Michael Sayman Is 16 and About to Release His 9th App

Ingrid Rojas/Fusion

All Michael Sayman wanted was for all 1,200 of his middle school classmates to download his first app from the App Store. Instead, approximately 300,000 people did.

Michael, who was 13 at the time, had spent three months tinkering alone on his computer to create his first app, a cheat guide to Club Penguin, a game many kids his age, including him, were obsessed with.

To his surprise, and that of his parents, Michael's app quickly rose to number seven among thousands in the App Store and little by little the checks started coming in.

Now 16, Michael is about to release his ninth app, a social network strictly for tech developers called Hello World.

Although he's developed hundreds of apps in the last four years, only a few see the light of day. Hello World is his most ambitious app to date.

Michael works alone in his bedroom after school, surrounded by his dear Apple gadgets. Because his school doesn't offer coding classes, he's had to rely on books, the internet and sheer trial and error. "I think it's me being extremely determined to make an app and just continue and continue until it works,'" said Michael.

His parents, who are from Peru and Bolivia, run a small restaurant and have zero connection to the tech world. They're as surprised as anybody else by their son's computer wizardry.

Although he's become a self-taught app developer, he still hopes to go to college for computer engineering. Heads up, headhunters!

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