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SpaceX Hires 14-Year-Old Software Engineer

Darren Maung
Darren is an aspiring writer who wishes to share or create stories to the world and bring humanity together as one. A massive Star Wars nerd and history buff, he finds enjoyable, heart-warming or interesting subjects in any written media.
Published: June 14, 2023
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on May 21, 2023 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX has a new employee, 14-year-old Kairan Quazi. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Elon Musk’s aeronautics company, SpaceX, has found a new software engineer to join the Starlink division, Kairan Quazi. What is really astounding is that this new employee is only 14-years-old. 

Typically, at such an age, he would barely be out of middle school however, Quazi is already joining one of the largest tech giants in the world.

According to the Seattle TImes, Kairan (pronounced Ky-ren) will be graduating from Santa Clara University as its youngest graduate, obtaining his bachelor’s degree before joining SpaceX.

“I will be joining the coolest company on the planet as a software engineer on the Starlink engineering team. One of the rare companies that did not use my age as an arbitrary and outdated proxy for maturity and ability,” Quazi wrote in a LinkedIn post on June 8.

“I’m really excited for this new chapter of my life,” he added.

He has already accepted the offer from SpaceX and will start working with the company in July. He is planning to move from Pleasanton, California, to live in Washington state with his mother, Jullia, where he will link up with the Starlink team in Redmond.

“They have been really accommodating of my schedule,”Quazi told USA Today. “I was elated and surprised by how quickly they made the decision. The SpaceX opportunity resonates with my deep desire to be part of something bigger.”

Quazi also added that he had gone through “10 rounds of interviews” with SpaceX before he got the job. Yet, the boy has not yet met the man himself, Elon Musk.


Who is Kairan Quazi?

Kairan’s incredible journey began when his mother recognized his “intense” temperament, when he would throw a tantrum if she stopped reading to him. He would be calmed by listening to NPR. All of this seemingly happened when Kairan was only a few months old.

By the age of two, he was already speaking complete sentences, baffling doctors with his off-the-charts level of intelligence. By the age of five, Quazi let his intelligence shine by scoring on an IQ test above the 99.9th percentile of the general population. 

But, his accelerated growth came at a cost; he had become too advanced for the “mainstream education.”

“I think by third grade, it became painfully obvious to my teachers, parents and pediatrician that mainstream education wasn’t a great fit for my exponential learning abilities,” Quazi said in an interview.

When he was 10, a pediatrician told his parents that he had to be on a “more accelerated path,” leaving them without any way to have the boy accepted into a university.

Eventually, the Quazis found their answer; their son would sign up for Las Positas, a Livermore-based community college. At only 10 years old, he had already acquired an internship at Intel Labs before finally being transferred to Santa Clara University at age 11.

“When I first started [at Santa Clara University], people were really intrigued,” he said. “But after a few days, I think the novelty wore off… and I think a lot of them realized that I’m a pretty normal person.”

Quazi would spend the next three years studying computer science and engineering before finally being Santa Clara University’s youngest graduate.

“I think there’s a conventional mindset that I’m missing out on childhood, but I don’t think that’s true,” Quazi told ABC7 News. “I think, again, that mindset would have me graduating middle school now.”

Despite his extraordinary intelligence, Quazi has faced struggles with job hunting. After applying for dozens of jobs in a year, he received 95 rejections. He had only gained three full-time offers. According to Ahmed Amer, Quazi’s academic advisor and associate professor of computer science and engineering, he saw the boy struggle to be taken seriously because of his age. He hoped that he could prevail past the judgment.

“I always try to remember this phrase my mom says, which is: we’re always where we are supposed to be,” Quazi said.