The Kynetx Development Platform Makes Web Mash-ups Easy; Young Programmers are Making Them Ingenious and Fun
There’s a new trend emerging in app programming. Software apps are burgeoning, in spite of a challenged economy. New jobs for developers are exploding: as a category, new jobs for developers will increase by 32 percent from 2008 to 2018 according to the newest US data. The number of independent app programmers is booming as well.
One of the most intriguing aspects of these trends is the explosive growth of young programmers. The fastest rising growth is among the youngest developers. A surprising number of the world’s new apps and mash-ups are the work of programmers who are in their early-to-mid twenties and younger—a tier of programmers Kynetx is calling the “App Generation.”
“App Generation” programmers use tools like Kynetx to build apps that re-shape the Internet.
Kynetx believes much of the future of internet use will be driven by the creative minds of these new thinkers. And Kynetx is intent on supporting and driving this trend.
Kynetx is the creator of KNS (Kynetx Network Services), a platform and programming language that creates apps that can span multiple URLs and devices. Apps built on Kynetx provide users with unique Web experiences incorporating features of numerous programs in response to their needs and desires. The language is simple to use, providing connections and ready-made templates for apps that allow users to control their internet environment in ways never before seen. The brainchild of technology expert Phil Windley, Co-Founder and CTO, the Kynetx Platform has been extolled and heralded by some of the most renowned icons in the technology industry including Doc Searls, Steve Gillmor, Craig Burton and Jon Udell.
The platform is also fast becoming the new rage for young developers. The reasons make sense: they represent a demographic that is fully accustomed to using apps from mobile devices such as their cellphones. And now with Kynetx technology, they are perfectly aligned to imagine a future in which they can create and connect apps that span a myriad of sites and devices. If they can think it, they can probably create it on Kynetx—and often create it in a matter of minutes or hours. Of the more than 900 apps that premiered within a few months of Kynetx’ emergence in Fall 2009, the company estimates that more than half have been created by programmers younger than age 25.
Kynetx has been putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to company hires: nearly one-third of Kynetx’ staff are teens, college students, or new college grads. Three of the company’s young developers are still in high school; the youngest, a high school senior, is just 17.
Kynetx “App Generation” programmers pulling the future of apps into the present.
“We’ve built the foundation for an entirely new generation of apps,” says Stephen Fulling, Kynetx CEO and co-founder. “And we’re realizing that quite often it’s the very young programmers, who aren’t ingrained with thinking about the Web’s limitations, who come up with some of the greatest inventions to put that foundation to work.”
Fulling has even coined a phrase to describe the new App Generation: “It’s all about Holden Page.” At the company’s recent developer conference he launched a viral campaign to acknowledge the youngest visiting participant in the Salt Lake City conference: a 17 year old high school junior from Minnesota–Holden Page.
Obtaining a programming job is just one of the ways Kynetx is launching the App Generation. Another is the ability to join the Kynetx developer program…it’s free to create apps young people can use to build careers on their own. One of the primary ways they can market their new applications is also free—The Kynetx Marketplace. Kynetx does not split profits (they charge a small usage fee for hits to the server) and listing requires no up front payment.
Kynetx’ “App Generation” is making waves on the national technology stage. An app developed by the Kynetx programmer Jessie Morris was recently named to the list of top new Bookmarklets by Maximum PC. At age 18, Morris has been working for Kynetx for about a year. His program, “Sweetter,” was the result of his desire to see the most recent Tweets for each web site as he surfed the web.
“I looked around to see if there was any program for this and there wasn’t. So I created one, and made a bookmarklet you can click to bring the recent Twitter-stream from any website you’re visiting directly onto the screen.”
“I showed it to Phil Windley. He thought it was cool. The graphic artists finished it up – Phil blogged about the application – and the next thing we knew, Sweetter was being covered as a top application in Maximum PC.”
Now a high school graduate, Morris programs for Kynetx full time. Although his educational plans are far from finished, he is a full embodiment of the App Generation, having created a nationally acclaimed app before even beginning his college degree. Another of his popular programs is called “ClearPlay”—an app users can invoke at any time and from within any program to see at a glance which of the movies on popular sites such as NetFlix and ImDB have filtered versions available. (Users can download Jessie’s ClearPlay and Sweetter apps free of charge from the Kynetx Marketplace.) And he has ideas for more.
Jessie Morris talks through app ideas.
Mike Grace, of Rexburg, Idaho, is a senior in college. He estimates he’s participated on some 280 new applications since joining Kynetx six months ago. His goal? “To change the world,” he says with confidence. “I’m no stranger to owning my own business—but the chance to work with executives running a company this profound is teaching me that I have much more to learn. Working at Kynetx has been the chance of a lifetime.”
Kynetx employee Alex Olson is admittedly an exceptional student: at age 18, he completed both his high school diploma and an associate in science degree. In four more semesters, he will have a bachelor’s degree. “I’m one of the luckiest teens I know,” says Alex. “I wake up excited to go to work every day and I want to stay here late just because it’s so fun. I’d love to have a permanent career at Kynetx, but no matter what happens, the things I’ve learned here will stay with me wherever I go.”
Software development isn’t limited to just computer science majors—nor is it only for boys. Two of Kynetx’ budding young programmers are women. Programmer Tamela, age 17, was approached by Kynetx Founder Phil Windley for an internship after he watched her make a presentation on robotics.
“I would love to become a robotics engineer, but I’d never thought about doing anything in software programming, although my mother is majoring in web page design,” Tamela says.
So far, Tamela has had the chance to participate in the programming of an application for a Kynetx contest entry. “I didn’t realize it was possible for someone to actually invent a new programming language,” she muses. “This has been a really cool experience for me.”
The App Generation is a National Trend
Kynetx is not alone in recognizing that many of the best programmers come young: Says Joel Spolsky, programming expert, “The good news about our field is that the really great programmers often started programming when they were 10 years old. While everyone else their age was running around playing “soccer,” they were in their dad’s home office trying to get the Linux kernel to compile. Instead of starting a band in their garage, they were implementing a cool hack so that when their neighbor stole bandwidth over their open-access WIFI point, all the images on the web appeared upside-down. Unlike the fields of law or medicine, in software development, by the time these kids are in their second or third year in college they are pretty darn good programmers.”
Software expert Eric Spiegel agrees. In the May 16 issue of Datamation he notes that young programmers are not only very competent programmers, their unique abilities can make them some of the best: “Many youngsters start writing code as a teenager because they’re fascinated by technology. By the time they graduate with a computer science degree they have many years of experience. Not just any experience, but relevant experience with a great grasp of the latest technology trends.”
“They are very open to new ideas and aren’t tied to a particular design or coding approach,” Spiegel continues. “Youth often equals flexibility.”
By providing the right technology, Kynetx believes it has created the environment that will act as the catalyst to propel the App Generation to its full potential. If the response to the nearly 1000 new apps on the Kynetx platform is an indication, the market clearly agrees.
Founded in 2007, Kynetx is a private company that provides the first Context Automation Development Platform. This platform, powered by Kynetx Network Services (KNS), provides easy-to-use development tools to create context-sensitive, cross-platform apps that can stretch across any web site or web-enabled device. Kynetx apps help build relationships between companies and customers (users) by offering more relevant experiences in the places that matter most.
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Cheryl Snapp Conner and Matt Stubbs, 801-994-9625
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