Coalfields teen gets appy

SMARTPHONES have paved the way for young Hunter software developers to hone their skills and make money from their creations.

Coalfields 17-year-old self-taught web designer Ebony Samantha began following her interest after leaving school in 2010.

‘‘I have been working with and designing websites since I was 12 years old,’’ Samantha said.

But after receiving an iPhone in early 2011, she decided to postpone her TAFE web design studies to pursue making programs for the widespread smartphone.

Her debut application or ‘‘app’’ Lomo Ho has been available through the Apple online store since October, the product of more than four months’ work.

The photography app allows users to add effects to give their images a ‘‘lomographic’’, or old-school film photography look.

‘‘For my first app I’m pretty proud of it,’’ Samantha said.

‘‘I’m not exactly making a fortune from it – only hundreds, not thousands yet.’’

After receiving an iPad for Christmas, Samantha said she would aim at developing for that product as well.

She said she hoped to eventually make a career out of her work.

‘‘I know it’s such a geeky thing to say but I am really inspired by Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, and hope to one day achieve a fraction of their success,’’ Samantha said.

‘‘As you can see, I’m not really dreaming small.’’

Veteran Port Stephens-based developer Jon Levy of Levy Database said the software platform was a good starting point for young developers.

Mr Levy, who designs custom applications for businesses that allow staff to remotely update databases, said the support for budding developers was promising.

‘‘I think in the world of development you could say it’s pretty easy,’’ Mr Levy said.

‘‘There is potentially room for a lot of creativity.’’

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