Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

I am a somewhat recent computer science master's graduate. After graduation I worked for about half a year and then moved to Japan where I studied Japanese and lived there until now. I'll be moving back home soon with my wife and kid and I'm looking to start a solid career in the tech industry of Hawaii.

I do not have a lot of experience, so I am open to start my career in any developing field in a junior level position. I had a summer internship as a Java developer and a summer job fixing websites that were developed in Dreamweaver (yeah, it was a mess).

I feel like I work best in PHP & MySQL (HTML/CSS fluent), but I have used Java and C languages extensively during my undergraduate studies in the programming track. I took courses like Data Structures, Operating Systems, Data Structures, Advance Databases (PL/SQL) and Parallel Programming. I also got a minor in Math.

I have adopted CodeIgniter and jQuery frameworks for my personal projects and even built a simple eCommerce website with CodeIgniter once. But I'll be willing to dive into anything new. I can list other programming languages, but I don't think feel like they are worth mentioning unless I had work experience in them.

If this is any useful, I am fluent in speaking Japanese, but I can only read/write at the Intermediate level. I might as well get that out there.

Please visit the link for my resume and portfolio:

If you have any suggestions on improving my resume or portfolio, they would be very much appreciated.

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Welcome back. I moved back from Tokyo six years ago with my family as well.

Ikayzo on Oahu has offices in Honululu and Tokyo. They are a Ruby on Rails shop.

If you are interested in learning something new, I would really recommend Rails.

I was a veteran php coder who was depressed with how far Drupal and Wordpress had

come. Basically, I could install Drupal/Wordpress and various modules to give customers

what they needed. I wasn't programming. I was configuring.  

Rails rapid dev made programming fun and lucrative again.

As far as tech jobs on the islands, it seems to me that there is a lot of military contracts and

some medical device work. For the military contracts, they usually want Java or .Net. 

What island are you going to?  I can recommend companies hiring in Maui who need Java/.Net.

Generally, you will find more options on Oahu.

Thank you for your response, Ben! Yeah, I'm starting to see how Ruby on Rails is still growing in popularity and fast to develop in. From what I've read, it is similar to programming with CodeIgniter, which is what I use right now. So far, it has been confusing for me to know where to develop my skills in now that I'm getting started.

Yeah, I also noticed a lot of jobs that want .NET experience. I have used it before, but not much. If there is a job for it, I'll go for it but I have never seen an opening for a Junior .NET positions.

I will be living in Honolulu, but I really appreciate your offer to recommend me.

My 2 cents as someone who was in Honolulu until 6 months ago is to think about the type of work that you want to be doing and then figure out what skills to develop.  There are exciting companies in Hawaii in the government, military, medical sector but also great agencies where you might be working on more creative projects like social media and even traditional sites.  Depending on what you want to do, the commonly required skills (or language, framework) are going to be different. 

Rails will be html based sites but that won't fly with many industries that are already invested in .NET techonlogy.

That being said, I personally think the best companies will hire people who are smart and motivated (hopefully).

Thanks Scott! I'd like to go into the agencies, but I don't think my skills will make the cut. The government, military, and medical sectors seem more of a stable and safe option, but I haven't seen any entry level openings.

Depending on what you want to do, the commonly required skills (or language, framework) are going to be different.

I'll definitely keep this in mind.

Anyone have any suggestions on certifications or should pursue? I've never seen any jobs requiring them, but I read that they would put me ahead of other applicants.

If you already have a master's degree, I don't think you need a certification of any type. You have something better :-)

You might want to look into job openings at some of the local hotel chains or a chain that has a office here. Like Outrigger, Aston, Hilton, and Marriott. Or a Japanese travel agency. They may be looking for web developers and your Japanese language skills are a plus.

You may want to also look into local events such as Startup Week Honolulu and WetWare Wednesday.

And checkout the calendar of events at The Box Jelly.

If you already have a master's degree, I don't think you need a certification of any type. You have something better :-)

Thank you for your comment Chris! It seems like that's very true given that I got a job with Booz Allen Hamilton a few months ago. I'm currently a Java Developer. Although I was more interested in technologies like PHP, Ruby, or Python, I think Java was a good place to start. One of the people deciding on hiring me felt that my resume was good because I had a computer science degree for both bachelor's and master's. So, it definitely helped!


Since my initial post, I had about 10 interviews (some weren't what I was looking for) and the only offer I had was with Booz Allen and I took it immediately and I'm really happy with this job.


I'll be honest and say that posting on TechHui didn't help me get the job, but I was met with a few friendly messages from other TechHuians that made my job search more bearable. Job hunting is quite brutal mentally so best wishes to those who are on their search! Send me a message if you have any questions about job hunting.


I think the best tips I can give are to make your profile as nice as possible, then do the same for and accounts. These will definitely get you messages from recruiters (if you aren't already). The annoying thing about this is that you will get messages about jobs you won't care about or somewhere you don't want to live. The good thing about this is that I got to meet with two local recruiters who were able to explain to me about the current job market and where I am at. These connections can help you land you a job if need a job in the future.


This only worked once but I went directly to a company's website and sent my resume there. This will circumvent recruiting fees for that company, which would be easier for them to hire you. I got an interview, but I didn't get the job. I did this for other companies, but I didn't get a response.


You will end up filling out tons of online forms, which was annoying, but you just need to put yourself out there. Also, you want to get lots of job interviews if you can and even if you don't get the job, just be happy to get the experience.

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