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14-year-old Kairan Quazi is SpaceX’s new software engineer

By Brooke Villanueva Published Jun 20, 2023 12:50 pm Updated Jun 20, 2023 12:55 pm

A 14-year-old is Elon Musk's newest recruit for Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX).

Kairan Quazi, who started studying computer science and engineering at age 11, will serve as a software engineer for Starlink in particular, which is the satellite and internet service division of the aerospace firm. 

In an Instagram post, the teenager announced that he will be part of “the coolest company on the planet.” He also wrote on LinkedIn that SpaceX was “one of the rare companies that did not use my age as an arbitrary and outdated proxy for maturity and ability.” 

According to the Los Angeles Times, Quazi was able to speak in complete sentences as early as two years old. When he entered kindergarten, he began discussing news stories he heard on the radio. 

When he was in third grade, he found his assignments in school “too easy,” which made his parents decide to enroll him at a community college in California at nine years old.

He interned for Intel Labs and helped with the company’s research on artificial intelligence. Two years later, at age 11, he moved to Santa Clara University to study computer science and engineering. He is set to become the school’s youngest graduate next month, as reported by The Seattle Times

Following his acceptance into SpaceX, Quazi and his mom are planning to move to Pleasanton, California to make it easier for him to get to the office in Redmond, Washington every day.

While his age didn’t hinder him from being part of one of the most sought-after firms in the world, LinkedIn found him too young to have an account like such on the platform and said he could only be part of it when he turns 16. 

Quazi shared in an Instagram post that his LinkedIn account had been restricted. The social networking site, in its message, said they are excited by his "enthusiasm, energy, and focus" and “can’t wait to see what you do in the world." It added that they had to close his profile for not meeting its age eligibility criteria at present.

SpaceX's newest employee expressed his disappointment over LinkedIn's move. “This is the illogical, primitive nonsense that I face constantly. I can be qualified enough to land one of the most coveted engineering jobs in the world but not qualified enough to have access to a professional social media platform?” he wrote in his now-deleted caption.

He will be able to get a refund for his premium subscription plan, LinkedIn said.

In a quick chat with Insider on the matter, Quazi stressed his need for access to mentors and industry discussions on the site. "LinkedIn's decision leaves me at a disadvantage versus any other person in my position."

"[I] am hopeful that LinkedIn leadership will see the need to update their age policy to at least align with most labor law,” he said.