World’s youngest MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional)

With every new generation, you see people achieving great successes and accomplishments at an earlier age than the previous generations.  This is a natural part of evolution and also partly due to technological advances that enable people to access information and get exposed to different kinds of opportunities earlier in their lives.  You might have read about the 9-year old wonder kid from Pakistan, who recently became the world’s youngest MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional).


I got a chance to meet with this wonder kid – Arfa Karim Randhawa earlier this week.  She is a 5th grader who visited us at Microsoft for a few days along with her father.  I had a lot of fun in meeting Arfa and getting a chance to understand what motivated her to strive for such an accomplishment at such a young age.  She definitely has some clear ideas about the kinds of scenarios she envisions technology can enable in the future.


My hats off to Arfa’s parents for nurturing her passion and talent and providing her with opportunities to learn and excel.  I wish Arfa all the very best in her life and hope that her passion for learning and more importantly “dreaming big” enables her to do great things in her life.



Comments (90)

  1. Adnan says:


    would you like to share things you discussed with this young lady,I as a Pakistani definately feel proud on this girl,this girl is just another example of talent present in subcontinent,less resource,not good education infrastructure and still doing best in their respective fields

    I wonder if we people are provided facilities like given to US or other countries,we won`t take time to be on top



  2. Somasegar says:

    Hi Adnan,

    In general we talked about

    a) what prompted her to get excited about technology and computers at such a young age – her dad bought a computer mainly for email purposes that she started using. In addition there were a couple of senior students in her school who apparently noticed her interest and took her under their wings and spent time encouraging him and guiding her along the way.

    b) 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.

    c) she articulated some of her ideas about how auto-nagivation of automobiles is possible, how we need to strive to have equal numbers of women in high technology engineering, etc.

    All in all, a very interesting conversation and sometimes you forget that you are talking to a 9-year old girl given the depth of the conversation and the breadth of things that she is aware of.

    – somasegar

  3. Basharat Ali Sheikh says:

    I am so proud of this little genius that I printed out this article from Microsoft Pakistan’s website and put it on outside my cubicle, so everyone in my office can know about her achievement.

    Just curious that which paper she passed to become an MCP?

    Arfa is really an encouragement and initiation for all of us, my daughter is only 3 yet, I wish she breake this record 🙂

    Anonymous: You can get this article at Microsoft Pakistan’s url: –


    Basharat Ali Sheikh

    Toronto – Canada.

  4. nsnboy says:

    really? What a clever Girl!

  5. Sepia Mutiny says:

    Faisalabad, Pakistan, the ancestral home of one of the London bombers, has a happier event to be remembered by. Meet Arfa Karim, a 10-year-old from that city who at age nine became the youngest person ever to pass a Microsoft certification exam in programming (via Slashdot): Sitting down for a personal meeting with Bill Gates this week, 10-year-old Arfa Karim Randhawa asked the Microsoft founder why the company doesn’t hire people her age… She has created basic Windows applications, such as a calculator and a sorting program, primarily in the C# programming language… The institute instructors assumed it would take Arfa about a year to go through the process of certification for developing Windows applications. But after four months… she passed the required exams…. “I saw her doing something extraordinary, making presentations,” said her father, Amjad Karim, who serves with a U.N. peacekeeping force in Africa and came with his daughter to Microsoft this week… he first noticed something unusual when she started displaying a remarkable memory, perhaps photographic, at a young age… Later in the afternoon, she sat outside with S. “Soma” Somasegar, a Microsoft corporate vice president, and described her vision for a self-navigating car. He listened to her ideas and told her about some of Microsoft’s existing software for cars. [Link] Karim wants to be a satellite engineer or a software developer. But she has stiff competition in Mridul Seth of Bangalore, who at age eight became the youngest to pass the Microsoft system admin exam. Somasegar blogged their meeting here. Related post here….


    I blogged the other day about Arfa, who became a MCP when she was just 9 years old.


  7. I have been reading about Arfa`s these days,whether its on Slashdot or on MS blogs. i got an online…

  8. prakash says:

    hats off to the girl.,

    Now a days., ppl at very little age has proved something unusual and itz quite surprising us.

    In India,(Tamil nadu), a boy has achieved similar milestones. read on

  9. anonymous says:

    three cheers for arfa karim …. amazing achievement ~!~!

  10. anonymous says:

    Good to know that there are still some sensible pakistanis left who divert their energy into creative pursuits instead of crossing over into India and wreaking havoc !

  11. Anonymous says:

    And why is it that Microsoft did not invite Chandrasekar, the 9 year old who became a MCP in ’99 to Redmond ? (Source : )

    Was this girl invited because she’s a Paki ?

  12. Anonymous says:

    As far as Chandrasekar is concerned, you should point it to concerned official at Microsoft. But it doesn’t give you a right to use bad names for a country. Try to do achieve something yourself instead of shedding your frustrations here.

  13. PakiHater says:

    Hey Paki …. Crawl back to your country !

  14. Zeeshan says:

    Hi Indian,

    Usually world media doesn’t take serious these stories from india.Bcz i was amazed to see a news item in which a guy from india claimed to have won a competetion exam of NASA.This guy was promoted as a hero in the whole world until NASA people had to explain in a press conference that there is no such exam existing.I hope in this case Chandrasekar is either not existing or not recognized by microsoft as a MCP because he might have been caught cheating….?

    Hey indi…mindi…Your country have even borrowed its name from Indus river of Pakistan.You are indian because of Pakistan.RESPECT….us.

  15. Hello Zeeshan,

    Mind your words. We are here to talk about the small girl, not about our country related issues, and moreover, Whole of US people knows about Pakistanis as well as Indians. They know whom are better….. It is not necessary for me to say those things…

    Think about the past… India exist from the past, when Map was drawn. How about Pakistan ?? We gave a small part of us… Always think about the past……. 🙂 I hope pakistan still have more than40 yrs to celebrate its 100 year anniversary.

    Never talk like this, I came here in a mood of appreciating the girl…. But you spoiled my mood…..

  16. Zeeshan says:

    Hi Kiruthik Nandha Kumar,

    I understand your views and know why you retaliated on this issue of Pakistan and india.But as a matter of fact no one was responding to this guy who was disgracing pakistan and this girl’s efforts.I hope you understand this..i am talking about PakiHater and some anonymous writers.These guys are ashamed enough to hide their identity.I am sorry but i was a bit angry.Me too came to appreciate this girls efforts.But what i saw was ridiculous remarks from these nameless and shameless people.These guys can’t even appreciate a human being..I am sorry i hope i am not getting serious enough.But i appreciate your comments.I know we are brothers …but note these guys’ comments too dear.

    Hope you understand me.


  17. Kiruthik says:

    Hi Zee,

    Sorry if that hurts you in anyway… let us not fight anymore 🙂 by the way i work in madras for a s/w concern, how abt u ? my mail id is mail<at>kiruthik<dot>com

  18. Well done you little genius … Welcome to TechWorld.

  19. akshay says:

    Its cool to see the age of software professionals have reduced to such an extent 🙂 Congratulations Arfa and Thanks to soma for the encouragement he gave to her.

  20. Asif Malik says:

    I’ll pray for young Arfa that Almighty Allah, give her all the success in her present and future plans. We all are prouf of her. I would like to request parents and gaurdians, to discover the guts of their spouse’s in early stages and help htem to prove their abilities.


  21. Najam Iqbal says:

    I am so proud of her. She is a role model not only for kids in Pakistan but also all over the world for adults.

    Nothing is impossible to achieve as long as you are willing to get it and have mind set.

    Good Luck Arfa. You are a great asset to Pakistan, wish you all the best for your future endeavor

  22. MS is BIASED ! says:

    And why is it that Microsoft did not invite Chandrasekar, the 9 year old who became a MCP in ’99 to Redmond ? (Source : )

    Was this girl invited because she’s a Paki ?

  23. Suhail Yusuf says:

    Great it is honour for Pakistan and muslims of the world.

    Dear friend Somasegar can you please guide me from where can i found her foto talking with Mr Bill gates.

    I search so many sites but failed to do so.

    suhail yusuf


  24. Khan from PAKISTAN says:

    Programing at 9, i can’t do it at 23 heheheheh…

    coool not bad.

    This clearly shows Pakistan has some great talent…

    Great Pakistanis you have done it again….

    🙂 keep it up 🙂

  25. Somasegar says:

    Sorry Suhail. I don’t have any pictures of Arfa talking to Bill.

    – somasegar

  26. Nat says:

    Im sort of curious though, doesnt it make you feel kind of stupid that microsoft stuff is simple that a 9 year old could learn it? I mean, im 17 and i beleive i could pass the certification test with alittle studying. So shouldnt it make you feel that micosoft certification is useless?

  27. M. A. Naveed says:

    I’ve got a chance to meet this intelligent kid Arfa in Pakistan Developer Conference 05. She was invited as an special guest ova there. She is really a brilliant, sharp and intelligent and confident enough. At this age of nine this younger girl has extra ordinary God gifted qualities thats really an honour for her parents and as well as for Pakistan. May Allah increase her knowledge and wisdom in the benefit of prosperity of mankind.

  28. Optional says:

    Gratz to the wiz kid. Im curious as to which test was taken to achieve her MCP.

    Im all for help kids achieve but what happened to being a kid? At 9yrs old there should be plenty of other things to do besides cert study. I would suggest that as a reward, MS send her a playground set.

    Plenty of time to worry about career paths once she hits her mid-teens. As a parent, I would have directed my child more towards maths and sciences with the goal of teaching broad concepts of the world that are the same for all of us. She clearly has the desire to figure things out so start with Newton and go from there.

  29. Anon says:

    What a fantastic achivement, who would have thought that in around 30 years of mainstream computers become so easy to use that a girl of 8 would pass an MCP.

    I was programing BASIC by age 6 that i taught myself from a book from the library and ported a simple program written for a psion (somthing), Using my Sinclaire ZX spectrum 128K with built-in tape drive. Wheres my praise?

    20 now still no-one cares.

  30. As were most of your respondents, I was very impressed with Arfa Karim, and I congratulate her.

    I am equally disturbed by the poor use of English by some who seem to be US-born. I recognize that English is a difficult language and admire those not born to it who now use it well, if not perfectly. However, when a US-born person cannot spell correctly, doesn’t know how to use punctuation and capitalization, and has some difficulty with simple declarative sentences, I suggest that he or she spend some time learning English before going after the MCP.

    BTW, I would think that an MCP hopeful would use the spell and grammar checker in Word. It, too, is not perfect but it would catch many errors.

  31. Lawrence Olivier says:

    10 Print "Still using BASIC at 20?"

  32. Arun011 says:

    Hi I also became a MCSE, MCSA, MCP (2000 track) at the age of 14. I passed my last exam 70-220 on sep 11, 2004. I have also setup a Securty portal which is currently under Development. Currently I am thinking of opting for CEH from ec-council. Wish me best of luck.

  33. anonymous says:

    I think that is great, but I wonder about the pressure put on by her parents.

    I would rather read an article about a child that played outside with friends rather then have parents that may have put pressure on her to acheive this. I know what it is like to have pressure of parents to succeed and I wish I had known back then to step back and smell the roses (have fun in my childhood and not try to grow up so quickly).

  34. anonymous says:

    I think that is great, but I wonder about the pressure put on by her parents.

    I would rather read an article about a child that played outside with friends rather then have parents that may have put pressure on her to acheive this. I know what it is like to have pressure of parents to succeed and I wish I had known back then to step back and smell the roses (have fun in my childhood and not try to grow up so quickly).

  35. Noor says:

    It’s great.. a 9 year old gettin microsoft certification..

  36. Kamran says:

    congrats to the 9 yr old.. no matter how easy that certification is…for a 9 yr old it is too big!

    adding to that, may i request the ‘hating’ people of both india and pak to be calm and cool.. and learn a lesson from the person who made this post; (s)he is an indian (looks so from namastey in the end :)) and he still praises a paki child.. this is the openness we need among the masses…

    i hear that indians and pakistanis are almost like ‘one’ in places like USA ans UK… i hope we have peace soon here… tata.. bye.. nice post.. tc 😉

  37. Tat says:

    I am ashamed for some people here who tried to spoil this thread by nasty comments. But hey, the girl is still happy and I am happy for her, regardless (but what is it that you have achieved, besides being miserable in your hatred?) Amen.

    I would also add that I am least concerned that the parents are being hard on her or whether she has enough of child play. That’s her life and she will have enough integrity and self worth for what she achieved and yet to achieve. To each its own.

  38. US Born says:

    Paul, That was a "Run On" sentence.

  39. Sohail Ahmed says:

    I have taught arfa about 5 months, and she was very impressive during her MCP Prepration, I m very proud of her.

  40. Raj says:

    Dear Mr. Somasegar,

    Well its really a great achivement but why dont microsoft take another exam of arfa karim for the same (which was she has passed?) 70-270 or any other please give it a shot. things will be well cleared. one more question how about mrudul seth i heard that he was eight year when he got MCP credentials?

    anyways if you like please give me details.


  41. Sohail Ahmed says:

    Dear Raj,

    For your kind information, Microsoft has already taken her another exam after she got certified.

  42. Saikat Choudhuri, India says:

    Hats off to Arfa – the little genious. Dear friends please honour and her due respect to her amazing feat. It would be better to encourage her rather than showing our black and green minds to her. Please stop these hate messages as it acheives nothing but bring out our weird mentalities.

  43. TapasDeb,India says:

    Hats off to the kid.And to all the educated people here,don’t indulge yourselves in fanaticism.Just appreciate the achievement,afterall we all are human beings!Thanks for the postings.

  44. Web Reporter says:

    Check out Somasegar’s blog. The 9 year old girl now is the youngest MCP in the world. Wonderful! I am…

  45. A couple of months ago, Bill Gates joined Rick Rashid, senior Vice President, Microsoft Research and…

  46. Momina says:

    im jalous abt dis lil gal..i jst heard abt her 2day lol..aftr more than 2 years..she was givin an interview on fm 100…bt annyway im happy 2 no shez sumbudy else broke her record..dat bilal guy..anyways gals still rock more..n wassup wid dat pakih8er guy??dusnt he no these days paki chicks r so hot..

  47. She inspired me and in the past i want to do MCSE and few other certificates but now my plan has been changed due to MCSE high fee for per subject if i will take 7 exams then it will cost me almost 350$

    which i can’t afford. Mircsoft should offer low fee for exams. (3rd world country student can’t affored 350$ for just one exam)

  48. i am khalid from pakistan, i did mcse 2008,mcse securtiy,mcpd 2.5,mcitp vista.

    so what about me and l am in the age of 19.

    my mail

  49. MUKESH JAT says:



  50. MUKESH JAT says:

    I am Mukesh Jat from INDIA,UDAIPUR, i did MCP 2008,mcp WINDOWS XP

    so what about me and l am in the age of 14.

    my mail

  51. Ifeatu says:

    I am quite impressed of you young geniuses. Keep it up!!!!

  52. usman khan says:

    i think its not too difficult to make a software through course of C LANGUAGE OR C++ LANGUAGE both courses are avialable in pakistan in many computer acadmeis and if u r intrested u can also join that its only 3 months coarse and after three moths u will b abale to developed ur own software so its good that she have done it but i think u should all who comment on this do instead of……………… its not tooooo difficult

  53. Aslam Khan says:

    Hi guys ,

    Dont you know about the 3 world records holder.

    very impressive & genius Babar Iqbal.

    World’s Youngest Microsoft Student Partner



  54. Fatima Tanveer says:

    well that is good of Arfa to achieve this goal.

    But I would also like to say that I am a Pakistani too and even 1year younger than Arfa too but I also want the people to know that I am a MICROSOFT CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL.& i DID IT in 2006.But still I haven’t got any appreciation neither from the Government of Pakistan nor from somebody else So I just want to ask one simple question:"DONT I DESERVE TO BE APPRECIATED TOO?"

                          WITH REGARDS,

                                    AND WITH LOTS OF HOPES FOR APPRECIATION!


  55. Mukesh Jat says:

    In India i am the 2nd Youngest MCP Certified. and 1st AFCEH Certified in the age of 14 years. But the government of India not give me any importance why?

    They give importance to the only "Songs and Dance Competition " Why?

  56. Bashir khan says:


    Arfa Karim is not good because Babar Iqbal break her record.Babar Iqbal world youngest record holder.mcp,cwna,ciw

  57. Abeera says:

    I really feel proud that a Pakistani has done this! It is a great achievement for her as well as for every Pakistani (including me). Now, I am doing MCSE but I am 12 years old. I wish I will be able to clear this. InshaAllah! I feel like I will be able to complete this if I work hard and I already am and always will!! Best of luck to Arfa as well!!!!!

  58. kabir ahmad says:

    i m first time meitng ur ahievements through the net. i am wonder all about that.i have very very litle knowledge about computer stil i want to be a progrmer in this field. i tink tou all have some thing gifted naturally and i think i m not blessed with such gifts like you all have.

    will plese somebody help me in this regard. ishall be vey thnkful.

  59. Mukesh Jat says:

    Hi Kabir,

    Kabir there is nothing gifted by GOD. Naturally GOD gifted we all a small thing in our HEAD. We have to modify that small thing and create our future.

    If you are intrested in Programming your target is only Programming nothing else You Will Get Success.

  60. Mukesh Jat says:


    I am Mukesh Jat from Udaipur (Rajasthan) INDIA.

    I am the yougest MCSA and AFCEH Certified in my country.

    MY MCP ID is 6213844

  61. mohit kandpal says:

    hello,sir iam mcp from udaipur..iam 13 year old….

  62. Rajender Soni says:


    I am Rajender Soni from Udaipur (Rajasthan) INDIA.

    I am the yougest MCSA Certified in my country.

    MY MCP ID is 6639961

  63. Viren says:


    My friend Mukesh Jat from Udaipur (Rajasthan) INDIA.

    Is the yougest MCSA Certified in my country.

  64. sucha; says:

    if any other young kid want to tell microsoft about his skills how he could tell?????

  65. Johnnant Michelle says:

    Mohit kandpal from india living udaipur is the first world mcsa certified and the youngest one also…in both MCP and MCSA ..

  66. Aqeel says:

    she is in comma right now… has got heart attack and now out of senses till 28th December, 2011.

  67. Adeela says:

    Dear S.Somasegar,

    this little genious is very ill these days……/7289

    I request everyone to please pray for her health.


  68. khurshid waraich says:

    Pray for Arfa for her critical condition in the hospital. 29.12.2011

  69. Somasegar says:

    I am really sorry to hear about Arfa's illness.  My prayers are with Arfa and her family and hope that she recovers soon.


  70. Faisalabad says:

    My heart cries, Arfa you were the pride of our Faisalabad …. Sad News guys, she is no more with us

  71. KRM says:

    No, she is still in coma, just heard the news. Hope she recovers soon and fulfil her dreams.

    C'mon, get up Arfa!

  72. hassan baloch from east africa says:

    sallam afra karim and sallam pakistan allah pak arfa karim ko jaldi se seyat hata parma hey ameen hame arfa karim par faker ha aur sallam k jis ki waja se hamra mulk ka name roshan howa arfa jaldi taik hojaho

  73. Omer says:

    May her Soul rest in Peace

  74. Arfa karim passes away…very sad …May God give her peace

  75. Somasegar says:

    I am extremely sad to hear this.  I pray for Arfa's family and may Arfa rest in peace.  Arfa – in the short amount of time that I got a chance to meet and get to know you some, you showed what is possible and what the next generation can do with your passion, curiosity and wanting to make a huge impact.  Thank you!


  76. Ahmed Waqas Abid says:

    May her soul rest in peace.. Aameen.

  77. Sajid Mahmood says:

    R.I.P Arfa

  78. Shafqat Rasool says:

    I also appreciate Afra, for hr now Arfa is not with us I really feel very sad. I pray to God, blessed her soul. She always live in our memories.

  79. pallwasha zafar says:

    yeah…she was the wonder kid..but Allah want her back,,so at a very lil age she died,,we Pakistani's love u afra..

  80. Mohammad Rahim says:


    World's youngest MCSE (Microsoft Certified System Engineer)

    Muhammad Zia Zahir,

    from Afghanistan.

           We are proud of you Muhammad Zia.

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