The Real Reason You’re Not Becoming a Senior Software Engineer

A story about Sparrows, Feedback, and Real-Life Problems

David Goudet
6 min readMar 31, 2024

The Four Evils

In 1958, Mao Zedong launched The Great Leap Forward, a campaign led by the Chinese Communist Party to transform the country into an industrialized society.

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The Four Evils Campaign was one of the first actions taken in the Great Leap Forward. With the motto “Man Must Conquer Nature” authorities targeted four pests for elimination: rats, flies, mosquitoes, and sparrows.

Pest control was widely used worldwide, and these methods were considered scientifically sound. But contrary to expectations, most of these “scientific elements” had a detrimental impact on food production.

The extermination of sparrows resulted in severe ecological imbalance. The absence of natural predators resulted in a proliferation of insects in the fields and crop damage, this became one of the causes of the Great Chinese Famine of 1959–1961.

The Great Chinese Famine is widely regarded as the deadliest famine and one of the greatest man-made disasters in human history, with an estimated death toll due to starvation that ranges in the tens of millions (15 to 55 million).

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David Goudet

Senior Software Engineer from Venezuela living in Madrid. Top Writer in AI and Technology. Singularity University/US Dept of State alumni.