For most people, the words “summer job” conjure images of teenagers flipping burgers or lifeguarding for little more than minimum wage. At Silicon Valley’s biggest companies, though, things are a little different: Tucked within the confines of Facebook or Airbnb, even a high school student can earn thousands of dollars per month as an intern.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, tech companies in the Valley are pulling in teenagers who’ve demonstrated an aptitude for programming. It highlights the case of 17-year-old Michael Sayman, who earned an internship slot at Facebook after using the social network’s developer tools to build the mobile game 4 Snaps. Airbnb and other firms have also recruited teenagers, although not all tech giants are jumping on board: Google reportedly won’t consider anyone younger than college students for its programs.
While not everyone can score a coveted, $6,000-per-month internship at a Twitter, Facebook or eBay, there are many easy ways for anyone to brush up on their programming skills, including online courses such as those offered on code.org. Hackathons are another good way for those learning code to practice their craft in the company of other people. As many of these interns have demonstrated, building an app is another good way to get noticed by companies; even if the software doesn’t prove a bestseller, it can show to the world that you have the programming chops necessary to contribute to a firm’s broader strategy.
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