An Engineer’s Search For Meaning

This is what happens after accomplishing what you wanted

David Goudet


June 23, 2023. My flight is canceled and I have to travel to Rome to take another one. I am alone, and this is my first time in Rome. I rush to see the Colosseum, it’s 10 pm.

While I’m there, contemplating the glory of the structure, I sit down and start thinking about my life.

All I feel is profound grief.

I’m having a good life as a software engineer, and I feel I accomplished everything I ever wanted.

I’ve given lectures, I’ve had deep relationships, I became a senior software engineer, I’ve danced a lot, and I have lots of friends.

I experienced everything I wanted, at least in sample bottle size. And that led me to a profound and scary void in my heart.

The series of events that followed this realization led me to the most productive times of my life. I turned that feeling into a month of pure growth: 350 new followers on X, 120 new email subscribers, 60,000 tweet impressions, and an interview.

Here’s what happens when you face your destiny.

An Unexpected Career

When I decided to study software engineering I thought I would be creating beautiful apps with Artificial Intelligence, instead, I ended up having boring meetings to estimate Jira tickets and fixing drop-downs on websites.

My project manager waiting for the estimations I promised a week ago

I decided to study it not only because I like numbers and programming, but also because I wanted to solve big problems, I wanted to work on something bigger than myself.

Three years ago, after working as a developer for years I ended up living a very depressing life, not only because of the daily tasks, but also because I lived with two crazy flatmates who sometimes passed out in the bathroom after a night of excess. I was surrounded by people who only wanted to party…



David Goudet

Senior Software Engineer from Venezuela living in Madrid. I write about science, technology, AI, and lifestyle. Singularity University/US Dept of State alumni.