11-year-old Irish kid claims to be Europe’s youngest published app developer

15 Mar 2013

Caolan Fleming, from Killenard, Co Laois

Eleven-year-old Caolan Fleming from Killenard near Portarlington, Co Laois, is believed to be currently Europe’s youngest published app developer with his game Rampage now live in both the iOS and Android app stores.

There is a lot of competition – and bragging rights – associated with being the youngest app developer and already Ireland has had some notable firsts with prodigies like Harry Moran becoming the world’s youngest Mac app developer when he was 12, Shane Curran, who launched his first start-up at 12, and Jordan Casey, who became one of Europe’s youngest iOS app creators when he was 12.

Inevitably, someone will come out to challenge him, but as far as Caolan can tell, he is the youngest at this point in time to write code and publish his game on both the iOS and Google Play stores.

Caolan explained he started writing code when he was nine years old when he taught himself how to write in Python. “I basically inspected other people’s code and deconstructed each part to see what it does. I did this by downloading people’s games and I realised what each and every part of the code did.”

Now 11, Fleming is fluent in Python, JavaScript, C-Sharp and ActionScript 3.

Rampage through the app stores


His game Rampage encourages gamers to negotiate the path of an object moving down the screen from platform to platform. “It’s a never-ending game and as you keep going you are earning points and going faster and faster down the platforms.”

Rampage, which only went live on the iOS store last week, isn’t Fleming’s first game.

A previous game called Happy Jump has so far achieved 4,000 downloads on Google Play.

Fleming is proof there can be a happy balance between coding and sports and he’s a keen soccer and Gaelic football player.

He only attended his first CoderDojo in Portarlington in recent weeks.

“I have basically taught myself everything so far but it would be great to work with other kids.”

His plan for the future: “I want to be an indie games developer and create games for loads of different platforms and devices.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years