for winners, and this year, one Imagine Cup World Finalist team will be chosen for a private meeting with Bill Gates!
  • Attend one of various app development activities, workshops, studio time, etc. These can be found on the following meetup pages: Boston | Hartford | New York City | Iselin | Rochester

Other Computer Science Programs in MA

  • The Foundry, our college intern program at NERD, gives college students on-the-job experience while they build apps and games for our various platforms.
  • We are working with the Mass Tech Leadership Council’s Education Foundation to drive awareness and engagement in computer science education at Massachusetts schools. One example is the TEALS program that has introduced AP Computer Science to students at Cambridge Ringe & Latin. TEALS utilizes volunteer industry professionals to help build capacity among existing teachers to teach CS. Volunteer info sessions coming soon – keep an eye on the blog for details.
  • We engage students at colleges and universities throughout New England and upstate New York providing hands-on training on Windows 8 and Windows Phone app and game development along with training on how to leverage Windows Azure for their startup ambitions.

Read BetaBoston’s full story on 8-year-old app developer Tariq here. Another take via the Windows Phone blog can be found here.

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