Teenage coding wizard develops own apps

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 29 Jul 2017

Genius at work: A file photo of Wern Jie showing his mother Jacqueline Tan one of his self-developed apps.

PETALING JAYA: Those proficient in computational thinking could one day turn into coding wizards like 14-year-old Lim Wern Jie.

Despite his young age, Wern Jie has already developed more than 50 apps which have a total of 600,000 downloads from Britain and the United States.

“Coding has actually helped me to improve my problem-solving skills using mathematics, physics and science,” the SMJK Jit Sin student said in an interview.

“It has motivated me to explore knowledge that cannot be found in school textbooks.”

The self-taught Wern Jie, who fancies being called an app developer, is excited now that the Education Ministry is introducing computational thinking and coding in schools from this year.

“According to research, coding is best introduced to students below 12. Today’s modern coding is like a language – English for instance,” said Wern Jie.

“Kids can learn the languages pretty fast.”

Wern Jie, who learnt how to develop apps by watching tutorials on YouTube, said his most successful creation was the anti-theft tool Phone Security Alarm, his first iOS-based effort that was successfully published on the App Store on Oct 1, 2015.

It was his first paid app. Several others only became paid apps in March this year.

Even though Wern Jie is only in lower secondary, he has already won several awards in robotics and programming.

Last year, he won the Best Programming Award, Best Design and Grand Prize at the Rero Robot’s Got Talent Online Competition, and was first runner-up at the Rero Annual Championship for the task-oriented Robot Mine Cart during the Kuala Lumpur Engineering and Science Fair.

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