LinkedIn bans ‘wonder kid’ SpaceX engineer, 14, hired by Elon Musk

‘I will be joining the coolest company on the planet,’ teenager wrote on LinkedIn, before the site deleted his account for being too young

Anthony Cuthbertson
Friday 16 June 2023 15:09 BST
Kairan Quazi will become the youngest ever graduate of Santa Clara University, California, when he graduates on 17 June, 2023
Kairan Quazi will become the youngest ever graduate of Santa Clara University, California, when he graduates on 17 June, 2023 (Santa Clara University)

Elon Musk has hired a 14-year-old “wonder kid” to work as a software engineer at SpaceX.

Kairan Quazi will join the billionaire’s firm after graduating from Santa Clara University in California later this month, where he is set to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science and Engineering.

The teenager has already completed an internship at Intel and will work on SpaceX’s Starlink team, which is building the world’s largest satellite internet network.

“I will be joining the coolest company on the planet as a software engineer on the Starlink engineering team,” he wrote in a LinkedIn post last week.

“One of the rare companies that did not use my age as an arbitrary and outdated proxy for maturity and ability.”

His LinkedIn profile has since been removed as the business networking site requires users to be at least 16 years old.

In an Instagram post responding to the ban, Quazi said his removal from the platform was “illogical, primitive nonsense” that amounted to discrimination.

“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. “LinkedIn showing everyone how regressive some tech company policies are.”

A LinkedIn spokesperson told The Independent: “We appreciate his enthusiasm to join LinkedIn and applaud his incredible success, however we have an age limit in place of 16 years of age and that extends to all members.”

Quazi will become the youngest graduate in the US college’s 172-year history, having jumped from third grade to the community college Las Positas College when he was just nine years old.

Local media has described him as a genius and a “wonder kid” for his academic achievements, with IQ tests suggesting he is in the 99.9th percentile of the general population.

“I think my college years have been the happiest years of my life because I had a lot of autonomy, really, to share my journey,” he told the Los Angeles Times.

“I think one of the things I really want to do with telling my story is hopefully have leaders in influential positions challenge their biases and misconceptions. Hopefully, I can open the door to more people like me.”

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