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MCSE certification? It's child's play for eleven-year-old

MCSE certification? It's child's play for eleven-year-old

By Esther Shein

Once he has some money saved, Atchut Paturi is planning to start a Web page design company. No big deal these days--such companies are a dime a dozen. But there probably aren't many that are run by 11- year-olds. And an 11-year-old who is certified, to boot. In April, Paturi received the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certification, and in July he became a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.

Atchut has been interested in technology since he was four and played computer games. He trained for the certifications at the Chicago- based American Institute of Computers (AIC), a computer training and consulting firm, where his father, Kasi, is a partner. Studying for the four exams that comprise the MCP and the six for the MCSE wasn't always easy, Achut says. "I think that learning new things is fun, but the hard part was learning the concepts for the exams."

In order to practice the concepts he was learning, Atchut had to simulate a corporate environment. With his dad's help, he set up a few computers to make them act like a network. "None of the concepts were really hard to learn," he says. But figuring out how to get one piece of information across a lot of computers to another computer by changing settings was challenging. "I practiced a lot."

But Atchut doesn't plan to rest on his laurels. He is building Web pages pro bono for the non-profit Indo-American Political League (IAPL) and a small medical clinic in Indiana. When he isn't working on computers, Atchut likes to read and play hockey and tennis.

The senior Paturi, who does not hold any IT certifications, wasn't surprised by his son's accomplishment: "I asked him, `Are you really determined, because it takes a lot of time.' Once I saw he wanted to do it, I told him how to prepare. He has the instinct to learn."

For others seeking Microsoft certification, Atchut has this suggestion about how to approach the task. His advice: "study and learn and practice the concepts."

Esther Shein is a contributing editor based in Framingham, Mass.

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