Rediff Search Logo
Channels: Astrology | Broadband | Contests | E-cards | Money | Movies | Romance | Search | Weather | Wedding | Women
Partner Channels: Auctions | Auto | Bill Pay | IT Education | Jobs | Lifestyle | Technology | Travel

Home > Search > Feature Articles
 April 17, 2001      TIPS to search 200 million Web pages fast!

 > Feature Articles

 > Site Tours

 > Very Useful Sites

 > Archives

Submit a site
E-Mail this report to a friend

Nidhi Taparia

"Math is hard," a talking Barbie doll told a generation of girls who grew up thinking they should be afraid of numbers and science. Luckily, this generation doesn't think so. A very good example: 12-year-old Gursimran Arora, world's youngest Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer female professional.

Besides studying, she now works as a freelancer for companies like Citilink Info Pvt Ltd, Purple Matrix Inc, Elixer Designs and Red Baron Online, creating fully flash interactive websites, introductions and high-impact interactive presentations.

"The first few orders came in through my best friend, Sumit Aneja and through a few other friends. The first was Purple Matrix when I was 12. From then on, things snowballed," explains Gursimran, as she rattles some more names of projects she is working on.

The ninth grade student of Modern High School in Delhi was hooked to computers at the age of nine. She narrates, "My cousin had a PC installed, which had me looking at the screen in wonder. It was my tenth birthday gift and, ever since, I have been busy doing something different with it. It started off with kiddish games, then moved to cyberspace. I did waste a couple of weeks in the beginning, thinking that 'online' meant 'chatting' and 'surfing', like many people. Later, cyberspace meant a wholly different thing."

It was on one of her surfing nights, when she was chatting online with a stranger, that she started thinking about putting her own web page online. "I came across this guy, 22-year-old Sumit, who introduced himself through his profile online. I was impressed at the imagery but, as an amateur, I had no idea how to go about it. So I looked for sites which explained how to make web pages."

The first few tries were not so good, but Gursimran later started designing and coding pages like a professional, hosted a site on Freewebcity, and launched her first web site. "My best friend, Sumit Aneja gave me a couple of projects to design as well and soon I was very good at it."

She then enrolled for formal training, for the MCSE exams. It was a tough, training intensive three months, she sa just taking me to the institute, waiting there and bringing me home. The course taught me networking on an NT platform, how to create and manage simple and complex networks. It is highly complicated at some points but, then again, it is about using your head and having a will for the understanding of networking. The course helped me curve out my tech-related interests in a better way."

Currently, she hosts her own profile online at "The domain name was a gift from my brother for clearing the MCSE exams, and he thought I could make it my online portfolio. After which the news about my being the youngest MCSE hit newspapers like Delhi Times, Punjab Kesari and the Tribune. Many people in the U.S read The Tribune online, and that is when I started to receive projects from abroad as well."

Being a teenager, and a girl at that, does have its downside when it comes to receiving projects though. "Talking online or on the phone usually convinces lot of people I am capable enough, but I have lost about two projects because they couldn't handle the idea of a 14-year-old putting up a website. People from U.S are more appreciative, however, and treat you like a professional. Age is not a hindrance with them."

Being a good designer and coder has also won her a lot of friends. "Lots of them wonder if they can do it too. Lots of them pity themselves for not starting early, and are all very supportive, especially my best friend, who has been my mentor." There are boys as well, who ask for help whenever required. "At times they crib saying they don't have the energy to do both, academics and computers. Most just express how proud they are, and how they envy me at times for starting so early."

And what does she do with the money she makes? "I am gadget crazy. I have a digital camera, digital diary, a cell phone and, with my next pay packet, I plan on getting a palm pilot. Also, my parents have never given a second thought before buying me a gadget I have needed for work. No matter how inaccessible or expensive a thing, they have always insisted that I should have a particular gadget if I need it."

But this bratty teenager sure has her head on her shoulders. "Everything excites me about this field. The idea of doing something different, and creating an extraordinary world of my own, really intrigues me. Every website has to be different from the other and to come up with something innovative all the time is what makes me try harder."

The slowdown in the tech industry has also affected her. She says, "Yes, it did affect the orders. People were very eager to get work done earlier, but now they are sticking to the silent game! Lets hope things settle down soon."

We hope so too, Gursimran.


These teens of age
The Electronic fix

Tell us what you think of this article