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The age of the kid developer

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The tech industry’s newest talent isn’t in Silicon Valley…yet. First, they need to finish high school.

Growing up in the age of the Internet and the smartphone has had its effect on the new generation of young geniuses. Not only are many developing and launching multiple apps before they’re even old enough to drive, but they’re also getting paid for it.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Google has paid developers more than $5 billion over the last year, and Apple paid about $10 billion over the same period—and $20 billion since it opened its app store in 2008.”

Thanks to the open market of app stores and the incessant demand for new apps, an entire generation of teenage developers are tapping into this lucrative market.

Apple and Google are helping to grow the skills of their most probable future work force. Both companies offer youth programs at their developer conferences and award scholarships to waive the hefty registration fees. Kids as young as 13 can attend, and, even more surprisingly, many are more than qualified to.

Grant Goodman, 14, recently launched his third iPhone app and started a company to manage his app business.

“If you start young, you will have an advantage over people who start in their 20s,” he said. “Your brain has more plasticity when you’re younger.”

Kids these days. Playing video games all day, text messaging friends nonstop, and developing multi-million dollar apps.