tokyodev forum

Transitioning into development in Japan after time as a language student

Hi all, I have been considering a move to Japan for some time but am hesitant to jump straight into software development for a few reasons:

  1. My 5 years of experience is with Java and I’d rather move away to another language & would like some time off development in general
  2. I’m unsure whether I’ll enjoy living in Japan so would prefer to do something less committal first

My current thinking is to go to Osaka as a language student for a year and decide after 6 months or so whether I want to work there as a developer, using this time to hopefully gain N3 level Japanese as well as learn & develop in a new language (probably Go or Scala) on personal projects.

Do you think that this year of language study will make it harder for me to find development work? Any general thoughts on whether this seems sensible? Thanks!

Edit: I do have a computer science degree

As long as you’re prepared to come to Japan for a year, and in the worst came end up returning to your country after that, it seems like a pretty low risk plan.

Being in Japan as a student makes it easier to find companies that are willing to hire you, particularly if your are switching to a new tech stack (as companies relocating candidates are often looking for perfect matches).

I don’t see why studying Japanese would make it harder to find a job here, and if anything, having some Japanese ability and experience living here will make it easier to find companies that are willing to hire you.

Your plan is quite similar to this developer I recently spoke with, where she initially came as a language student, but was able to find a job after six months or so (if I remember correctly from talking to her, it’s not in the article).

1 Like