July 18, 2005 3:48 PM PDT

9-year-old earns accolade as Microsoft pro

A Pakistani girl has qualified as a Microsoft Certified Professional at the age of 9.

Arfa Karim of Multan has officially become the youngest MCP in Pakistan, and one of the youngest in the world. Karim, now 10, met with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates last week--an experience she later described as second only to visiting Disneyland.

To attain the credential--at any age--a person has to display technical proficiency in areas such as .Net, Visual Studio 6.0 and Windows Server 2003.

Karim got excited about technology, when her father bought her a computer--primarily to use for e-mail, according to S. "Soma" Somasegar, a corporate vice president in Microsoft's tools division.

"What she wants to do as she grows up--she would love to study at Harvard, work in a company like Microsoft and go back to Pakistan to do technology innovations in the field of satellite engineering," Somasegar wrote in his blog last week.

Somasegar describes her as the youngest MCP in the world, but according to a Channel News Asia report, the youngest ever to attain that qualification is India's Mridul Seth, who is said to have gained it at age 8 in November 2004.

According to Microsoft, Karim is part of a select group, as one of only a few certified professionals in the world to qualify below the age of 10.

Karim has been honored for her achievement by the Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman Foundation in Karachi, where she was presented with an award for excellence. She was the first recipient of the award, which will honor students "who have displayed exemplary achievements and skills in their respective fields." For her efforts, Karim was also given a computer.

Colin Barker reported for ZDNet UK. CNET News.com's Jonathan Skillings contributed to this report.


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her future is already destroyed...
poor girl, no 9 year old should have the embaressment of being MS 1337. if she had linux then i would have some respect for her...
Posted by Scott W (419 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Had my suspicions....
... that getting the MCP rating was child's play..... ;-)
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
She still has a chance...
What an achievement! (sarcasm)

Poor girl and her parents.. Someone might have told them that Microsoft is *the* pinnacle of computing. No wonder. I live in India and I know the attitude of most Indian software professionals towards M$. Most consider
M$ technologies as winners and knowing M$
crap as some big achievement in life.

She still has a chance since she is pretty
young. I hope Pakistan has some active LUG
which should take up the task of educating
the girl basics of Linux, OSS and perhaps Mac.
And ask her parents to throw away that
stupid MCP certificate.

How come I don't heat it when a fictional
10 year old girl gets her first Redhat certification? ;-)
Posted by pythonhacker (71 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What About You ?
but what about you ?, What you have done in your life ?, Look at you, your whole life is passing by and you and posting nonesense coments on CNET. i little girls achived a MS Certificate and you are telling its waste ? you are taking about Macs, Mac in india ?, on my 1 week trip to india i have not seen a single Mac, it looks like you like everything thats opposite of microsoft, even if you have not used it. here is the blog of him if someone is interested <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://randombytes.blogspot.com/" target="_newWindow">http://randombytes.blogspot.com/</a> and as usuall 60%+ logs are Anti-MS.
Posted by (128 comments )
Link Flag
I don't think so
Ok, so a 9 year old can answer some mulitple choice questions correctly.. Dumb luck. That doesn't mean that she is a good programmer or knows what she is doing. It's like those little kids who become blackbelts. They have been given a break. What do they truly know or unerstand? It's a disgrace. A farce.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I agree
Memorising a whole bunch of answers does not mean the person actually understands the subject material. If a 9 year old can pass this exam, it obviously needs reworking to weed out these "memory monkeys".
Posted by (4 comments )
Link Flag
Spoken like a true MCP :-)
Posted by (409 comments )
Link Flag
It is a disgrace that
You don't even have the dumb luck to get a certification when you are 9 years old :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
Even if she did memorize the answers, kudos to her for
outsmarting those who didn't get certifications. ;-)

Furthermore, some children I've known are more intelligent than a
lot of adults I've met. Don't be so quick to dismiss her intelligence
as a fluke---people learn at different speeds.
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
Best of Luck
Well done little girl.
As for the previous 4 comments, Don't behave like losers.
Linux, UNIX, OSX or windows all are nothing but OS. And OS is no good without applications. presently Windows is king of the hill in desktop and small business environment.
I have worked on number of OS ( Windows, Solaris8, OS390, Linux(redhat)), and I think windows is more then enough for every day-to-day tasks.
Have fun.
Posted by damnay-koh (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
day to day tasks
yes windows is amazing for day to day tasks such as having your computer slammed by script kiddies whenever it accesses the internet. if a 9 year old can get MS ceritified that proves that it is a joke.
oh, yeah and to the guy above me, i'd like to see what everyday tasks windows can do that can't be done in linux just as easily if not easier...
Posted by Scott W (419 comments )
Link Flag
This shows how easy and worthless MS certifications are.

If you are thinking of taking these tests, don't bother. Learn computers and/or programming, not Microsofts poor implementations of them.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This shows how easy and worthless MS Bashers are.

If you are thinking of joining that community, don't bother. Learn computers and/or programming through Microsoft, not Open Source's poor and sour-loser's attitude :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft got the best implementation of Object Oriented concepts and Service Oriented Architectures in .NET. Java is just second to it. Linux fans are just idealist who eny the success of microsoft's business. I dont care what your OSes are because it doesn't matter.

You cannot play your favorite online game with Linux, losers.
Posted by Ross_Brigoli (1 comment )
Link Flag
LMAO ... :-)
Proof of how simple it is to get become an MCP, with no true
knowledge or background.

This only illustrates all of my arguments of how Microsoft, and
gullibility of the world society toward computers, has dilluted
the pool of true programming.

Flame on if you must. Go right ahead, but you cannot dismiss
the fact that Microsoft certifications polluted the market place,
and ignorant corporations took them as indications of someones
abilities. You can't replace years of education and training with
a piece of paper and Microsofts "rules" for development.

In truth, this article only illustrates how sad things are.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Proof of how simple it is to get become a MS basher, with no true knowledge or background.

This only illustrates all of my arguments of how open source fanatics, and gullibility of the world society toward computers, has dilluted
the pool of true programming.

Flame on if you must. Go right ahead, but you cannot dismiss the fact that Open Source fanatics polluted the market place, and ignorant corporations took them as indications of someone's abilities. You can't replace years of education and training with a title "fanatic" and Open Source Community's "rules" for development.

In truth, this article only illustrates how sad things are.
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
Bib Dillanony is proof of a typical MS shill

Thanks so much for your replies. It seems as though, much like MS, all you can do is take someone else's excellent work, slightly change it around, and then call it your own.

No wonder you are such an obvious shill for MS. They rely on unimiganitive and unoriginal folks like you.

BTW - how's that Longhorn thing coming? Tiger has been out long enough for MS to copy all the good stuff and incorporate them as "new features".
Posted by Snowdog63 (44 comments )
Link Flag
What ?
"Proof of how simple it is to get become an MCP, with no true knowledge or background."

MS does not take the exams directly they partner with traning center like any other certification like RatHat, Linux. and most of these centers in developing countires carses about the fee not skill and pass all students.
Posted by (128 comments )
Link Flag
Smart Kids work for Microsoft
...and dumb kids work for some lesser-known companies :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Spoon, bib, hands at your side. Now swallow. Good boy.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
This kid is probably qualified to work at the most unethical and inept company in computing. Whoop-dee-doo.

A real company however, would not look at such a meaningless certificate, regardless of age. Anyone can pass a multiple choice test without solid understanding of the material. Well, maybe not morons like Bib.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
Child abuse?
Exposing a child to Microsoft's degrading, twisted concept of computing, with its convoluted licensing policies, useless eternal upgrades, indecipherable product names, hideous interface, viral vulnerability, and Pentagon-like dullness, strikes me as bordering on child abuse. I'm guessing the government in Pakistan has bigger issues to attend to than this violation of a child's innocence, but if it happened in this country I would report it to protective services. I mean, good grief, she had to actually TOUCH the chairman! And what if Steve Ballmer was in attendance?!? How will she ever cleanse that image from her mind? It IS humorous how foreign countries sometimes pick up on dubious, dorky things in the USA and think they're cool.
Posted by Tom CyBold (30 comments )
Reply Link Flag
LOL Again!
so Linus Torvalds do all the OOS ever created, just becuase he is a Phds. ha ha ha :) ;).

OSS only attracts Scipt Kiddies, Teenagers, Part-Time Developer, Pyscos like stallman, or people with nothing to do. nobaody do OSS as a day job or a professional develoeper. becuase some people don't live on donations!. who thinks because they can program they can kill MS and rules the earth. keep on shouthing free software, OOS.
Posted by (128 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If you write sw the same way you write English...
May I suggest the use of a spell-checker? It seems Microsoft doesn't provide one, or you can't afford it...
There are a number of Open Source spell-checkers available...
And talking about professional developers, somebody who demonstrates such carelessness in writing as you do can't be a professional developer.
And finally, a lot of professional developers in large, multinational companies like Sun, Novell, IBM are working fulltime on Open Source. They get paid very well (and can afford a spellchecker...)
Posted by JoeF2 (1306 comments )
Link Flag
Younger Generation
I got my MCP when I was 14 and I didn't have to have inside connections with Microsoft. I agree with most of the others... to have a chance this person will definitely want to get well known in both linux and Mac... talking from personal experience in the IT industry...
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Congratulations Miss Arfa Karim
Miss Karim,
You have achieved a very significant accomplishment.
Ignore any detractors ro your prowess.
Accomplish your very well thought-out goals and the road for achieving those goals.

Roy Stewart,
Phoenix AZ, USA
Posted by Roy Stewart (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not entirely correct and very misleading...
Quote: "To attain the credential--at any age--a person has to display technical proficiency in areas such as .Net, Visual Studio 6.0 and Windows Server 2003." This makes it appear as someone has to pass tests in all these areas to get the MCP Cert and that is simply not true.

A quote from MS's own website: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcp/requirements.asp" target="_newWindow">http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcp/requirements.asp</a>
"Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) candidates are required to pass one current Microsoft certification exam that provides a valid and reliable measure of technical proficiency and expertise (a current exam is any that has not been retired)."

That means all she had to was take and pass say the O2K3 test or the Windows XP Pro test or what have you. All you need to do is pass JUST ONE exam MS offers to get an MCP and not necessarily ones in the areas mentioned this article. And the article, by the way, does not say what exam she took and passed or how many times she took one before she passed it.
Posted by CBrewster (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
yep, these guys are obviously clueless. She could have passed a networking, or even an excel exam and she would be called a MCP. For those of you who thinks MCSD is worthless are obviously stupid, its only worthless without a college education. Its not like you are going to get a programming job without a college education anyway. MCSD just looks good on the resume and is something to do to keep you up to date in the fast growing market. It is an accomplishment though, but no its not going to get you any kind of job without atleast a 4 year degree.
Posted by (18 comments )
Link Flag
The value of a certificate
Plain and simple. Microsoft certifications aren't worth the paper
they are written on. They are too easily attained, thus providing
no clear means of identifying a persons actual capabilities.

A Phd, and a first grade elementary student, can get the same
certificate. As a result, there is no value in the certificate, at all.
None, zip, nada. Well ... maybe a little caca.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Reply Link Flag
tisk tisk
I disagree with you, a Phd wouldnt be taking the kind of certification this little girl took. For all we know she could of passed an excel certification and became a microsoft professional. As for the MCSD it is worth something, but only with a 4 year degree or beyond. Its not like your going to score a job with just certifications anyway
Posted by (18 comments )
Link Flag
The rest of the story
All part of Balmer's plan to cheapen labor costs. Why hire third world adults when you can use children? Americans at $70,000/year = bad. Pakistan child at $70/ year = good.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://jmaximus.blogspot.com" target="_newWindow">http://jmaximus.blogspot.com</a>
Posted by jmaximus9 (86 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Same old trolls
Why is it that the same old crap gets typed in these comments.

How many of you bagging this girl or Microsoft have kids? How many of those would be capable of memorizing enough to pass an exam like this? What were you doing when you were 9. Even the total geek idiots that are posting here probably weren't capable of something like this. And on reading their spelling and grammar they're probably still not.

For Gods sake. Give credit where it's due. If you don't like Microsoft you don't have to bag everybody and anybody that has done anything with Microsoft products. That would mean you're bagging nearly everyone.
Posted by (79 comments )
Link Flag
I do agree that we should appreciate the little girl for the achievement.

She is tech-savvy and do have the talents to move up in deep manner.

Let her create a career in technology and we shall encourage her.

(And Microsoft is not really bad people - In the days were Apple and IBM existted, there were no desktop domain. It was Bill Gates who created the desktop platform and made it simple till now. They had faults and they made corrections too. But we cant forget their contributions - Because of them more people made career in computers.

And saying their technolgoy is simple - I strongly believe that for attaining a thing the way should be simple. For driving a car do you want to know all the engine works - no, you just need to know the steering, brakes etc.

And many of you so called developers, have you seen an era of machine language(hexa) - there these developers wont be able to do nothing there - so by making things simple and easy we can do more work,

I have worked in C, C++, Java, C#.Net, Delphi, VB, Disassembly etc. I do now appreciate the OOPs power of C# and Java is also powerful - I do agree it)
Posted by jeanonnet (1 comment )
Link Flag
ok, i am pakistani too
ok, i am pakistani too and I earned my MCP when I was 17, believe it or not i earned it without having any personal computer and I had no idea what "IIS" stands for.
Truth about pakistani Education:
You have to study 10 big thick books to pass one class and believe me you will have no idea what exactaly are you reading, all you know is you have to pass classess.
and in her case most likely her father was strict and made her study books like crazy to do something unique, its common in out country to force our chilen to study over night.
so yes just by answering some multiple Questions does not mean you achieved something.
can she do simple "Hello World" ?
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Congratulations Arfa karim
Well done, this all appears to be your father's well sorted stratigy for a success and guidance, he too deserve a congratulation.

dear, I am 70 and learned the computing after my retirement all at my own, I too am sending my achievements in Computers to Mr, Bill Gates.
I have qulified Cnet on line 17 courses&#38; 5 HP courses. My Microsoft Learning test score for Win Xp is 53%. I topped in it on 27 March 2005.
Nasir Malik
Posted by nasirmalik (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
as all my years i have been alive there is only one thing i know for this they "those whom die for someone else are those whom are heros for that someone" that is all i have for today
from junbugg22
Posted by junbugg22 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
i also know that if you kill you'r just slowy dieing
so don't kill cause if you kill you so will also be dead
Posted by junbugg22 (3 comments )
Link Flag
i also know that if you kill you are slow dieing
so thats why you should never kill cause if you do kill you also will die inside
Posted by junbugg22 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
well done !! congrajulations on your success! miss arifa karim you have done incredeible work every one is very proud of you dear child !keep it up and show the world real image of muslims and Pakistan!
Posted by muslimboyz (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Am M$ Programmer, we all know that Certificate does not mean we are good Programmers. The Kid got the Certificate and it does not mean she is a Good Programmer. You might find that in Future she might do someone else different than Computing. As far as I know she can?t Program as it?s a fact and we all know that, but let us just give her a break. I love Linux but if someone got that achievement at her age, its great. Even Torvalds will congratulate the kid. It does not give you a right to say negative things about the kid?s achievement. It might be useless and small but to her and others who cares it means the World.

Vuyiswa Maseko
Posted by vuyiswamb (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
i really need a summer job so if your in the harper woods district email me at summerware07@yahoo.com and if your in the united states remember you guys thats harper woods united states of america so email me im really egar to get this djob i wandt to be a baby sitter im looking to baby sit atleast 3 or 1 year olds what ever you guys wanna feel comfortable whith me baby sitting and i want atleast 20$ or 30$ or 10$ like i said what ever u guys feel comfortable and i am a ten year old i really need a summer job so think about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!please i need this if your desprite im here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by cutiepie09-08 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Hahahaha!!! i laugh at your foolishness.
you let ur jealousy take over i am a Pakistani i am a true Pakistani and i solute that girl for she is the pride of Pakistan.
I would really love to knw what you all do for a living,and if your talking rubbish cause of our nation bu you all might not know that the president of America invited her to The White house how many of you recived the honour.
And is i cause of you all that this amazing talent is in the hospital because of a heart attack if you want the truth then search " Arfa Karim Randhawa" on wikipedia only if you are ready to exept the truth.
If you have any respect for talent or any light in your hear then pray for her health.
A True Pakistani
Posted by ilovePakistanForever (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Very Well Said damnay-koh ;
Its not the issue of Any Operating System Or Certification but it is About real image of The Hardwork, Knowledge, Luck :))
That ALL Can have Especially in Pakistan !!!
Like anoother New Examle is Sitara Brooj Akbar She Passes 0-Levels at The age of 11 Years and is The Icon of REAL Pakistan ...
We are PeaceLover, Talented and Hardworking;
Posted by arsalanmk12 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Reading the earlier comments made me laugh.How people become jealous so easily it stinks.

sorry for the rude comment though
Posted by afatir92 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag

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