I used to intern at a mid-sized engineering firm in Canada and I have a close friend that works as a software developer (also in Canada). We found the work hours pretty slack, could basically show up anytime from six to nine and leave after you do your 8 hours. Unfortunately as an intern I never had to do too many extra hours, so I can't comment on that, but from my understanding there was a threshold over which they would pay you overtime (you self-submit your hours on a timesheet and at the end you see how many hours you have over, if any... straightforward really). I'm not sure about salaried workers, though, sorry....So I wonder, is anyone in the IT field, specially software development, that lives in another country? Can you share a bit of how things are there? How is the work routine? Management? Extra hours?
I found when I was working management was a mess, people were quitting all the time. It was because they changed around the management a year or so before and people weren't happy with it.
Also, with what you said about working hours (you absolutely sound like you live in Japan, just from what I've read) - but you're partially right about the staying late, working overtime. In N America it's actually not looked down on that much - it shows you work hard. In Europe - especially in Germany - if you get out on time it means you planned your day - staying late means you weren't efficient and hence didn't work hard that day.
Also the better thing about Europe... the taxes might be crazy sometimes but you get good vacation, sick pay, all the benefits... and people don't really look down on you for using every single bit of it. I even met this software developer from Sweden travelling around while he was working... he literally sat around the hostel, or coffee shop, or whatever, working on his laptop, and just travelled around the rest of the time.
If there's one thing I've learned in my short life it's that if you're smart enough and have enough experience companies don't care if you have a degree in IT. Especially in North America - in Europe (at least in Germany, where I currently am now), they tend to care more about your degrees, but North America they place a lot of value on your experience.Also, is having a course diploma relevant? I'm curious about this as while I'm a Bsc graduate, my husband does not have a university course. But he is very competent as a systems administrator with 10 years experience in being the only sys admin taking care of the whole infrastructure of a small call center company he works for (PCs, servers, networking, hardware and software systems, databases, plus a bit of programming), and I wonder if it would be hard for him to find a good job in other countries?
I actually met a guy from Seattle a month ago who had worked as a database developer - even worked on contact with Microsoft for a year. He had a degree in Economics, of all things. He said he just started learning SQL, liked it, got good enough for people to start hiring him. Go figure.
So yes, I think your husband won't have too much of a problem.