Seb was introduced to the wonderful world of coding by his primary school computer teacher through an MIT computer language programme for kids, called Scratch. He created some simple games and his passion for app development was born.
“I really enjoyed how I’d be able to spend 15 minutes working and putting things together to then create a game that I could share with my family and friends.
“After a while I moved onto more complicated things and looked at making apps that would simplify tasks on my computer. For example, I made an app that with the click of one button could close all the programmes open on your computer, which wasn’t much use but it was all good practice.”
Seb’s Mac-based apps can all be accessed online and downloaded for free at his website (www.zibity.com) where users also have the option of giving a donation if they enjoy the app. Today his apps are used in 170 countries around the world, with one of his most successful apps being MacDrop Any.
The 17-year-old whizz kid insists that MacDrop Any is a simple idea that anyone could have come up with.
“Essentially MacDrop Any is an add-on for a number of cloud storage services that lets you synchronise any folder from your computer with any device you want. So I could access any single folder on my computer from any device from anywhere in the world, for free.” MacDrop Any has been downloaded over 350,000 times.
Seb enjoys the problem-solving aspect of app development, and says that learning to fail is just as important as learning to succeed.
“I love the feeling of solving the problem and the solution makes peoples’ lives easier.”
Despite the fact that Seb’s earnings come from donations at the moment, the benefits of app development mean that once the app is created, Seb can leave it alone and it will continue to earn money through donations.
“You can put in a lot of work and create an app and then when you’re busy, like I was with school and stuff, I was still earning a few dollars a day from donations, so it felt good to have my hard work earning on its own.”
Seb attributes his success as an app developer to being analytical and patient, but also loving a challenge.
“There’s also an element of wanting to teach yourself things and being comfortable not always knowing the answer but knowing that you can find out the answer yourself.”
With an already impressive CV listing his achievements to date, including being academic Dux of his school and his experience with app development companies, Seb is now planning to study computer science and economics in the US, having been accepted at Princeton. Post-degree, Seb intends to continue app development, with an eye on all the lucrative opportunities available for developers these days.
“You don’t really need anything special to get started. If you have access to a computer you can start learning this, no matter whether you have a teacher or not. It’s just a matter of going onto Google and typing ‘teach me how to code’ and there are dozens of free resources.
It’s an industry that is massively growing, the salaries are fantastic so you can be pretty sure that if you go into computer programming you will get a job at the end of your degree – oh, and it’s really fun!”