Tanmay Bakshi, a 13-year-old programmer, is on a mission to educate 100,000 aspiring coders

When most of us were making our way through first grade, Tanmay Bakshi was a programming prodigy.

His love affair with computer programming started out as fun and games at the tender age of five. “Computers just fascinated me with how they could do anything. They were like magic,” Bakshi told Quartz in an interview. “Just seeing my name on the screen or just seeing the color of the screen change, it was really fascinating. I wanted to know what went behind it and how it actually worked.”


 “At five, everything was like a toy for me. I didn’t know that people did programming as a job, that people were paid to do this,” he said. “My dad [also a programmer by profession] was able to see that curiosity and was able to help me nurture that passion,” Bakshi said. His initial rendezvous with programming included experimenting with simple languages like FoxPro, Bash, and VB (Visual Basic).

When most of us were making our way through first grade, Tanmay Bakshi was a programming prodigy.
His love affair with computer programming started out as fun and games at the tender age of five. “Computers just fascinated me with how they could do anything. They were like magic,” Bakshi told Quartz in an interview. “Just seeing my name on the screen or just seeing the color of the screen change, it was really fascinating. I wanted to know what went behind it and how it actually worked.”
“At five, everything was like a toy for me. I didn’t know that people did programming as a job, that people were paid to do this,” he said. “My dad [also a programmer by profession] was able to see that curiosity and was able to help me nurture that passion,” Bakshi said. His initial rendezvous with programming included experimenting with simple languages like FoxPro, Bash, and VB (Visual Basic).

These days, Bakshi is working on a project, “The Cognitive Story,” that is trying to help a quadriplegic woman communicate. “When she was seven, she could communicate properly. Now she’s twenty-nine and she cannot communicate at all,” Bakshi said about “Boo,” who is named after the only sound she can make. “Now we’re really trying to see how we can use the cognitive tech to augment her ability to communicate with the outside world.” Bakshi’s role in the project is to use cognitive computing, deep neural networks, and artificial intelligence technology to decipher EEG brain waves in order to try and understand what she’s saying.
Below are a few more glimpses into Bakshi’s life from his conversation with Quartz.

Who is your role model?
Steve Jobs, because of how he was so passionate about everything he would do, and how he had this perseverance to stay dedicated no matter what.

What advice would you give to aspiring young programmers with big ambitions?
There are three things I’d like to say here: Start small, start easy, and start playing. First of all, you have to be passionate about programming before you can program. You have to not be afraid of errors and you have to just keep trying. Every time you find a solution to an error, you’re never going to face it again. Every time, you do that, you’re just getting better and better at programming. And, of course, every problem has a solution.

If you were not a programmer, what would you be?
I definitely think a teacher. I absolutely love to share my knowledge. Whatever I learnt here, everybody does not need to spend their time and their energy to learn what I’ve already learnt, that I can show them. And really, why reinvent the wheel of knowledge when you already have someone who can share it with you?

What’s one thing on your wish list that you haven’t done yet?
One of the things I always wanted to do is get my book signed by Amitabh Bachchan.
Via qz contributed by abhattacharya

Tanmay Bakshi profile:

Tanmay Bakshi is a Software/Cognitive Developer, Keynote Speaker, Algorithm-ist, IBM Champion for Cloud, Honorary IBM Cloud Advisor and author of Hello Swift! Tanmay is host of an IBM Facebook Live series called Watson Made Simple with Tanmay and has over 12,000 followers of his YouTube channel Tanmay Teaches, with a resolve to help 100,000 children and other beginners on their journey to innovate through coding. Tanmay supports initiatives like STEAM, Everyone Can Code, Girls Who Code and Kids Can Code. At the impressive young age of 9, his app tTables, which helps practice multiplication tables, was accepted into the iOS app store; at the age of 12, he presented one of his many algorithms, AskTanmay, the world’s first web-based NLQA (Natural Language Question Answering) System to be powered by IBM Watson, at IBM InterConnect 2016. Tanmay has been exploring and experimenting with cognitive computing and creating his own, custom-built Machine Learning algorithms in the fields of Audiology, Electroencephalogram Pattern Recognition and bridging numeric with image patterns.

Connect with him @ Linkedin Profile