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interstellar space pirate extraordinaire •

Being Promoted to Customer at Stack Overflow

All good things must come to an end, am I right? And with Stack Overflow's second round of layoffs this past week, I figured I'd finally write something. My tenure at Stack Overflow ended prematurely. Unfortunately, I was affected by its May 2023 layoff, and truth be told, I was heartbroken. No workplace is ever perfect, but I loved working at Stack Overflow. I was proud of the impact I was making, an impact on the lives of millions of developers around the world. To say I was blindsided by the layoff is an understatement.

The night before I got laid off, I had just finished merging four different PRs that were the culmination of about three months' worth of my work to restructure the front-end codebase of Stack Overflow. Finally! I had gotten the first handful of reusable and accessible Stimulus components built, tested, shipped, and integrated with our build system. I had read stories about other companies having layoffs and their employees losing access to their work accounts overnight, but I never thought it would happen to me. I was wrong. Unlike some other companies, I at least met with my manager, who told me the news. After the meeting, I immediately sent one message to my team's channel saying I had fun working with them and that I had gotten laid off. I saw the "Jane Doe is typing..." message, and then Slack signed me out. That fucking hurt. I couldn't see what anybody responded. I couldn't say bye to my friends, some of whom don't have or aren't active on social media.

The Job Hunt Permalink to "The Job Hunt" section

It is no secret that I loathe capitalism. If you're in tech, you probably know how awful the job market is right now, as with many other fields. This poor job market could have been avoided if more large companies hadn't done so much hiring to the point where they couldn't sustain themselves past the pandemic slowdown.

I like statistics, so as I've been applying to jobs, I've been doing my best to keep a spreadsheet of the jobs I've applied to, responses I've gotten, etc. At first, I thought it would be fun to keep track of these numbers, but now it's harming my mental health and self-confidence more than anything else.

  • Submitted ~400 applications
  • Received ~120 rejections
  • Never received a status update (aka ghosted) ~260 times
  • Got 15 interviews
    • 4 rejections after interviewing
    • Ghosted 11 times after interviewing (i.e., never heard back after interviewing; yes, I did try reaching out)

If you're a hiring manager that has interviewed someone and hasn't gotten back to them despite them directly emailing you: Go fuck yourself. It doesn't matter how many applicants you have or how busy you are; sending a quick, templated message of "Sorry, we're not going with you" is much better than ignoring folks who set time aside to interview with you. If you have too many applicants, then limit how many applications you can accept before a job automatically closes. Stop fucking wasting other people's time.

Things I'm Tired of Hearing Permalink to "Things I'm Tired of Hearing" section

I have plenty of very kind and supportive folks in my life. While they all have good intentions, the most common things I've been told that I'm honestly tired of hearing are,

You're a great developer! It'll be easy for you to get another job.

Clearly, it's not been "easy" considering the stats above.

You should consider this a vacation and enjoy your time off!

There's a difference between taking a vacation and being unemployed. Being on vacation means you are still getting paid and have a job to return to after your vacation.

Have you been applying for jobs?

Yea, no shit.

I have complained about this before on social media, and I've had a few folks reach out to me to apologize, but honestly, I take no offense to it. I know folks mean well, but I'm just exhausted from hearing the same things repeatedly. That's all.

What am I up to now? Permalink to "What am I up to now?" section

I'm currently doing some contracting work for the awesome folks at Compiler, catching up with some open source work, returning to the BZFlag community with gifts, and finishing my thesis! It's only taken me five months of being unemployed to finally improve my mental health slightly and start tackling life again. However, that doesn't mean I'd consider myself as being back on my feet. That will only happen once I have more security of being employed full-time with benefits and not worrying about what's next after a contract ends.

Oh, and I've also been shit posting on LinkedIn recently with a surprising amount of impressions. For someone who never posts on LinkedIn, I've been getting more activity lately than I have in years. So, follow me on LinkedIn to read up on my stupid posts that have a hint of professionalism. Or don't; I'm not your boss. I can't tell you what to do.

There's a lot more I would love to say and speak about related to Stack Overflow, but I'm legally prohibited from doing so; I needed that severance!