What did you get up to when you were 15? If you were like me, it was a year of hanging out with friends and playing many video games, before exam season kicked in. Yes, it was a pretty lazy time.
Even if you thought you were quite productive back then, it’s unlikely you were as hard working as app developer, Kelsea Barker. The driven 15-year-old juggles attending school, working a part time job in retail, and creating apps. To say she’s an inspiration to more than just her age group is an understatement. Her time management skills must surpass many people twice her age.
Showing ambition beyond her years, Kelsea wanted to create her own app since the age of 11. Finally, she’s done exactly that through Hue!
Hue! is a simple game where your mission is to stay alive for 30 seconds, before earning a color, and doing it all over again with an extended time limit. It was developed using GameSalad, a game creating tool that requires no prior coding knowledge.
It does still require time and effort to construct an entertaining game, as well as imagination. Fortunately for Kelsea, she had all of those things, along with determination and passion on her side.
Originally starting out with an aim of running a freelance blogging business, Kelsea told us why she switched to app development:
“Blogging, like app developing, is a very competitive business. If you want to thrive in it, you have to have a lot of passion and motivation to put in the time. As I tried out blogging, I realised I didn’t have that much passion for it, and I want to spend my time doing something I’m passionate about. Since I’ve had the goal of developing an app for years and years, I figured that’s where I would find my passion, and I did.”
Hue! wasn’t her first idea for a game, with her lack of experience and knowledge causing some frustration early on as she considered a concept she wasn’t able to put into reality just yet, but within a few days, she came up with the idea and built upon it from there. It’s that kind of sheer force of will that makes her stand out from a section of society too often unfairly maligned for taking the ‘easy’ route.
Besides her age, Kelsea’s also quite the trendsetter in an industry heavily dominated by men. The frustration that more girls don’t get involved is clear too. “I wish they would realize that being a women in tech and business in general provides an opportunity to stand out and be unique!” Kelsea explained.
“There is a huge push in the world go get women to code, so by following that path, it can be easier to get a job and help provide for a future family! It also provides an opportunity to be a role model for other girls, and have others look up to you. Who wouldn’t want that?” As she points out, many girls want to be unique and stand out from the crowd, but they do so through trying to have “the best Instagram page or having the cutest clothes,” rather than pursuing something more creative and potentially profitable.
Fortunately, Kelsea has received support from friends during her endeavours. “I have a few [female] friends that want to develop apps with me! It makes me so happy so see that I’ve helped open people’s eyes and influenced them to look into this field! I can’t tell you how many people have asked me how to do it, and have wanted to try the same.”
So, what’s next for Kelsea?
In a moment that demonstrates just how mature her vision is, she informed us that her “biggest goal is to be self-employed and earn a good income for my future family from it. I want my kids to enjoy a financially stable life and I don’t want them to have to spend their time working in a job they don’t like.” She wants that positive ideal to continue through her children too, “I want them to spend all the time they can learning and building their future.”
With the right idea of always adapting in such a fast moving field, Kelsea finished by pointing out that she “definitely [wants] to continue app developing in the future, but I also want to try other businesses as well to earn extra money. I have big plans for the future and I plan on achieving all of them!”
Regardless of your age or gender, it’d be pretty hard to not be inspired by such a positive and determined attitude towards life.