Hope you don't mind me stepping in to offer some thoughts:
Try to think of your career as reasonably "stateless" as long as you haven't burned too many bridges or developed a reputation that follows you. Stateless meaning the new situation doesn't really have a lot of insight into the old situation. You see your career as one continuous line, but the next employer really just sees you now. So if you've had issues with an old situation, the new one is really a completely new opportunity.
You're also measuring with a reasonably fixed barrier of quality. It's not a race where you have to outrun the "quality" bar. That bar might shift a bit, but for the most part once you're over the hump, you are in a pretty good place. I'm not the best developer, but I'm good enough to be "safe" more or less. Whether that's "enough" is a different question but really about your own interests. If you're not quite to the "safely good at enough at programming stage" yet, you're certainly approaching it if it's even a question.
Society puts a lot of emphasis on "greatness". From what I've read, I couldn't get a job at Google as an engineer. Maybe I could if I really wanted to more than anything else, but as it stands, I'd probably fail the tests. And I'm pretty okay with that, I have a good setup right now.
I think you've got this John. Hope this was a useful line of thought.
Thanks, Ben. I guess I'm just discouraged because I've been looking for months and had loads of interviews but no offers. And I've taken loads of tests so I can prove what I know. it's just, I hate the competition of the whole thing. And I hate the lack of empathy companies seem to have. gassho.
Yeah, I'm certain that's frustrating.
"I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy." -- Albert Camus
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