Pint-Sized Programmers Receive National Award

While other children their age play games with friends during their free time, brother and sister Fahma Waluya Rosmansyah, 12, and Hania Pracika Rosmansyah, 7, are already busy developing computer software.

Fahma and Hania on Tuesday  were among several Indonesians who received an award from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in recognition of their outstanding achievements. The honors were part of the World Intellectual Property Day celebrations at the State Palace.

“I started developing software in fifth grade, when I was 10 years old,” Fahma said after receiving his award. “Since then, I have created 10 applications and games for mobile phones.”

Yudhoyono said he was very proud that the two children were among the winners and aired his hope that more youngsters would follow in their footsteps.

Last year, the siblings also won prizes at an international software development competition organized by the Asia Pacific Information and Communication Technology Alliance in Kuala Lumpur.

Fahma has developed educational applications such as Bahana (Learning the Alphabet, Colors and Numbers), Enrich (English for Children) and Mantap (Math for Smart Children).

He said he first created the Bahana software to help his sister learn the alphabet, colors and numbers. He made the program using Adobe Flash Light.

“I just want to give Indonesian children the ability to learn using their mobile phones,” said Fahma, who reportedly can create simple applications in just five minutes.

Hania mostly helps him produce the sound effects for his programs. However, despite her mere 7 years, she has also already started developing her own computer games.

Fahma said he wanted to grow up to be like his father, who lectures on electrical engineering at the prestigious Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).

“I think being an electronics lecturer would be a cool job, and then, I could be like my dad,” the boy said.

Two people were honored posthumously with an award: national anthem composer Wage Rudolf Supratman (died 1938) and composer Ismail Marzuki (died 1958). Awards were also given to Bustaman, the founder of the popular Sederhana chain of restaurants and Bisnis Indonesia daily and Trans TV for their investigative reports.


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