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Jan 25, 2017

Self-taught IT Coder's Going Places

After developing two internationally successful apps for his peers, 18-year-old Kerman Kohli has been invited to intern at a multibillion-dollar company in Dubai.

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Kohli is an ex-Macleans College student who took part in last year's Young Enterprise Scheme with team members Keerthana Ananth and Andreas Knapp.

For the competition he created an app called Ed.Life, which helps students keep track of their homework and assignments.

His Young Enterprise team came away with two prizes: the Movac Award for High Growth Potential, and the Unitec Best Enterprise in Technology.

"It's pretty cool because it was almost like a pseudo-second place," Kohli says. "Second place won $2000, and we won $2000."

Ed.Life is a "side-step" from Kohli's first app, The Homework App, which he made when he was 14.

"The Homework app doesn't sync [with devices] right now. Ed.Life syncs and it's also got an android app, whereas Homework App is just on Apple."

It wasn't school that taught him the skills to learn code and develop apps. It was his own interest in technology from the age of 12.

"I checked You Tube tutorials, read lots of e-books and just made it through," he says, modestly.

His proactive attitude paid off as he was awarded a trip to San Francisco last year to attend Apple's exclusive Worldwide Developers Conference.

It's only available to those who buy a ticket through its lottery system, or to students who apply for the scholarship, as Kohli did.

It was there that he met someone from Dubai's The Landmark Group.

"They're basically the Amazon of Dubai. They have about 50,000 employees and they're a big association."

Shortly after, he was offered an internship in its technology division, from February to April.

Although Kohli looked forward to interning for the group, he had to turn down the opportunity because of visa complications.

He's also applying to study at universities in the United States.

The Homework App has been downloaded around one million times and is most accessed in the US, while its counterpart Ed.Life has hit circa 35,000 downloads and is most used in Japan.

Article by Tarannum Shaikh, Stuff.