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I'm 25 years old, with 6 years experience in software developer from China, and I'm in to California since 2016.

I was working at a studio back in China since 2012, where I learned C++/C# for desktop application, JS/NodeJS/PHP for backend and frontend.

I came to the U.S. in 2016 to seek asylum and got my employment authorization.

After I came here, I kept working hard with my studio back in China, its been great but after 3 years, the studio is going down even with our efforts to make it profitable again.

I have no degrees, never had a chance due to my childhood, no real employment record that can be recognized by Americans, but I do believe I am experienced software developer, as I been working on it in past 6 years, just like other Chinese goes 996, working hard, solved so many issues and challenges.

My question is what should I do, what's next to continue my career in this nation?

  • Have you tried applying for other jobs? What happened when you did? – Philip Kendall Sep 7 at 9:38
  • haven't tried yet, every time I open their page it comes with a requirement saying a bachelor degree is required. plus I really got no idea how should I make my resume as I don't have any certificate or a project that I can show them – Fozzie Kyu Sep 7 at 9:52
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    Why do you belive that your work experience does not count? Where I live it would most certainly do. – lijat Sep 7 at 10:00
  • @lijat I thought they must verify it, such as make a call to the company or seeing its official website., but those no longer exists, I only got a mobile phone number from Co-worker and they hardly speak English... – Fozzie Kyu Sep 7 at 10:09
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    You're not the first person to have worked due a company that went bust. Just start applying and explain the situation when you need to. – Philip Kendall Sep 7 at 10:23
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Most companies looking for a developer are already used to employees that don't have a degree. It is something quite commom in this area, so most companies will take experience over education.

Simply apply to jobs, detail your 6 years of experience and good luck!

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Do what anyone without a degree does to show potential employers your skills.

First, you do still have a resume with work experience - I don't know why you think you have "no real employment record that can be recognized by Americans." We do in fact realize other countries exist and people have work experience from there. Ideally we can confirm it with references, but we also understand that in some cases companies go out of business, etc. and it's hard to do that. Perhaps some of your former coworkers or managers would still agree to being contacted as references, or at least you could get them to write you up a recommendation on LinkedIn.

Second, you will of course need to compensate by coming up with other things you can show people. Can you point them at work you've done? Software, client sites, open source projects, github repos... Even if there's not "hard proof" you worked on them, in an interview we'll ask you some questions to see if it seems like you know what you're talking about. In the end, in any interview you have some degree of trust that the applicant has done the things they've said, there's no effective way to validate every detail.

Third, prepare for the technical interviews - if you can go in and talk to other engineers and reasonably convince them via whiteboard, coding project, or whatever that you can develop in those languages, you'll get job offers.

Everyone is hungry for development talent. Just this week I hired someone who has a degree in a completely non-computing field but decided to teach themselves coding and switch careers. They have some contract experience, we talked to them and determined that we think they know what they're talking about, and that's good enough.

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    It's worth pointing out that the OP does have references, even if the company he worked for went bust. If his coworkers / manager liked him and respected his work, they can be references. – DaveG Sep 7 at 19:13
  • Word, added a line about that – mxyzplk Sep 7 at 20:22

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