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Loris Wilwert, pictured, spent over 1,000 hours building the Snack Track app
Photo: Jan Hanrion/Maison Moderne
A food truck-loving teenager from Luxembourg coded his way out of a conundrum by creating an application to find out where his nearest food truck is.
17-year-old Loris (Marc) Wilwert from Junglinster began making his own apps aged 14 when he made some games.
“Games are difficult. They have to be very interesting and often they are specific for an age group. I tried to make something for the larger population,” he told Delano in an interview on 7 June.
A student at the Athénée in Luxembourg City, Loris and his schoolmates liked to buy their lunch from food trucks, but they never knew in advance which trucks would come to their campus. Loris found his problem and during the long summer holidays of 2017 he set about building a solution--the Snack Track app.
The teenager often worked from 11am to 1am teaching himself Java script and HTML with video tutorials and other online resources and creating the app and a website with a dashboard for the foodtrucks to provide their locations and times. He said it wasn’t difficult to learn and he was fascinated by the possibilities coding created.
There are thought to be over 40 food trucks operational in Luxembourg and they needed to be on board for the app to be effective. Loris recalled some were skeptical when they were approached by the teenager.
“Some weren’t convinced, but later, when they saw the app, contacted me wanting to register,” he said. One food trucker operator was so impressed, Loris said he has already commissioned an app and website for his brand. The validation is promising and though the teenager says it would be nice to continue coding and even make money, he still has two years left of school.
“I’ve no major goal like to work for Google or work in coding. But I think there might be some possibilities, I don’t know yet. I want to open as many doors as possible,” he said.
Feedback from the 2,500 people who have already downloaded the app for iOS or Android has been positive, Loris said. And, most importantly, Loris and his friends are never lost for ideas on where to buy lunch. He said a few days ago he and friends used the app to find a food truck for lunch.
“It was quite cool to see my own app works as well as I imagined. It’s always good to see if it works in practice, and not just in theory when building and testing. You never know if there is information you missed,” he said.
The Food Track app is available in English, French, German and Luxembourgish. At the time of publishing, it featured information on 19 food trucks and two snack bars.