Introducing Layoff Bingo

The last few years have been tough in the tech industry after the hiring binge of the early 2020's. Not only did did everyone start laying off at once, but they all seemed to be using the same language. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a bingo board.

Posted by Tejus Parikh on January 26, 2024

When something bad happens I tend to seek out the funny bit. Tech layoffs are ripe for comedic fodder. There’s always the in-person HR rep attempting to physically exude empathy. Almost always in contrast to a senior executive that has literally just dialed it in. Gallows humor for sure, but sometimes a little levity and delay in processing the impact can go a long way.

The last few years have been really tough in tech employment land where it feels like nearly everybody has gone through a massive layoff. What makes it harder is that not too long ago it nearly impossible to staff up open roles. I’ve been through a collection of down turns (anyone remember “RIP Good Times”?) and up turns (almost immediately after RIP Good Times). This, though, is the first time I’ve experienced the curve so compressed and so amplified. Certainly the first time in decades where very experienced, very good devs have had trouble finding employment.

When the major wave of layoffs were going on in 2023, I was struck by how many of the announcements sounded similar. So in the spirit of finding something funny, I went to work on a bingo board. Maybe they are all using the same phrases and it would be possible to match 5 across, down, or diagonally.

I had hoped that it would all be over by 2024, but the news this week has been more of the same. So I guess it’s time to wipe the dust of and do a formal launch of:

Layoff Bingo: The bingo board for your layoff call

Screenshot of <a href=''>Layoff Bingo</a>

Screenshot of Layoff Bingo

Hopefully you bookmark it but never need it. If you do find yourself on the site, I hope it brings a little bit of joy.

Disclaimers and technical notes.

I’m not a professional writer, which is very dangerous when you are trying to be satirical. Ideally it’s merely unfunny, however if it is mean, please let me know and I will try to do better. Or if you are inclined, submit a pull request.

The code is open source and available on github. It’s a Svelte project written in TypeScript. Yes, I have said before that TypeScript hurts my soul. This felt appropriate given the subject matter.

I owe a debt of gratitude to my friends Mel and Landon that helped improve the UX. The UX that works is probably theirs. The stuff that’s ugly and non-functional is certainly mine.

Layoffs really suck for everyone involved. I’ve been on both sides and neither one is joyous or pleasant. If you’re reading this and need someone to reach out to, send me a note. You can find my email address at the bottom of this page.

Original image is CC-licensed [original source]

Tejus Parikh

I'm a software engineer that writes occasionally about building software, software culture, and tech adjacent hobbies. If you want to get in touch, send me an email at [my_first_name]