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Background:

I've been a software engineer for nearly 6 years. I started as an indie, but for the last 2.5 years, I've been employed by companies in Europe.

I'm self-taught and I don't have a degree in any field. And I very much planning to avoid such waste of time and more importantly money.

My dream/goal ever since I started this journey was to eventually end up in the USA and work in a nice company with like-minded people.

Question:

Taking these circumstances in consideration, what is the best way to get a job in the USA in software engineering?

Should I go back to the school and get a degree? If so, is there a possibility to fast-forward the process, so it won't take the whole 4 years?

Or is there a visa I don't know about?

Disclaimer:

I looked into different visas, but all of them always has a catch in one or another way. I'm just looking for an idea on how "weirdos" like me, with no degree, but with real-world experience, which I can prove at any waking moment, can achieve it.

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    It is becoming harder to get and keep software jobs, and other computer related jobs, in the US without at least a bachelor's degree in a related subject. – Patricia Shanahan Apr 2 '18 at 23:55
  • @PatriciaShanahan not sure where you're getting that from. A company like Google couldn't care less about your degree for most of their Software Dev positions. They only care about your actual skills. – JonathanReez Apr 4 '18 at 19:53
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    @JonathanReez Locals and residents without a degree could get the job, but getting a work visa without a degree? Good luck. – dda Apr 10 '18 at 12:30
  • @dda yes you're correct then. – JonathanReez Apr 10 '18 at 14:58
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With the current USA conditions and all the restrictions put on for the H1 visas and the point system been put in place(future), it would be in your benefit to get a degree related to Computer Science. This will increase your chance of getting in USA, or the other option is to get in touch with some nice consulting firm who can evaluate you and apply for your visa(most likely they will ask for the degree as well, but it depends)

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I for one do not agree that a degree is a plus for every tech field.

From significant professional experience as both a company owner and exec at startups, I can provide info on the most common method companies work with offshore software engineers. One of the easiest ways for a US company to work with offshore talent is if they have a corporation, enabling work via corp-to-corp. Many citizens do this as well.

Another option is remote/offshore corps like Toptal. However they are not, in my opinion, a good resource if you're looking to acquire a long-term position.

Startups are the companies that most often convert corp-to-corp resources to full employ via H1 visa. This option would usually mean less pay, some equity, but a vital role in the company, leading to conversion if they expand (hence being picky with your start up choices). There are various boards such as AngelList that are a great place to find such situations.

In addition to the aforementioned immigration issues, it's also worth mentioning the market is becoming increasingly competitive here with the flood of people pursuing work in software development.

With perseverance through it's absolutely possible. Just make sure that along with learning about the job market and career opportunities that you're acquainted in depth with the state of the country and that it's a place you see yourself being content to live in.

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