What Does An Apartment In Bucaramanga Colombia Looks Like?

I was surprised when I entered an apartment complex in Bucaramanga. Considering that Colombia is still considered a developing country, you would think that the housing here is downtrodden but that is certainly not the case throughout the country. This one that I checked out look better than a lot of the apartments I have lived before in North America!

Luxury Living in Bucaramanga

The apartments I checked out looked quite Modern and had all the basic amenities that you would need in an apartment – stove, laundry unit and fridge! While apartments in Canada/USA usually have carpet or wooden floor, I noticed that the apartments had marble/tile which is associated with luxury.

Photos: Kitchen, Bathroom, Living Room, Bedroom In Bucaramanga

Not only that but the complex was equipped with all the facilities you would need for you or your family! There was a small playground that the kids can head down for playtime or if you want, you could use the swimming pool!

Photo: Children’s Playground and Swimming Pool

As it never really gets too hot or cold in the city, most of the units do not have air conditioning or heaters! You might just need a fan in case you feel it’s too hot or just open your window.

The newer apartments tend to have a patio that you can head out when it’s nice weather. The views from the apartment I checked out were beautiful!

Beautiful view from the apartment

Bucaramanga Apartment Cost

Rent for apartments in Bucaramanga can vary from 200-400 USD per month depending on the number of rooms and whether they are in the downtown area or outside it. While you might be able to find apartments for under $200, they might not have certain amenities.

Securing An Apartment

Online prices listed for units on certain websites might be on the higher end.

Most landlords or agencies would require you to either provide a Colombian ID (Cedula) or your passport. They would also need you to provide them with proof of income. Deposits are not required.

Most agents and landlords might only speak Spanish. So you might need to use translation tools or have a friend/family member with you who speaks Spanish to help you out.

Safety in Bucaramanga

While crime rate in Bucaramanga is lower than Bogota, you still have to be a bit cautious at all times. Petty theft is common so it is important that you keep your stuff secured and with you at all times.

That being said most of the apartment complexes have security and cameras installed. Visitors might be required to provide proof of identification before being allowed into the building. Some apartments even have armed guards. I felt relatively safe around the area and did not notice anything sketchy during my short stay in the city.


This certainly doesn’t mean that all apartments in the city are like this however if you are looking for decent housing then Bucaramanga does have really nice places to stay that would be comparable to modern housing in European and American cities.

How has your experience been so far with housing in Bucaramanga?

Pub Italia: Ottawa’s Church-Themed Pub

I have found a place in Ottawa that ticks all of the boxes that you might be looking for when visiting a pub for a meal and drink! The place is called Pub Italia and is located in Little Italy.

They have a really nice patio during summers, and the indoors remind you that you might be in a Church! Combine that with great food and service and you get the perfect hangout spot!

Once you get your table, you don’t get a drinks menu but instead you get their ‘Beer Bible’ which has a large variety of drinks that they offer! You are probably going to find so many options that you might not have tried before!

Pub Italia Ottawa

I ended up ordering one of their pizzas which turned out to be great! The portion size for one person is more than enough! You might want to share it with someone if possible! Also the drink was served chilled! Service times were reasonable despite having a big group and I didn’t really have anything to complain about!

While Pub Italia is more popular to have drinks, their food is great as well. There is ample space at the place for really big groups, and you can even arrange private space for events at the pub.

Popular Menu Items

Wondering what to order at Pub Italia? Here are some of their popular menu items –

  • Lasagna
  • Abruzzi Pizza
  • Dante Pizza
  • Bread Basket
  • Coffee
  • Sangria
  • Delerium Blonde
  • Pesto Pasta

About Pub Italia

Established in 1994, Pub Italia has become a popular destination for beer drinkers and pizza lovers. The Pub is known for its church-themed decor featuring glass windows and statues.

  • Italian gastro pub
  • Church themed decor
  • Casual upscale dining
  • Large beer collection
  • Known for pizza
  • Great for dates and large groups
  • Large patio

Contact Pub Italia

Address: 434 Preston St, Ottawa, ON K1S 4N4, Canada
Phone: +1 613-232-2326
Business website: https://pubitalia.ca/

How has your experience been so far with Pub Italia? Do you think there is another great themed restaurant in Ottawa that does it better? Please let us know!

My Hotpot Adventure at Liuyishou Ottawa

Unlike other restaurants where you get a cooked meal served to you, at a HotPot restaurant you choose what vegetables/meat you want and then you have to cook them in the broth provided. With the option to customize the dipping sauce, it actually makes a great experience for everyone involved!

As a person who does hotpot almost on a weekly basis, and have been disappointed by some restaurants who do hotpot, my expectations were quite low when I went to have HotPot At Liuyishou Hotpot (Chinese Hotpot) in Nepean.

Photo: Liuyishou Hotpot

Hotpot Experience at Liuyishou

At Liuyishou You can either go with a la carte or all-you-can-eat option for your hot pot. If you are really hungry and eat a lot, I recommend that you go with all-you-can-eat option. Otherwise a la carte. It might be good to do some math as well as if you eat a lot then a la carte might turn out to be a bit pricey.

You start off by deciding what type of broth you want. Liuyishou offers a bit more variety in terms of broths as previously I had only seen Chicken or Beef broth at other hotpot restaurants. They also had Pork Bone Broth if you prefer to have non-spicy versions of the broth.

The next step for you is to decide on what meat, seafood and vegetables you want to have. They have a lot of options on their menu to choose from! For my Hotpot, I decided to go with

  • House Special Marinated Beef
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • House Special Green Been Noodle
  • Daikon Radish
  • Signature Tofu Skin
  • Enoki Mushroom
  • Layered Beef Tripes

While I waited for my food items to be served at my table, I went to the Sauce Bar that they have to make my own dipping sauce. You pick up a variety of different ingredients from the sauce bar into your bowl and then stir it all together. Since the sauce turned out quite good, I am sharing my recipe here as well –

  • Peanut Sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Chili Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic – 1 tablespoon
  • Green Onions – 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin Sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Beef Sauce – 1 tablespoon

Once the items that I ordered came at the table, I put them some of them in small portions into the hotpot to cook for a few minutes and then took them out to cool down for a few seconds before dipping into the sauce and eating it.

Liuyishou Hotpot Review

I must say that this was one of the best experiences I have had with the hotpot so far. The service at Liuyishou Hotpot Ottawa is good and they have a variety of sauces available to get that perfect dipping sauce that you want for your hotpot. I actually got to try some new combinations that I have never before and they all turned out great.

If you have never been at a Hotpot place before I definitely recommend you to try out this place! Also it would be worth asking the servers on their recommendations if it’s your first time as a lot of things might be unfamiliar to you.

Other Items at Liuyishou Hotpot

Besides the whole hotpot experience, they do have some other options but those are a bit limited. If you are not into hotpot then you can order the following items at the Restaurant.

  • Egg Fried Rice
  • Rice Noodle with Vegetables
  • Pan Fried Vegetables and Beef on Rice
  • Rice Noodle with Sliced Beef
  • Rice with Stewed Beef Brisket

About Liuyishou Hotpot

Liuyishou Hotpot specializes in Chongqing-style hotpot and offers a variety of broths, fresh and quality ingredients with a social atmosphere.

  • Chinese restaurant
  • Meat/Seafood/Vegan options available
  • Casual upscale dining
  • Pricier than other casual restaurants
  • Best hotpot in Ottawa
  • Beer/Wine/Snacks available
  • Expect waiting during peak hours
  • Delivery option available

Contact Liuyishou Hotpot Ottawa

Address: 10-1568 Merivale Rd, Nepean, ON K2G 3J9
Phone: +1 613-680-0188
Business website: https://www.liuyishouna.com/

How has your experience been so far at Liuyishou? Feel free to share your feedback or if you know any dipping sauce recipes that other readers could benefit from.

Free Private Party Room At Pub 101 In Ottawa

A lot of places in Ottawa ask you to put a deposit; and sometimes even ask you to pay in advance for the room but not this one! Pub 101 located in the Byward Market area actually has a large room upstairs that can be used for private events and you can easily fit 50 people!

The room is equipped with all the basic stuff that you would need for your party, there is a lot of seating space as well as standing space. A small bar to order drinks and food. Also there are party lights and large TV screen that could be possibly used for your event.

Photo: Private Party Room at Restaurant Pub 101 In Ottawa

There is a small stage as well with a large TV screen and speakers that sometimes people setup for music performance or Karaoke events! You could even use that for teaching dancing maybe!

Photo: Pub 101 stage

Reserving Your Room

To reserve the space you would need to contact them through their website, call them or send them out an email. You should get a confirmation same-day as well. There are no charges and no deposit is required! Isn’t that wonderful? Just make sure that you do your reservation at least a few days in advance as sometimes they have other events being hosted there.

Also Pub 101 serves their own food and drinks so if you are planning to bring something other than a cake, you might need their permission.

Benefits of booking with Pub 101

  • Reservation is free (unlike other places that charge or have deposits)
  • Large space can easily have 20-80 people
  • Cheap drinks
  • Affordable food options
  • Meat and vegan options (wings, salads, burger)
  • TVs and Large Sound Speakers
  • Room fitted with strobe lights
  • Private Bar with stools
  • Lots of seating capacity and standing floor space

About Pub 101

Pub 101 is an easygoing bar with a patio and is located in the byward market which makes it a great spot for bar hoppers. Pub 101 hosts occasional Karaoke and Comedy nights and their most popular food item is their Wings.

Contact Pub 101

Address: 101 York St, Ottawa, ON K1N 8Y3
Phone: +1 613-562-4665
Business website: https://pub101.com/

3 Top-Rated Pho Spots in Ottawa

Ottawa boasts a variety of pho restaurants but only a few of them stand out for their authentic and flavorful dishes. I ended up going to a number of them to share my experience and reveal the places to enjoy a bowl of pho in Ottawa!

Crazy Pho You Restaurant

Address: 696 Bronson Ave, Ottawa, ON K1S 4G2
Business website: https://crazyphoyouottawa.ca/

Crazy Pho You Restaurant

Not only is it one of the more affordable pho places but one of the best places in Ottawa for Pho. Their broth is really flavorful and it won’t be necessary to add any additional spice to your meal! Also there is a decent amount of meat for your order.

While Crazy Pho You is a Vietnamese restaurant, you will find a variety of Chinese/Thai dishes available on their menu as well. The place is quite small and is suitable for small groups though I haven’t had any issues with seating whenever I have arrived.

  • Best spicy pho experience
  • Vietnamese restaurant
  • Extensive menu
  • Offers Chinese/Thai dishes as well
  • Suitable for small groups

Top Menu Items – Banh Mi, Beef Pho, Pad Thai

Pho Tuan

Address: 300 Booth St, Ottawa, ON K1R 6N6
Business website: https://photuan.com/

Bun Bo Hue at Pho Tuan

Pho Tuan has one of the most delicious broths I have had. Just go with any of their chef’s specials and you will be realize why I consider it as one of the best places for Pho in Ottawa! Their portions are huge and the broth was very flavorful.

They do have limited dining space so you might need to wait outside during their peak hours.

  • Vietnamese cuisine
  • Suitable for small groups
  • Delicious broth
  • Huge portions

Top Menu Items – Bun Bo Hue, Pho DAC Biet, Bun Chai Ha Noi

Saigon Boy Noodle House

Address: 648 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON K1R 5K4

Rice Noodles at Saigon Boy Noodle House

Just another ordinary Vietnamese restaurant but their rice noodles are just amazing. One thing I noticed different from other pho places about this is that they had all the condiments at my table with my order and I didn’t have to ask for anything.

There was even a chili pepper something that I haven’t seen other pho restaurants provide me with. I was able to spice up my pho exactly how I wanted.

  • Vietnamese pho restaurant
  • Small pho place
  • Upscale casual dining
  • Suitable for family dinner
  • Best pho on somerset

Top Menu Items – Pho Dac Biet, Chicken And Pork with Rice, Beef Pho

Some other good pho restaurants in Ottawa to consider –

Pho Viet Taste (Address: 1395 Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 2X1)
Good portion sizes and price appears to be on the reasonable side as well. It didn’t have the wow factor that I had with the other places but I felt this pho restaurant was good enough. Their most popular item is Rare Beef with Spicy Thai Soup and Rice Noodles.

Springroll House Restaurant (Address: 1093 Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 2Y4)
A nice and quite place to have pho. The meat portions at this Vietnamese restaurant were quite good though I think the broth was lacking a bit of flavor for me. I would be more likely to go to this place for lunch if I was working around the area. Also as their name suggests, I think this place is best known for their spring rolls so I would like to try those sometime.

Pho Van Van (Address: 127 Holland Ave, Ottawa, ON K1Y 0Y2)
Out of all the pho places I have been so far I think Pho Van Van has the best looking interiors that I have seen in the city. I think this might be a good spot for dates or family. However I don’t think their pho is the best and I think I found their chicken broth a bit too salty for my taste.

Pho Lady (Address: 280 Elgin St #5, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M2)
They have a slightly upscale casual dining experience than most other pho places that I have been to in Ottawa. While their Pho is decent, I think they are more known for their Sushi and Ramen, so if you are headed out to Pho Lady I would recommend that you try out their Tonkatsu Spicy Ramen.

New Pho Bo Ga La (Address: 763 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1R 6R1)
They do have a very extensive menu and also have bubble teas. This restaurant might be easily able to accommodate large groups compared to some of the other places that I have been to.

Parle By Viet Fresh (Address: 313 Dalhousie St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5T4)
This restaurant initially marketed itself as the best pho in Ottawa however didn’t meet my expectations in that sense. They do have a relatively nicer interior compared to the usual pho places and you are very likely to take pictures with your friends once you enter this restaurant.

Do you know of a pho place that is not on this list? Let us know how was your experience and why you think it deserves to be on the top list.

4 Must-Try Bubble Tea Places in Ottawa

Are you a Bubble Tea enthusiast in Ottawa and looking for the best spots in the town for the perfect blend of flavors and textures?

Here’s a compilation of the best bubble tea spots in the city that I found –


Address: 203 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1W7
Business website: https://www.sipteaca.com/

Sip Tea on Bank Street

My order at Sip Tea was just perfect, I think it has been the best bubble tea I have had so far in the city. My Brown Sugar Bobo Milk Tea came with Tapioca, Green Tea and Cheese Mousse. So far, out of all the places, Sip Tea has come out as my favorite place for Bubble Tea! The reason being every time I have ordered from this place, the flavor is spot on and the quality has been consistent!

If you want the best bang for your buck, go for their Super Bucket Tea which has a litre of milk tea and you can even share it with your friends!

Sip Tea does have another location in Merivale but the one on Bank Street is the best!

  • Highly recommend their Brown Sugar Milk Tea
  • Large seating area
  • Best bubble tea in downtown Ottawa
  • Casual hangout location


Address: 695 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1R 6P5
Business website: https://chatime.ca/

Chatime at Somerset

Chatime has been another one of my favorites bubble tea spots in Ottawa and I have found that the one in Chinatown seems to be consistent in terms of quality. I have tried out other Chatime locations in Ottawa as well however the quality of my bubble tea was slightly lower at those locations.

Chatime locations also have deals running from time to time and sometimes you might just get a free drink or 50% off regular price. So make sure to provide your number to take advantage of their periodic deals.

  • Takeout oriented
  • Limited seating
  • Multiple locations
  • Best bubble tea in Chinatown

Juice Dudez

Address: 91 Richmond Rd A, Ottawa, ON K1Z 0A7
Business website: https://juicedudez.ca/

Juice Dudez Dessert Shop

While they don’t have the largest variety of Bubble Teas, they definitely have one of the better ones in Ottawa. This Shop not only offers Boba Tea but also are popular for their fruit smoothies, juices and desserts. Also it appears to be a cool hangout spot for youngsters and remote workers. This shop is open till midnight and even sells a few farm products.

  • Open till late
  • Chill spot for late night hangout
  • Seating available but can be busy

Pomelo Hat

Address: 1196 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3Y1
Business website: https://www.pomelohat.com/

Pomelo Hat

While this bubble tea shop was the smallest I have been to, I found their bubble tea to be quite good. They do have vegan options available as well. Besides bubble tea, the place is also known for its smoothie bowls, poke bowls and fresh bakery products.

  • Tiny bubble tea location
  • Takeout oriented
  • Limited seating

Other good bubble tea places worth visiting –

  • Hi T (Address: 1076 Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 2Y3)
    While their bubble tea is just good enough, they have a really nice seating area and free to play board games as well. This place might be really nice for a group hangout! They also offer a do it yourself bubble tea experience which is something I have seen for the first time.
  • Hangout (Address: 839 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1R 6R6)
    This location has a large seating area, and features a ton of board games to choose from. Besides bubble tea they also have slushies, fruit smoothies, sodas, cupcakes, cheesecakes, ice-creams and ramens. This would be a good spot if you want to play some games with your friends and have some snacks/drinks. There is a per person charge for the board games.
  • Tiger Sugar (Address: 238 Besserer St Unit B, Ottawa, ON K1N 6B1)
    Tiger Sugar markets itself as a premium bubble tea experience and I think it does deliver somewhat on it. My drink looked nice but I think the flavor was a bit below expectation especially when you pay a high price for your drinks.
  • Coco Bubble Tea (Address: 290 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1X6, Canada)
    It’s a nice and clean location, I have usually headed down there when I am with a big group of people. This is one of the large bubble tea locations and is very conveniently located. They do have some other locations as well around Ottawa. Also they do have monthly specials so you might end up saving a few bucks on your order.

Bubble Tea Places that I do not recommend –

  • PapaSpicy (Address: 366 Dalhousie St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5W2)
    This location had the worst bubble tea I had in Ottawa. It just seemed sugar and water. I don’t think it was worth paying for this one at all and it needs serious improvement.
  • Tealive Somerset Chinatown (Address: 675 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1R 6P3)
    I felt the ingredients in my drink were cheap. Before TeaLive, there used to be a Chatime store here which I think had really good bubble tea. However the quality has gone really downhill.
  • Meow Tea (Address: 279 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M1)
    Meow Tea needs a better quality control over their bubble tea. I felt that sometimes it was too sweet and sometimes not sweet at all.

Please feel free to share your experience on which bubble tea spots you have visited and enjoyed so far in the Ottawa region.

7 Reasons Not To Move To Toronto!

Toronto is not for everyone! Despite being ranked as one of the most livable cities not only just in North America but in the world, Toronto has a number of issues which make people who have tried living there hate it, leave it and never come back –

Here are some of the reasons why it’s not worth moving to Toronto –

Toronto is an Expensive City to live In

Don’t be surprised if the rent for housing amounts to more than half of your salary. Rampant money laundering, lack of housing supply and mass immigration have caused housing prices in Toronto to skyrocket.

A lot of people in Toronto are not able to buy a house because they don’t have enough savings to be able to pay for their down payment.

City of Toronto

It comes as no surprise that the younger generation in Toronto are either forced to live with their parents or go for shared accommodation despite having a full-time job.

If you were to lose your job, the unemployment benefits are not even going to be enough to cover your rent! This can end up being a very stressful event for you.

Toronto is Overcrowded

Overcrowded Bus in Toronto

Toronto is the most populated city in Canada and you will often end up in situations where you are stuck in long queues to get into a restaurant, or in cramped conditions in a street car. This can often lead to frustration as the city hasn’t really been able to navigate on how to resolve these issues to a big extent.

Money doesn’t go a long way in Toronto

While salaries might be higher when compared to third world countries, most people who move to Toronto don’t really end up making a lot of money. Additionally with the cost of living being high and a substantial portion going to taxes, there isn’t much to save either. Only if you get a really high paying job or make big cuts to your standard of living, you would be able to save money while living in Toronto.

Poor Infrastructure

A representation for bad roads in Toronto

Toronto lacks the necessary infrastructure to support its population.

  • The city lacks highways and it can take hours for short commutes.
  • There isn’t sufficient parking available or being too expensive.
  • Emergency healthcare wait times can be very long.
  • It can take years to have a family doctor.

Housing Shortage and Chronic Homelessness

Finding housing in Toronto is like looking for a job. You will have to go through a lot of viewings, spend a lot of time, do interviews, and have endless formalities just to be able to secure housing.

Toronto has a very large homeless population

The city has failed to keep up with the large number of migrants that move to the city every year and that has often lead to landlords taking advantage of the situation.

If you belong to a lower income group, you might be eligible to apply for community housing, however it can take more than a decade to get housing.

Toronto has tens of thousands of people who suffer from chronic homelessness as the city has been deemed unaffordable. The homeless situation is expected to worsen as the city fails to take any reasonable action.

Mental Health

There is a shockingly high number of mentally unstable people that you would encounter daily while living in Toronto. Whether you are in public transit, on the street or even in your apartment building, you will notice that a large number of people in Toronto suffer from Mental health issues.

Mental health issues in Toronto

Public Transport is a nightmare

While it might be rated high in reports and called the best in North America, the reality is that Toronto’s public transport is one of the worst that you can experience.

Public Transport in Toronto is not as great as you might think

Not only is it quite costly to use the transit system, the street cars break down often, and are also overcrowded during peak hours. What might be a normal 5-10 minute commute can become an hour in transit.

3 Good Bubble Tea Spots In Manchester That Will Deliver Right At Your Doorstep!

Here are three places in Manchester that I recommend from where you should be ordering your Bubble Tea! They might charge you a delivery fee but if you have Uber Eats or using another delivery service, there might be some discount available depending on your order size.

Gong Cha Wilmslow Road

Address: Unit 5, Mayfair Court, 10 Wilmslow Rd, Rusholme, Manchester M14 5TP
Business website: https://www.gong-cha.co.uk/

Dir Tea from Gong Cha

This is currently my favorite Bubble Tea store to order from! I loved the bubble tea experience from Gong Cha so much that I was ordering Bubble Tea almost daily from them during my time in Manchester.

Their most popular item appears to be Dir Tea which is absolutely delicious and comes with brown sugar pearls and creamy milk! My recommendation is to go with 100% ice and 70% sugar.

I did try Gong Cha Bubble Tea in Canada as well but for some reason it appears that the quality can vary a lot between stores in different countries.

Popular menu items at Gong Cha (Wilmslow Road) –

  • FM Brown Sugar Pearls
  • DirTea
  • Pearl Milk Tea
  • Mango Green Tea
  • Taro Milk Drink

Ohayo Tea

Address: 95 Princess St, Manchester M1 4HT
Business website: https://www.ohayotea.com/

Ohayo Bubble Tea

Located in Manchester’s China Town, Ohayo Tea is a Shiba themed bubble tea store. Whenever I have ordered from Ohayo Tea, I have gone with their Premium Brown Sugar Tapioca Milk! It comes with Brown sugar and fresh milk. Their tapioca pearls are coated with brown sugar. Absolutely delicious served cold!

Popular menu items from Ohayo Tea –

  • Ohayo Milk Tea w/ Tapioca
  • Super Fruitea
  • Shiba Waffles
  • Dirty Oreo
  • Dirty Biscoff


Address: 908 Chester Rd, Stretford, Manchester M32 0PA
Business website: https://bonsaitakeaway.co.uk/

Bonsai Food Bowls and Bubble Tea

If you are looking to order food with your Bubble Tea then I think Bonsai would be a great option! Their Brown Sugar Bubble Tea is the cheapest I found for delivery. Also they have a great option of food menu. Last time I ended up ordering Malaysian Chilli Chicken with Rice, Thai Green Curry with Rice, Korean Beef and Prawn with Udon Noodles along with my Bubble Tea and my order came out to less than £20!

Popular menu items from Bonsai –

  • Salt and Pepper Fries
  • Steamed Bao Buns
  • Healthy Rice Bowl
  • Japanese Katsu Chicken
  • Vegan Triple Taste

How To Get A Remote Programming Job?

More and more people want to work remotely because of the convenience, eliminating commute and also being able to work in a much more comforting environment.

I have been working fully remote for a few years now and here is my quick guide on how you can be a remote programmer too!

Be remote ready!

When you are being interviewed, Recruiters might ask you if you have ever worked remote before. If you have not worked remote before but have studied remotely in the past, do mention it. It’s important to show that you are able to study on your own as most remote jobs do require a lot of learning.

You would also need to show that you have some quite private space in your home for working and have the right setup for it. Most companies would be willing to provide you with a laptop and other accessories but sometimes companies expect you to have a laptop and other accessories already.

Here’s what your remote setup should include

  • Laptop or Desktop
  • Mic and Headphones
  • Office Table and Chair
  • Webcam

Ramp up your programming skills

Whether you are experienced or just a beginner in programming, you will need to spend some time studying! Challenge yourself to learn a new programming language. I have listed a few programming languages that are currently in demand right now –

  • Python – recommended for beginners
  • Java
  • Scala
  • Ruby on Rails
  • React/AngularJS – recommended for frontend programmers
  • SQL – recommended for people who want to work with data

Learning programming will not only help you with interviews but will also make you more marketable! Companies these days are looking for folks who can work with a variety of programming languages and not just one!

Here are some well known websites for studying programming –

  • Coursera – cheap courses (subscription based) – degrees can be pricier
  • Edx – cheap courses (except bachelors/masters degrees)
  • Udemy – Free/cheap courses
  • Udacity – somewhat expensive but quality courses
  • YouTube – Yes they have programming courses!

Familiarity with tools like Slack/Zoom, can be beneficial as well.

Familiarize yourself with cloud technologies

While programming is important, these days a lot of companies will ask you if you have worked with cloud technologies. The three most popular cloud companies are –

While companies usually don’t require you to have certifications, it is good to have a basic understanding of how storage and compute works on the cloud.

Specialize in something

Once you have learned a programming language, take on some interesting personal projects. If you can’t think of any projects, there are actually courses out there can help you specialize in front-end or back-end technologies.

Here are the most popular tracks that you can work in

  • Web Development
  • Data Science
  • Mobile Development
  • Game Development
  • Database Design and Development
  • Software Testing

Put yourself on GitHub!

For any personal/open source project that you work on, put your code on Github! If you are not familiar with Github, it is a portal which developers usually use to share code as well as revision control.

You can then share the repository link when you submit your resume or during interviews which will allow the interviewer to assess your coding abilities.

Practice coding problems

Most of the companies are not going to give you a job straight after a single interview! They are going to ask you to do a coding test usually around problem solving.

I recommend you to practice problems on the following websites –

Optimize your resume!

Make sure that your resume is up-to-date and lists whatever programming experience you have! I usually recommend people to fit everything within a single page of resume! It’s going to list whatever courses you have done even if they were not at a workplace! There is a huge shortage of skilled programmers and companies will be willing to consider you even if your experience is limited!

For Canadian Jobs, here are some tips for optimizing resume.

Apply for jobs

If you are not even getting rejected for jobs, that means you are not applying enough! If you are early in your career, it can take a few hundred applications before you might even get a request for interview!

Start applying remote jobs on Indeed and Linkedin.

I also recommend you to apply for listings on Greenhouse and Lever if you are targeting small/medium sized companies. To be able to search for job listings you can searching the following on google –

  • site:greenhouse.io remote software engineer
  • site:lever.co remote software engineer

Companies hiring remote workers

Here are a select number of companies that are hiring remote workers –

Learn from your mistakes

If you get rejected for a job following an interview, try to determine what went wrong and how you can improve on it. One of the ways I actually improved was by writing down questions that were asked by interviewers and writing down the answers and improve upon them for the following interviews.

Good luck with your remote programming job search!

How to get an FBI Background Check for Canada Immigration?

You would be required by the Canadian Immigration to submit an FBI Police Clearance certificate if the following conditions apply –

  • Applying for Canadian Permanent Residence or Canadian Citizenship. AND
  • Currently residing or have previously resided in the United States.

Steps that you need to follow to apply for your FBI Police Clearance Certificate

Step 1 – Fill out the FBI Identity History Summary Request Form

You can either fill out the summary request form in paper format or online.

RECOMMENDED – For faster processing it is suggested that you submit your request online using the Electronic Departmental Order – https://www.edo.cjis.gov/.

To start your online process –

  • Submit your email address.
  • Receive Identity History Summary Request from FBI in your email.
  • Open the Link in the email and fill out the application.

The online form requires you to fill your Personal Information, Mailing Address and Preferences.

For Preferences, it is recommended to provide ‘Yes’ to all, that way you will receive a copy of the response in email as well as a hard copy.

Finalize your online application by making the payment.

Information for paper based applicants only
If you are NOT able to do the online order then you only try doing the paper format. Here is what the paper format of the identity history summary request form looks like, you will need to fill out your details, print it and then sign it. You will need to attach a check or money order or provide a credit card form as well in this case.

Step 2 – Fill out FBI Standard Fingerprint Card

You will need print out the FBI Fingerprint Card, provide your personal details and then need to do your fingerprints.

Here is what the current fingerprint form looks like –

Where to get your fingerprints done?

Doing your fingerprints at home is not recommended as the quality of the fingerprints might not be good enough. It is recommended that you contact your nearest police station and ask them if they can do it for you. Some police stations might do it for free but some of them might charge you a fee so make sure to carry cash with you.

Step 3 – Mail your printed identity history request form AND fingerprint form

You will need to mail both your identify history request form as well as the fingerprint form to the FBI CJIS Division. Their complete address is –

FBI CJIS Division
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306

Expedite your mail

If you are sending the mail from outside the United States, it can take weeks, even months for the FBI to receive it. If you need the FBI background check soon, it is recommended to send it as priority shipping or whatever fastest method is available.