Homeless man learns to code, launches app

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

A homeless man in New York, after receiving coding lessons from a helpful Samaritan, has launched a new app for carpooling with a focus on saving the environment.

(Credit: Journeyman)

Back in August, programmer Patrick McConlogue offered homeless man Leo Grand a choice: US$100, or 16 coding lessons. Grand, who had been homeless since 2011 after losing his job at insurance provider MetLife and being priced out of his home when a high-rise apartment block was built nearby, didn't have to think for long: coding lessons it was.

After furnishing Grand with a refurbished Chromebook and three books on coding, McConlogue met with him every weekday morning for an hour for a lesson. Now, Grand has released his very first app: Trees for Cars, available for iOS and Android.

The idea behind the app, Grand said, is to decrease the number of cars on the roads with a view to reducing CO2 emissions. Users sign up, specify whether or not they want to catch a ride or offer one, and the app will connect them with like-minded carpoolers nearby. The app will then track how much CO2 was saved by all the passengers.

Every line of code was written by Grand, and all proceeds from the AU$0.99 app sales will go directly to him.

You can check out the course McConlogue taught Grand here, read the story of this remarkable journey here, and pick up the app for AU$0.99 for on iTunes and Google Play.

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MarcosO posted a comment   

Can we get a follow up to the success of this app? How much he is making?! Would be a great motivator for others!


DevinK posted a comment   

This is really awesome, good to see people really putting their knowledge to good use.


VikarR posted a comment   

what books did he used to learn?


Nathanael Mallow posted a reply   

He probably just used a search engine for the answers he needed.


TristramW posted a comment   

thats cool he made a good choice.


CaseyG1 posted a comment   

Are you sure that all of the proceeds will go to him? What about app store percentages?


BryanD posted a reply   

Yeah the store get's a small percentage. But it's not like a record label that get's 75%. I believe the app store only gets 10%? Maybe 15%.


RobertD2 posted a reply   

It's not a small percentage. Apple takes 30%.
"You get 70% of sales revenue".
Google takes the same.
This is considered "industry standard" in app stores.

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