Tejas Manohar: Dream Job at 15

Two people working on laptops

For Tejas Manohar, coding has become a way of life.
Image: Shutterstock

For a Millennial, Tejas Manohar is a superhero. Not because he has super strength or can fly or turn invisible, but because he has something much more incredible.

His dream job. At 16.

Actually, Manohar was only 15 when he was hired by AutoLotto, a San Francisco programming start-up.

The kid from Nashville, Tennessee began programming in the fourth grade, tweaking video games and evolving to making his own, building websites and games for practice. He taught himself by scrutinizing the source-info of his favorite sites, backed up by library books and Google searches. In middle school, he began making his own apps and programs from scratch. By high school, he was competing in Hackathons. He won brief internships with the platforms Populr and Hubspot and began homeschooling then to be better able to balance his nascent career and his education.

In April 2015, he saw a video of Matt Clemenson and Tony DiMatteo launching their new start-up app, AutoLotto, at the March 2015 LAUNCH Festival in San Francisco. AutoLotto is an app meant to streamline state lotteries, letting gamblers buy and manage their tickets through the app.

Manohar, who wouldn’t be able to buy a lotto ticket himself for three more years, contacted Clemenson and DiMatteo with some savvy questions about their programming. And in a moment straight out of a daytime movie, they were so impressed with his clever probing and suggestions that they offered him a job. He started almost immediately. Part-time and by telecommuting at first, but by December, he’d moved to San Francisco to be a team-leading engineer.

Even with a full-time job, Manohar has made a point of keeping up his education. He attends virtual classes through MIT’s OpenCourseWare in the evenings and plans to graduate on time. As for college, his plans are still flexible. He thinks a gap year would be good for him, but the most important thing, he says, is that he wants to keep working.

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