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Getting a job with a caveman English level.

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Hello guys, I'm from Argentina and obviously I speak Spanish. Many developers dream about working someday abroad and for that it's necessary speak good English. So, is it possible get a job with an intermediate level of English ( caveman English level)?. I would like to know your experiences.

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There's a lot to this question. It's hard to say it won't present some obstacles, but some thoughts:

  • When looking for a job, 100 NOs and one YES are sort of the same thing as zero NOs and one YES. So it might be painful, but you do not need every company to be the right place for you to work with, you just need one company.
  • It's really up to them to disqualify you, not you to disqualify yourself. So if you think it will help, you should keep working on your English, but don't deny yourself the opportunity to go for it.

If you find local connections, perhaps at meetups if there are any near you, they will be able to help answer your questions and make progress.

I hope my thoughts were helpful at all, but I'm sure some others have better perspective than me because I have never faced this issue myself.


Can I just say that your English doesn't strike me as "caveman" at all?

It might be helpful to figure out where you are on the ILR scale for English, both for your reference and to know the right words for your resumé/applications.

At my company, I have hired and worked with ILR-3 (professional working proficiency) English speakers many times, with little difficulty. As long as you can speak and write the language well enough to do the job, it won't really matter too much.


There's written English and there's spoken English.

Not to discount Jacinto Jaimez, but written is much easier as you have time to proofread and correct. Jacinto might feel it's spoken English that's the issue.

I work in a company where most of the devs are eastern European and some but clients are western(North American, UK mostly). Some of the devs have lower intermediate English but it doesn't stop them from talking to clients.

And, generally, native English speakers are too polite to point out any mistakes. So, if you have some, non-teacher, native speaker friends/acquaintances and want to improve ask them to point out any mistakes you make. They'll, most likely, be happy to help.


Hi there,

I am also from Argentina, I never studied English apart from school, I have learned at work because most of the clients were from English speaking countries.

Regarding your question, I think it is possible. My English level was never perfect and two years ago I managed to get a job in The Netherlands (Amsterdam).

After two years here I learned and improved a lot, and now I feel comfortable in most of the situations.

But I would, if you find something, just go for it, do not let your English level stop you!

Feel free to reach me if I can help you with something.


Hi Manuel, I'm currently in Australia trying luck as we say. At the moment I'm working as a freelancer and looking for something more stable. I am definitely interested in stay in touch with you! I have been in the Netherlands and it's awesome.


Hi, portuguese dude here. Well, if, when you code something, you already look up stuff in english at stackoverflow, libraries' documentations etc, chances are you can already express yourself using the same programming lingo. And you did say 'intermediate' ;), so from what I can tell, your english should be absolutely sufficient, at least for collaborating with other developers.

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