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TECH YOUR VIBE

Lim Ding Wen:

ILLUSTRATION: MADIHAH HAMID

The Future Steve Wozniak?

This Singapore bred tech-whiz is no typical 15-year-old taking the world by storm
when he created an iOS app at the tender age of 9. Victoria Anna Gan sits down
and chats with the child prodigy.

lad in simple baggy jeans, rimless glasses, and


with his black polo tee tucked in, Lim Ding Wen
seems like your ordinary tech-crazed
teenager - until you find out that he has been featured
on Reuters, BBC and the New York Daily News.
And for what you may ask? CNN International ranked
him as Singapores Icon For Cool for developing an
iOS application when he was just 9-years-old.
We found a table outside a tiny caf, in the blistering
heat. We talked about school and how he had been
gate crashing classes at Ngee Ann Polytechnic just to
see what he would be in for.
I got started in app developing in Primary 2, said the
now 15-year-old My dad started teaching me using
Applesoft BASIC on the old computer. I programmed
on that for about two to three years, learned about
three to four languages, and then I jumped to iOS
development.
The app that garnered him international attention
was aptly called, Doodle Kids. It allows you to draw
by tracing your hands along the iPhone screen, and
myriads of colours and shapes will appear. And when
youre done, all you need to do is shake your phone to
clear the screen.

His other adventures include Invader War, a


sci-fi-esque game that gives off a very 90s PlayStation
vibe. I think its quite impressive for a boy of such an
age, Rachel Lee, 18, a student, remarked.
Darrick Joo, 23, co-founder of the app, tagg, said it
takes passion and hard work to be an app developer.
These qualities have seen me through almost all the
obstacles that I have faced.
These are aspects in Ding Wens character that I can
see he exemplifies.
I found that Im more of the experimental type, said
Ding Wen, with a glint in his eye. My favourite thing
about developing apps is you get to see all of our codes
work together to create something on screen.

My favourite thing about


developing apps is you get to see all
of our codes work together to
create something on screen.
- Lim Ding Wen
Besides creating apps, what does the technology
prodigy do for fun? A close friend of Ding Wen, Pan Zi
Yue, 15, said, Hes recently learning, guess what?
University grade mechanical engineering in his free
time!
I asked if theres a special person he looks up to, he
simply shook his head, no. I dont want to emulate
another persons life. I want to create my own.
He sat very still with his hands folded neatly in his lap,
when I asked if he had any advice for beginners. After
much thought he said, Instead of saying you want
to learn how to programme, you should say I want
to make a Halo or something like that. He smiles.
Then you work towards your goal and while you work
towards your goal, you learn.
Finally, where does he see himself in 10 years? He
guffaws, were jumping into this? Probably working
in a software company, he said, with modesty. Pan
thinks otherwise though. According to him, hes going
to be the next Steve Wozniak!