Meet the next Steve Jobs: Andrew Finke. The 14-year-old from suburban Glencoe already has six apps available for download in Apple’s App Store and won a scholarship to the Apple World Wide Developer’s Conference in June 2012. He was one of the youngest in attendance. Finke’s mother, Lisa, knew her son found his haven in iD Tech Camps when then nine-year-old Andrew, never the enthusiastic camper, furiously thought his mother was two hours early to pick him up on his first day; he didn’t know the computer clocks were set to the Pacific Time Zone, and it was actually 5pm.
ID Tech Camps operate in 26 states and 60 universities, including MIT, Stanford, Harvard and Northwestern, Finke’s usual haunt. The weeklong camps and teen academies provide techies with the opportunity to learn more about this growing field—Web and video game design, robotics and iPhone app development, to name a few. Best of all, they can try their hand at design. Finke fits this bill and proudly surpassed a total of 45,000 downloads for his apps.
So, Apple or Android?
I’ve only known Apple, so I can’t say. …Well, Apple is obviously better.
What app are you most proud of making?
Space Jumper. It’s the first real game I made, so it’ll always be special. It’s not Angry Birds, but…
How many lines of code went into it?
4,500. The programming language is Objective C.
Wow! Was that all at camp?
It started through camp. I went back and added things like the space graphics and in-app purchases.
Does the camp teach you to make them profitable?
Not much. They teach you how to set up a portfolio.
Do you want to do this for a job?
For the next four or five years, apps is life. Apps is everything. But I really want to be a Disney Imagineer.
iD Tech Camps, locations vary (888-709-8324, https://www.idtech.com/locations/illinois-summer-camps/chicago/). Jun 16–Aug 16. Weeklong day sessions start at $799; overnight $1,318; two-week academy $3,599. Ages 7–18.