Another story about moving, this time to the Netherlands

I want to share my experience of moving to the Netherlands.

Brief introduction.

All my 25 years I lived in Kiev, graduated from KPI. In the 3rd year I began to engage in web development - sawed sites on Jumlah - WordPress, drew designs and slowly studied the wisdom of PHP and JS. After 1.5 years, I got a job at the Kiev branch of Anzer IT Healthcare and, after a year of working there, for the first time I seriously thought about finding a job abroad with moving. Then I saw this as a successful continuation of my career, since school-institute times, I see, my parents’ instructions have been ingrained.


First approach

This was the beginning of 2013, I decided to start from Europe, so that not far from home. Shoveling vacancies in:

and sending a resume to suitable options, I began to wait for answers. I didn’t bother with Cover-lettera, everywhere I wrote the same "Please consider my CV ...". As a result, he went through a dozen interviews on Skype, in English and completed several simple test tasks. Interviews were usually held in 2 stages - first HR's, then developers. As a result, he received 2 offers from Slovakia and one from the Czech Republic, but the conditions were worse than at the then job in Kiev. The proposed RFP was comparable to Kiev, but abroad there are additional costs for housing rental and all kinds of insurance. As a result, he refused and, on the advice of his parents, began to search in the Netherlands.

In May he entered the Ukrainian company DAXXwho offered to test for a PHP Drupal developer job at a Dutch startup. Under the guidance of HRs, the resume was slightly leveled and the customer agreed to an interview. I had little experience with Drupal, but I managed to figure it out more or less in the week before the interview. The interview was conducted by the startup CEO and one of the developers. They asked about previous work experience, why I was looking for work in another country (everyone generally likes to ask this), there were no tasks to write the code. In the end, as usual, they gave me the opportunity to ask my questions. I asked why Drupal was chosen as the basis, and not my favorite Yii (the startup was in the planning stage, i.e. nothing was written). They answered with a description of the advantages of CMS over the framework plus referred to the fact that Drupal is very popular among them in Europe. We debated a little about what is still better suited. An important argument in favor of Yii turned out to be faster on it. In the end, they decided to think and contact me again in a week. This week they googlean article about the benefits of Yii and eventually agreed to Yii and me as a developer. I had the feeling that everything was somehow suspiciously good, I waited for the offer - the RFP was higher than the Czech-Slovak companies, plus the standard of living in the Netherlands was higher, and working in a startup from scratch is cool. I decided to agree. I quit Anzer, the intermediary company took up documents, I had to wait again.

Meanwhile, there was a telephone interview at for the Perl developer position. This vacancy is always open for them and Perl knowledge is not necessary for her, more important is the general experience of algorithms, optimization for high loads. First HR calls, asks general questions, talks about the company, appoints the next interview, which is carried out by 2 developers. They mainly ask questions on understanding algorithms. I did not go through this interview - I answered half of the questions with a stretch.

A week and a half later, they called from Dax and asked to drive to the office. Well, I thought, some other signatures are needed or something according to the documents. But the girl who was involved in my design said that, unfortunately, the customer decided to abandon the project altogether. I was a little shocked. I was offered $ 500 or 2 days in Amsterdam at the expense of the company as compensation. He said he would think it over and left. My heart felt a sense of relief - I was free from work and could rest for a whole summer. A couple of days later he took $ 500 and decided that I had no fate abroad and left for the sea.

A month later, they took me to the Front-end developer in a company not far from home, on an interesting project with a salary higher than expected, in short, for almost a year I worked and enjoyed life. Then again the desire to seek happiness in another country woke up.

Second approach

Again successfully failed the interview at Booking.
In the vacancy section on stackoverflow, there was a Front-end dev position in Leasewebwhich I sent the resume to. The first interview was conducted by HR and Front-end dev. They asked general questions, past experience, and some technical questions. Then they sent an email with a link to the test in codility. The test consisted of 3 tasks, on JS. Tasks were 2 simple and 1 medium difficulty. I typed, in my opinion 198/300, and they appointed me another interview, this time with a system architect and technical director of the company. They asked questions about working with the technologies that are used in the company, asked if they looked into the source code of their website (no, did not look). After a couple of days, the recruiter sent “thank you for your time ...”, but it was interesting at the end of the letter - the reason I did not arrange them was that at the last interview, none of the interviewees saw my interest, although for technical skills, I come up. He wrote in response, “I am surprised and confused ... Why didn’t you see? I asked a bunch of questions. ”

As a result, HR appointed another interview - with her and the architect from the previous interview. She asked mainly questions about relocation, what problems in my opinion I may encounter in this matter. Then she asked if I had any questions - I asked 3 pieces in response, such as can be discussed (in detail about the office and work schedule, for example). I also asked what kind of RFP I would like, net, - I was not particularly prepared for this question, therefore I called it the most reasonable one, HR said that this is a lot, and that the usual RFP is my figure, but gross.

The next day she announced that they were ready to make me an offer. It should be noted that the offer has many small amenities:
  • compensation for transport costs if you live further 10 km from work (the office is located on the western outskirts of Amsterdam)
  • bonuses at the end of the year
  • 1500 Euro upon arrival
  • 13th salary
  • free lunches, fruits, tea and coffee
  • 25 Euro / month on the Internet
  • assistance with the execution of all documents and the search for housing

Preparation and relocation

Preparation of documents is simple, from what I needed to do in Kiev:
  • criminal record with translation and notarization
  • go to the embassy, ​​bring your passport and visa photo
  • go to the embassy, ​​pick up a passport with a visa
  • buy a plane ticket

The rest was done by company employees from the Netherlands.

Separately, I will talk about rental housing. They suggest filling out a form with the desired parameters (apartment or room, in which city, what price range, etc.). There are 2 nuances: firstly, they offered rooms from 700 Euro / month, apartments from 800 are a little expensive, and secondly, all the housing they offer is rented under a contract for at least 6 months. Since I was not sure in which city (or region if in Amsterdam) I would like to live and whether I would like to return in a month, I decided to refuse this service and began to look for housing for a month myself. Searched

for on airbnb- a very convenient service, especially displaying all available options on one map, you can immediately figure out where it will be closer to get to work. By the way, helps a lot in the search for transport around the country . Trains and buses are sometimes delayed, but rarely, with the cancellation of a flight, the electric train came across only 1 time in 4 weeks, which I am here.

I found a room in Utrecht, as a result, the journey takes 3 minutes to the bus, 15 minutes by bus to the railway station, 17 minutes by train and 15 minutes by foot to the office. If you ride a bike, then the time to the train + train - work = 15 min. An ordinary adult can be transported on a train not at rush hour (7.30 - 9.00 and 16.30 - 18.00), but a separate ticket is required (6 Euro per day). Folding can be transported in the folded state for free, because it takes up no more space than regular baggage.

A couple of days after arrival, an employee of a document company arrived and brought him to a city hall for registration, a fluorography hospital, a bank to open an account and an immigration service to get a residence card, which replaces a visa.

On the first working day there was a lot of new things, the office was very pleased - clean, bright, spacious. It is an open space with docking stations as workplaces, each employee is given a laptop that you can take with you. The work is built on scrum, the schedule is not very tight - you can come from 8 to 10, leave after 17.30. And at 18.00 the office, as a rule, is already empty.

In the company you can meet people from almost anywhere in the world.

A little about the country itself

Wonderful nature, a huge number of parks around Utrecht fields with stripes of forest in which hares and ponds with ducks run. At first the air seemed unusually clean, but after a couple of weeks I got used to it, it would be interesting now to breathe in our Kiev.
The house is low, mainly 3 floors, flowers grow near each door. The streets are not very clean because garbage bags are stacked on the sidewalks in front of houses where scavengers pick them up, plus not all dogs are brought to the parks ... Once I even saw a group of guys relieving little need for a canal near the main street.

Link to Gdrive with photos.

Prices for basic products (cape, fish, cheese, bakery, cereals) are 2-3 times higher than in Kiev. For some, for example, canned vegetables, milk, juices are approximately equal to Kiev.

Directions are very expensive. You can buy tickets that operate for a certain time, or for a certain zone - this is uneconomical, because everyone uses a Chipcard, with which you pay only for the distance that you traveled. It costs 7.50, replenished in special machines with a credit card or in cash in cash. It works like this: when entering / leaving the station, you need to attach a card to the device near the turnstile and the system will automatically write off the required amount from the account. If you forget to attach at the exit, then the maximum possible amount is written off - for a bus and metro it is 4 euros, for train 20. For example, travel from Utrecht from Amsterdam costs about 6 euros. Supervisors often go on trains. On buses for monitoring, cameras are hanging near each door.

Cyclists here expanse - the paths are almost everywhere, and they have priority over other vehicles. A used bike costs from 40 euros with a guarantee of 1 month, I have not looked at new ones. Also, bike paths are designed for mopeds, which sometimes cause inconvenience. Parking for cars is mostly paid, from 2 euros / hour, so I think free parking near the office is another boon. Gasoline costs around 1.6 euros per liter.

People are friendly, if you warm up with someone on the street and meet your eyes, then with a high probability you will say hello and smile. 95% speak English. I have never noticed rudeness or open expression of discontent.

Now the test month is coming to an end, but, they say, in 4 years none of the foreigners left the company after it. It is also interesting how much the net salary will be, since neither HR's nor the company that makes the documents could give an exact answer to this question. From the unpleasant, it is worth noting that a pension of 1.5% is also deducted from the RFP. It is also necessary to have medical insurance, the cost of which starts from 70 euros / month and this amount is not compensated by the company.

Surely I didn’t tell a lot, so I will be glad to answer questions in the comments or PM.

P.S. Leaseweb continues to recruit new staff vacancies

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