Is a ten-year-old girl the youngest ever Microsoft engineer?

Nations vie to come up with the youngest qualified computer specialist, after Pakistan's Arfa Karim is hailed for becoming a Microsoft Certified Professional at the age of nine

A young girl in Pakistan has qualified as a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) at the age of nine.

Some reports claim this makes her the youngest MCP in the world, but this may not be the case. There is a young man in India who, last year, claimed to have the same qualification at age eight.

Arfa Karim of Multan is the young lady who has officially become the youngest MCP in Pakistan. Karim, now aged 10, met with Microsoft chairman Bill Gates last week — an experience she later described as second only to visiting Disneyland.

According to Microsoft she in is part of a select group, as "one of only a few certified professionals in the world [to qualify] below the age of ten years".

Karim has been honoured 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 reward students "who have displayed exemplary achievements and skills in their respective fields". For her efforts, Karim was also given a computer.

According to a Channel News Asia report, the youngest every MCP is India's Mridul Seth, who is said to have gained the qualification at age eight in November 2004.