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Landing IT Work Overseas 194

snydeq writes "US IT workers could find considerable payoff and invaluable experience by taking their IT skills overseas, InfoWorld reports, as foreign, US, and global firms have increased the demand for a wide range of tech talent across the globe, offering positions that clearly move beyond the scut work of heads-down programming. Business fluency, industry-specific skills, and knowledge of American markets is fast becoming an invaluable asset foreign firms will pay a premium for, according to the report, which offers insights into finding IT work in a range of cities and regions abroad."
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Landing IT Work Overseas

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  • Wait (Score:5, Funny)

    by eclectro ( 227083 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @04:25PM (#25305055)

    If I wanted to be in a third world economy, shouldn't I stay at home??

    • You won't have to worry about figuring out how to get a job overseas. Your current company will leave the USA and and you can just go with them.
    • Similarly, if you want to work with people from India, China, the Middle East, Russia - get a job at any software company in the US. No need to go abroad!
  • by dominion ( 3153 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @04:35PM (#25305201) Homepage

    Right now, I'd love to start looking at working for a company in Europe, but I'm really not looking to move out of the U.S. I'm young, and single, and the idea of traveling frequently definitely appeals to me, but I really do love living in the U.S. And getting paid in UK Pounds or Euros wouldn't hurt too much. :)

    Any tips for how to nail a telecommuting job overseas?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Timesprout ( 579035 )
      If you are young and single but cant be bothered to actually travel and experience the culture then you are most likely not the sort of candidate european companies are looking for.
      • You can't be bothered to read the comment? OP said "the idea of traveling frequently definitely appeals to me." It doesn't get any clearer than that. They just don't want to relocate out of the US. Read a little more carefully before flaming.
    • by SL Baur ( 19540 )

      I'm young, and single, and the idea of traveling frequently definitely appeals to me

      "Young" and a 4 digit userid? Hmmm.

      My suggestion, try Asia. Only problem is the trip across the Pacific. It kicks my ass.

      I've been interested in work in Singapore and my last remaining doubt has been removed by the recent descent of the US to a 3rd world style governing system with the ill-considered bailout passed last week. Singapore's government has issues, but not quite like the US's.

    • It's called outsourcing, and you live in the wrong part of the world for this. If you want to do that sort of thing you'll have to move to China or India and work for companies in EU or USA. I know of one guy who moved to Beijing, but still works as contractor for American companies - all you need is a SkypeIn phone number (or similar) in the States, so people don't have to call overseas. The only downside is that you'll have to work US office hours - Chinese living costs are much lower than in the US, so y

  • by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) * <bittercode@gmail> on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @04:39PM (#25305235) Homepage Journal

    I think that moving outside one's native culture/setting is a good idea for anyone. It really helps to gain a wider perspective of the world.
    All the travel I've done to this point in my life has been primarily in Asia and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I tried to get a tech job in Korea a number of years back, just after I'd gotten into the industry, but it didn't work out.
    This year I had the chance to spend a couple weeks in Hungary. That was my first visit to Europe but I thought it was a great place and would be happy to live there. I kind of expected that though.
    Latin America would be interesting, though I'd think that unless one is in a major metropolis that they had best be prepared for a difference in standard of living and available services. I see Costa Rica mentioned a lot - and I think an advantage there would also be that there are many people who are very fluent in English. A lot of Americans I know that want to learn Spanish quickly go there to do so.
    I've been thinking a lot about spending a couple years or so in El Salvador. But I know of an opening there that I'd have a high chance of filling.
    Developing countries offer a lot of neat opportunities. I think that if one goes into it with a good idea of the situation and proper preparation that it can be life changing for the better. I certainly don't think that globalization is slowing down. And for anyone planning to return to the U.S. eventually, I think learning Spanish would be wise.

    • I think that moving outside one's native culture/setting is a good idea for anyone. It really helps to gain a wider perspective of the world.

      However if you are choosing a career, picking one that massively restricts where you can live and have a good career to maybe twenty cities in the world is probably not going to do you any favours. At some point you will not be in your 20s, you may wish to be close to parents when you have kids (if nothing else because grandparents like to actually see their grandch

    • About Hungary...

      I'm in Scandinavia and there has been multiple Hungarians working where I've been the last year (two places). I asked them why they left (I might be home blind but, frankly, Hungary seems much more interesting than Scandinavia!) and they answered that more or less the same politicians were in government as before 1989. Really bad taxes and everyone good tried to leave.

  • Not so fast, Kumar (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CuteSteveJobs ( 1343851 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @04:41PM (#25305255)

    A few years ago Bob Cringely wondered the same thing, but found India won't take you.

    "So I went on the web to see how easy it would be to emigrate to India. I found NOTHING. I called the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC and asked how I could emigrate to India. They didn't know what I was talking about... The idea that I'd just arrive at the Mumbai equivalent of Ellis Island looking for a job, well they found that rather amusing." []

    Rest of the developed world is in an IT slump. Time for that Career B-Plan?

    • uhm wut? (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'm a .NET / MSSQL guy (yeah, I know, I know)

      anyways, family situations have caused me to move around a lot in the last few months.

      When I was in Portland OR, I landed a 6 figure job in 3 weeks. I declined it and instead moved to Manhattan and got a job in 2 weeks, also 6 figures. Contract to hire, and they said they'd hire me permanently, but now due to a death in the family I have to go to Minneapolis MN. I put my resume on Dice sunday night and have 2 promising leads for jobs in the twin cities, also a

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by frosty_tsm ( 933163 )

        You have what some people call... skills.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by camperdave ( 969942 )
        The Dice website needs some serious work.
        • It doesn't think 416 is a valid area code. Nor does it recognize 242, 246, 284, 809, 868 or 876
        • Apparently the only three cities in Canada are Chino, CA; New York, NY; and Vancouver, WA;
        • Germany has exactly the same states as the US does.
    • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @05:15PM (#25305677) Journal
      The idea of being from India and just looking for a job in India is amusing.

      In India, most jobs are filled by referral, not by posting a job listing and screening applicants. This is changing, as companies like Polaris have open houses where they screen and hire "freshers"... but in general, looking for a job without a personal recommendation letter from one of your contacts to one of their personal contacts in another company can be difficult.

      In my experience, there are plenty of opportunities for American workers... as long as you want to be in management, or if you have specific business knowledge that's hard to find outside the US. The hard part is convincing the employer that you're worth the pay. Although it's important to note that $50,000 US in India can be enough to get you a decent home with a staff of servants... just make sure you have a driver.

      The other possibility is to work in the US for a foreign company. I see a lot of this going on nowadays... global businesses who need to maintain a US presence (in particular, a NY-area presence) often have American employees working locally to manage workflow, processes, and teams in India, China, or elsewhere.
    • Screw India - you could probably find IT work in Colombia, where you'd have the opportunity to work 60-hour weeks and bring home a whole $400/month.

      Yeah, working in developing countries is awesome.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by nomadic ( 141991 )
      I'd love to see the law changed so that H-1B visas are not awarded to candidates from countries that don't have a similar program that admits Americans.
      • India does have a work-permit system. Immigrating to India - becoming an Indian citizen is not as easy.

        I see a lot of expats in Bangalore, presumably working on the H1B equivalent.

  • We outsource ourselves?

  • Definition plz (Score:2, Interesting)

    by coren2000 ( 788204 )

    "scut work of heads-down programming"

    Uhhh wot? What does the above quote mean?

  • by xlv ( 125699 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @05:37PM (#25305937)

    I just checked the info for Paris and they got the exchange rate wrong:

    typically paying about (euros) 75,000 in Paris -- but with the current exchange rate, that's just $48,000.

    Can the rest of the article been trusted if they cannot get something so fundamental while working abroad right?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by JavaRob ( 28971 )

      No shit. I thought for a second they meant cost of living, or something like that, but no.

      Exchange rate when the article was written (back in June, when it was even worse than today) was 1.00 EUR = 1.5451 USD.

      So 75K euros = $115,882.50

      So they miscalculated your potential salary by... $67,882.50.


      • by xlv ( 125699 )

        I should have mentioned in my post that they "just" divided instead of multiplied the exchange rate as the ratio is correct, i.e. $75000 is about 48000 euros. Still a basic mistake that the author/editors should have caught before publication...

        • by JavaRob ( 28971 )

          I'm sure that's what happened -- a basic math mistake like that is fine, I've typed the numbers in wrong before as well -- but if it had *just* been a rapid math mistake (i.e., he left out the figure until the end to use a recent rate) then his argument would have been different, e.g., "75K sounds decent enough in dollars... but remember, this is the euro, which has left the sinking dollar in the dust in recent years... so particularly if you're sending some of that money home, it's a lot: [number here]".


    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by grokcode ( 1241700 )

      The information for Costa Rica is pretty far off base as well.

      Coke: $1.10 (not 66 cents)
      Beer: $1.50 (not 34 cents)
      Cell Phone: $200-$600 (not $79)
      Shoes: $4 flip flops to $175+ for brand names (not $9.50)

      And I live in a rural non-tourist area. Prices will often be double in a tourist beach town or in and around San Jose.

      Also anyone taking an upper management position at $2,000 / month is getting screwed. I've had programmers asking for anywhere between $3,000 to $5,000 / month.

    • Yup. The rest of the article is filled with other "quality" advice, too, such as:

      Canadians aren't Americans; they're typically more polite and more politically engaged

      Your biggest problem in any Chinese city might be adapting to the food -- unless you like chicken feet in rice gruel for breakfast. Lee's best advice is to take a stateside Chinese menu with you.

      Language: It is very important to know Portuguese to work in Brazil.

      Thailand: HIV and AIDS are also prevalent in the country.

      I also love how Japan a

  • Move to NZ and Aus (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I made the move to NZ 3 years ago. There is some outsourcing going on but it is much more limited. Skills I picked up in the US have proved invaluable here. If you are thinking of making the move, remember that people skills are critical. Further, you have to be open to new cultures and grow a bit of a thick skin (I get anti-US comments from time to time). The biggest problem is the distance from relatives. If someone back home gets sick, it is $3000 plane ticket and a 14hr trip to get back... not to m
  • Canada is OK, eh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hguorbray ( 967940 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @06:18PM (#25306467)

    A couple of years ago I spent 6 rather pleasant months in Edmonton as an IT contractor for EPCOR -the local power company working on their main power consumption and billing system.

    Great City, Great People -long commute (1200 miles one way every other week)

    Between the smattering of French speakers and the large # of other European cultures it was almost like being in Europe without the language issues.

    There are a lot of IT opportunities in Alberta now thanks to the Energy Boom, but you have to have a job there before they will give you a work permit and if you have priors they may refuse you entry

    • 6 pleasant months in Edmonton? Must have been May - Oct.

      • HaHa nope, August - Dec 5 months actually

        2005 was a very mild dry winter -it only snowed 2 or 3 times before xmas and didn't get below about -10c

        One of the first weeks I was there they had the Fringe Festival which was awesome and even featured 3 dead trolls in a baggie

  • by OneIfByLan ( 1341287 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @06:43PM (#25306739)

    From the article:

    "The U.S. and Europe are slowing down, but hot tech jobs beckon in China, India, and Eastern Europe."

    Sure, which is precisely why all of our H1Bs returned home in waves and a large percentage of the available visas went begging this year.

    Is you read a couple of paragraphs down, you'll find the story is a plant for a headhunting firm.

    "According to Rob McGovern, CEO of JobFox, an international employment agency for IT, in today's global economy, people who truly understand how to do business globally are a minority."

  • I thought the reason that so called "guest workers" were flooding into the USA was because the wages in those world sweat shops were so horrid.

    • by SL Baur ( 19540 )

      I thought the reason that so called "guest workers" were flooding into the USA was because the wages in those world sweat shops were so horrid.

      You get what you pay for. People in 3rd world countries are not stupid, just poor. Their governments on the other hand ...

  • When US workers must seek jobs outside of their country, something is fundamentally and woefully wrong. My heart bleeds for my fellow people in this position. It looks like 25+ years of Reagenomics has brought this serious onset of economic failure and the IT professional will likely be one of the hardest hit. The bean counters do not always see the intangible benefits that we bring as they tend to see in black and white. The bean counters see us more as a cost liability than a means of reducing the cos
    • by Eskarel ( 565631 )
      The basic and fundamental problem is that, the free market doesn't work.

      It's terribly poor at measuring anything that doesn't affect the bottom line, and government intervention to fix that inevitably creates a sufficiently high barrier to entry that in most industries, monopoly like structures are fairly inevitable.

      That's not to say that capitalism in and of itself is a failure, or that we should all be communist.

      However, we have to stop relying on the market to fix everything because the evidence over the

      • Very well said!! I think we need to strike a healthy balance between free market capitalism and government regulation. Regulation keeps some basic human nature in check.
      • by SL Baur ( 19540 )

        The basic and fundamental problem is that, the free market doesn't work.

        Nope. Free markets work everywhere they are used.

        In a free market, you do not get a home loan unless you qualify for it. In an unfree market, the government via the Community Reinvestment Act, first passed by the Carter Administration encourages loans to unqualified people. The Clinton administration gave teeth to the act.

        Government "regulation" caused the problem.

        When people including President Bush and Senator McCain attempted to add regulation they were shouted down by the Democratic Party of the US.


    • by SL Baur ( 19540 )

      When US workers must seek jobs outside of their country, something is fundamentally and woefully wrong.

      Nope, invalid premise from the start. None of your conclusions make sense. GIGO.

      It's a "good idea", but by no means "required". Big difference.

    • by hal2814 ( 725639 )

      "When US workers must seek jobs outside of their country, something is fundamentally and woefully wrong."

      US workers taking employment opportunities overseas in no way implies that they "must seek jobs outside of their country." I've looked into taking jobs overseas and as a general rule if you're having a hard time finding employment here, you're sure not getting a sponsor over there. But you are right about how the "bean counters" see IT. We're usually seen more as a necessary evil than anything else.

  • The US economy is fucked.

    The economies of most of Europe are fucked.

    The economies of Africa and most of Asia have always been fucked.

    Realistically Japan and China may weather this, though that's a big if since they sell a lot of stuff the the US and Europe, and if they do a few countries like Australia may stay afloat.

    All those countries have pretty stringent immigration requirements, and to be honest, I'd be surprised if any of them are going to get out of this unscathed and times of economic trouble are g

  • You guys have a really freaking huge advantage in being naitive English speakers. Maybe you mostly suck at writing code, maybe your maths aren't that bright. But you still can speak and write English fluently. That alone should be enough to land you in for example a French company where I can guarantee you that most of the coders basically can say "hi" in English if even that. Use that, that is your unique selling proposition that most noone can match.
    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      As a Brit, I have to disagree here.
      Firstly, Americans don't speak English. They speak American. Big differnece.
      Secondly, most of he French companies I have had experience of working for wouldn't hire English or American speakers who can't speak French too.

      • by SL Baur ( 19540 )

        Firstly, Americans don't speak English. They speak American. Big differnece.

        Has "differnece" become accepted Queen's spelling?

        I actually agree with your statement, but would never myself deign to present it as misspelled flamebait, like you did.

  • If your idea of a great life is hanging around airports and eating hotel food, go for it.
  • Working in India (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rsriram ( 51832 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @10:26PM (#25308543)

    Foreigners can work in India. Provided they have a job and apply for a work permit. Many Indian IT companies are looking for experienced programmers who would be willing to work in India for a few years (for a start).I know people from New Zealand, Holland, UK and US who have been working in India for more than 3 years.

    Indian Work Permit

    In India, work permits, often referred to as employment visas can be issued either to skilled professionals or to people immigrating to India to fill a specific position for a named company.

    Working permits in India are less defined than work permits in many other countries in that the Indian immigration structure does not present detailed requirements for obtaining one.

    Work permits are a very subjective area of Indian visa services, however in order to live and work in India all candidates must secure one.

  • I suspect there's been a bit of a global financial meltdown since they worked on this report and now large numbers of people are losing their jobs through compulsory redundancy. Sorry guys, missed your window of opportunity,
  • I did this...went to China to work for an outsourcing company for 2 years. It was a great experience! I got to learn about the Chinese way of business, as well as the whole language/culture. It's amazing how culture effects how you do business, and it was extremely interesting to throw yourself into the middle of that and learn by doing.

    Working for a software company paid peanuts by US standards, but was a fairly good income there, so we got to live in a beautiful modern apartment complex, and didn't fee

  • by discogravy ( 455376 ) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @12:09PM (#25315501) Homepage
    The infoworld links in the summary are crap -- anyone have a real suggestion or article or website or whatever? Not necessarily or exclusively about IT (c.f. How To Get Laid In Japan [] -- caveat, that's many years old by now. I'm sure japanese sexual mores have completely changed and they're all puritans now) although IT is what I and most other /. readers would be most interested in, obviously.

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein