Fifteen-year-old Samkeliso Kimbinyi of Zambian origin but based in the United Kingdom, is creating a buzz in the information and communication technology (ICT) world by becoming one of the youngest Microsoft Qualified Professionals in Europe.
The teenager, better known as Sam, is a Year 10 (high school level) student at the University Technical College (UTC) in Reading, a town just outside London. He is now a Microsoft Certified Professional and has Microsoft Technical Associates (MTA) certificates in seven areas including Software Fundamentals, Windows Development Fundamentals and OS (operating system) Fundamentals.
Kimbinyi has also developed an app called Lite for Windows phones and has so far received positive reviews for the same.
Global Voices Online caught up with Sam on email and learned from him first-hand about his achievements:
In March this year, I had the opportunity of meeting staff from Microsoft offices in Seattle, who were in the UK for one day as part of their European trip to speak to clients who are training through the Microsoft IT Academy. These were members of the Learning Experience team – Senior Director Tim Sneath, Director for Academic Programme Keith Loeber and Content Director Briana Roberts.
On May 26th 2014 I published my first App—Lite—on the Windows Phone Store. I got the idea of the app after spending long hours of looking for a fast lightweight flashlight app that did not contain ads [advertisements]. Eventually, after not finding anything, I decided to make my own. Eight Days later and with the criticism (sic) from the Reddit Window Phone Community, I reached 300 Downloads and a 5 star rating. Shortly after, the app got a spot on the “New and Rising” Section of the app store.
In future I hope to release many more apps and continue to study Computer Science at (the) university.
In his college newsletter, Kimbinyi was quoted as saying:
MTA training links to what we're learning in class, but has given me a greater understanding of programming and how diverse the field is. My new knowledge was really useful when we developed an app during the Microsoft employer project; we ended up developing a much better app.
Microsoft congratulated Kimbinyi in a tweet:
Congratulations to Samkeliso Kimbinyi, 15, the first student to gain an MTA qualification in software development pic.twitter.com/8JRfgXNynL
— Microsoft Education (@microsofteduk) January 24, 2014