Qualifying to be a "Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist" is an impressive achievement regardless of one's age, but now a Pakistani boy named Shafay Thobani can boast having checked it off his to-do list at the tender age of 8, the Daily Mail and the UK's Sun newspaper are reporting.
According to Shafay's personal website -- likely managed by adults, as it makes heavy use of the phrase "the child" to describe his training and accomplishments -- he started working with computers when he was just 4 years old.
At the age of 7, Shafay started training to pass the exams necessary to become a Microsoft expert. Doing so meant 13 months on a strict schedule that involved attending school from 7:30 in the morning to 1:30 in the afternoon, followed by computer classes at his father's office from 2:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Becasue Shafay's father is Shah Thobani, the CEO of Thobson Technologies in Karachi, the boy had access to a 1,000 square foot training space featuring three desktops, switches, routers and laptops.
Despite all those hours of work, Shafay's father and the staff who trained him didn't lose track of that fact that the boy is only 8. There was a dedicated area for chess, darts and arcade games.
All that rigorous studying appears to have paid off though, with Shafay reportedly achieving a score of 91 percent.
“I feel like the luckiest parent because at the end of each day I only ever receive very positive feedback from Shafay’s teachers," Shah Thobani was quoted as saying in the Sun. “Every year I give Shafay a new challenge to try and encourage him."
The Daily Mail reiterated the claim made on Shafay's website that he is now the youngest person to qualify as a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist. However, the website Pro Pakistani claims that young people achieving Microsoft certification and asserting themselves as the youngest to have done so is something of a trend in Pakistan. The site reported having reached out to Microsoft and getting word back that the company no longer tracks the ages of those who achieve certification.
In 2008, a 9-year-old girl from India achieved certification and reports surfaced that she was the youngest. Another girl who was from Pakistan -- and sadly passed away in January at the age of 16 -- had been certified in 2005 when she was 9 years old.
New record or not, Shafay notes on his website that his life dreams include helping the poor people of his country, and meeting Bill Gates. He is also open to being hired as a consultant.