Hi Taro. I got laid off in April from AWS. I interned at NASA JPL and I am considering going back fulltime and continuing to apply to tech companies. I don't have an offer but I am hopeful I would be able to connect with a team since I interned there one year and have 1.5 YOE at AWS. I have some concerns about joining JPL, because they are prototype and research focused.
I don't have any visa issues. Finances are not a problem. Currently I have very low expenses and good savings because I didn't RTO and I am living with my parents. I have 1.5 YOE at AWS and 3 years of internships before that. I see the market picking up so I am tempted to keep trying for a tech company.
Another thing to consider is that there is a lot of inertia when you join a job. I will have little time to look for other jobs in the first few months because I will be busy onboarding. I will also have less time to look for jobs and study for interviews.
Please give advice :)
Since you're covered on the two biggest short term issues (Visa and Finances), I think you can be more selective about where you invest your time. However, the opportunity in front of you doesn't sound that bad from my POV though.
You need to keep up your work rhythm, the longer you stay unemployed the fasters it's going to disappear. Even a crappy SWE job is way better than staying unemployed.
First of all, it's friggin' NASA. Sure, it's not a software-first technology company, but I'm sure there's tons of brilliant people there. If you had a great experience there as an intern and you're confident there's awesome engineers you can learn from, then NASA JPL seems like a wonderful place to fill in your career gap while the overall macro improves.
In fact, your financial security is actually a reason you should take opportunities like these:
If you focus on learning and just becoming an incredible engineer, your TC eventually catches up - Trust me. I talk about this in-depth here: "If my main goal is compensation, would it be wise to learn blockchain tech since it will potentially be the tech of the next couple decades?"
I also recommend the masterclass we gave on career direction if you haven't seen it already: [Masterclass] How To Choose A Good Company And Team As A Software Engineer