Today I accepted an offer from ChainSafe to work on Forest, the Rust implementation of Filecoin. I start on February 1st, and I'm very excited to get to work. So excited, actually, I'm working on a PR a week ahead of time, mostly because I'm actually really interested in it. It'd be something I'd contribute to even if I wasn't paid to work on it full-time.
I've never experienced burnout working on any programming project, but that time, I experienced burnout just from how much I interviewed. It was exhausting. I was put through a gauntlet of final interviews (4+ hours long) from three different companies, and dozens of others that I didn't get as far in, and countless phone conversations, tests, and code exercises. I don't really remember much from those times, but I do recall being really angry at the tech industry. I eventually just couldn't speak to recruiters with a sense of kindness anymore, and that was when I knew I had to take a break.
A few months later, I did some contract work in Rust (I was only able to get actual paying work for only 3 months last year). It was a great team and I delivered a solid result that everybody was really happy with, but after the contract ended, they had no more work left to give me.
After that job, I had enough money to survive for a few months as long as we lived frugally, so I decided to make sure I understood Rust really well. Really get a solid feel for borrowing, and how traits work. Put tools in the toolbox; Futures, Streams, Reference counters, Mutexes, Messaging Channels, Thread Pools, Deques, B-Trees, etc. And the result of those efforts is Fuzzr, and it could be something really cool. I'll keep working on it, too. There may even be opportunity for convergence, since it's basically a graphical frontend for storing things in IPFS, and Filecoin basically just commoditizes IPFS storage with a blockchain.
Anyway, I stayed up all night to make sure I was prepared for the interview. Only four hours after our final interview, I got an offer. (I only had two interviews! First with management, then with two of the team devs... That I managed to knock out of the park! Mercy!) And I've been noodling around in their codebase and GitHub issues the whole time, just to get a better feel for what I'd be doing. Besides, filing a PR is a total power move in negotiations, right? I should get some rest, though. Sure, it's daylight, but I only sleep when I'm tired.
I appreciate all the support I've received from my husband, my family, my friends, and my network during this rough, rough year, but finally, I can say I can truly see the forest through the trees.