Vancouver teen coding phenom using skills for good
VANCOUVER -- A 14-year-old from Vancouver is turning heads in the app developing world.
Pranav Karthik, a student at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary is one of only 11 Canadian student winners of Apple's Swift Student Challenge, part of the company's 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference, which began Monday.
There are only 350 winners worldwide.
Karthik's submission, an app called exercisAR, uses augmented reality to help people do workouts at home during quarantine. On Monday, Karthik had a one-on-one virtual meeting with an Apple vice-president to demonstrate the app.
"It's basically an instructor to teach you how to these exercises in augmented reality, so it could be anywhere, your living room, or your bedroom," Karthik explained.
Karthik began coding when he was eight years old, starting with websites using HTML, and progressing to Swift, which is Apple's programming language.
So far, his most successful app is called Trackr, which allows students to keep track of their school assignments and manage deadlines.
Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted about the then 13-year-old Karthik creating online video tutorials to help other young people who are learning coding.
"That was really surprising," Karthik said.
"It was honestly one of the best moments of my life...I never thought I'd get a shout-out from such a prestigious person."
Karthik is also volunteering his skills to non-profits to help them develop apps of their own.
So what’s next for the young phenom? Karthik says he wants to continue helping young people learn to code, and eventually score an internship at Apple.
"I really want to help other younger coders get into the field because I feel like when more people are interested in the field, and work together, we can make much better solutions for problems we're facing right now."