I recently read an article about that I found both interesting and disturbing at the same time. In it, we are introduced to Ayan Qureshi, claimed to be the youngest Microsoft Certified individual – having passed a cert exam at 5yrs old.
While the initial knee jerk reaction is – “That’s pretty cool”, I am a bit concerned on a few things.
- Braindumped data or teaching specifically to the exam
- No valid form of ID
- Inability to understand or be bound to the NDA
First, his father Asim states “The hardest challenge was explaining the language of the test to a five-year-old. But he seemed to pick it up and has a very good memory,”. To me, this indicates that his father “Brain Dumped” information to his child, a fairly common practice where you repetitively go over the question base until you have memorized the test, instead of actually knowing the material. Sadly, this is demonstrated in several state competency exams here in the United States (with documented examples of Teachers teaching to an an exam) and highlights why you cannot base demonstrable knowledge based solely on certifications.
Secondly, I question how the boy was able to provide proper identification. At 5 years old, it is unlikely he had proper photo ID (plus an alternate) to present to the proctor prior to sitting the exam. It is possible (especially since he appears to have immigrated to the UK from Pakistan in 2009) that he has a passport – there is a requirement from Pearson VUE that the the ID has a “ recent recognizable photo, and signature”. Since he would have immigrated as a baby (and passports are not issued frequently) the child would have changed drastically in appearance and would not have signed the document – this would not be a valid form of ID.
Finally, How does a child legally accept an NDA? Since he is a minor, I would argue that he probably does not have the mental capacity to understand the “Click Through Agreement”.
Based on these three points , I personally would question the validity of the claims that he is an MCP. Instead, I applaud that the child is able to retain the data – and hopefully he continues his education to LEARN the skills necessary to become an IT Professional.
Read about little Ayan here and feel free to comment below.