Teen Developers – Ahan Sabharwal

Teen Developers – Ahan Sabharwal

Ahan’s Workspace

From New Delhi, India, we have Ahan Sabharwal!


Could you start by telling me a little about yourself?

I’m a 15-year-old Android and web developer. Apart from coding I enjoy photography, playing the guitar and designing. I also find startups fascinating and the idea of creating things sublime.

Fairly recently you released your first Android app, Fictionary. Could you tell us about the app?

Fictionary is a ‘fake dictionary’, hence, the name: fiction-ary. Once you enter your made-up word into the app, it spews back a classic online dictionary page with the meaning of that word and sentences using that word. I’ve heard that most of the people who have downloaded my app have been using it to cheat in Scrabble! Fictionary currently has close to 100 downloads on the google play store. You can find it here: http://goo.gl/dR1FcJ

The app is certainly a fun idea! How’d you come up with it? What was the hardest part?

The story of my app is no Facebook. I simply realised that there was no app to fool friends about words, and I set out to make one!

How would you say app development is compared to websites? Obviously there are lots of differences, but from a learning aspect, what would be the biggest things that stand out? 

App development and web development are two completely different ball-games. From a learning aspect, I believe web development is quicker to learn, by that I mean you can begin coding websites faster than apps. Though my last point also depends on what you prefer: if someone’s dead set on making iOS apps, you can’t get them to begin coding websites with the same enthusiasm.

Freelancing is something quite a few of our previous interviewees do. What kind of pressures do you feel when working with clients? Are some clients’ needs so unrealistic you have to tell them ‘no’?

With freelancing you don’t get the same amount of freedom which you would get whilst working on your own project. You’re on a tight schedule, you have to go by what your client wants, and try to get it done.

Yes! This has happened to me quite a bit. Some clients, especially those who are relatively non-techie, have ideas that are just not possible and which cannot be done in a relatively short time frame. At some point, developers have to draw the line and say that it’s just not possible!

I would like to congratulate you on making the switch from Android development to iOS development. Just because I use iOS myself doesn’t make me biased or anything, but I think all readers would agree it is the superior OS (:-P). Are you enjoying iOS development more than Android?

Haha. My android friends are going to kill me for saying this but yes, I am. I think the reason I’m currently enjoying iOS development more is because it’s new to me. Swift is a great language and I’m keen to see what else I can do with it.

How is Swift different from Java, the language you used for Android development. Are there any similarities that make Swift easier to understand, or is it so completely different no prior knowledge helps?

In some ways Swift is completely different from Java, but in others its quite similar. I’ve found Swift to be a more ‘loose’ language, which I quite like. Coming back to your question, it does make it easier to understand Swift with a prior knowledge of Java.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Never believe you can’t do something. If you have an idea and want to make it a reality, always believe in yourself (no matter how absurd it may be!), because there will always be others to put you down. If you ever have any questions you can always email me at me@ahansabharwal.com or tweet me at @AhanSabharwal.

Big thanks to Ahan! Every developer constantly raises the bar for the next one! That said, I’m always open to feedback! Feel free to email me with your thoughts/complaints/suggestions/hello worlds at kaleb@coolsmartphone.com!


As always, feel free to contact Kaleb if you’d like to be featured. Posts come out Thursday mornings every two weeks.

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