Full Stack Web/Software/Open GL Job

Hello Tokyo Dev Forum,

I’m really interested in landing a software job in Tokyo/Japan, I just don’t really know how to approach it. I’ve read over the featured articles and am still a bit confused as to if Japanese firms would even consider me. My desire is to work for a midsized company programming in OpenGL or React.

First about me; I’m 32 from the USA, I just graduated with my second degree, a BS in C# Software Development. My first degree is a BS in Industrial Design, although I haven’t really done much product design since leaving school in 2014, I have focused on graphic and UI design.

A little about my technical skills; I have five years experience (mostly freelance) with Javascript and related languages. Recently because of school, I have branched into app development with (React and Xamarin) and compiled languages like C# and C++. I have some experience with SQL and NoSQL and I have several certifications in the software field including C#, Javascript, Oracle SQL, Project Management/Lifecycle and even a couple UI/UX certifications.

I don’t speak Japanese, (I just bought a book), but as someone who has a minor in Spanish and studied several other asian languages to varying degrees of fluency, I don’t think I would struggle to pick it up, and isn’t a concern of mine.

My biggest concerns are that this will be my first attempt to impress a company of my programming skills, (imposter syndrome) and second since most of my work is freelance, I don’t really have a paper trail of experience. (I read somewhere that I’d need 10 years of provable experience to get a working visa, is that true?) I am building a nice portfolio of about 5 to 7 fun and interactive projects that showcase my skills and interests.

Do I seem marketable to a software company in Japan, as a foreigner?

A BS in C# Software Development sounds a bit unusual. Usually university degrees aren’t related to a specific technology. Nevertheless, with a university degree, you should qualify for a visa here. The ten year of related professional experience is if you don’t have a degree.

It’s impossible to say if you’ll be able to find a job here. It is possible to get a job here without any Japanese ability, provided you have technical ability. The extent of that ability isn’t as important as the ability for you to market yourself. A big part of this is being able to identify organizations where you are uniquely suited to provide value.

It sounds like your career is currently undergoing a transition. While it’s not impossible to find something when you’re starting something new, it’s a lot easier if you can leverage your existing experience to make the next step.