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The Story of 21-Year-Old Wunderkind, Who Forced Facebook and Google To Fight For Him

The Story of 21-Year-Old Wunderkind, Who Forced Facebook and Google To Fight For Him

Michael Sayman, a 17-yo joined Facebook Inc. as an intern and soon became a full-time engineer by the time he reached 18. Now this Wunderkind is leaving to join Alphabet’s Google. By the way he is only 21!

At Facebook, Sayman joined as a product manager who helped the social media giant to understand how his generation uses their phones, advised on experimental products for teens and helped executives understand trends. At Google, he’ll be a product manager for Assistant, its voice-based service built on the search engine’s giant database.

Google Assistant is a top priority for Sundar Pichai. The Mountain View, California-based company is working to embed the tool across a range of its own products and on other companies’ devices, facing stiff competition from Amazon.com’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. Google confirmed on Monday that Sayman was hired for the Assistant team.

“On a personal level, I also see the Assistant as an opportunity for Google to lower the barrier of entry for kids/teens of all ages and backgrounds, to learn how to program — and encourage them to explore the world of computer science in ways that were once considered impossible,” he wrote. Sayman noted that Zuckerberg has been an “incredible inspiration” and “absolute pleasure to work with.”

Sayman taught himself to make mobile apps at the age of 13,and Facebook discovered him because he was using the company’s developer tools for an iPhone application he created. Ahead of his internship, the company flew him out to meet CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He brought his mom. Sayman was still wearing braces when he became one of Facebook’s youngest employees.


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In a Facebook post confirming his departure, Sayman said he taught himself to code by looking up tutorial videos on Google.

 


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