How to get a developer job abroad as a non-native English speaker

How many times did I curse the fact that I’m a non-English speaker? If I were a native English speaker, it should be easy to find a job anywhere in the world.

English is the most common language in the world. Even though more people speak Chinese or Russian as their first tongue, English is the most spoken language including the number of people who speak English as a second or third language.

Being able to speak English is a fundamental skill, if you want to succeed internationally or if you want to travel around the world or if you want to work or live in abroad.

Actually, it is not necessary true. Having an in-demand skill is helpful to find a job abroad.Recently, one of the most in-demand skill is considered to be Web development. There are many Web development related jobs all over the world.

My experience verifies this. Although I’m a non English speaker, I work as an Web developer in Germany. Before starting to work in Web development field, I worked in a sales role which is strongly dependent on my mother country’s language(Japanese).

Working as a developer broadens your chances to be able to work without being dependent on your mother country.

Is it easy to find a job as a developer abroad ?

Firstly, it is frequently said that is is easy to find a developer job abroad. It might be true in some cases. Having programming skills will make finding jobs abroad much easier as this kind of job does not require language skills from that countries.

If that country is a non-English speaking country, you must speak the local language. For instance, it is almost impossible to get an office job in Japan without having a decent level of Japanese. It is the same for Germany, Spain and other countries.

When it comes to Web development job, however, language requirements are narrowed. If you speak English at least, you will have more opportunities to get a job in most of countries compared to other types of jobs like sales or human resources.

There are a few things to know to get a developer job abroad apart from learning English. Let me share them with you.

2 Tips to find jobs abroad

Finding developer jobs abroad as a non native English speaker is still hard. If you want to work in English-speaking countries, you have to brush up your English. Even in non-English native countries, you are expected to have a good level of English skill. You need to communicate with colleagues and understand the task somehow.

There are a few things that you can do apart from learning English:

1) Find a city / area where more developer jobs are

There are some cites in the world that have more tech companies which will hire developers regardless nationalities. For instance, Berlin is the one of them. In Berlin, there are many startup companies and they hire a lot of talented people from any parts of the world.

2) Find a company that values diversity

Next tip is to find a company which has an emphasis on diversity. There are many companies like this in the world. Some companies prefer hiring only local people, I mean, similar people. On the other hand, some companies prefer hiring people who has different backgrounds, personalities and genders. Being an expat is not a disadvantage in this case.

Facebook COO Shelly Sandberg also mentioned that it’s important to have diversity in the company in her interview. (Reference : Podcast — Master Of Scale with Reid Hoffman) Diversity will bring different angles of view and values into the company.

There are more and more companies embracing diversity when they hire employees. This tendency should give people who work abroad more opportunities.

People often say working abroad is a valuable experience, and it certainly has been that for me! It is tough sometimes. You might experience discrimination or hardships which result from being an expat in the country. Honestly speaking, you will definitely have harder time than your country.

However, I’m sure that you will get an indispensable experience which you cannot get if you work in your own country.

I hope more and more people will be able to work and live wherever they want!

** Thank you so much Chance Taken for proofreading my article. If you want to meet great fellows who learn programming, I strongly recommend joining the Chingu Cohorts! **