Okay, I was in the same situation as you.
Having started programming when I was 11, I began to think I'm a rockstar developer by the age of 15 and was kind of frustrated by being unable to get employed. Now that I'm 19, I finally realize I have been somewhat swanky and not in fact that great, but that's another story.
Now, I didn't get the job until I turned 18 but I got something extremely more valuable instead.
In 2007, Google organized a programming competition for high school students centered around open source contributions. I just started playing with Mono back then and was extremely excited when I found I was eligible for participation.
See, there is always Google Summer of Code but you have to be a college student, and that kind of sucks.
I'm not even a college student by now.
However, GHOP was for high school guys and gals and offered a real prize: the student who sends the best patches goes to Googleplex, sees Guido van Rossum and of course the T-Rex.
So I went ahead and in the end I was chosen as the winner for Mono project so I was invited to the awards ceremony at Google and had great fun there. When I turned eighteen, I got an interview with a large Russian IT outsourcing company by just mailing them my CV that included:
- Won Google competition in 2007 by contributing to Mono project
I got the job the next day.
Do you see the point now?
You can do better. You don't need to be as lazy as I am.
If you don't have to make money yet, invest in yourself.
You'll be fed up with real-world applications when you get the job but now you have an opportunity to plain have fun and get noticed. Build your reputation.
Look, in 2011 Google re-established this competition, now named Google Code-in:
Google Code-in, Google's contest to introduce pre-university students (age 13-18) to the many kinds of contributions that make open source software development possible, concluded on January 10, 2011. We had 361 students from 48 countries complete over 2,000 tasks during the 7 week contest.
Do you want this fancy line on your résumé?
- Contribute to the open source project you like and advance your skills
- Look out for high school open source competitions like Google Code-in
- Participate and try to win, although even participation is well-indicative for potential employers
- Get employers to want you to work for them*
* As a sidenote, you really don't want to work for a shop that doesn't care about your experience in open source and contests.