No Visa, No Problem! How Jamaican Techies Can Find & Land Remote Job Opportunities w/ Javon Davis
Episode 18 | January 27, 2020 | 53 mins
Photo Courtesy of Javon Davis
Even before he finished his degree at University of The West Indies, Javon was already on the hunt for job opportunities. That quest lead him to Udacity, a Massive Open Online Courses’s (MOOC’S) platform for persons wanting to work in tech and other digital spaces.
He used up all the money he had in his savings to pay for a Udacity Nanodegree. This program matches successful participants with Udacity’s hiring partners.
Well Javon did so well he was head-hunted straight out of the program by Lyft, a popular Silicon Valley ride share company to work with their self-driving car team. He knocked every stage of the interview process out the park and was eventually offered what would’ve been a big deal job.
Alas, it wasn’t to be, he was denied a work visa, the dream had collapsed.
If at this point he had tucked his tail between his leg and wondered off in a corner somewhere, everybody would’ve understood and even sympathized. Instead, Javon was hella proud, he had beat out serious competition from Ivy leaguers to get that job offer and that in and of itself was validation, he was good enough.
He was imbued with a confidence that lit a fire bigger than any visa disappointment, he kept pushing, practising and honing his skills. As it turns out a project he started working on in his spare time for practice was the ticket to landing a job at Automatic, the parent company for WordPress and WooCommerce, two of the most popular CRM platforms in the world.
Javon is a nonconformist out-of-the-box thinker, not restricted by geography nor limited by anyone else’s myopia. That is why he never felt pressured to go the traditional route of entrepreneurship. His ultimate goal is to become a Chief Technology Officer, he just wanted to use technology to solve problems.
I never wanted or and I still don’t want, you know that whole entrepreneur kind of lifestyle. It’s sensationalized and pushed a lot, but it’s just not something that, you know, really interests me. I enjoy solving problems and you know, running a business doesn’t seem that exciting.
At the core Javon is a creative who challenges himself to always create value with every piece of code he writes. Now having successfully transitioned to working with Apple, Canada he has given himself the opportunity to do just that.
I just like to create. I just wanted to keep creating things at the highest level possible. So that’s always the goal I had in mind.
READ JAVON'S BIO HERE
Javon Davis is a Software Engineer and a graduate of the University of the West Indies, Mona(UWI) who brings his coding and problem solving background together to build great software.
During his final year of studies at the UWI in 2015/2016 he served as a VP of the UWI computing society where he focused on helping first year students become more engaged in the area of study and is still passionate about helping others interested in pursuing computer science achieve that goal and enjoy it along the way.
Javon began his professional engineering career in 2016 after graduating from the UWI with a B.Sc in Computer Science and Mathematics and started off by working with the Mona School of Business and Management on a joint research project with the goal of standardizing Disaster Recovery plans in the Caribbean and building out the foundation for the technology needed to accomplish this.
The project was a success, and he was invited to present the work at La Universidad de las Ciencias Informáticas (The University of Computer Science) at their annual conference UCIENCIA held in Cuba in 2016.
Javon then began working with the QualityWorks Consulting Group a global software consulting company based here in Kingston, Jamaica before deciding to join global tech giant Automattic as a Software Engineer helping build out automation suites, infrastructure and processes for one of the world’s most well known open source frameworks, WordPress, a software used by over a third of the internet today.
Javon is now moving on to his next endeavor in Silicon Valley at Apple Inc. as an iOS engineer on the team working on Siri, an AI powered virtual assistant built into the iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS operating systems used internationally.
Besides coding, Javon has served as an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Computing at the UWI and also acts as a course author, student mentor and project reviewer for global teaching platforms Pluralsight and Udacity.
He also is an active member of the local WordPress community here in Jamaica, volunteers with the Calico Project, a programme started to encourage local Caribbean students to get more involved in coding and open source while volunteering any additional time to help local youth learn how to code and build great software through a variety of local initiatives.
When Javon is not doing any of those things he is probably trying to play basketball, hanging out with friends, travelling, or attempting to play FIFA.
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