5-Year-Old Passes Microsoft Exam
Ayan Qureshi is the youngest computer specialist in the world
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2014 8:23 AM CST
Ayan Qureshi in the computer lab he built in his home.   (http://ayanqureshi.com/)

(Newser) – Ayan Qureshi is a Microsoft Certified Professional—but not just any professional. Having passed the requisite exam last month at the age of 5 years and 11 months (or "5.11," as per his website), the UK resident is the youngest officially recognized computer specialist in the world. Ayan, who built his own home computer lab as well as his first computer network in that lab, hopes to start his own company and even launch a UK-based IT hub modeled after Silicon Valley that he would call E-Valley, reports the BBC. As for the test itself, administrators initially blocked him because of his age, notes the Coventry Telegraph; they relented after a call to Microsoft headquarters. Ayan, now 6, says it was hard but fun: "There were multiple choice questions, drag and drop questions, hotspot questions, and scenario-based questions," he told the BBC Asian Network.

Ayan's father, an IT consultant who moved his family to the UK from Pakistan in 2009, says he let Ayan play with his old computers as a 3-year-old so he could learn about motherboards and hard drives. When his son remembered everything he told him from one day to the next, his father kept teaching him more. "Too much computing at this age can cause a negative effect, but in Ayan's case he has cached this opportunity," he says. Ayan devotes two hours a day to learning about operating systems and installing programs. Ayan's mother is proud of her son but doesn't want him setting too many world records. "I want him to do his best whatever he does in his life," she says. (This 10-year-old graduated from high school this year.)