Waylon Brown has found a way to stop people’s phones from ringing in class, meetings or movies.This year, the Colleyville resident released SmartSilence: Silence Scheduler a mobile application for Android phones that allows users to schedule their phone to enter silence mode.“I wanted a nice little app where I can silence throughout the week for class,” said Brown, a student at Texas A&M University.With SmartSilence, people can set repeating schedules or one-time affairs.While this is Brown’s first app, he’s been programming since the eighth grade. He got started with a Texas Instruments TI-84 graphing calculator.“Me and my friend in eighth grade started making games on TI-84 calculators just for fun,” he said.But it wasn’t just games. Brown created programs that could solve functions by simply plugging in the numbers. He said it allowed he and his friends to finish class work in minutes and spend the rest of the period playing the games they programmed. He made text adventures, snake, a maze game, and even a Pokemon-like battle prompt.His mom, Suzanne Brown, jokes that he didn’t acquire the technology gene from either of his parents.“He just completely developed an aptitude and love of it,” she said. “When we come and ask him questions about our smart phones and our computers he looks at us like we're dummies.”She said the family likes to joke about his brains, nerdiness and silly future applications.She said while they gave him time and access to technology, they sometimes had to use it as the carrot and stick.“That was also the big threat if he got into trouble, to not have access to the computer,” she said.He took a few courses in computer science at Colleyville Heritage High School, and his mother said she noticed he was more devoted to it when he dropped marching band his senior year.She hasn’t used his app because she has an iPhone, but said she is proud of her son.Waylon said he spent more than 200 hours working on SmartSilence and for most of the time it was because he was learning how to develop an app. The app is free, but consumers can purchase “pro” version with additional options.Brown just completed his sophomore year at Texas A&M where he’s majoring in Computer Science. His budding career in software development is only starting.This summer he snagged two internships. One with a software development company called AdventGX based out of College Station, and the other with Dallas-based Isis.At Isis, he’s working with a team to create a mobile wallet application for the Android operating system that allows people to make payments with their phone.Waylon’s supervisor at Isis is Android lead Blake Buckley.Buckley said Waylon’s app showed how dedicated is to the craft.“It really made a difference of putting him ahead of other candidates,” Buckley said. “It really seemed like a perfect fit.”Waylon said he plans to develop another app after he finishes his internships, but doesn’t have any ideas yet. He said programming and software development is an important career for the future.“Whether you know it or not, everything takes programming,” he said.
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770