Recently, 12-year-old Tanmay Bakshi from Toronto, Canada, addressed over 10,000 coders at IBM's biggest-ever developer meet in Bengaluru on, he joined the growing list of Indian-origin kids making their presence felt across the global developer stage.
Also very recently, a nine-year-old Australia born, Anvitha Vijay — who has several iOS applications to her credit was invited as the youngest-ever participant at tech giant Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. This little genius, who has inventions on her tips, is already working on her next app, which will help children her own age to set goals. Anvitha wowed the US ambassador John Berry, top investment firms such as Qualcomm Ventures and founders of successful start-ups Voxer, Toro and Farmville when she attended the event in Perth, Australia.
Then we also have heard about the 8-year-old Medansh Mehta, a Mumbai-based gaming developer, got to impress Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who was visiting India, with a game he had created. The Navi Mumbai kid, who first started coding a year ago, began with basic languages such as Logo and Scratch. "You can make anything you can imagine," said the little rare prodigy. "I met an eight-year-old, and this is perhaps the time where I felt the most inadequate. And, the eight-year-old’s dream is to create a society that knows how to balance economic growth with environmental sustainability. This is the goal he has and then he translated that vision, that goal, into a novel game that he’s built”, said the CEO Microsoft on meeting the little genius.
There is also, 13-year-old Priyal Jain, who learnt programming language Python at home when she was ten, and then enrolled in an android programming course at Acadgild, a Bengaluru-based technology education startup co-founded by her father Vikalp Jain and Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur Vinod Dham.
As for why the tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft, IBM, etc. are trotting out child coders at events, the answer is simple: marketing department’s love child prodigy. "As long as it's not being done just for publicity and these companies actually have programmes in place that will help develop their skills further, it is fine," says a former marketing head at an IT services firm. "At the same time, you have to realise that children that age don't have the maturity to handle stardom," he adds.
Over the past years there has been an increase in the number of kids taking to coding while still in school. Thanks to parents who are comfortable with technology and expose their children to it, as well as schools that have started teaching basic programming as early as the 3rd grade, there are growing numbers of self-taught programmers - they pick up programming through online tutorials. Interestingly, when asked about their role models, most kids name Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs as their inspires!