LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE (CBSLA.com) — You think getting a job in these tough economic times is tough now, wait until you see that younger competition coming down the pike: Whiz kids are joining the techno work force in force.
“Everything in the digital world is built by code; it powers everything,” says 15-year-old computer and techno whiz James Anderson.
If code is key and powers everything, Anderson, a soon-to-be sophomore at Flintridge Prep in La Canada, is already a seasoned coder.
KCAL9’s Rachel Kim reported about Anderson and the kids of his generation. Sought after by top computer companies, earning hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars a week.
“Coding is basically controlling computers via text,” explains Anderson, “kind of like a mixture of math and English.”
Two summers ago, at 13, James got a summer internship at Planet Argon, a web start-up in Portland, Ore. It was a priceless experience that paid.
“I was paid $900 for the two weeks, plus travel reimbursement. They encouraged me because of how young I was to come out and learn,” he says.
Planet Argon isn’t alone in their recruitment efforts.
According to Bloomberg.com, technology companies are trying to get an edge by looking out for younger talent and hiring interns out of high school because more people are getting into technology earlier.
Anderson says that’s because anyone can learn to code and work on software online for free.
“I’m friends with a lot of high schooler coders and a lot of them are working at start-ups and other companies,” Anderson says.
Anderson’s mom, Lisa Hamilton, is proud of her son. The teen has taught himself several programming languages and built apps through online tutorials.
“Because of his Twitter feed, and his GitHub and all these things, he gets all these recruiters often who don’t know he’s a kid and they’re like ‘Oh, would you like a job at X company,’ so I think it’s great kids have these opportunities early on,” Hamilton says.
This summer, Anderson is finishing up an app he’s developed called Haystack. It will help people rent and loan items they don’t necessarily want to buy.
He has this advice for other teens hoping to follow in his footsteps.
“Always learn and always code; it should be a hobby, not just so you can get a job,” Anderson says.