TokyoDev forum

What skills to focus on for work in Tokyo?

Hopefully this kind of question is ok here.
Whats the best direction to aim for from here (money-wise and not-hating-my-job-wise)?

  • I have 2+ of IT start-up experience as a junior Python engineer with some AWS experience.
  • Getting AWS Solutions Arch cert soon (assuming I pass).
  • Pretty confident with Flask. made 2 websites from the ground up and 1 API (front end, back end, and hosting + routing using AWS) .
  • I have some simple personal projects on Github (database GUI, web scraping project, file management automation programs, selenium bots etc).
  • I have an unrelated business degree
  • I have JLPT N2+ level and am living in Tokyo (3 year visa).
  • Medium level skills in HTML/CSS/Bootstrap ; basic Javascript
  • Medium SQL

If you were me, what would your target position be and what would you start learning/doing to get there?

I would really really appreciate some help from people in the industry. Im currently working at a sales job and studying at nights so I want to be as efficient as possible to get back into the Dev world again.
Thanks in advance!

Rather than learning anything new, I’d be more focused on demonstrating what abilities you already do have. For instance, having personal projects is great, but a potential employer is unlikely to dive into the codebase. If you were to write up some articles describing what you did, ideally picking a technical challenge you over came, it’s going to be a lot easier for someone to review.

Besides that, there’s also nothing stopping you from starting to apply for positions and talking with recruiters. Since you have some Python experience, I’d start with looking at companies that are using it, as even a bit of familiarity could give you the extra leg up. TokyoDev is listing international friendly Python jobs. You could also try Japanese sites like Wantedly or Forkwell, and apply for positions that aren’t explicitly targeting international developers.

Another good approach is to get involved in the community. PyCon JP 2022 is happening on Oct 14th - 16th, and they’re looking for volunteers. Having helped out at a similar event for the Ruby community, I know bilingual volunteers are especially valued, and it could be a way of making connections with others.

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Thank you for the help!
I appreciate the thoughtful response. I like the idea of write-ups about my projects. Should this be in the readme of the github repo?

In regards to applying to jobs here, I have been applying to everything I can and I have had only 1 positive response, the rest were template rejections (which is completely fine btw). Something about my ‘on paper’ skillset is enough for them to pass me over. This is why I thought of asking what I can add to my skillset to get through this first hurdle.

I will check out the PyCon event too. It would be a good way to make a network. Thanks for the idea.

I’d host them on a personal blog, ideally on your own domain. Setting up a personal website is another way you can show technical acumen, and can also lead to other opportunities (it’s how TokyoDev started!). You could then point people to the relevant article in your resume or cover letter.

I think your ability to present yourself as a skilled candidate is more important than your actual skills. There may be something about your resume / cover letter itself that led to the rejection. If you shoot me an email with it, I can give more specific advice.

I have a Portfolio website that I host on my own domain. I will start adding to this now.
Thanks for the help!

Can I ask what email I should use?

You can find my email here.

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Thank you for the help. I will send you a message.