APP Any Age – Meet Cairns’ Youngest App Developer
Most 13-year-olds I know love apps. But Sam Winborn-Sharp’s love of technology has gained him global “APPeal” through this three apps, all developed by the talented teen and sold through his company, Wishing Well Developments.
PakMag was fortunate enough to sit down with Sam and his mum, Caroline Winborn-Sharp, to find out just how this inspiring child managed to design, develop and sell his three apps, all before his 13th birthday.
As Caroline tell us, Sam is a visual learner. After the traditional schooling system wasn’t working for Sam, Caroline did something “radical” and pulled her son out to take him on an “unschooling” adventure across Europe. The pair spent one year in England, Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey where Sam was home-schooled during the mornings and ‘unschooled’ during the afternoons, which entails letting the child determine what he or she wants to learn.
It is through this approach that Sam discovered futurelearn.com, an online school designed for University students. Sam enrolled in a “Build Your Own Android Game” course and loved it. He then decided he would build an app.
The idea for his first app, Sugar Calculator, which converts the amount of sugar in your foods into teaspoons, stemmed from a dinner conversation about sugar consumption and the ambiguity of food labels while visiting family in England.
“The idea just came to him,” Caroline explains. “And with so many diets focused on giving up sugar, it seems like good timing.”
It took Sam a year to design, develop, code and market Sugar Calculator and he taught himself how to do it through YouTube videos. Since its launch in 2015, it has been downloaded 120 times.
“It is in the top 300 health apps in the Ukraine and Switzerland,” Sam explains.
Since Sam’s return to Australia, he was accepted into Saint Augustine’s College, his grades have improved tremendously and he has developed two more apps to add to his resume – i-Dration, a clever timer that reminds you to drink water at regular intervals throughout the day; and Kilos to Stones, a handy tool to convert kilos to stones and stones to kilos.
Sam also does work experience for Precedence, provides reviews and tutorials on his website, creates movies and will continue to design apps. Sam tells us that he wants to work for a “big technology company, like Google” and he has already had a tuition class with a Google programmer after winning a competition.
For Sam, who was diagnosed with dyslexia while in England, app development allows him to combine his passion for visual learning with his incredible talent.
And, while he doesn’t have a new app idea on the table just yet, both Caroline and Sam are confident another brilliant idea will pop up.
“His ideas just come to him,” Caroline said. “We hit a problem and cannot find a solution. And, thus, he decides to build an app to solve it.”
You can find out more about Sam and Wishing Well Developments at www.wishingwelldevelopments.com, YouTube.com/wishingwelldevelopments and https://itunes.apple.com/au/developer/wishing-well-developments/id1000071424. His three apps, Sugar Calculator, Kilos to Stones and i-Dration are $1.49 each.