SpaceX Hires 14-Year Old Software Engineer
Kairan Quazi in 2020, Age 10 / Twitter
At an age when most teenagers are entering high school, Kairan Quazi, a prodigious 14-year-old, is celebrating his graduation from Santa Clara University and readying himself for a position as SpaceX’s youngest software engineer. This extraordinary achievement places Quazi as the youngest-ever graduate in the 172-year history of the university.
Sitting at Santa Clara University on June 6, 2023, Quazi shared his excitement for this monumental next chapter in his life. The Pleasanton local is preparing for his move to Washington state with his mother, Jullia, in July, to join the Starlink team at SpaceX, reports The Mercury News.
“I’m really excited for this new chapter of my life,” said Kairan.
Even as an infant, Quazi stood out from his peers. His intellectual and emotional intelligence surpassed the norm, manifesting in an insatiable curiosity that led to him beginning preschool at an unprecedentedly early age. His pronounced academic abilities soon earned him the label of “profoundly gifted”, with an IQ score surpassing the 99.9th percentile of the general population.
Quazi’s parents and educators soon realized that mainstream education could not keep pace with his exceptional learning abilities. A crucial conversation with his pediatrician led to an emotional decision by his parents to find a more challenging educational environment. This decision saw Quazi enter Las Positas, a community college in Livermore, by the age of 10, simultaneously securing an internship at Intel Labs as an AI research co-op fellow.
His journey soon took him to Santa Clara University, where he immersed himself in computer science and engineering studies. By 14, Quazi looks back on his university years as the happiest period of his life. He will join nearly 1,600 fellow students at the graduation ceremony on June 17, bringing his own unique story to the celebration.
Quazi’s engagement at Santa Clara was multifaceted: he was a member of the Association for Computer Machinery, served as a senior senator in the Associated Student Government, and became one of the most sought-after tutors.
Despite initial surprise at his age, his classmates soon saw beyond his youth and recognized Quazi as a peer. Among these peers was Jordan Randleman, a 23-year-old master’s student in computer science and engineering, who became fast friends with Quazi. Randleman expressed no surprise at his friend’s acceptance into SpaceX, a company known for its high selection standards.
As Quazi prepares for his new role at SpaceX, he reflects on the rejections he encountered along the way – a stark reminder of the challenges faced by young prodigies like him. As he steps into this new chapter, Quazi carries with him the wisdom imparted by his mother: “we’re always where we are supposed to be.”