16 year olds getting developer jobs?

DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMPPosts: 2,480Member ■■■■■■■■■□
Just wondering if the company you own or work for would hire a 16 year old who has been coding for 6 years? I'm thinking in a situation like this creating a github repository would be one way of getting their attention.

Any other ideas that could help a 16 year old get hired? Assuming they have a GED and the technical chops to develop.

Editing previous message, ouch some bad grammar! Sorry was trying to get this in from a mobile device.

Comments

  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Posts: 1,539Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    The type of company that would hire a 16 year old as a developer, more than like falls into a few categories: family business, small startups made by people close to the person, or online niche tech type companies (web site design, etc.).

    A few things really go against a young employee, not even necessarily just a 16 year old.....1. maturity level is generally very low (not referring to in comparison to peers but the future coworkers), 2. even if a 16 year old has been coding for 6 years the significance of their experience is probably fairly low (how can you trust a 16 year old with a $5,000 project for example), and 3. a 16 year old probably has either very little or no work experience to rely on being a dependable employee.

    Finding an apprenticeship type setup would be more productive, but honestly even that might be challenging. Probably would be better off going to a community college (if not starting a 4 year type program), and getting a strong foundation with peers that will improve coding skills.

    With all of that being said, I would definitely be starting a GitHub repository and start building that portfolio.
  • Daniel333Daniel333 Posts: 2,077Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    So my company has indeed done this. Here is how it worked for us

    1) Kid's resume has quite a few certs and a few solid open source contributions. Kid "forgets" to put his age.
    2) Kid does a skype interview, shows off his GIT repos, shows letters of thank you and recommendation from a few open source projects
    3) Kid is brought in for in-person interview. His age becomes obvious. At this point he let's my old boss know his family is on hard times and he was in college (at 17 years old) and had to drop out to take care of a sick mom or something
    4) Kid is brought on as a "intern" with pay , we even housed him in San Francisco for three months. He was probably making 80k or so after exiting the intern phase (not much in SF)
    5) He worked with us for 12 months? 18 months? Something like that - before returning to college. His code was fine, but communication skills were terrible.
    -Daniel
  • devilbonesdevilbones Posts: 318Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Just wondering if the company you own or work for would hire a 16 year old who has been coding for 6 years? I'm thinking in a situation like this creating a github repository for display.

    Any other ideas what could help a 16 year old get hired? Assuming they have a GED and like I stated previous the development chops to produce some worth while products/applications.
    Everytime I see something like this I think about the time I had to take a Linux+ cert exam. I went to a testing site that was near a pretty big government agency, but it was really tucked away and a really shabby place. When I entered the testing center there was a guy looking in the window at his kid taking a test inside. The entire time he was talking about how many certs he had and how the kid likes to make his dad proud, etc. When I got in there, I walked passed the kid and he was sweating and looked really worried. He was probably just like 14 or 15. It only took me like 30 mins to get the exam done and when I came out the dad was commenting on how long it didnt take me. I really just ignored him. I let my kids be kids. They can figure that stuff out when they get older, there is plenty of time.
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,773Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I would think the best option would be having him recommended by a family friend somewhere. I don't think any HR department is going to give serious consideration to a 16 year old without some outside influence.

    Eventually it all comes down to finding the first job so start applying and see what happens.
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,928Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I can't help to wonder if a contract / non-discourse agreement would be legally binding to someone under the age of 18. I think this would be an major concern to any employer, giving you access to there trade secrets/ products under development, etc. You can tell there competitors, the public, post it to the entire internet, and the employer would have no legal recourse, civil or criminal. Man, you should see the cool product I'm working on at Apple, here's some details, shh I'm not support to tell anyone.

    One second thought I'll wait two years before I hire you. If I do hire you, the men's bathroom needs to be cleaned again, Bob really made a mess in there again, I certainly wouldn't allow you access to anything being developed.

    Cyber Security; "We traced down how the hackers got in to our systems and stole our data. One of our developers purposely coded in a back door to our software and provided it to the hackers for payment."

    CEO: "What! Call the FBI, have our lawyers sue! We'll make an example of him, no one will dare to screw with us again!"

    Cyber Security: "Well sir, he's only 16."

    CEO: " Er, in the case fire him, tell his parents to ground him, mention this to no one or your fired too. The board will have my head if they found out we hired a 16 year old. Oh and while your at it, Fire the HR rep that hired him, the HR VP, and the the department development manager."

    In short the downside of hiring a 16 year old, far outweigh the rewards, I don't care how talented or brilliant he is.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,016Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I don't think remember ever hiring a 16 year old before but I probably have before. I do remember hiring a 17 year old and a 19 year old at different companies before. Both were decent software engineers and very talented. It was entry level and as far as I can recall, they did a good job according to their direct managers.

    @TechGromit - you are correct and good point. I remember that the 17 year old kid could not legally sign an Agreement in the state but we drew up paperwork for his guardian to sign. It really wasn't a big deal.

    @DatabaseHead - I don't considere age a criteria in hiring decisions. If the individual can do the job and it's a good fit, that's all that matters to me.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Posts: 2,480Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    This was more of a theoritcal post, in regards to my son. We have been working hard on getting his coding skills up, he's 10 right now so he has 6 years to go before he gets into the work force potentially.

    It really is amazing at their age. Their minds are like sponges and they can pick up on concepts really fast!

    We are currently working through Java Script and finished a fairly tough Ruby course. Just a daily activity, before video games or reading or tv etc... It's a module or two. I figure if we can focus 15 - 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week that would put us at ~780 hours of coding over the course of 6 years. With the chance of ramping up as he gets older and his attention span and desire increases.

    Thanks for following up and providing insights. I find these very informative.
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Posts: 535Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hey I like that, a balance of learning and play. I've seen too many parents push and push their kids to learn the "elite" stuff, math, music, sports, etc., and allow no time for recreational activities. Granted for some kids, some of those activities are fun, but many minds need a break to process all the stuff they studied. I know the parents mean very well, at least most I've known did, but pushing a kid too hard just burns them from stress.

    Yeah he's off to a great start. Who knows, by 16, he could already create the Next Killer App and not have to worry about getting a job lol.
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,928Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    This was more of a theoritcal post, in regards to my son. We have been working hard on getting his coding skills up, he's 10 right now so he has 6 years to go before he gets into the work force potentially.

    Why is your target 16 instead of 18?

    If you really want to get him into the work force sooner, why not put him to work in a child labor shoe factory.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • kaijukaiju Posts: 402Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    "16" seems to be the magic age for the OP. The other post/thread also references the age 16.
    Work smarter NOT harder! Semper Gumby!
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Posts: 2,480Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    LordQarlyn wrote: »
    Hey I like that, a balance of learning and play. I've seen too many parents push and push their kids to learn the "elite" stuff, math, music, sports, etc., and allow no time for recreational activities. Granted for some kids, some of those activities are fun, but many minds need a break to process all the stuff they studied. I know the parents mean very well, at least most I've known did, but pushing a kid too hard just burns them from stress.

    Yeah he's off to a great start. Who knows, by 16, he could already create the Next Killer App and not have to worry about getting a job lol.

    That would be cool!
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Posts: 2,480Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    TechGromit wrote: »
    Why is your target 16 instead of 18?

    If you really want to get him into the work force sooner, why not put him to work in a child labor shoe factory.

    I want him to make a good income and a great quality of life........
  • kaijukaiju Posts: 402Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Let the child mature. Books and test do not build experience.
    Work smarter NOT harder! Semper Gumby!
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Posts: 2,480Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    kaiju wrote: »
    Let the child mature. Books and test do not build experience.

    We are going to keep going hard at the code (within reason). Skills are really important as we all know.

    I look at it like this. The kids who learn a foreign language early usually have a easier time picking it up and becoming proficient.
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Posts: 535Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    We are going to keep going hard at the code (within reason). Skills are really important as we all know.

    I look at it like this. The kids who learn a foreign language early usually have a easier time picking it up and becoming proficient.

    I estimate I lost out on anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 lifetime income so far, just because I was lazy while growing up an expat brat in an Arab country and didn't avail myself of learning Arabic as a kid. I was in the perfect environment to learn it. I know several opportunities I could have had starting with the Defense Language Proficiency bonus when I was in the Army, $400 extra per month. A lot for a new private lol.
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,016Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    We are going to keep going hard at the code (within reason). Skills are really important as we all know.
    Raw coding skills are useful but as your son's talent is developing in the next few years, you may want to also have him explore the algorithms that are used in software engineering. I come across a lot of good developers but they can't explain things like how a garbage collector works or describe a basic btree.

    Also, understanding software design patterns so that coding choices and architecture can be communicated is hugely important for someone to reach seniority.
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,928Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    LordQarlyn wrote: »
    I estimate I lost out on anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 lifetime income so far ...

    I'm out Hundreds of billions so far, due to my poor choices in Life, Why oh why didn't I pick winning lottery numbers for this weeks Powerball drawing! I blame myself for failing yet again, not winning the lottery. If my life was properly aligned and centered, I shouldn't have any problems winning the lottery every week. Don't get me started on my lousy choices on Sports betting.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,078Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Giving them a platform to achieve success from is admirable but there's more to "success" than dollars. There's a bit that's been getting a lot of play over the last few years, that people who spend money on experiences are generally happier than people who spend money on "things". People have their entire adult life to earn money, you only get to experience being a kid/teen once in your life.
  • LordQarlynLordQarlyn Posts: 535Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    TechGromit wrote: »
    I'm out Hundreds of billions so far, due to my poor choices in Life, Why oh why didn't I pick winning lottery numbers for this weeks Powerball drawing! I blame myself for failing yet again, not winning the lottery. If my life was properly aligned and centered, I shouldn't have any problems winning the lottery every week. Don't get me started on my lousy choices on Sports betting.

    LOL, WTF Chuck, yeah, um, like that's not the same at all dudeicon_lol.gif. You can't control outcomes of lotteries and sports. But you sure can make decisions to study and invest in yourself or just spend your life goofing off. Indeed, the money I did not squander on lotteries and sports betting I used to invest in myself and improved my situation. Had I learned to be fluent in Arabic, based on the salaries of jobs that require English and Arabic I've seen, I could be making extra money now, that's proven, that's quantifiable. But hey thanks for the office laugh.
    EANx wrote: »
    Giving them a platform to achieve success from is admirable but there's more to "success" than dollars. There's a bit that's been getting a lot of play over the last few years, that people who spend money on experiences are generally happier than people who spend money on "things". People have their entire adult life to earn money, you only get to experience being a kid/teen once in your life.

    Then don't lose the mindset of being a kid/teen. icon_cool.gif I've not lost my childlike wonder of the universe. Experiences can be enjoyed throughout one's life and yep, they are much better than mere things which often lose their luster quick. That's how I justified my plunking down the cash for a ride on the Concorde 20 years ago, everyone thought I was stupid but it was the best plane ride I had ever and an experience I remember still today.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Posts: 2,480Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    paul78 wrote: »
    Raw coding skills are useful but as your son's talent is developing in the next few years, you may want to also have him explore the algorithms that are used in software engineering. I come across a lot of good developers but they can't explain things like how a garbage collector works or describe a basic btree.

    Also, understanding software design patterns so that coding choices and architecture can be communicated is hugely important for someone to reach seniority.

    Paul thanks for providing these insights. Any idea how to gradually introduce this to a younger guy?
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,016Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Paul thanks for providing these insights. Any idea how to gradually introduce this to a younger guy?
    I think you probably want to wait until he has taken high-school algebra to introduce algorithms, unless he shows interest and wants to pick it up on his own. If your son has a passion for it, perhaps he may be interested in some of the competitions. You could consider getting him involved in some of the teams that compete towards the IOI (not to be confused with the Kpop band). International Olympiad in Informatics

    In the US - I came across this - USA Computing Olympiad which I think is related to the IOI.
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