14-Year-Old Prodigy Programmer Dreams In Code


14-Year-Old Prodigy Programmer Dreams In Code

[Typing] SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: My name is Santiago Gonzalez. I’m 14 and I love to program. [Music] YAGO GONZALEZ Santiago is crazy about computers. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: I’m fluent in about a dozen
different programming languages. Thousands of people have downloaded my apps
for the Mac iPhone and iPad. YAGO GONZALEZ: From sixth grade, he jumped
to full time college student. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: I will be sixteen when
I graduate college and seventeen when I finish my masters. I really enjoy learning. To me, I find it as essential as eating. Either you die or you’re pretty miserable
without learning. [Music] SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: I generally wake up at
5:30. Then I program for about an hour, eat breakfast. YAGO GONZALEZ: Here’s some tortillas, Santi. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: [To father] Thank you. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: I go to school. Right now, I’m a junior at the Colorado School
of Mines. I’m majoring in computer science. YONG BAKOS: Hey. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: Hi, how are you? YONG BAKOS: Good. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: I go to see Professor Bakos
pretty often to look at my code. YONG BAKOS: I usually have this disease which
I call long-line-itis. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: Okay. Well we may be able to do that. YONG BAKOS: [To Santiago] Ah, yeah. That removes the instance which you don’t
even need. I didn’t even think of that. Y’know the motivation we talked about in class
about writing beautiful code? SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: Mhmm. YONG BAKOS: Is it enough to write that slew
of code such that the program just works or is the code also the artistic medium? SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: Beautiful code is short
and concise so if you were to give that code to another programmer, they would say, oh,
that’s well written code. It’s much like if you’re writing a poem. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: Right now, here, this is
Objective C. It’s what iPhone, iPad & Mac use for programming. I’ve created right now about 15 apps for both
the Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Sometimes when I go to sleep, I’m stuck with
an annoying bug that I can’t fix and in my dreams I see myself programming. And when I wake up, I have figured out the
solution. YONG BAKOS: Santiago’s not just a machine
at excels at absorbing information and applying that information. He actually is transforming that information
and empowering himself to create those things he wants to create. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: One of the main reasons
I started developing apps was to help people achieve something they wanted to do such as
decorate a Christmas tree or play checkers with a very nice user interface. VANESSA GONZALEZ: Santiago he is very old
in some ways and very young in others. Sometimes you forget that you’re talking to
a 14-year-old, but sometimes he seems to be even younger than that. He can care less about what he’s wearing or
girls. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: No, I’m not interested
in having a girlfriend at all. I find that it’s a tremendous waste of time. PRODUCER: [Off camera] Tell me how you really
feel. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: No, that is how I really
feel! YAGO GONZALEZ: He’s very sure of himself. VANESSA GONZALEZ: He has been a different
kid since he was little. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: Well, I really like to
crochet. This is one of the piggies from Angry Birds. VANESSA GONZALEZ: He has come to accept that
difference and embrace it. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: Yes, I definitely consider
myself a nerd. VANESSA GONZALEZ: But it has not always been
this good. YAGO GONZALEZ: When we first tested Santiago,
he scored in the 99.99%. VANESSA GONZALEZ: We would explain something
as if we were explaining it to an adult and he would understand. YAGO GONZALEZ: His first interest was rocks
& minerals but he wanted to learn about rocks & minerals from adult books. VANESSA GONZALEZ: At that point he was in
first grade. You could tell that his mind was somewhere
else. YAGO GONZALEZ: He would come back from elementary
school and he would be miserable because he wasn’t being challenged. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: I had teachers who didn’t
really quite get me. It was just a very boring and kinda painful
experience. YONG BAKOS: For exceptionally gifted students
like Santiago, these students are actually bored to tears literally the fact that they’re
being given this material that doesn’t challenge them. It’s as if you and I sat down and we said
our ABCs for about 2 hours. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: In regular school, I found
it was sort of ridiculous to be a nerd. The other kids, they did tease me and kinda
mock me quite a bit. VANESSA GONZALEZ: We knew that he needed to
be somewhere else. God knows what would have happened if we didn’t
guide him the right way. He could have been a disaster. VANESSA GONZALEZ: And then we found Colorado
School of Mines. YONG BAKOS: Colorado School of Mines is actually
a very reputable engineering school here in the front range and actually throughout the
world. VANESSA GONZALEZ: They were willing to take
a chance and Santiago proved that he could do it. Now he can really be himself and relate with
the students. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: [To student] This is really
cool! Just seeing from not knowing at all, it’s
magic. YONG BAKOS: We have all sorts of, let’s call
them weird students, here at Mines so I think that most people on this campus really embrace
that. WILLIAM HOFF: I mean, we’re all kind of nerds
here, so we can interact pretty easily. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: They’re at Mines to learn,
they’re not goofing off and interrupting all the time and I don’t think I’d really want
to have to interact with kids my own age. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: [To professor] So these
sensors are actually a little larger than the other ones. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: Currently, this semester,
I’m a research assistant for a professor at Mines. WILLIAM HOFF: I’m working to improve energy
efficiency. Santiago’s developing the sensor network we’re
going to be putting up in the building. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: Yeah, I’ve been working
on the algorithm to see what kind of filter would be best for this without having any
signal loss since we can’t get any code on the sun spots so it’s difficult. RESEARCHER: We’ll solve that. I don’t know what it is right now, but we’ll
figure it out. WILLIAM HOFF: Do you want to sketch out what
the code may look like? SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: Sure. WILLIAM HOFF: I was really needing someone
to develop that kind of project and Santiago is a perfect fit. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: [To research team] We put
the signal in a low pass filter… YONG BAKOS: He loves being in college and
learning at the pace he needs to be learning at. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: Right now, there are quite
a few things in my different classes that are really really interesting. For example, Elements of Computing Systems. TEACHER: Yes, Santiago. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: So is this what other architectures
like x86 and ARM use? TEACHER: The basic principle certainly will
be the same. VANESSA GONZALEZ: It’s really exciting to
see how much he enjoys learning about different things and it’s contagious as well. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: [To teacher] So there are
variations of MIPs? TEACHER: Yes, there are. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: Oh, I see. Thank you. Have a nice weekend. YAGO GONZALEZ: If I had that drive when I
was in college, that would have been fabulous. I’m learning so much from my child now. That’s pretty wonderful. YONG BAKOS: Life for Santiago may be somewhat
of a marathon that he’s already running through and I hope that he keeps the pace. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: After I finish my masters,
I’m thinking about getting a PhD in computer science at Stanford and my ultimate goal is
to work at Apple. YAGO GONZALEZ: It’s the golden age of computers. He lives in the right time I think. He’s a renaissance man. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ: An artist paints a painting
and when he finishes he says, oh wow that’s a very nice painting I like how it turned
out. And it’s the same thing with programming. Going from just a bunch of lines of code to
a finished product that people can enjoy all over the world. It feels really nice. One of my favorite apps I’ve developed is
a slide puzzle. You can play individually and sure that’s
fun, but then you can challenge your friends to see who completes the puzzle the fastest
and it even has built in voice chat so you can talk with someone who’s playing the puzzle
with you even if they’re on the other side of the world.

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100 thoughts on “14-Year-Old Prodigy Programmer Dreams In Code”

  1. identity says:

    OMG so much respect he finds girlfriends a waste of time, wish I could hi-five him.

  2. 1 says:

    And all I can do is make paint in small basic.

  3. jdude61 says:

    I think its sublime text

  4. jdude61 says:

    way to be a downer

  5. Woosh says:

    he talks like a robot anyone else notice that

  6. DawiiiDD says:


  7. mohammed ismael says:

    That chinese guy and his eyes..

  8. michael stamper says:

    screw working for apple have apple work for you.

  9. Autolycus Axxis says:

    Hey don't worry bud. Those same kids that mocked you and teased you in school will……well I won't even say that they will be working for you later on because they would have to have at least an ounce of your smarts to get even close to where you're headed. No, those kids will be asking would you like mayo or mustard on your subway sandwich during your lunch break.

  10. Chuck Boris says:

    dat teacher's eyes… O.o

  11. Thelu10ant says:

    this guy will probably invent terminators

  12. KAMIRV says:

    Best thing for such genius is to start his own comapny. And yeah, avoid Apple. Since Jobs has gone Apple is nothing.

  13. Positron says:

    I do not understand the negative votes. This young man is fantastic.

  14. daenerys stormborn says:

    You seem smart. Are you studying in college too?

  15. FBIRyan says:

    You feel that way because your comparing yourself to him.
    It is very damn impressive.

  16. cw3le says:

    This guy is real-life Sheldon Cooper.

  17. Inbred M3ssiah says:

    someone get that kid to code for the windows phone… we need more apps

  18. Inbred M3ssiah says:

    wtf? apple? really?

  19. Rainbowshot says:

    He talks like a robot (awesome)

  20. Loman9711 says:

    Am I the only one who noticed no shoes?

  21. AWEF GAFD says:



  22. gjp426 says:

    2:33 I know I'm gonna be, I'm gonna be the man who wakes up next to you

  23. neighbor lee says:

    O yes, like he should ignore a business that has some of the most innovative ideas on the planet and some of the most awesome and safe operating system components and hardware to match. I don't think so.

  24. Miss Spiffy says:

    It's a great goal! I mean, my Dad works for Apple, and he is exactly the same way. He speaks programming languages. I do to c:

  25. V1N 574 says:

    well… when I saw the title of the video I was like oh cool a smart kid… the I read the comments and watch the video…. well he is really smart when it comes to programming and that's about it… still has much to learn of life, relationships and specially GOOD GOALS IN LIFE!!!! APPLE????? what the…..

  26. Knight Ryder says:

    Utterly amazing, but….the gig is up. He's a robot. Just listen to the way he speaks. =)

  27. Jonathon Chambers says:

    Come on Guys, Apple isn't that bad! They aren't much worse then other companies.

  28. probableeme says:


  29. _ says:

    1:17 voicebreak ; D

  30. Chaim Goldbaum says:

    "A tremendous waste of time"


  31. Vitaly P says:


  32. sonicroxandGL says:

    "I want to work at Apple"

    This kid is brilliant enough to design his own operating system almost entirely on his own
    And he wants to limit himself to work at Apple?

    I am intensely jealous of his abilities, though. Maybe they need someone like that.

  33. curtsher11 says:

    I like this guy because he doesn't have one particular subject he's obsessed with, he seems to enjoy a range of topics 🙂

  34. Jakester! - The Darude Comment Critic says:

    I now hate you. 🙂 Best wishes, jake

  35. Jakester! - The Darude Comment Critic says:

    Dude, I want to work with you. GO AND WORK AT APPLE!

  36. ohmygoshiloveapples says:

    I know right

  37. Lindax says:

    great parents

  38. ohmygoshiloveapples says:

    Don't worry about not skipping school, as it doesn't mean you're worse off.

    You can still be brilliant, apparently you already are, so keep your focus strong, and one day change the world 🙂

  39. harvey brid says:

    Shelden coper

  40. MoofyGaming says:

    takes money, time and more money to have a girlfriend. Some people just don't see the point in it. At his age he should have the time to have a girlfriend but since his mental progression far excels most normal peoples he sees his time alone as time he can use to make money and achieve something, not get some pussy because overall it doesn't gain him anything,

  41. MoofyGaming says:

    takes money, time and more money to have a girlfriend. Some people just don't see the point in it. At his age he should have the time to have a girlfriend but since his mental progression far excels most normal peoples he sees his time alone as time he can use to make money and achieve something, not get some pussy because overall it doesn't gain him anything,

  42. MrWatevaman says:

    All these videos make me feel so stupid :((

  43. KillerKahuna says:

    damn, his focus must be off the charts O_O
    I'm 22 and I still bite my nails when I'm stuck with my messy code x'D

  44. The TechExpert says:

    Maybe, to help Apple and make them better…

  45. The TechExpert says:

    I would like to talk with this "nerd" he seems cool to be with i would like to be his friend and i also would like to learn to program with him

  46. Juan Rubio says:

    This guy…this guy is just awesome.

  47. kevinkimshort says:

    he reminds me of sheldon cooper

  48. Doddle says:

    This kids to good to work for anyone …. he should create his own path and leave a trail

  49. Strix Loricatus says:

    This kid is so much more evolved than others. Sure, he probably falls into the autistic spectrum somewhere, but that can't be seen as a 'flaw' because he is just that brilliant.
    I love that he counter-balances his huge, adult intellect with a child-like temperament and a child-like curiosity in things – something that so many people could learn from.

    To those people who seem so hung-up on his sexual identity (or lack of) – grow up, please. Asexuality exists in humans, deal with it.

  50. Chekwube Onyilimba says:

    yeah…Santiago, consider creating your own operating system… you are a genuise!

  51. digneety says:

    actually i agree what the boy says about girlfriends. They are waste of plenty time. You are getting stuck with them, but you can't also live without them … . Well but I predict thats a question of time and he will change his mind during the puberty.

  52. Lae Patrick says:

    I want to know his name!!!!!

  53. nullpointer92 says:

    If you had any idea about OS's, you'd know one person can't build a functional OS even in 100 years.

  54. boliussa says:

    he's written some apps and programs many languages, what makes you think he can design his own operating system?

  55. Celso de Sá says:

    Sheldon Copper Really exist out there (or in there or whatever).

  56. SexyStudSam says:

    I'm a 2-year younger version of this kid!!!!!

  57. fuba boludo says:

    he will fall in love for some amy farrah fowler

  58. Tired Snail says:

    Dude, he sounds like a computer.

  59. petrscolony says:

    kid I whant you on my side when im creating a new concel either for ps or Microsoft

  60. Kenneth McDonald says:

    If he gets a girlfriend, that good stuff women possess will mess him Up!!

  61. StealthAssasin1 says:

    We need people like him in the world to help us humans progress in technology… a special breed, in a good way.

  62. Will THOMPSON says:

    this kid makes me feel bad about myself

  63. CrazeSniper says:

    It's Steve Jobs reincarnated!

  64. Rachel says:

    2:23 he speaks kind of like a robot, too, haha 😛 But still, I wish I could code like he can.

  65. Nikolai Paul says:

    he'll be a slave programmer at apple. but if it is what he wants. why not.

  66. Zani Puppyrhino says:

    I prefer nerds than dumbasses like you…

  67. Dfontana766 says:

    I feel so dumb now

  68. Shred McFly says:

    the description says he might be the next steve jobs. im not sure about that. steve jobs "just" had a lot of great ideas and the ability to gather the right people to realize them. Steve Jobs was exceptional of course. But in another way.

  69. Alfred no Yabō says:

    3:30 This ladies and gentlemen, is a man.

  70. ირაკლი says:

    Well imagine it yourself, if he will have a girlfriend he will probably break up with her somewhen and if this will really happen that will have a huge impact on him and maybe he will even stop programming because of that

  71. robert owuor says:

    HOLY CRAP. girls will be falling on his lap

  72. redgek says:

    Well now I feel like a shit, considering I'm almost 18 and can't finish a goddamn game in C# XNA :/

  73. TheName'sBrian says:

    This guy is… a robot

  74. WickedMo13 says:

    Cant wait to see what kind of weapon system this kid is going to develop for the government war machine, directly or indirectly, its going to be pretty great.

  75. Sir Monsieur says:

    Milkions of people have the same capacity to learn as he does, but only a select few are introduced into an environment where those talents are realized and improved upon. He was hoven the right oportunities, dont het me wrong thos type.of talent and understanding is nothing to be overlooked. But I'm just saying, many people could be like this, but they either do not have tje integrity to push on as this lad has, or they were not raised in the right environment.

  76. flyhelo60L says:

    Great job!

  77. David Evans says:

    Wow honestly I am inspired by this young man

  78. troy henderson says:


  79. VTS says:

    lol I feel your pain, bro…

  80. FINISH2START says:


  81. Artomix11 says:

    I would love to know all the programming languages fluently like he does :p

  82. Felt Anime Piano says:

    Man this guy is cool!

  83. Hiranya Nayyar says:

    what an awesome kid…

  84. TallyKo says:

    That teacher speaks with his eyes lol

  85. Mo McSuave says:

    Pretty cool,makes you wonder when his parents say he could have been a disaster.Look at what happened to Jonathan James,could have channeled all that intellect the right way

  86. Headzup says:

    which program he use for programming? looks like a apple app or?

  87. under the ocean says:

    It seems perfectly reasonable to not worry about what you're wearing… And at his age with his abilities, I wouldn't do anything differently either! Mom is a little misguided… Thinking that age —> wisdom. Not necessarily……..

  88. DJTron Getzel says:

    im 13 and im a programmer and im in middle school i give this kid my word

  89. DEFAULT_USR says:

    LOL you probably don't even know how to make a simple game.

  90. Jo Riley says:

    Who's saying he's a "god-like" programmer? The comments getting the most attention here seem to be the anti-Apple ones…

  91. Infinite Loop says:

    what text editor or IDE he using?

  92. zeus7888 says:

    he should try weed, and STFU.

  93. Macspieler says:

    He is everything, but not the new Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs was an marketing and business genius, but not a programmer. I know it's nitpicking, but I find it so annoying that everyone seem to see Steve Jobs as a computer genius, even though Steve Wozniak did all the programming and engineering and Steve Jobs just happened to know how to sell it.

  94. yognaughtcharbel says:

    this kid is going to grow up to be real famous and rich but then he will suicide by being miserable like all the greatest smart minds in history we can only predict the future with our history

  95. DjMirage3 says:

    I'm sure the U.S. military will get ahold of him one day 🙁

  96. Harry Strongjaw says:

    Well now i know, i am really stupid. Because all i wanna say is. " His voice sounds like a Robot's voice.

  97. stevedorry says:


  98. Sid Lacy says:

    Kind of like me, except that instead of pushing on, I just gave up because the curriculum was too easy 🙁

  99. TheBestMovieAlive says:

    This kid was in my Astronomy class when I went to Arapahoe Community College in Colorado.  He is a very cool kid!!

  100. Jubair Onik says:

    an Alien LLOOOL

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