It’s not uncommon for developers to excel at an early age, but that doesn’t make 17-year-old Michael Sayman any less impressive.
The Miami native was not only featured in a video at Facebook’s f8 developer conference last week, but his app 4Snaps has risen to the top of the iOS App Store, a feat that even seasoned developers have a difficult time pulling off.
Sayman has been coding since he was 13 and currently has 13 apps in the Apple’s App Store.
In a recent interview with PandoDaily. he revealed how he went from viewing coding tutorials on Google to being featured at a developer event for one of the biggest tech company’s in the world. His app 4Snaps is currently beating Starbucks, Luminosity, and Fitbit in overall app store ratings, according to PandoDaily.
4Snaps is a free game that requires a player to take four pictures in order to help another player guess a particular word.
When Sayman was in middle school during 2010, he begged his mother for $100 for the iOS App Store registration fee. On the condition that he would pay his mother back, she loaned him the money.
His first contribution to the app store called Club Penguin Cheats app, a tutorial for the popular Disney game. It quickly rose to the top 10, and Sayman ultimately ended up making tens of thousands of dollars on the first app he had ever built.
Although Sayman struggled with his second app, a Club Penguin-themed game, his success helped him provide for his family during a very difficult time. The 2012 recession hit his family hard— Sayman’s father lost his job and his parents were forced to foreclose their home. When the Sayman family moved into a smaller apartment, he helped his parents pay for their mortgage when he was only 16 years old.
Now, two years and several apps later, Sayman already has his foot in the door at Facebook as an intern this summer.
His success story is one of several scenarios in which young teens with a passion for hacking and building have been able to break into the tech world.
In 2011, then 17-year-old Alex Godin. son of marketing Guru Seth Godin, was accepted into the extremely selective TechStars startup accelerator program after teaching himself to code in just seven days. He now works at Meetup, and before that he launched his own startup Dispatch, which was eventually acquired by Meetup.