KARACHI: Everyone is unique and no one can replace Arfa Karim Randhawa who was declared the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional at the age of nine, yet it was heartening to meet Shafay Thobani, an eight-year-old child said to be the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, at a programme held at a hotel.
Born on March 13, 2004, Shafay grew interested in computers ever since he was a baby. “We would get him toys but he would be more attracted to my laptop. I got him a PlayStation but he got scared when trying to play a horror game. Then I got him an Xbox but he liked computers more. Then at the age of four, we gave him an old Acer laptop, a third generation hand-me-down after both me and my younger brother had discarded it,” Shafay’s father Dr Shah Thobani told Dawn at the presser.
Being the only child, too, added to Shafay’s manipulating him into buying him expensive gadgets, he observed.
It was announced at the gathering that on April 9, 2012, Shafay appeared in the Prometric test and secured 91 per cent marks, thus making him the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Training Specialist (MCTS) at the age of eight years and 24 days. The young man is certified professional in Microsoft Windows 7 Configuration and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2. Before appearing in the exam, he remained under training of Microsoft certified trainers for 13 months.
His trainer Faisal Durrani said it was a challenge for him to teach complicated concepts such as Domain Name System (DNS) and Internet Protocol (IP) address to a child as young as Shafay. “So we split the 40-hour course designed for grown-up IT specialists into 13 months for the child. We taught him by giving him easy examples in order to grasp the concepts. Teaching him for three to four hours everyday, we would also allow him breaks to let him be the normal kid that he is, swimming, playing football or rollerblading,” said Mr Durrani.
Speaking of the boy’s main areas of interest, Dr Thobani said he liked network and communication programming. “He has already completed 65 per cent of Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization, too,” he added.
“Shafay was born in 2004, the same year Arfa was declared the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional at the age of nine. Arfa was an inspiration for us and I hope that Shafay, too, would be a role model for more children to show their tremendous achievements,” he said.
The small wonder, who sat quietly the entire time, when asked to say something to the media first started talking about Windows 7 and how much he enjoys working on it. When his father asked him to say something other than his first love — computers, he said: “I am proud of myself and I will work for Pakistan in any way possible.”