After dropping out of school, 22-year-old KwaZulu-Natal young genius has been offered a top position in the world-class company – Microsoft as its regional director in South Africa.
At such a young age, Taylor Gibb from Durban will be under the responsibility of have the heavy responsibility of working closely with product teams in Redmond, Washington, United States, as well as other local Microsoft offices to align both business and technical strategy with existing and potential clients of the company.
Taylor Gibb was not fortunate to complete his education and unlike some top shots in the tech world who dropped out of university such as Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, Gibb dropped out of school at the age of 14 and ventured into his field with eyes set on success before fortune smiled on him and he was appointed to the position. He revealed that he always looked for solutions and not problems in any situation he finds himself.
“Leaving school at 14 taught me that I work best outside of my comfort zone. Whenever I get comfortable doing something I know it’s time for change. I need to keep moving and challenging myself; it’s just the type of person I am. There are many times when things get tough, but to me it’s just another challenge. I look for solutions, not problems,” he said.
Taylor Gibb discovered his talent with computers early in life. Thus, after leaving school two weeks into Grade 9, he already knew being involved in computers was something he would want to do. He fixed junk computers in his mother’s garage and discovered that indeed, “it was a natural progression”.
As time passed, Gibb became a successful software engineer at the Derivco branch in Durban which is one of the world’s largest software and gaming development companies.
He also attained the title – the youngest Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in the whole world by speaking publicly at local tech events. The MVP award is one given to those who share their technical expertise of Microsoft products with others in the world.
The position Gibb was appointed to by Microsoft is not a title one can just apply to be employed to.
A Microsoft regional director may only be appointed by another director or a Microsoft employee who has to motivate for a candidate. Once the lists are compiled, the candidates are then screened to see if they qualified for the title at the Microsoft headquarters.
Gibb already has great plans for the position he got at Microsoft and expressed his gratitude for such a privilege.
“It is going to allow me to make a bigger impact in the technology sector. I am very passionate about setting up processes that allow you to maximise ROI [return on investment] on your technical investments and this role is going to allow me to make better decisions on both the technical as well as ‘process’ side of things,” he said.
The young man also left a piece of advice for anyone aspiring to be involved in the tech industry to follow their dreams and be in a position where they are happy with their job.
“If you get up every morning and think ‘Argh, I have to go to work’ there is something wrong,” he specified.
Gibb will be resuming work in the Microsoft HQ in Seattle on April 1.