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Astana, Kazakhstan • 14 March 2022

Google vs. LinkedIn: Two Giants Headhunting Maksat Kadyrov

How Kazakh IT specialists find success in Silicon Valley

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tengrinews.kz
tengrinews.kz

From Aktobe to LA

33-day survival

"As soon as we arrived, I started looking for a job. It took 33 days. By Valley standards, that's pretty fast. I treated it like a job, I had a daily schedule of job applications and interviews. The difficulties were moral and financial. At one point I was beginning to think I was worthless in the job market and was ready to take any job. But my wife believed in me. She managed to find a job in a couple of hours and provided money for us to hold on until I get a job, for which I am very grateful. I remember how sometimes we ate only one cookie a day to save money."

tengrinews.kz
tengrinews.kz

Google VS LinkedIn

"In February there was finally light at the end of the tunnel. Interviews at LinkedIn and Google went great. I had two offers from the coolest companies. Later that evening I got a third job offer from one of the successful startups I had interviewed with almost a month earlier. I was deciding which company I was going to choose for two days. Google and LinkedIn started raising their salaries to get me to choose them. The CEO of the startup called at 9 p.m. at night to try to talk me into choosing them. I told him the salaries that Google and LinkedIn had offered, and he raised the salary too. So all three of them ended up offering me almost similar salaries."

Company Values

"As soon as we arrived, I started looking for a job. It took 33 days. By Valley standards, that's pretty fast. I treated it like a job, I had a daily schedule of job applications and interviews. The difficulties were moral and financial. At one point I was beginning to think I was worthless in the job market and was ready to take any job. But my wife believed in me. She managed to find a job in a couple of hours and provided money for us to hold on until I get a job, for which I am very grateful. I remember how sometimes we ate only one cookie a day to save money."

tengrinews.kz
tengrinews.kz

People from Kazakhstan in Google, Facebook and LinkedIn

"Getting a job in the Valley for Kazakhstan’s programmers is quite realistic. I did not know that there is this belief in Kazakhstan that you have to get to Europe first, and only then you will be hired in Silicon Valley. It's probably an easier route I didn't know about. There are a lot of people from Kazakhstan in the Valley, many working for Google and Facebook. I personally know three Kazakhs working for LinkedIn. I think every major company has them. Our company has a group of Russian-speaking people on Slack (corporate messenger), everyone there is from the former Soviet Union. We meet for lunches and hang out."

How to get a job in Silicon Valley

"Getting a job in the Valley for Kazakhstan’s programmers is quite realistic. I did not know that there is this belief in Kazakhstan that you have to get to Europe first, and only then you will be hired in Silicon Valley. It's probably an easier route I didn't know about. There are a lot of people from Kazakhstan in the Valley, many working for Google and Facebook. I personally know three Kazakhs working for LinkedIn. I think every major company has them. Our company has a group of Russian-speaking people on Slack (corporate messenger), everyone there is from the former Soviet Union. We meet for lunches and hang out."

The most difficult question

"I am pleased with the current level of digitalization in Kazakhstan, and I think it is something that Kazakhstan can be proud of. The prospects are great, but it's a little early for companies of the level of at least Yandex to appear in the country. This is primarily due to staffing. The level of programmers is weak due to the fact there is no competition. The entry threshold is low. I hope that soon there will be enough of them and competition will begin. I think it's normal that people go abroad to work, but I really hope that they will come back with experience and ideas. My wife and I are planning to come back. Right now I want to gain experience and grow. Even if I am offered a huge salary in Kazakhstan and a good position, I am not ready to go back yet. I think if I spend another 5-7 years in Silicon Valley, then Kazakhstan will really benefit from me when I come back."

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The Qazaqstan Monitor is a website informing about events in business, creativity and achievements in Kazakhstan and Kazakhstanis abroad. When working with materials of The Qazaqstan Monitor website, only 30% of the text with obligatory hyperlink to the source is allowed. When using full material it is necessary to obtain the editors’ permission. The Qazaqstan Monitor editors do not always share the views of the authors of articles. In case of violation of the terms of posting materials, the editorial staff of the site has the right to resolve disputes in a lawful manner.