Young Talent: Developing apps at the age of 11 and 13

One of the modern and upcoming careers is mobile app development thanks to the huge demand for content by the proliferating phone and tablet market. Industry giants like Apple, Google, BlackBerry and Nokia encourage developers to build apps for their respective platforms and have even made available some handy online tool to do so. Now, you really don’t have to wait until you fetch a graduation degree nor there’s any age limit to take the plunge into app development. If you’ve got the resources and skills, then build your app—it’s that simple.

This has even encouraged kids and teens to try their hands at creating apps and some of them have even succeeded. Last time we saw 14-year-old Aryan Mann churn out some nifty apps and now the duo of brothers 13-year-old Sanjay Kumaran and 11-year-old Shravan Kumaran from Chennai, show that app development is child’s play. Shravan and Sanjay have together created a company called GoDimensions. Under the GoDimensions banner, some of their notable work are apps like Catch me Cop, Prayer Planet and Color Planet. They have built apps for both Android and iOS platforms and their total download figure is more than 20,000 from over 42 countries. They want to build the thinnest and fastest tablet for the rural areas, and even have a name for it - "GoSheet".

Tech2 spoke to these young talents and here’s what they had to say about building apps, basic programming and what they look forward to do in future.

Getting started with the first app and basic programming
Many parents believe that mobile phones are destructive for their children, but it quite turned the other way around for Shravan and Sanjay. When the kids got their hands on some mobile gaming and thoroughly enjoyed it, their father urged them to try building a game and then play it. And that is how they got started with creating their first app. This was also possible as the boys had a fair knowledge of programming and had written small programs earlier. “We knew programming and were doing some small programs.  When we got mobile and were playing games with it. Our dad told us why you don’t develop games than playing them. That got us started with app development,” both say in unison.

Shravan and Sanjay

Shravan and Sanjay


When we asked them about using readymade kits provided for app development, this is what they said, “No we don't like using ready to use tools. We do coding, so we use programming language and write code to build apps that give us satisfaction. We had earlier learnt Basic and now for App development we use Objective C & Java.”

We are Apple fans
Shravan and Sanjay have been developing apps for both Android and iOS. When we asked about what they think is better – developing apps for Android or iOS? We got the answer as ‘iOS’ with a hint of smile. Both Sanjay and Shravan are Apple fans and they also feel that the environment for iOS development is really good. However, they add that Android gets the brownie points while publishing the app. “We are Apple fans, not just that the environment for iOS development is really good.  But Android scores when we want to publish our App.  With Apple it is really difficult both technically & process wise to get our App published," they said.

The duo explained further, “iOS and Android are fundamentally different, except for the core logic part everything we need to rewrite.   Language is different, IDE is different, debugging is different. Distribution is different.”

Managing the company
At GoDimensions, Shravan is the Co-founder & President while Sanjay is Co-founder & CEO. They both start working on the same app – one picks up right from where the other leaves. However, they have been planning some changes in the way they work. They told us, “We both work seamlessly. We used to work on the same app and one will pick up from where the other left.  But we are thinking we should probably have each of us working on one platform either iOS or Android.  With respect to decisions and apps, we both decide together.  Some time we develop a mock to convince each other.”

The biggest challenge for Sanjay and Shravan is time, as they are just two of them working on the app with very less time during day after their studies and play. In case they face any issues, they prefer to discuss it with their father, Kumaran Surendran.

The Catch Me Cop game

The Catch Me Cop game


What next?
Shravan and Sanjay have some ambitious plans of making lifestyle apps to help senior citizens and also environmental apps that will show data about pollution levels in a current place. They also plan to build an app for the visually challenged using infrared rays that will guide them, so that they can be independent. Their ambition is to build the world’s thinnest and fastest tablet “GoSheet” that will be affordable, especially for rural areas so that people there can embrace technology and stay connected.

Currently, Sanjay and Shravan are working on the final stages of two new apps. They’ve spend a lot of time working on these apps during the December holiday season. By May, the duo will bring out those two apps, namely, GoMap and GoCard.

Published Date: Jan 19, 2013 11:30 AM | Updated Date: Jan 19, 2013 11:30 AM