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Questions about Japan's Software Development Culture and My Suitability

I have been studying in a Japanese course that was organized by the Hong Kong embassy of Japan, and expect to attain N5 in this year’s December JLPT exam. According to the progress of the course, N3 will be attained in 2 years after N5 if I am able to master the materials.

Moreover, I have been currently working in an E-Commerce web project in a local medium-to-large company as a programmer for 1 year, since my graduation from university (with Bachelor in Computer Science).

The programming language / framework that I currently use for my company are:

Backend:

  • Java
  • Spring

Frontend:

  • Angular 9 (except the styling and CSS part)
    • RxJS

Note that JIRA is also used by the company to track bugs, and assign me or other programmers to fix the bug.

I am starting to learn ngRx for Angular currently, to replace the cookies used in Javascript, as well as to reduce boilerplate code.

For my personal side projects, I mainly used the following skills:

  • JavaFX & FXML
  • Spring Boot
    • Swagger

I generally push the codes of my personal projects to my Github repositories.

I heard that some say Japan is very harsh in the working culture, is that the same in the Software Development field? Are there any improvements since the government of Japan took actions on improving working conditions since 2018? How may I know if Japan suits me since I live in Hong Kong?

If I consider relocating to Japan, I would like to know whether there are job opportunities in Japan that most likely suits my skill set? Moreover, how may I increase my chances of landing a decent job in Japan after the current pandemic is over? Thank you very much!

I wouldn’t worry about what the overall working culture is like, as it is not representative of every opportunity. Internationally-minded companies in Japan tend to have a working culture that is similar to western companies, and so it’s possible for instance to find an opportunity that doesn’t require any overtime. Even more traditional companies that have worse working conditions don’t try to be deceitful about them, and so if you ask them about average overtime for instance, they should tell you.

Besides improving your Japanese ability, there isn’t anything Japan specific that I’d work on to improve your chances. Rather, I’d focus on improving your employability more generally by working on marketing yourself as a developer. It sounds like you already have some side projects, so you could work on polishing them, and in particular, improving documentation around them (e.g. explaining what they do or writing articles about why you made the decisions you did).

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