I moved to Tokyo to start a software engineering job in December of 2015. Since I’ve been here I’ve gotten a lot of questions on how I was able to find the job especially since I spoke very little Japanese and most importantly because I didn’t have a computer science degree or any professional engineering experience.

So I decided to share the concrete steps I followed to find my first engineering job in Japan and hopefully, others will be able to learn from it.

Step 1. Don’t graduate with a job already in hand and go to Japan

After college, I was really lost in terms of what I wanted to do with my…


A lot of foreign developers I have talked to abroad or visiting Japan have told me “Yeah, I would love to work in Japan, but…“ and then some kind of stereotype about Japan whether it’s that the salary is too low or that they’ve heard horror stories of the Japanese work environment. I want more foreigners and more developers in Japan and I think some of the stereotypes around Japan have been greatly over-exaggerated so in this series I wanted to take the time to address a couple of the concerns people have about working in Japan as a software…

Drew Terry

Californian turned software engineer turned technical product manager @Mercari in Tokyo, Japan. Working on opensalary.jp to bring work transparency to Japan.

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