Reethu, a story teller, a person often found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of life.
A 12-year-old boy from Hyderabad has raised the bars after he was recruited as a data scientist at a software company.
For over a month, Siddharth Srivastav Pilli, a class 7 student of Sri Chaitanya Techno School, has been managing his studies and a full-time data scientist job in Hyderabad-based software company Montaigne Smart Business Solutions. While Monday to Wednesday he goes to the office, Thursday to Saturday he attends classes in his school.
Siddharth’s father, Rajkumar Pilli, a QA Analyst at Capgemini Technology India Ltd., has a crucial part in his extraordinary achievement. At the age of seven, Siddharth’s dad taught the curious mind how to create a computer program. Looking at his rising curiosity towards programming, he helped him understand more and more complex techniques.
“When he was in the fourth standard, like any other kid, he used to play games on mobile and laptop. Suddenly, one day, he asked me a surprising question – how these games are made?” said Rajkumar, while speaking to The Logical Indian. Since that day, Siddharth’s curiosity grew, and a number of questions followed.
“For me, my biggest support is my dad. From when I was 7-year-old, he’s the person – the backstep – for teaching me programming languages, helping me read biographies, teaching me how games work, helping me get this curiosity, my dad helped me through a lot,” said Siddharth.
Recognising Siddharth’s curiosity in software technologies, Rajkumar once showed him coding and programming logics and how the programmes are made for games.
Since then, every time he played games, he would look at the programme that runs it. Rajkumar then gave him some books on the basics and fundamentals of programming and C language. He gave him a second-hand laptop as well, to learn to programme. In order to promote the habit of self-learning, he also insisted Siddharth to Google his doubts.
“Within one year he completed C language. And he tried to write some small programmes and explaining the logic behind the programme. He wanted to make a game on his own, which drove him to learn the language quickly,” added Rajkumar. Today, the whiz kid knows over six programming languages.
His father also made sure that Siddharth took enough breaks in between to avoid any pressure. After learning basic languages, Siddharth advanced to learning trending technologies – Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Data Science when he was in class 6. For this, his father also tried to enrol him in coaching institutes. However, citing his age, all institutes rejected his application.
“Initially when we used to go for demos in the coaching institutes, they thought the classes were for me. When I told them it was for my son, they rejected. They said that they couldn’t let him join because of his age and that the courses were very difficult,” said Rajkumar. After this, his father purchased various online courses for the boy.
“Once his courses were completed, and he gained good command over Data Science and AI, he asked me if he could apply for jobs. I told him no and that he would need some graduate degree to apply and that even age limit would be an issue,” said Rajkumar.
But, the boy insisted on trying for jobs and began his search on various job portals. His father also prepared a resume for the boy. “Everyday, after doing his homework, he would send the resume,” said his father.
However, although his resume got shortlisted a couple of times, upon realising his age, everyone rejected his application. It was then that a family friend who worked at Montaigne spoke to Siddharth and upon learning about the various technologies he knew, he asked him to forward his resume to his HR. When the company CEO noticed Siddharth’s talent, he met him personally and hired him for the job.
While quite challenging, Siddharth is in love with his work. “It’s very challenging. Work may be challenging, but in a way that interests me. Every day I go to the office, there is a new challenge that I have to overcome. That’s what makes me go to the office every day,” said Siddharth.
Speaking of his future plans, Siddharth added, “First I want to pursue Masters of Computer Science in Silicon Valley. Once I pursue my Masters, I want to come back to India, and then pursue my MBA in Indian business schools. After that, I am thinking of starting my own company.”
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