Depending on where your interest lies, you may or may not be familiar with 22-year old Ghanaian tech genius, Iddris Sandu. He has been touted as the future of technology, developing code for the likes of Uber, Twitter, and Instagram. He’s been spotted with Jaden Smith, Kanye West, and even transformed the late Nipsey Hussle’s The Marathon Store into a smart tech experiential store.
Recently Forbes put out a now-deleted article about the tech prodigy and all the wonderful things he has done (allegedly) but was soon after called out by Lex Alexander (@TheLexTimes) on twitter for his coding credentials and achievements. Lex is a self-taught coder and software engineer for Ticketmaster.
With Lex making many claims about Iddris and then recanting once he himself has done more research just raises a couple of questions…
- Why wait until now to call out Iddris?
- Why call out Iddris when he is in Ghana buying land to start and create a tech building?
- As a self-taught coder, why call out another self-taught coder for his achievements?
What we do know is that Forbes has taken their article down and have yet to see any statements from the major tech companies discrediting Iddris.
It’s very strange the timing of these events and the motive. In this new era of cancel culture, calling people out, and fact-checking it seems that even with more good work of people actually doing something, those that seem to be on the sideline will try and discredit you.
Iddris responses to the speculation backs up his accomplishments but also provide clarity on what was actually done (by him):
[ a thread]— iddris sandu (@iddris_sandu) September 17, 2019
in the tech space, there's always going to be questions about contribution, ownership, value etc.
rightfully so, it's a very competitive space
i was legit like 14-15 years old pitching ideas in meetings with congress-people, company exec's , ceo and designer's.
there's alot i choose to not disclose about my dealings with major individuals & companies ; mostly because i was so young and had to navigate around unconventional avenues as a teen due to my age.— iddris sandu (@iddris_sandu) September 17, 2019
here's is an example of such regarding code I wrote for (lausd) when I was 15. pic.twitter.com/qW4M4Chgog
my freshman year in high school,— iddris sandu (@iddris_sandu) September 17, 2019
I developed an app written in java using at that time, the eclipse IDE.
not only did I fully develop and self-fund the app, I also managed and maintained it throughout my whole period while in high school.
(snippets of the source code) pic.twitter.com/5S6uK9qQnf
in the post above 👆🏾— iddris sandu (@iddris_sandu) September 17, 2019
the band I'm wearing was actually a prototype of a NFC enabled band that i created called the N-TAG.
it was a tag, which allowed data retrieval and was powered by BluetoothLE.
via a handshake, user's could share bits of data to the app.
(similar to BUMP) pic.twitter.com/lfWSmCmSZs
after developing the app for my HS, I saw the importance of focusing on STEM within inner cities.— iddris sandu (@iddris_sandu) September 17, 2019
this is when I started advising leaders around STEM like Joe Buscaino, Mayor Aja Brown, Janice Hahn, and Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garceti.
– all of whom recognize my work. pic.twitter.com/XTc8AwE7rb
after my HS app, i was re-invited to the white house and met the POTUS.— iddris sandu (@iddris_sandu) September 17, 2019
I want to clarify THAT the actual title of my award was not "the presidential scholar award" it was a commendation certificate signed by POTUS Obama himself
My name was seldom spelt correctly on my awards pic.twitter.com/432CDeXW8m
here's a snippet of ACDI.— iddris sandu (@iddris_sandu) September 17, 2019
to clarify, I fully created this myself (written in c#) in 2016
i then pitched this to uber, but the concept ultimately wasn't picked up.
so to state officially,
this product concept did not end up going to market under uber. pic.twitter.com/ti6DsOGdJM
for snapchat ,— iddris sandu (@iddris_sandu) September 17, 2019
i advised designers to test new design fabrications for spectacles.
Here is a snapshot of my version of the specs (no pun intended)
again, these designs did not end up going to market under snapchat –
that's all i can publically disclose about that. pic.twitter.com/ASo6bMzAkE
in society especially being African,— iddris sandu (@iddris_sandu) September 17, 2019
we're taught to alway's smile through and make it seem like it's all good.
taking an unconventional route to success as a person of color is frowned upon but the reality is this;
that itself is our reality.
my reality is that I'm 22 years old.— iddris sandu (@iddris_sandu) September 17, 2019
im only just beginning.
my unconventional journey is what has separatedcme from the rest and I think this is the biggest take away from my story.
yet, i will continue to break down barriers, bridge gaps and be a voice for the unheard.
- Iddris in Ghana
- Lex Alexanders attempt at attending a coding boot camp.
- Lex’s journey to get to a software engineer
- Iddris & Nipsey
- Iddris Tech & Golf
What do we learn from Sandu’s response?
In the world of tech, things that are built are not always used by the company. Sandu’s age was a concern for a lot of the projects he worked on. Haters are gonna hate but documenting your accomplishments is key in today’s world. Being young and black in America is hard to navigate. At the core, there are better ways to inquire about someone’s resume than twitter.