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Ask HN: If I were your dream hire, would you hire me? I live in Somalia
139 points by xtrumanx on May 10, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 70 comments
I'm at a dead end career-wise and the job market I'm at does not offer any better alternatives than my current job. The pay is great but I find the work I do pretty depressing compared to the stuff I know I'm capable of. I've tried to demonstrate and explain the value I could be bring if we were to do things differently but I've lost hope that I'll ever get through to anyone.

HN has always been inspiring regarding starting your own business and although that is something I want to try, I'm more curious right now about the feasibility of finding a job outside the country. The question is, I don't know if that's even possible.

How would a company even determine if I'm worth hiring and going through all the work to get me a work visa if they can't even interview me in person? Would they tolerate my crappy internet if they try to interview me over Skype? What if the position was for something mid-to-entry level and not some key position. Would it still be worth the hassle to get me on board?

I actually got in touch with German company who had a job posting for JS developer and asked them this very question and their reply was encouraging[0] but I wondered if I could get more input from other sources.

I guess I ask cause I keep hearing complaints about the lack of talent and it makes me wonder if that's a possible opportunity for me.

So what are your thoughts?

[0] Sociomantic Labs response to my question[1] "For our team in Berlin we often hire outside of the EU and have lots of experience with this. We have 35 different nationalities in the office and always welcome a new team member outside of the EU."

Here's 2 websites that are specifically for tech jobs that provide a visa.

https://techmeabroad.com/ http://www.jobsintech.io/

If you have the skills and resume, I'm sure you won't have trouble finding a job.

Also https://remoteok.io/ is a great resource for remote jobs. Most employers don't care as long as you can get shit done and work with a team. If you are a professional full stack developer your confidence in your ability to produce will come through.

You will probably have to work more to get to where you want compared to some American counterparts, but the path is there and the tools are out there. Best of luck.

I used to be in your situation, not because the market is bad in country ( programmers today have 0% unemployment rate) but because I hate the way companies work in place. You can start freelancing very easily. As long as you are a great programmer you'll easily find freelance work or a remote job. I live in Portugal and there's a huge demand for programmers and it's growing each year, the same applies for the rest of Europe and US ( and possible other countries ). Keep in mind that hiring remote developers is always cheaper because of tax evasion, you're a contractor not an employe that they have to pay social contributions. You need to research and set your hourly rate. Inform yourself about Escrow services, oDesk/Upwork provides this service. Also don't forget to pay your taxes and add this to your hourly rate.

If you want to increase your options: Create a blog and write great programming articles (I would appreciate it), engage in open source projects as a truly code collaborator, etc. Eventually you'll have more options than you initially thought, you're marketing yourself.

Bad internet connection? This might be a killer, for some people voice is fine but if you have a connection that work great when you're in a video call in HD, it's much better. Communication is key, trust me on this one.

One way around a bad internet connection (except for video) is to set up remote cloud instances (Linux, Windows) on AWS or similar. It doesn't take a lot of bandwidth to do an RDP or NX connection, even less for ssh. Then if you have to download large amounts of code to work on, just download it to the remote instances you've set up.

I think the point about bandwidth had to do with usable video calling.

Somalia and Nigeria in particular can be challenging for Americans to get money to IIRC, but this is a problem that bitcoin may actually solve pretty well.

OP here. Wrote some articles for InfoQ (which I believe operate in the U.S.) in the past and they paid me via wire transfer without issue.

The Nigerian princes don't have a problem taking my credit card via email.

Questions: - what kind of career do you want? - What specific job market are you currently in? - You mention the pay is great but dislike the work. How much time can you dedicate on projects you're curious/passionate and capable of doing?

Regarding unhappiness at work, I was in your situation some years ago and found that the solution to my problem was putting in the required hours at work and then going home and working really really hard on the things that mattered to me. Also I found that having a daily exercise routine helped a lot with my productivity and mood!

Regarding leaving your country, I'd start by marketing yourself better. Your site doesn't give specifics on what your ambitions are and does not showcase why I'd want to hire you. Perhaps, if you SHOWED me what projects you can do for me, I'd be more inclined to see where you'd fit in my organization. A great example of good marketing was this kid's portfolio that sprung some weeks ago: http://www.hostmeinca.com/

Another way to leave is by getting a masters in another country. Look for masters in a field you're curious about and then search for scholarships. There are tons of scholarship resources out there (google Fullbright, Daad, Gates Millennium Scholarships, UK council scholarships). A masters is also a great way to network and meet potential employers or even future coworkers that might end up giving you a recommendation down the line!

Some other advice (and I know the HN crowd will probably differ): - GET ON LINKEDIN! Get people you've worked with to endorse you! - go read this book by John Somnez called Softskills. It will help you market yourself better as a developer http://simpleprogrammer.com/softskills

Hope this helps!

Regarding the site, I made it in one sitting as a placeholder for my domain. I use the domain mostly for my personal email and giving my apps a proper domain name I control rather than an IP address or a domain name I don't control (e.g. herokuapps.com).

I haven't put much thought into marketing myself but maybe I should. Just never thought it would be worth it.

That article about free high education in Germany a few weeks ago had me thinking about pursuing a Master's in Germany but I haven't pursued it.

Thanks for the comment. I like each of the points you've raised and if I want a change your advice sounds like a nice start.

We only hire remotely (since we don't have an office). For me there are 2 critical issues (aside from the person themselves):

1) Their time zone needs to be reasonably in step with mine.

2) Their internet connection must reliably be able to run a consistent voice connection during working hours.

With 2) we do help with UPS' and additional connections where power and outages can be an issue. But _all_ connections still must be able to do voice comms over.

Other than these two, I couldn't care if the other person is on the moon, except the latency...

Out of curiosity, by 1) do you mean that people must be willing to work in your "core hours", or do you actually mean the timezone must be similar? I'm currently working nights (at GMT+1 - not in computing/engineering), and I always wonder a bit about what people mean when they talk about timezones.

I can see arguments for both wanting the timezone to be similar, and for caring mostly for availability/output during "core" hours -- but I'd be curious to hear your views and experience?

Do you actually keep a voice chat line open throughout the day? Or 'when needed'?

I'm from Canada and though I'm not in a position to hire you myself, I can share an anecdote about the last company where I worked. Two caveats. First - we were a .Net startup in a government town so when we hired, we were a startup trying to compete with Government jobs, government hours, and government benefits. Second - the founder of that company is a really good guy and not all Canadians I know would be as patient or as forgiving as he was.

However, at our peak, our dev team had one Canadian born person at any time. My co-workers hailed from China, Iran, and Israel. We tried to hire some people out of the Ukraine, but I live in the Hinterland and -40 degree weather scared at least one...:)

So, yes it is possible. Heck, some provinces will fast track highly skilled workers to permanent resident status. A good friend of mine was a provincial nominee who just became a Canadian citizen a few years ago!!!

Good luck!

This is something I've also been wondering for a while (I live in Peru). Most of the folks I know follow this path: apply for a Master's degree abroad and then try to find a way to stay in that country. But this is the thing: I'd love to work abroad without having to do a Master's because I don't like reading/writing papers, it doesn't seem like a very optimal path to me. So my current strategy is to build a portfolio on Github, get freelancing work online and then see if some company abroad hires me. Could this work? Could some company hire me based on my experience online? Glad to hear any thoughts on this

It also depends where you get your Master's. Not all universities require you to write a lot of papers, theses and presentations - some require you to solve problems and learn problem solving (in a form of exams, projects etc.). From my experience universities in Europe need less "paperwork" compared to US. I think it's still important part of knowledge in CS field, but it's about balance and I had experienced a good balance at FIT CTU in Prague.

Yes it might work. It's worked for thousands of people. Will it work for you? Well, it will depend on how well you execute and market not just yourself but also your work. Be strategic about how you show your work. Example: if you want to get hired by X startup/company, go look up their jobs and find out what stack they use and tackle projects that might correlate to their specific needs. SHOW them what you can do. Don't expect people to go to your Github to find a reason to hire you.

And remember to: Hustle hustle hustle. Setup web page alerts (I use Versionista https://versionista.com) for when a job page from a company you're interested in changes or is updated.

And please, I can't say this enough, learn to market yourself and your work!

If you would like to work in Mexico, we are always looking for great developers at Kueski ( https://kueski.com/jobs ). drop a line at jobs@kueski.com

I've hired many people in Peru for projects over the past few years. Your strategy is a good one. Having a solid Github portfolio and/or references from other people you've worked with is very important.

Mapbox has an office in Ayacucho, Peru and they seem to be on a hiring frenzy: https://www.mapbox.com/blog/mapbox-peru-opens/

I know of at least two engineers (and the usual caveats about anecdotal evidence apply here!) who got jobs in Silicon Valley after freelancing remotely for the same company, including a H1B sponsorship, something that's by no means guaranteed.

I know an engineer in Lima who got work in California. I know others in Peru that work for companies in California remotely. None of them went to school in the States. It is possible.

Why not try Nairobi/Kampala first? Or even Joburg or Durban? There's size able software industries in these places and you could probably even attend the interviews in person.

As I said elsewhere in the thread I worked with some Kenyans and a few refugees in the Kakuma camp, and I do not get the impression Kenya, Nairobi or elsewhere, is just flush with jobs at the moment.

Blah blah, globalized economy, blah blah. But I would love to hear other Africans from Kenya, SA, and elsewhere chime in and correct my foreigner BS here. My time there was short, so I can be way off base.

Working as a foreigner in SA... There is a big shortage of good developers here, trust me. And many companies are willing to help out with getting a Visa. Might not be as fancy and "*.io"-domained as the US/EU jobs, but they're there and willing to hire anyone that is good.

Very interesting. And how much money would someone like you make and what is the cost of living for you in SA? I mean, if you do not mind me asking.

Hi, SA dev here (Cape Town). A starting salary is usually 18-22k, a mid-level position is usually starting at between 30k and 40k and for experienced devs (around 5+ years experience usually) around 50k and I'm sure lots of people get more.

As for costs of living, 50k is a really good salary. See the "developer big mac index" here: SA ranks number 2 https://stackoverflow.com/research/developer-survey-2015)

Milage varies if you have dependents to support though - private school especially gets expensive if you choose go that route for kids.

Do you have a master's degree? I'm simply asking because although a college degree is not really that important for US based candidates it is extremely helpful to have when applying for a H-1B visa.

Nope. There are online universities that I could enroll in that offer Master's degrees but I'm not interested in it. I looked up one school's Master's curriculum and it seemed pretty similar to the stuff I've learned doing my Bachelor's that I didn't bother going for it.

I'm also not interested in pursuing further higher education since I graduated university hating programming and now can't imagine myself doing anything else. Don't feel like going through that stuff again (though it'll probably be a lot easier now that I can code).

This is not true!

As long as your foreign degree is evaluated equivalent to a US degree, there is no advantage to having a non-us masters degree for obtaining a H1B visa.

This can get a bit tricky, e.g. my 6 semester bachelor degree wasn't enough for US bachelor degree and I had to prove that I had done extra 2 semesters of my master's.

Your lawyer needs to get a degree certification company to say that your degree is equivalent to a 4-year US degree.

My undergrad was also 3 years, and my visa went through without problems. Never done a master's degree.

From the H1B point of view, it's enough to have a bachelor's degree. A master degree helps only if it is obtained from US university.

From green card point of view, advanced degree certainly helps.

Not true. You just need a foreign equivalent of a US 4-year bachelor's degree.

Unless things have changed since I got my H1B in 2012, but I doubt it.

There is a lot of different companies out there in a lot of different places, so I can only answer from my experience. I am from Germany, I work in the US under a H1B visa.

All else being equal, most companies would prefer to hire someone from the US or someone who has a green card. But like you said, now many tech companies have trouble to find talented people. The company where I work has an especially hard time find mobile developers (iOS and Android). Those companies would be happy to hire you.

The problem in the US is that is actually very difficult to get a visa. Visa law is very complicated. I would say, read up on different kinds of US visas and see if there is one that could apply to you. There is also the "green card lottery", where a certain number of people each year get an unconditional green card.

This all being said, unless you plan to study in the US I think your changes in the EU would be better.

More power to you. I spent some time in an online education program for NW Kenya in a refugee camp, where US unis help. And if the internet there sucks enough to make it miserable, I can only imagine destabilized parts of Somalia.

So, if someone is interested, and please do not take offense, I am curious: how stable is the net where someone can expect to Skype and chat with you 8-10 hours a day? I am embarassed, but even as an expat living in the MENA region, I might be stereotyping Somalia, but if it is Kenya it is really luck of the 3G draw.

Life in Somalia varies depending one where you are. Most of the danger most people associate with the country happens in the south. I live in north in a autonomous region called Somaliland. Pretty peaceful, don't have to worry about bomb blasts or whatnot.

I pay for 512k connection for $40/month and the speed is as advertised mostly since my download clock in around 50kbps mostly. 1mb/2mb/3mb/4mb go for $100/$200/$300/$400 but I don't bother paying for it since I have access to fast internet at the office.

My biggest worry about remote work is that employers would want me online all the time but my internet may go down more often than they'd tolerate (not to mention electricity going down). But for the most part the net and electricity only go down for minutes per day.

The best thing would be to work via email with someone who knows what they want and knows how to describe it well but I don't know if that would be acceptable to most.

Well I wish I could refer you somewhere, but I do brick-and-mortar in person IT stuff. I wish you luck, sir. I met a lot of Somalis (I am familiar with Somaliland of course, but you would not be surprised I have not met many refugees from the north, well because it is stable).

Good luck, I do hope people like you make it. It is what makes the internet cool.

  > How would a company even determine if I'm worth hiring
  > and going through all the work to get me a work visa
  > if they can't even interview me in person?
No company will hire you without an in-person interview. Most companies will pay for your plane tickets and hotel for an in-person interview.

A note on in-person interviews:

You will probably be flown to Europe and do the interview in English. Most English speakers in Europe learned it as a second language. If you learned English from a local Somali school, your interviewers will not be used to your accent and may have a hard time understanding you. You should practice your accent until you sound close to British or American.

  > Would they tolerate my crappy internet if they try to
  > interview me over Skype?
Is your connection good enough to do a voice call at high quality? If it is, that should be sufficient.

Otherwise, you'll need to find a way to skip the initial phone interview. Most software companies do phone interviews to screen out candidates who are not capable of programming. A good substitute is a portfolio of personal projects on GitHub, showing experience with the programming languages you put on your resume.

  > What if the position was for something mid-to-entry
  > level and not some key position.
This will depend on the size of the company. I work at Google, and the legal department here will handle the immigration, visa, and permanent resident process even for regular low-level engineers. Smaller companies will be more selective.

My company hires without in-person interviews. We have about 1500 employees, all engineering staff are remote.

Just to throw a point of reference in there.

What company is this if you don't mind me asking?

> No company will hire you without an in-person interview.

That's not at all true... We (Silent Circle) have hired plenty of people without any sort of face-to-face conversations. It's not uncommon for someone to work for us for several months before getting the chance to meet some else in the company face-to-face.

Seconded--I was hired without ever having an in-person interview. I've still never met any of my colleagues in person, after ~18 months.

I didn't have any video chat interviews, either, although that's typical practice for us.

Again, this is a sample of one, but the last company I worked for hired developers without meeting them in person. Heck, that's how two of the best people I know ended up getting jobs in Canada!!

I don't think English would be issue for me. I consider it my first language and long story short; I sound like an American but never been west of the mid-east.

I think Skype works well enough on my home connection but I don't do voice chat often. If anyone is willing to give my a mock interview over Skype my email's in my profile.

Your (written) English is essentially flawless.

I presumed you must be a transplant to Somalia after reading your initial post.

Currently hiring someone JS wise, to work remote. I don't care where you are, I care if you can deliver (i.e. frequent internet outages that mean you can't fork/commit changes = dealbreaker). My team is 99% remote, almost all conversation is via chat, email or PM tools.

So no, it won't necessarily cause you problems – you do need to be able to work and deliver on your connection, and you need to actually be good at what you do. That means you need to have a way to show me that you're good at what you do – for example, a well-kept collection of public github repos of modules, or contributions to major projects (and actual contributions, not "small readme changes to clarify example 3") is what I expect to see, and most certainly not a 'portfolio' of ToDo-style projects to demonstrate how you 'know <x> end-to-end' – that shows me nothing. I'd rather see a well-written Angular module than a ToDoMVC app that looks like it's been generated from a 101 tutorial.

Hope that helps, and good luck!

Just my 2 cents. I can care less where you live. The 3 things that are important to me as an employer, in the order I care.

1. You are capable of doing the job and deliver when you promise or communicate when that isn't possible.

2. You have reliable infrastructure to do the job. Whether that is Internet, Phone or other means, you must be reliably reachable and capable of producing and talking daily. Without that it is hard for me to work with you as part of the team.

3. I can pay you and not have any government hassle because frankly I am just not big enough to deal with craziness.

If those things are doable I am generally good. I have friends in India who loose power on a relatively regular basis but I can work with them because they are reliable in their schedule and capabilities. Frankly, I think it is stupid of US companies or any country to think they have a lock on the best and brightest, just because you are from a war torn country doesn't make you less capable or intelligent than anyone else.

Good luck and I wish you the best.

Also try Australia, which has an awesome immigration policy (much less cumbersome than H1B/Greencard): 4 years on a sponsored visa, then on a permanent immigration, and after 5 years Australian citizen. And try UK, which is pretty keen on immigrants, and only 300km from the center of the world (guess which country I'm from ;))

> try UK, which is pretty keen on immigrants

Not sure why you believe this. The UK is very unfriendly towards immigrants since the new government formed in 2010 and abolished the tier 1 highly skilled migrant visa.

This means there's no longer a route for highly skilled non-EEA migrants to work for themselves unless they are considerably well off (1m GBP+) and want to play entrepreneur, or they're already the top of their game and qualify for an 'exceptional talent' visa (which is almost nobody).

If you want to work in the UK as a non-EEA person you have to go the tier 2 route and find a sponsor for 5 years. For those 5 years you will NOT be allowed to start your own business on the side. It's debatable if you can even do freelance work on the side. Your sponsor may take advantage of the fact that switching jobs is very difficult and expensive for you.

After 5 years, you can apply for ILR and work for yourself, although there's no guarantee you will get it even if you follow all the rules because the rules can change [1] in those 5 years as the UK grows more anti-immigrant!

I really don't understand what kind of talent they expect to attract -- the idea of having my hands tied behind my back for 5 years at the peak of my life is an absolute deal breaker for me. They might attract very young people, but for highly-skilled people in their late 20s and older the UK is simply not a very appealing option anymore. Furthermore, if you had 1m GBP lying around you'd be better off buying e.g. Maltese citizenship and having access to the whole of the EU instantly.

Australia is one of a handful of countries that still has sensible highly-skilled migrant policies, but anti-immigration sentiment is rising there too.

[1] http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/visa-refusal-for-...

Australia also has a huge Somalian community (particularly in Melbourne) = plenty of great restaurants. :)

Not sure if that fully compensates for the 5x greater crime rate among the Somali community [0].

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMgsiPmf2eE&t=1m06s

What's your point exactly?

Your point was that one consequence of having a large Somali community was great restaurants. This kind of statement gets repeated so often (and posts like mine repressed so often) that people start to believe that diversity really does just mean great food in the real world. So when I see a post like yours, I feel the need to correct the record, so that anyone reading will question the mainstream liberal dogma on diversity.

Actually my point was that given OP is from Somalia there are a lot of Somalian expats in Melbourne, and Also restaurants, which might make it a more attractive location to migrate to.

Are you in Hargeisa? If so, you can solve the crappy internet problem by patronizing someone who has a Somcable connection.

I am in Hargeisa and a mid-level manager there. Either I need to work on my schmoozing skills or they're not giving access to anyone outside the company (and customers).

For those wondering what Somcable is; they're a company who brought fibre-optic internet to the country. Currently haven't started selling to the general public but certain larger business have access (for an absurd amount of money, think four figures a month for a 2 or 4mbps connection).

I totally agree with everyone saying that you should know how to market yourself. If you can't sell yourself then who will?

Blogging\twitting is a good way to get yourself out there.

I had two options - blog\answer Qs at SO\tweet\contribute to OS projects or choose entrepreneurship. I choose entrepreneurship because I thought rewards are much higher if things are able to click. Unfortunately, things have not clicked the way I had wanted but I am not giving up. Did I made a wrong decision? May be not.

Now, I am thinking about starting on a slow speed on blogging\tweeting so that I can get myself known.

I know few people who started with blogs and made contacts out of that. It is a good form of networking. These contacts landed them few consulting gigs which slowly turned out to be a multi-million dollar business per month. There is nothing like when things automatically fall into place.

There are a ton of companies out there hungry for great talent and who hire from overseas, help with visas etc

The larger ones will fly candidates in for final stage interviews to meet face to face.

It's a numbers game - apply to enough roles that you would make the move for and you will increase your chances of success.

Well, a resume, a phone conversation, a look at any code you've posted online, and a review of sites/apps you've worked on would paint a pretty good picture. We might ask for references not so much on character (though that too), but to know what problems they experienced in working with you at that distance and given the constraints you list.

Bottom line, your location and its limitations would not inherently eliminate you. If we were hiring and wanted to move forward with you as the lead candidate, we'd also need to check with our attorneys for tax and legal consequences of sending payments to Somalia. But presuming those issues could be resolved satisfactorily, you being in Somalia would not be an insuperable obstacle .

Arraging flights for an in-person interview, or arranging the visa and accomodation for new hires are what legal and HR departments get paid for. The biggest problem has always been finding good new colleagues.

Bad Internet connection for the initial pass would not be a problem for us, those who have the necessary background (enough relevant technical expertise and willing to move) get sent a homework with a few day deadline, and those who handle it well will be interviewed.

My company is distributed: we have developers in a number of places. This is not a big problem, although for the moment everybody is in one country (Poland).

It is definitely possible to work remotely, you just have to find the right match. In fact, I've been thinking about looking for developers in African countries, because of the small time zone difference.

So, I'd say it's definitely possible, you just need to have the right skills and find the right company.

In my experience, if you are looking for a remote jobs you only need a good Internet connection and good English skills, unless if the employer is in the US.

US companies prioritize US candidates (even in remote jobs), to an extend that it's almost pointless to apply for US remote jobs if you no live there.

For what it's worth, your English skills are passable, but not great. It's clear that it's not your first language, even in this two-sentence comment.

Perhaps that was part of the issue you had while searching.

I wouldn't have thought that Somalia even has a stable enough internet connection / general security situation to even have programmers working remotely. Interesting to learn otherwise.

re: interview over skype -- isn't there some better local connection, eg at a cafe or school or library? As an interviewer, I'd be willing to be flexible around scheduling if you can figure out a quiet location w/ better internet. It's frankly better for me: I'll have an easier time with your accent and get a better read on your capabilities.

Don't take this the wrong way, but you were born in Jeddah so I assume you're muslim. If I were you and considering living in the US, you'll do far better if you stick to the coasts. And probably better on the east coast (nyc, boston), just because there's lots of visible muslims there so people won't be freaked out by you. My country can be very islamophobic (I'm sorry).

Wrong. Look up "History of the Somalis in Minneapolis" on Wikipedia.

one counterexample totally disproves this!

Want me to list examples of muslims being assaulted in the midwest / south? my list is bigger than your list of one welcoming city

I've been involved in hiring non-local people and doing the paperwork to get the visa.

1) Yes, there are many, many companies who have difficulty finding good talent locally and are forced to look at the international market for talent.

2) Yes, they can get a visa for you if you are good enough (see below)

3) As others have said, remote working from your own country is definitely a possibility. I do it from Japan (and work very strange hours so that I can work with others in the UK). Working remotely is a skill in itself. If you are interested in influencing process (and it seems that you are), then I would recommend staying away from remoting unless the rest of the team is also remote. If you can go with the flow and just write code no matter which way the process goes, then remote development may be for you. The main problem with influencing others remotely is that you don't end up in the right conversations at the right time.

If you try to get someone to sponsor a visa for you, the main issue is: are you good enough? The rules for sponsoring visas depends on the country, but as there is a world wide shortage of good programmers, you are likely to find someone willing to hire you (especially if you aren't picky about where you go). As others have said, English is the language used generally, but if you wrote the above yourself, then I think your English is probably fine.

You should consider whether or not someone hiring you is good enough for you. Although I don't know exactly what is causing your problem in your current job, "I feel like I'm at a dead end because we do thing in a crappy way and nobody will listen to me" is a very common situation in many companies.

Assuming you want to "do thing right" (according to your own definition of "right"), it means you have to be a bit more picky about where you work. Your main hurdle is to show that you have skills that they couldn't find in their home market.

As you mentioned JS, here's the kind of thing that I mean:

Level 1: I can write basic front end code that uses jQuery to get things done. I have written a few functions on my own, but mostly copy and paste things from Stack Overflow.

Level 2: I can write dynamic front end web applications using one or more frameworks. I can use these frameworks fluently, but rarely go outside of them.

Level 3: I write code in JS. If you want, I will use whatever framework you want, but it doesn't really matter to me. I'm familiar with many styles of programming and can use testing frameworks like Jasmine well.

Level 4: I'm an expert in JS. I routinely contribute bug fixes, and features to various libraries. I write blog posts about how to write better JS applications.

Level 5: I am an internationally renown expert in JS. I maintain one of the really popular frameworks, or I have written books that are popular on the topic.

Basically, I can find thousands of JS "programmers" in the Level 1 category. I don't want them, even if they are cheap.

We get hundreds of CVs from local people in the Level 2 category. We might consider a local person for a junior position, but would definitely not go out of our way to bring in someone at that level.

Level 3 starts to become interesting and we would probably interview someone who needs a visa. At this level, though, you have to convince us that you are super talented to make us want to go through the effort and cost of sponsoring you.

At level 4, you are demonstrating that you have rare skills and initiative. Although personally I think it's actually a fairly low bar to hit, the number of people who do this kind of thing is really very small. It's nice because we can evaluate your skills to a certain degree before trying to hire you.

At level 5, it is trivial for us to sponsor a visa. We still might not hire you if we think you aren't actually a good fit for our team, but I pretty much guarantee that we would eagerly interview you.

Of course there are many more things we consider when hiring people, the above is really just the kind of thing we look at with respect to sponsoring a visa. We just can't justify to ourselves or the government that we couldn't find someone locally unless there is something obviously special about you.

Having said that, you may notice that putting yourself in a Level 4 or even Level 5 position is not something that is outside of your control. Working in a "dead end" job while you spend your time making yourself more marketable to a worldwide audience is probably not the worst thing you could do in the world.

I hope this helps :-)

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