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Young Developers: Lim Ding Wen (Doodle kids)

Lim Ding Wen is the iPhone’s youngest app developer. He wrote his first iPhone app, Doodle Kids, when he was 9 years old. At that age, most of us were still swinging from our playground’s Monkey Bars!

Lim Ding Wen

What’s even more impressive, his app has clocked over 700,000 downloads since its release in Feb 2009! And he isn’t resting on his heels, the boy had just released Doodle Kids on the iPad. We catch up with the now 11-year old (he’s a veritable granddad in Internet time) to find out more about what he did and what’s next for the iPhone whiz kid.

How did you come up with the idea for Doodle Kids?

As my sisters loved to draw, I decided to make a program for them.

What’s the hardest part about making it?

The hardest part was trying to make the non-basic shapes. When I say basic shapes, I mean circles, lines, squares and rectangles. The non-basic shapes are diamonds, triangles etc. I used polygons to make them.

The best part about it?

Seeing so many downloads per day!

Doodle Kids

Tell us more about Invader War.

It is a spacecraft episode game with six episodes. This is changeable.

Was it hard to make?

It was quite hard to make. The program was often very slow and I spent almost 80% [of my time] optimising my program.

Doodle Kids versus Invader Wars. Which one do you like?

Both! Doodle Kids has a good idea. But Invader War needs good programming skills.

Ding Wen with his Apple IIGS

Why did you pick up programming?

I wanted to write a game since I was in Primary One. Just like R-Type, a shooting game that is very fun. The problem with R-Type was, once we got shot, we needed to start over again. That’s when I thought of writing a game for myself.

What do you do when you can’t solve a programming problem?

I will either search the Internet or ask my father for a little help.

What will you do next?

I may help in my father’s company, write Android programs, create a code editor, make 3D games or just continue to write for iPhone and iPad. Possibilities are endless.

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Change Champion e: editor of UCreateChange.comI'm the editor of UCreateChange. And I started this blog with the intention of putting up my past weekly roundups 'cause it's a shame they're simply disappearing into people's inboxes. Anyways, if you've a question on engineering, drop me a line at!