tokyodev forum

Employability on investor/business manager visa

Hello everyone,

a little background on me:

I operate a small business in Japan and I’m on a business manager visa. I wanted to do a career switch(I’m in a non-tech field) and learn programming. I thought about attending a coding bootcamp and doing a freelance work after graduating.
I’ve read a bit online and talked to bootcamp people and they discouraged me from doing freelance after bootcamp and recommended that I work for a company for at least 1-2 years.

Now I’m left with a problem of my visa. As a business manager/investor I could bill clients for small jobs I could do as a freelance developer but I can’t be a regular full time company employee. Even if I’m offered a job I can’t switch to a business visa as I don’t have university degree and I also plan on retaining control of my company (and my current visa).

Is there any way I could work for a company on any long term basis that would help me hone my skills and gain experience after bootcamp?

I know I’m looking way far ahead and I haven’t even attended bootcamp but I don’t want to do a mistake of investing a large sum of money into a bootcamp if I won’t be able to do any work after I graduate.

For those that work as developers in Japan or have started up their own businesses can you give me your insight on the job market and tell me what kind of contracts and jobs the companies offer? Is there any way for me to get some work with my current visa?

A company could theoretically contract your company to have you work full time for them. A bigger company is probably not going to want to do this, as it creates extra complexity and legal questions (e.g., if you’re working full time for an extended period of time, then you may be considered to be on a haken contract, which might require your company to be licensed as a dispatch company). However, there may be smaller companies who are willing to contract your company under this arrangement. The concern from the coding bootcamps may be that companies that are willing to hire their grads are already few and far between, and so adding this additional irregularity may make it almost impossible for you to find something.

A totally different approach would be to consider if there’s a way you can apply software to automate or expand your existing business. Knowledge of a specific domain plus a bit of programming skills can be a powerful combination. If you go down this route, you could for instance try to prototype something yourself, and then contract someone more experienced to help build out the real software, possibly working with them to do it. I’m not sure if it would make sense for you to attend a bootcamp yourself in this case, but if you do, it has the potential advantage that you could theoretically have your company pay for the bootcamp, creating some tax savings.

@pwim Thanks for your input, I appreciate all the info :pray:t2:

I don’t think there is a way I could apply tech skills to my current business as of now and working for a company seems to be the best route.

I was considering applying at CodeChrysalis, they are expensive but according to their website 98% of their graduates get hired in less than 6 months and get salaries above market average. Hearing you say that there aren’t many companies that want to hire bootcamp grads I would be curious if you could expand on that.

My understanding is that CodeChrysalis has a pretty stringent application process, and includes requiring students to take a “precourse” before the immersive bootcamp. By doing it this way, I think anyone who actually does the immersive bootcamp itself is already pretty while qualified as having aptitude for software development, hence their impressive stats.

Note also that their graduates include Japanese citizens, foreigners with spouse visas and Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services visas, and foreigners not looking to work in Japan. So their overall placement rates don’t necessarily translate to that of someone in your situation.

Hey Jedi,

I did the CC bootcamp 12 week immersive course if you want to ask me anything about it. While it’s true their graduates mostly have found jobs within 6 months after, what pwim said you have to take into account:

Some gradates just went back to their old companies
Not all joined the workforce in Japan
Some are Japanese to start with or have a very good understanding of the Japanese language.
Some joined the workforce, but not in the tech industry.
A lot of these stats are pre-corona
In my cohort most of us already had been living in Japan for years and had visas already

To say all graduates or even 98% get hired in less than 6 months after corona is not true at all and they would say that themselves, the effects on their placements and the rest of the tech market in Japan is very obvious when you compare stats before and after.

Hope this helps