To Germany by a developer without a high school


It has been almost a year since I exchanged native birch trees for beer and sausages. And finally, he decided to blow off the dust from his habrachetochki, for.

In my defense, I will say that the case is unusual. Your humble servant, due to natural laziness and other reasons well known to everyone, flashed a quest to get a useful piece of paper called a diploma. The consequences of my youthful frivolity are waiting for you under the cut.

Work searches

Initial data: PHP-self-taught, 8 years alone sawed one project, periodically distracted by all kinds of homemade products and freelance. He got stuck dead. Languages: English and German (the latter gives a bunch of bonuses on the spot, but it is not important when looking for a job in IT. Some of my interviewers themselves did not know him).

I looked for work slowly, overcoming doubts and my own laziness. Thanks to the comrade who wrote me virtual lyuli and adapted the interview, which I failed miserably. But the main thing is to start. Next, I contacted the online intermediaries, did a test task from them, then from some employers, then from others, then a few Skype interviews, then a test day trip (!). In general, a decent time and effort has gone, but I do not regret it, an interesting experience.

Work Visa

Happy tower owners get a blue EC card and go to Europe like white people. You need to find a job for 41.808 euros per year (the threshold for IT today), which is not much.

All the rest are waiting for a national visa "for the implementation of self-employment". Reading the conditions of receipt, I was depressed, because everything there is about diplomas and diplomas, about the fact that they need to be confirmed, and so on. But at the same time, the Germans reserve the right to let the right specialists, which they do. The headhunters-mediators were aware of this and immediately said: do not worry.

An interesting point: in the " positive list " of professions there is far not only a search, there are a lot of working specialties. Builders, car mechanics, plumbers ... Who did not dream of being a German plumber, let him throw a stone at me!

True, professional education also needs to be confirmed in a good way, but it has not been received for five years, and it does not break through the bases, like a university, for the rating of an educational institution.

Personally, just in case, I applied academic certificates from the institute, with translation and certification, but I have no idea whether this made sense or not. Nevertheless, the procedure for issuing visas is a black box, apparently, on purpose.

An important point is a visa for the second half. She had to pout for me and pass the German language (level A1). If I had a tower and a blue card, I wouldn’t have to.


In the process of obtaining a visa, the most unpleasant thing is the uncertainty in terms. It’s an appointment to submit for more than a month, but you can grab the vacated coupons, if often checked. Formal processing times are large, several months. In fact, I got a visa for a week and a half. Try not to let their German employers down. lack of personnel is serious.
Berlin is green, sleazy and beautiful. Grows by leaps and bounds, speaks all the languages ​​of the ball. Finding an apartment is a pain. Get ready to go for dozens of views when renting temporary rooms on AirBNB. The Germans are diligently building up all the wasteland left over from the war and the walls, the factories were put on lofts, but still they are not keeping pace with the boom of Berlin startups.
Things are also tight with kindergartens.

About the prices. In Germany, by European standards, cheap food (+ - like in Moscow, after you get used to parse local price tags and understand where what and how much). The Internet is expensive and leisurely. Household appliances, great it makes sense to buy used at a local Ibee, getting cheap. He bought his aluminum horse for 41 euros. Dashed about 6000 according to my calculations, the flight is normal, it's time to change the chain a second time.

My personal motivator for the move is the opportunity to ride a bicycle to work all year round, even from the outskirts. At first, it was just euphoria when I drove out on the road in the morning.

All in all, it's worth it. Germany is not a Valley, where they go for a crazy career and money, everything here is much more modest in this regard. This is a place for those who understand life.

Go for it!

UPD. after justified criticism I add useful info.

A memo from the embassy with a check list. Everything is done according to it, the task is stupid for attention. Instead of a diploma, an academic certificate if there is, if there is nothing, then most likely just nothing
They should not find fault with commas

at the same time, for those with a diploma: the same for black cards

Number of interviews
a total of three potential employers, 2-3 interviews + test tasks, plus a test day there, where in the end I got a job

Search for permanent housing: 10 views, filed documents for almost everything, I think that it was easy to get off (treshka for 900 plus light).

I copy here the buldezir comment, everything is correct there, but I warn you that the extreme winter was abnormally warm even for Berlin:

About training:
If you have an offer for 53k + gross, then everything is easy.
No subtleties with the docks, everything is as indicated in the instructions on the embassy website (except for the diploma, the stump is clear). formally, a diploma is needed for a national visa, but in reality, all do not care, the documents will be accepted and so on.
They asked me for letters of recommendation (not for work and not for the embassy, ​​but just in case for the labor department), they rolled letters in English, even without translation.
Unexpectedness: the matter may be delayed, it took me almost 4 months from receiving the offer until the departure, while it was a dumb wait, first an amentment at the embassy, ​​then an aprument from the labor department (the employer receives it, and he could do it early, but mine Slightly profiled moment :))

Useful Moving Tips

worry less, stress greatly reduces the joy of this "movement".
it’s better to bring along a second phone for a Russian SIM card, since you need to buy a local SIM card as quickly as possible on the spot.
in winter there are no frosts (on average, the temperature is somewhere around +3, in my opinion the coldest days were -5), so you can not take quilted jackets with you :)
with a very high probability, even in a furnished apartment there will be no bedding at all, so you need to either bring along or fly in order to be driven to IKEA on the same day.
some establishments / shops have a shorter working day on Saturday, but generally
nothing works at all on Sunday
it’s super convenient to use a bicycle to move around the city, but if you rely on public transport, the first thing to do is to download the BVG Tickets application and take a monthly pass

The most difficult thing in this matter is to rent a normal apartment.
I had help with all these matters from the employer, so I found and signed a rental contract from Russia. accordingly, I went directly from the plane to give money and pick up the keys. but now I’m looking for a new (permanent) apartment and this is still hemorrhagic.


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