Robert Nay is only in ninth grade, but he has already written an app that took the #1 spot on the Apple App Store just two weeks after it was released. His app, Bubble Ball, is a challenging game that uses physics and a series of pieces to get the bubble to the end goal.

Robert was in third grade when he designed his first website and has since been teaching himself more about computers and programming. He has learned the importance of making and keeping goals, expanding his knowledge, and listening to his friends.

How did you learn about programming and computer design? My older brother Steven, who is in college now, was into computers, and I saw him programming and making websites, and I thought that was pretty cool. So he probably got me interested in computers and programming, and from there I just taught myself.

Why did you decide to make an app? Late last summer a friend’s dad said that I should try making an iPhone app, because he knew that I was good with computers and stuff. I thought it would be pretty cool, so I made it a goal to come up with an iPhone app and have it on the App Store. And I finally made it.

How did you come up with the idea for Bubble Ball? When I was looking for an idea, I looked at different games that were kind of similar to it. I saw the different aspects that I liked from those games, and then I just came up with it on my own. But a lot of the game evolved as I created it and changed things.

Do you have any advice for other teens trying to reach their goals? Just try it and go for your dreams, because you can make it. I just tried it and didn’t think it would do nearly this well. I just wanted to do it.

Photograph by Kari Nay