A 2024 (Software Engineer) Reset Journey.

The Miami Beach sun hammered his back as he limped towards the beach. It was around 7:32 am, and the sand was crunching beneath the sneakers while his mind was far behind the rising sun. 

It’s 2024! He silently affirms that he is talking to a close friend; a decade ago, that number had shimmered like the promise of jetpacks, self-driving flying cars, and algorithms that make money themselves. 

Now, it tasted like ash in his mouth. Ten years spent scaling the Silicon Olympus, only to be cast down in a small downtown apartment, unemployed and unwanted by big tech, in the brutal winter of a tech recession.

Midjourney Generated Image.

He sat down, facing the sun, and memories crackled like burnt celluloid. 

He remembers the ping pong tournaments and nap pods in Google, the belief that he was changing the world, one line of code at a time. 

He also remembers the frenetic energy Facebook mates had, the endless free food, and the feeling of being at the bleeding edge of social connection. 

He remembers more stories with a glimpse of sadness and happiness simultaneously.

Last year, unemployment draped over David like a leaden cloak, the ghost of that failed cryptocurrency startup venture clinging to him like the aftertaste of sour whiskey. Even remembering its name sent chills down his spine.

Social media whispers “disruption everywhere” with this AI’s latest advancement, and he was grinding the realization that he was just a coding machine that AI could easily replace.

He left the FAANGs behind, chasing the siren song of startups—the thrill of the hustle, the late-night brainstorming sessions fueled by coffee and ambition. But the bubble had burst, leaving behind a desolate landscape of shuttered offices and broken dreams.

He tried freelancing, but the gigs were scarce, “No one can compete with Indian and Latin American wages”; he thought the competition was fierce, and each rejection email or below 100K offer felt like a punch to the gut.

His days were a blur of endless job applications, punctuated by the gnawing silence of his phone. The nights were worse, filled with the ghosts of what-ifs and the suffocating weight of regret.

He’d always loved tinkering, taking things apart, putting them back together, and seeing how they worked. A forgotten Arduino kit lay gathering dust in his closet.

He dug it out that morning, the yellow cardboard crackling like an old map leading to a lost treasure. He spent hours hunched over his laptop, the forgotten language of code coming back to him like a half-remembered song. He built a simple gadget that measured the ocean’s waves and displayed them on a small screen. It wasn’t much, but it was his. He’d created something for himself, not for a faceless corporation.

The next day, he took his invention to the beach. Tourists gathered around, marveling at the little device dancing in his hand. A reporter from a local paper snapped some photos, scribbling notes in a tattered notebook. A few days later, the article appeared, a minor blip in the digital ocean, but it was a beacon of hope for him.

He started tinkering again, fueled by the spark of that first success. He built weather stations, connected to the internet, and shared their data with the world. He is creating apps now, simple tools that make people’s lives easier. 

He thought he wasn’t changing the world line by line anymore but was making a difference, one happy user or client at a time.

The road ahead was still long, the path uncertain. But as David stood on the beach, the salty wind whipping through his hair, he felt a flicker of something he hadn’t felt in years – freedom

For the first time in his life, he felt with a deep, unique, and unshakeable certainty that the tide was turning to the future; this time, David decided to write his own story no matter the cost.

The sun, once a cruel reminder of his fall, now painted the sky in a thousand shades of promise. He was no longer the jaded ex-FAANG but a maker, a builder, a survivor. And maybe that was enough.

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