Tech-savvy Harry the world’s youngest app maker

AN IRISH whizzkid has become the world’s youngest app developer with a game based on a pizza trying to rid a kitchen of pesky salami slices.

It took 12-year-old Harry Moran, who lives on Model Farm Road in Cork City, less than a month to develop his game, PizzaBot.

The app, which is available for download to Macs and will be available for iPhones and iPads next week, is already racing to the top of the most popular app charts.

Yesterday, PizzaBot was ranked number two in the games category, number two in the paid apps category and was topping the paid games category, ahead of monumentally successful Angry Birds.

“I just love doing this. It makes sense to me,” said the sixth-class pupil at Glasheen Boys National School. The game began as a homework assignment for the computer club, CoderDojo, which Harry joined after moving to Cork from Westport last summer.

“I don’t know why it’s been so successful. Some people just really like the story line which is pretty eccentric. But I think it means different things to different people. I put a lot of work into the graphics too,” he said.

Harry is one of triplets and also has a 10-year-old sister, Ellen. He said his parents and siblings were delighted with his overnight success.

“My teacher, John Marshall, has also been great. He’s very into the whole thing and when I was interviewed on radio yesterday, he played it on the intercom all over the school,” he said.

Harry has attended courses at the Centre for Talented Youth in Dublin and taught himself the coding programme, Objective C, so that he could develop the app.

“Apple didn’t believe me when I told them that I was only 12. They had to get confirmation from my dad before they’d believe me,” he said.

His dad Sean is an engineer and manager at Sanmina SCI in North Cork. However, his mum said that neither have backgrounds in computers.

“This is all Harry on his own. He loves it and is so laid back and is just taking the media attention and everything in his stride,” said his mum, Elaine Dempsey.

Harry also writes a blog, HM Computing, which offers technology and software advice.

“We haven’t had enough reviews done of PizzaBot yet so I am asking people to go online and play it and review it. I think they’ll find the game play is really appealing,” he said.

- PizzaBot is for sale in the AppStore for 79c.

Picture: Twelve-year-old Harry Moran has seen his PizzaBot app rise to the top of the charts. Picture: Daragh Mc Sweeney

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