But when we walked out, two hours later, he was something else: a five-year-old officially qualified to install and configure Microsoft's Windows operating system.
Ayan Qureshi perhaps the youngest ever Microsoft Certified Professional. That means he knows how to do things like encrypt a removable drive using Microsoft's Bitlocker encryption software or troubleshoot Internet Explorer bugs.
The 1990s-tinged certification test he took inside that conference center is still de rigeur for many corporate and government jobs. Microsoft calls these tests "rigorous, industry-proven, and industry-recognized exams." But for Ayan—who scored 700 out of 1,000 on the test, the minimum score required to pass—it was a fun thing to do in between swimming and playing tag with his brother.
Ayan, who turned six shortly after his September 24 exam, started getting into computers about three years ago. "He used to sit next to me and watch me very carefully," says his dad, Asim Qureshi, who also works in IT. So Asim started explaining the basics to his son: how to turn a computer on, how to power down, how to access the control panel. Before he knew it, Asim had built his son a mini computer-lab in his home office, and Ayan was spending one-to-two hours per day playing around with the operating system.