IT is his passion...

Varun came third beating 20,000 participants in the online contest held by Microsoft

Staff Reporter

Coimbatore : A goal in mind and conviction in heart will never be a burden for a person who wants to get ahead of others. A head start at a young age is the key to success. As the saying goes "It is attitude that determines altitude" the 17-year-old Varun Srinivasan has proved what it takes to go beyond academic grades and carve a niche for oneself.

He has won the third prize in `Microsoft Imagine Cup 2005,' the world-level Microsoft information technology competition for high school students. What is it that distinguishes such successful people from others? "Determination. It is out of my interest I explored computer programming and languages such as visual basic and HTML. I also follow news and developments in technology very closely. So, when the online competition came up, I wanted to give it a shot," he says.

The online competition involves real-life problem solving and demonstrating one's skills in networks, databases and servers and is open to students between the age group 14 and 18. More than 20,000 students participated of whom more than 6,000 were from India.

Varun has been interested in computers from a very young age. Though he did not undergo any formal education in computers, he explored it on his own, especially areas like gaming, software and hardware.

"We got him a computer when he was eight. He started playing games and in the process learnt a lot," says Shanthi Srinivasan, his mother, who is the Managing Director of Holiday Travels Private Limited. His father, K. V. Srinivasan, is the Managing Director of Premier Fine Yarns Private Limited and Sree Narasimha Textiles (Sulur).

Varun's consistent effort fetched him the third place. "I was thrilled when the result was out. The first round was a 30-minute quiz and the top 30 were short-listed. The second round had 11 sections - 10 sections comprised 90 questions and the last section was a 10-page case study. It dealt with areas such as network security, databases and providing solutions," he adds.

Varun is also a freelance writer for SKOAR, a quarterly computer gaming magazine. He has reviewed computer games such as Ege of mythology and America's army. Educated at Stanes Higher Secondary School till Class X, he is now at the International School in Bangalore. His future plans?

"Pursue a double degree in textiles and computers in the U.S."

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