TORONTO : Vedant Deokate was browsing Instagram on his mother’s old laptop when he came across a link to a website development competition. He entered the contest, wrote 2,066 lines of code over two days, and landed a dream job with a US company. The salary package: about Rs 33 lakh a year.
The New Jersey advertising agency wanted Vedant to join their HRD team to “assign work and manage other coders”, but later withdrew their offer after learning that he was only 15. He was chosen from about 1,000 entries from across the globe.
Asking him not to be disappointed, the company suggested Vedant should complete his education and contact them for a job. “We are impressed with your experience, professionalism and approach,” the firm wrote to Vedant. “The team enjoyed your presentation and valued your insights into our strategy.”
Vedant had developed a website, animeeditor.com, that offers patrons the option to upload videos like YouTube, with additional features of blogs, vlogs, chatbot and also a video watching platform.
He had won a gold medal in a science exhibition at his school at Narayana e-techno, Wathoda, by designing a radar system model.
Vedant’s father Rajesh and mother Ashwini are assistant professors in engineering colleges of Nagpur. They would mostly keep Ashwini’s laptop in the locker and mobile phone in the car, fearing the teenager may neglect his studies.
Vedant said he would avidly search the net for online classes and had attended around two dozen tutorial sessions on software development, coding and techniques like Python during the lockdown on his mother’s laptop. Vedant worked on this slow and outdated laptop to develop the website — a feat that surprised many.
Rajesh is now thinking of buying him a new laptop. “We had no clue. It was a call from my son’s school that told us about this job offer,” he said. “Vedant received the email from the US company and was confused. He told his teachers and they were stunned when it turned out to be authentic. They helped my son write back to the company, and told them he was only 15 and studying in Class 10.”
Ashwini, a professor of computer science and electronics, said Vedant would remain glued to her laptop — much to her anxiety — but she had no clue he was actually working on something productive. “We have always been hard on him, stressing on academics. But his teachers and principal (Rani Bhoyar) called me just to say he is a gifted child,” said Rajesh.