Mega Construx™ Beyonders™ Story: Thomas Programs Beyond
Beyonders are people who push boundaries. They break new ground, go beyond expectations, beyond the story, and beyond the norm. They bring a new perspective and inspire others with their vision for the future to build the world they love.
Mega Construx™ celebrates what makes Beyonders special, and brings these passionate fans together in a community that drives them further, fuels their inspiration to do more, and encourages them to reach higher ground.”
Today we are sharing more about Beyonder™, Thomas Suarez. Most 12-year-olds love playing videogames — but Thomas Suarez taught himself how to create them. After developing iPhone apps like "Bustin Jeiber," a whack-a-mole game, he is now using his skills to help other kids become developers. Now 17, Thomas has his own company, CarrotCorp, which develops apps and 3D printing systems. Below is more about his work and how he manages to Build Beyond™.
Tell us about your projects.
My projects generally revolve around technology and education. My first projects were software (mostly apps). I learned to program by downloading and modifying open-source code from GitHub to make whatever I wanted. Many students at school also wanted to write mobile apps. It was clear that there was a need that was not being fulfilled. So I started an App Club at the school, which has since grown to a larger project (AppCity) at a nonprofit called STAR Education. Later, as 3D printing grew popular, I was frustrated by the speed and inflexibility of this new technology. I pondered new methods for increasing the speed and flexibility of 3D printing. I then began prototyping a new type of 3D printer called ORB. Most recently, I founded WiTag, an AR smartphone laser tag game, which will be released in mid-2017.
What inspires you to challenge the status quo and Build Beyond?
Capabilities in new technology, a void that needs to filled, and frustrations I have with the status quo inspire me to Build Beyond.
What has been the most exciting part of your projects?
The most exciting parts of inventing and developing projects have been building what I envision, working with peers on challenges, and witnessing the benefits on other people.
What do you see yourself doing next?
I plan to continue developing the ORB 3D Printer and bring it to market, as well as expand the AppCity nonprofit coding course to hospitals. I envision these projects having a meaningful impact on the world.
Where can we learn more about your projects?
What tips or suggestions do you have for future Beyonders?
- Experiment: Experimentation is a fun and effective way to learn, introducing challenges and creativity along the way. While I have not been formally trained in computer science, I find what I need from experimentation, online resources, other projects, and peer review. Without hands-on, project-based learning, I would not be the software developer I am today.
- Collaborate: Finding friends and family to help with a project brings new ideas. It can be enlightening and help you achieve your goals!
- Embrace Failure: Failure is just success in a different context. Perceived failures demonstrate challenges to solve and create paths to even greater successes.
- Persevere: Always work toward your vision. Follow your instincts. You will hear at least one variation of the phrase "that's not possible" while you are inventing. It can be hurtful, especially when it is said toward you by someone you love or respect. Be optimistic. There may be days when even you don't fully believe. But then the somewhat-crazy part of your brain comes back and says, "keep going." Cherish every positive outcome along the journey toward your vision. For example, finally fixing one bug that has been looming on your project for weeks is the one of the best feelings in the world. I can tell you that from experience!
Looking beyond, where do you see the world (or yourself) in 10-15-20 years?
Technology moves so quickly across many different sectors, so it's difficult to predict what will come in even the next 10 years. Whatever it is, however, I will be there, creating and inventing.