The point is: use the gap year to learn about You -- what you like, what ignites your curiosity, and observe the world and its challenges so thatyou can use that as your north star to guide you towards the company / industry that is best suited to your temperament. This will also inform you of the types of classes you want to take when you go back to school as well. Good luck!
Heather Rose-Marie Roberts, CTT, CAPM
If you are still in high school, check the guidance office to see if they have a resume writing workshop.
Do not wait until the last minute to begin your search. Remember, a resume is a document you will use throughout your working life. Therefore, it's a good idea to get good at writing one. A resume advertises your skills and what you can bring to an organization.
Another avenue to gain skills in your area of interest is to check non-profit organizations and volunteer to work with the IT department. Many non-profits are in need of talent.
Do a skills inventory. What can you do now that an employer will pay you a salary for? What software programs do you know well?
What leadership roles have you held? What clubs have you participated in? Do you play on a sports team?
You might what to develop an action plan. Here are some questions this plan should answer.
1. What do you want to learn from the internship?
2. What skills are you looking to gain or improve?
3. What are your long-term goals?
4. What are your short-term goals?
5. Is college in your future? What do you want to major/minor in?
6. Do you want to study aboard?
I hope this was helpful.
"How do I know I chose the right one to shadow."
Well, I am not sure "choose" is the right term. Many tech companies, especially programming have Intellectual Property management. That means they do not want anyone to see what they are doing. They usually request internship minimum for that reason as they protect themselves through some agreement. This may not exist for shadowing.
While I do not want to discourage you, I want to warn you about what possibly lay ahead of you.
So try any companies as if you were looking for a job there and contact them. Possibly target at first the companies that can offer internship as they are more likely to know how to deal with young people.
Good luck with your search!