Karthick Arun is a certified Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) cloud practitioner. That is a title held by many others around the world. Karthick however, is the only one to earn it at nine years of age.
As the world’s youngest Amazon Cloud expert, Karthick has proved to be highly knowledgeable in the four areas covered by the industry-recognized certification exam: cloud concepts, security, technology, billing and pricing. But when he first arrived at the AWS testing site, he was turned away.
“I couldn’t take the test because of age limitations,” Karthick, now 10 years old, says in a video interview. “I was too young.”
More specifically, he was just under a decade too young. The policy at the time only allowed individuals aged 18 and older to take the certification tests.
A son’s determination, a father’s support
Karthick’s dad, Arun Arunachalam, was undeterred by the age policy. As an AWS certified developer himself, and the one to teach Karthick much of what he knows, Arunchalam knew his son had what it takes to be successful.
“I sent a note to Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon Web Services,” Arunchalam writes in a LinkedIn blog post. “I explained to him what had happened. To our surprise, he replied back.”
Impressed by Karthick’s keen interest in coding, Jassy and his team amended the age policy to allow Karthick to take the test after all.
After getting a new test date, the father and son duo returned to the testing center where Karthick completed the 90 minute test in less than half an hour.
“He came back with a big smile and told me, ‘Dad, I got this,’’’ Arunchalam recalls.
“It was sorta easy for me,” says the young coder.
The ease was likely a result of the work the two put in beforehand. After seeing his dad prepare for and take the AWS certificate test a year prior, Karthick wanted to do the same himself and studied every day to prepare for the test.
“This was a year-long journey,” Arunchalan says in his blog post. “He was very persistent in me teaching him something every day even if it was for five or 10 minutes a day.”
The work clearly paid off.
“I’m gonna create a robot dog where you can pet it and stuff like that without all the cost,” Karthick says of his next project, which will use AWS’ DeepRacer technology . “And you don’t have to walk it in the morning.”
That’s after he attends an AWS robotics team immersion experience over the summer. The program, designed just for him, will allow him to work with some of the top minds in tech. It will take place in Karthick’s hometown of Los Angeles, California.
Additionally, Karthick is starting an AWS Coding Club at his school, with the approval of his principal. He also wants to continue going to conferences to network and learn more. And he plans to work on getting his Alexa certification and the same developer’s certification as his dad.