This 12-year-old uses his tech knowledge and expertise to develop a better future for himself and others.

During the early months of the year 2020, Arjun Sharda was a student in Austin, Texas who was interested in technology.

Like many people, his daily routine changed in March 2020, when the global pandemic led to many schools switching from in-person classes to having students learn at home, often via Zoom classes with their teachers.

Arjun said the experience showed him how technology can help people make quick changes when a new situation happens.

And that’s a lot to learn when you’re in the third grade.

Arjun has learned many more lessons and skills since then.

A Different Kind of School Project

During late 2021, Arjun and other students began a school project. That project became a nonprofit organization called Making Bots Fun.

Arjun’s work with this nonprofit included finding people who were interested in open source tools and making bots on Discord. The Discord platform is an app that lets you share voice, video, and text chats with friends, online communities, and developers.

“It’s important to get feedback from your customers or users,” Arjun said.

FYI: A bot, which is short for robot, is a software app made to do certain tasks as part of another computer program or to act like a human activity.

Arjun had friends who made servers and who wanted to use bots on Discord.

So, he made advanced bots and AI (artificial intelligence) chatbots, which are computer programs made to act like human conversations happening online.

It didn’t take long for Making Bots Fun to partner with Discord.

Within just a few days after starting this project, Making Bots Fun had 25 server users using their bots on Discord. That number eventually grew to about 100 servers and Discord verified Making Bots Fun for its entertainment chatbots called Random Messages.

“One of the great things is I got to help other people learn codes,” Arjun said.

But Arjun did face technical difficulties and other challenges while working with the nonprofit.

For example, sometimes the codes would not work. This sometimes led to server users having to wait longer than usual to use the nonprofit’s bots.

Arjun chose to see these problems as a good opportunity to learn more about his industry.

“It’s actually a fun challenge because you get to help people,” he said.

A Book, a World Record, and New Opportunities

Arjun is now a 12-year-old tech developer, writer, and author.

While he is designated as the youngest computer programmer by the global world records organization, the Record Holders Republic Registry of Official World Records.

In April 2023, Arjun’s first book, “The Salesperson’s Direction to Clients”, was published. The book is starting to bring in sales and a few copies were sold during the first month.

“I hope readers learn that you have to step in the shoes of the client and understand their needs to attract clients,” he said.

He has worked with other people interested in tech on different projects, including NextGuild, his current project. Arjun co-founded NextGuild with Erik Thorsell, a student who also works with tech.

Arjun and Erik are working on how NextGuild can make digital libraries more accessible to beginner developers.

Arjun has also been building his tech skills.

His expertise includes certified specializations in Python, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, TypeScript, and Java. He also earned certificates for completing online tech programs from Stanford University, Meta, Google, and Amazon.

Arjun said a tech certification program covers a lot of information and it can seem overwhelming at first. For Arjun, the average program can take a few days to about a week to finish.

He said starting with the basics and learning simpler ideas can help anyone start a project or a course that may seem difficult.

“Everybody has a starting point in life,” Arjun said.

Arjun’s Next Steps

One of Arjun’s goals will become a reality in August 2023. He will be a guest speaker at CloudX’s DeveloperWeek conference. CloudX is a software development company and the conference will be held virtually as well as in person in San Mateo, California.

He will discuss artificial intelligence (AI) and other development and tech programs.

Arjun said he enjoys being an entrepreneur and he hopes other kids and teens will think about starting their own businesses, too.

“One of the best things is that you get to make something new,” Arjun said. “You can be unique. You can explore your own creativity. There are no boundaries when you have your own organization.”