Can a 13 Year Old Become A Web Developer?

Hey there!!!

So I am 13 years old, and I joined FreeCodeCamp forums today!!! So I want to know if I can legally get a job as a web developer, and if I can make a small salary doing it. I have been interested in programming for around 3 months now, and I want to become a freelancer. I want to know what I should do and if I can legally do it. Also, can a FreeCodeCamp certification give me an edge when applying for an internship at Google? Thanks!!!

  • Your fellow Camper

I can’t comment on the legality of it, but I can say that if you start to program now, you’ll have one hell of a head start when you go for an internship.


If you are in the U.S. I don’t believe you can “legally” have a job until sixteen due to child labor laws. That said, you can freelance to friends and family and provide your services for a small fee, you just would not be able to be an employee of a company.

The certification? No. The fact that a thirteen year old has taken initiative and made some cool web development projects and contributed to open source? Yes, that can make you stand out. However, to qualify for an internship at google, you will need to be “Currently enrolled in a full-time Bachelor’s in Computer Science or related technical field, returning to BA/BS program or enrolled in another full-time degree program after completion of the internship.” and “Authorization to work in the United States.”. So therefore, you have to wait a bit, but don’t let that discourage you. Use these few years to really get a head start on your future goals!


If you are in the US, a summary of the child labour laws is here:

In the UK, it seems the amount of time you can work depends on whether it’s term-time or not (12/25):

I am not a lawyer :slight_smile:


Stick with programming and by the time you graduate high school you’ll have one hell of a skillset and a leg up on everyone your age. If I could change one thing in my life it would be to go back and start programming at your age.

Don’t worry about making money now. You’ll be making plenty of money later on in life if you get good at programming at your age.


sure !!, i because a fullstack php, web developer at age of 8, by 2 i was security pro too, profesional in around 8 diff programming languages ,

i actually think it was a lot easier to learn when i was young that now ! -i’m 31-

at such age you have all the time i the world, no commitments no worries, i remember i learned .net in 3 days !, and C in less than a week, now it may take me over 3 month just to get grasp on a new lang or framework.


It depend of what you mean by “job” :slight_smile:
You can do some freelance on your own with unofficial project. But you can’t start working officialy in any company xD.
If you can creat a really good app, you can still sell it on official media like applestore…

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Yea you are right. I will have one heck of a start over the other kids. In my school, they think that “real” coding is the Hour of Code stuff. (AND ITS BLOCK BASED!!!) Yea, the kids at my school will have a tough time when they find out what “real” coding is.

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Wait, if you are 31 now, and you learned to program at 8, then how come you weren’t on the news in 1986?

Yea you are 100% right. When someone does something for the $$, they often fail at it. (Well atleast that is how it works on YouTube!)

They should have programming as an exception because these days kids are learning how to code and some already have jobs. (Santiago Gonzalez anyone?)

Yea, these days corporations look at your experience and value that a lot. You could have a BS in computer science and have no prior experience. Well, I gotta thank F.C.C! (Trust me, I know kids like that!)

Yea, remember that dude who got hired by Facebook because he made a snapchat like app.

That’s exactly what I’m doing - but I’m not really working but rather developing software that have pro and free versions with ads - I use my parents’ account and I’m earning - not much but it’s a great achievement!
Keep Coding!

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Pro tip - don’t compare yourself to peers. They’re not your enemies or competitors and you have nothing to gain by tearing anyone down. If other kids in your school are interested in learning to program, then you’d all benefit from working together and if that means playing with Scratch, then that’s cool. Start an after school programming meet up where you all learn a language and tackle challenges from FreeCodeCamp, CodeAcademy, HackerRank, et al. Build projects in a team. Learn to use version control. Frankly, no one important will care how long you’ve been coding for or what language you started with. What matters is how you use the time you’ve got, and no one wants to hire the guy who wastes it by laughing at Hour of Code.


Yea you are right. However, at school our administrators tell eighth graders that in order to get a job, Scratch is a required skill. Oh, and I have a coding club after school and we are using FCC!!!


1986 i was 1 years old! :blush:, in 1998 i was on news :smile:, got listed in top 100 most wanted hackers in middle east & few years after got caught in 00./ your computer didn’t shutdown in 60 sec or what !?, ooooooh long nightz, that’s far behind now, never touching a kernel again in my life

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That is awesome!!! You must be a very prodigious and studious person.

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I started FCC at the same age as you, and i’m on intermediate algorithm scripting. It just takes motivation and time. Its harder because understanding coding logic can be harder


Awesome!!! Keep coding and algorithms are cool!! Remember, if something is hard, google is your best friend. (The only case is that it is mostly robot)

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