Meet 21-Year-Old Ghanaian Tech Whiz Working With Instagram And Snapchat

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CNN is celebrating young Ghanaian tech genius Iddris Sandu.

His brilliance has taken him to places, and at 21, he is said to be one of the best young tech minds in the US.

When he was 13, his parents moved to the United States and he, still 13, got the opportunity to work at Google in Venice, California learning how to code setting off his career as we know it today. 

Within two years of his Google stint, Iddris, (then 15), designed an app to help students at his high school find their classrooms easily. That same year, he received the Presidential Scholar Award from then-President Barack Obama, earning him a visit to the White House.After his stint at Google, Iddris went on to work for Instagram, writing a program that would filter key sites or activities by a user’s location to identify possible interests. The design has since been overhauled, but it led Iddris to Uber, where he created software called Autonomous Collision Detection Interface to help detect a driver’s hand motions and position.

Following this, he went on to create algorithms for Snapchat and also consult for Twitter. 

It’s interesting to note that the 21-year-old never went to college. Speaking about this in an interview with CNN, Iddris said:“I couldn’t afford it, being a minority. I also didn’t want to wait four years; I wanted to make an impact now.”


Sandu is planning to return to Africa to join what he hopes will be a technology revolution that aims at bettering the lives of people.



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