Author Topic: Estimating my potential job prospects -- NC (and MD/VA?) -- Software Developer  (Read 1213 times)

katekat

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Hi Mustachians!

I'm in the very beginning stages of planning a move to the USA later this year and I'm a software developer (Microsoft stack background; I like it, but I'd also consider changing technologies as long as I could get hired to do so).

I'm really hoping to end up in North Carolina (triangle area) but theoretically at least we're also open to NC/MD/VA as a whole depending on my husband's job search.

I've never lived in the US and I'm certainly getting a bit of imposter syndrome/self-doubt when trying to estimate which jobs in listings I'd be up to scratch for and what kind of salary I could expect. Software developers are paid a lot more highly in the US, I'm aware of that, so I'm trying to bear in mind, but it's still very hard to estimate 'how I measure up' in a market I have no exposure to (and I feel this nagging thought that maybe I'm just not good enough for software dev in the US ...?)

I could do with someone willing to look over my CV or chat to me (not in public forum) about my background who is familiar with these markets, as a software developer or someone who hires them or otherwise connected. Ideally they'd be able to let me know how hireable I will be, what kind of salary expectations I should have, if there's any big gaps in my experience or skillset I really need to fix, etc. I'm not particularly looking for CV/application advice yet as I haven't started re-writing my CV with American eyes in mind and I probably won't be applying to anything for several months. More feedback on how good I/my background would be when presented well. But if people WANT to give advice on these subjects, that's fine.

I realise I'm asking a lot and for people to volunteer in advance. I'm really grateful to anyone who can help though! I'm just not comfortable sharing enough info to get a really good assessment in a public post in case it's seen by people I know IRL!

For additional context, I have ~6 years of professional experience, and I have no work authorization in the US yet but will at time of application (I'm applying for residency through my marriage to a US citizen so I'll be a LPR on arrival).

sokoloff

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I’d be happy to give it a look.

For rough measure, in the metro Boston area, we’re paying ~$100K/yr for fresh CompSci grads from tier 1 schools. Many of them interned with us, so we know they can code, but not all did.

The biggest disconnect that I see from our EU colleagues is some cultural differences, often encoded in/encouraged by the EU country’s work rules. While complying with all local laws, I do have an expectation of “do right by both sides (employee and employer)” and when an employee wants the street to be all one-way, they don’t tend to last. I’m not saying either side of the Atlantic is “right”, but they sure are different. One example: if I take a Sunday 9 PM flight to a work location, I wouldn’t dream of saying that Sunday was a workday. In some locales, it is that way by law.

The reason I share is that you might find that you make 1.5x what a software engineer in Western Europe makes, but the company may expect a bit more give-and-take.

katekat

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I'm certainly expecting a lot to change in terms of what is expected from me -- goodbye, 37.5 hour weeks, goodbye, 5 weeks holiday, etc. I'm expecting a culture shock. I hope it's not too hard on me but ultimately I don't think I'll know until I get there.

HawkeyeNFO

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Focusing on NC might be smart.  A lot (not all) of the tech industry around MD and VA is focused on government contracts, which often means that you need a security clearance, which is unlikely for you because you aren't a citizen.  That becomes a limitation, and accompanied with the HCOL in the area, makes NC seem like a good choice.

katekat

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Focusing on NC might be smart.  A lot (not all) of the tech industry around MD and VA is focused on government contracts, which often means that you need a security clearance, which is unlikely for you because you aren't a citizen.  That becomes a limitation, and accompanied with the HCOL in the area, makes NC seem like a good choice.

I've noticed that about the DC area specifically. Didn't realise the effect was larger than that, geographically. Thanks!

Ynari

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SO has a job in the Reston/Herndon, VA area (a suburb of DC) - it's been called the "Silicon valley of the east" (Don't know how accurate that is, but I've driven by satellite offices for most of the big names in tech.) He works with Java, and gets a nice location pay adjustment. (He started entry level 2 years ago; makes about 90k now + bonus. We have a friend who works at Amazon who keeps trying to convince SO to jump ship; it seems like the tech companies out here pay well and don't have the negative work culture I've heard about in tech. SO rarely works over 40 hours per week.)  SO's company was recently expanding and a large portion of his office are on visas - most of the recent grads and good talent get snatched up by Google.

Again, don't know how much of this is unique to the Reston/Herndon tech-company-enclave, but there are some good gigs here and a lot of demand for good employees. Keep it on your radar.

Broadway2019

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I too would be happy to help! I work at a large firm and could help you out if you send me your resume/CV.

FYI, I work in analytics and have an engineering background. However, my firm has many opportunities in IT and also has a work from home option.

katekat

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SO has a job in the Reston/Herndon, VA area (a suburb of DC) - it's been called the "Silicon valley of the east" (Don't know how accurate that is, but I've driven by satellite offices for most of the big names in tech.) He works with Java, and gets a nice location pay adjustment. (He started entry level 2 years ago; makes about 90k now + bonus. We have a friend who works at Amazon who keeps trying to convince SO to jump ship; it seems like the tech companies out here pay well and don't have the negative work culture I've heard about in tech. SO rarely works over 40 hours per week.)  SO's company was recently expanding and a large portion of his office are on visas - most of the recent grads and good talent get snatched up by Google.

Again, don't know how much of this is unique to the Reston/Herndon tech-company-enclave, but there are some good gigs here and a lot of demand for good employees. Keep it on your radar.

Thanks, this is worth bearing in mind, especially the bolded!

katekat

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I too would be happy to help! I work at a large firm and could help you out if you send me your resume/CV.

FYI, I work in analytics and have an engineering background. However, my firm has many opportunities in IT and also has a work from home option.

have messaged :)