10:01 | 06.09.17 | IT Teens | exclusive 102617

IT Teens. John Khachian

It’s a proved fact that love for technologies begins in childhood. Today students go to school with smartphones and do their homework on tablets.

There are many teenagers in Armenia now, who not only use smartphones and tablets but also try to create something on their own - a game, an app or a program.

Itel.am continues its IT Teens series, presenting Armenian teenagers who’ve been interested in technologies since early childhood and create products in this industry.

15-year-old John Khachian from Connecticut, U.S. studies programming, participates in tech camps and tries to create his own software company. John came to Armenia with his mother to participate in Tumo Summer Camp in August of 2017 and see his homeland for the first time.   

“I have always been interested in computers, but programming really attracted me during a 1-2-week course during elementary school, which I attended together with my friend. We learned Python and some basic stuff there. I learned how to design games using Python at a summer camp during 6th-7th grade. I studied Java at Summer Tech camp this summer and learned a little C++ from watching online videos on YouTube, so I continue expanding my knowledge,” he told.

photo © Mediamax

John studies JavaScript and robotics at Tumo:  

“My mom told me about Tumo, and I thought it would be nice to try it. I thought that I was going to participate only in the programming section at Tumo, but it turned out there was a lot more that interested me. I learned developing games through Unity.”

John wants to come back to Armenia next summer and continue his studies of robotics and HTML at Tumo.

“I was very surprised entering Tumo for the first time, as I wasn’t expecting to see so much technology there. I also made many Armenian friends, teens from different countries,” John tells.

photo © Mediamax

The Armenian teen from the US spends his free time on developing mobile apps.

“I have already developed a platform for creating Android apps. Currently I am working on the next one, which is similar to the personal system app Siri, but instead of using voice commands it actually has a text box, so you can write commands and then output information. I am also building an app for creating TXT files,” he told.

photo © Mediamax

John’s dream university is UCLA Berkeley. According to him, they offer one of the best computer science programs in the United States. In the future he would love to work at Blizzard entertainment, a video game company, because he knows and enjoys many of their games, or Google, because of their vast amount of projects and amazing offices.

John also dreams of becoming an entrepreneur:

“If I succeed in my pursuit, I will definitely contribute to the development of Armenia but I’m still not sure how. Maybe I’ll think of different ways, as I get older.”

Blitz questions

-Bicycle or computer games at home?

-Of course, computer games at home. I spend at least 3-4 hours a day in front of the computer because I do lots of homework. When I want to relax I play video games.

My dad doesn’t like when I spend too much time on computer, as it’s not healthy. I also play tennis, it is a way to relax from computers.

-What would you do if all computers and smartphones disappeared?

-I would probably become a mathematician, because it’s my next favorite subject.

-What would you do with your first million?

-I would take USD 2000 on basic expenses and keep the rest in a bank for the future or for more company expenses. I have already started working on creating my own company but it’s not official yet, as I have to be at least 18 to be able to register a license for it.

-Holidays at Silicon Valley or in the Maldives

- I’m not a fan of outdoors stuff, so my answer would be Silicon Valley. I would probably choose Google for a tour because I am better informed about that company.

- Can you name an IT person you would like to dine with?

- I could learn a lot from a number of entrepreneurs and IT specialists, though I am really inspired by Steve Wozniak. Our birthdays are on the same day (August 11), and I have already had a chance to meet him. Once Wozniak was invited to deliver a lecture at Manhattanville College in New York, where my mom graduated from. She got tickets for me and my friend. My friend asked Wozniak a good question, and he responded: “You are my hero for asking that question”. We saw him after the event, he signed a book for us and we took a picture together.

Steve Wozniak and John Khachian Steve Wozniak and John Khachian
photo © From personal archive

If I ever dine with Wozniak, I would ask about starting his company from a garage. Even though Steve Jobs got more attention, Wozniak had a great contribution in the development of Apple.

Narine Daneghyan
Photos by Emin Aristakesyan.