ICYMI: Everything I Needed to Know About IT (I Learned From “Logan”) part 4

(This originally appeared on THWACK.com and is the final installment. Click the links to go back to  part 1 and part 2 and part 3)

It behooves me to remind you that there are many spoilers beyond this point. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, and don’t want to know what’s coming, bookmark this page to enjoy later.

New IT pros may take your tools and techniques and use them differently. Don’t judge.

One of the interesting differences between Logan and Laura is that she has two claws that come from her hands (versus Logan’s three), and one that comes out of her foot. Charles speculates that females of a species develop different weapons for protection versus hunting. Logan seems unimpressed even though he just witnessed Laura taking out at least three soldiers with her foot-claws alone.

The lesson for us is to remember that tools are there to be used. If it achieves the desired result and avoids downstream complications, then it doesn’t matter if the usage diverges from “the way we did it in my day.” Thinking outside the box (something my fellow Head Geek, Destiny Bertucci, talks about all the time https://thwack.solarwinds.com/community/thwack-event-session.jspa?sessionId=1017) is a sign of creativity and engagement, two things that should never be downplayed.

Your ability to think will always trump the capability of your tools.

Yes, Logan is stab-y and can heal. But Charles, at the end of his life, can still flatten a city block.

And it is here where we descend into the realm of “who would win in a fight between Superman® and God?” This is, admittedly, a realm that the SolarWinds THWACK® March Madness bracket battle has been willing to take on for several years in a row

(https://thwack.solarwinds.com/community/solarwinds-community/contests-missions/bracket-battle-2–gamer-edition_tht

https://thwack.solarwinds.com/community/solarwinds-community/contests-missions/sci-fi-bracket-battle

https://thwack.solarwinds.com/community/solarwinds-community/contests-missions/bracket-battle-2016-oh-captain-my-captain

https://thwack.solarwinds.com/community/solarwinds-community/contests-missions/bracket-battle-2017-sidekicks),

but I’m going to go there anyway. Logan/Wolverine® is one of the darlings of the X-Men® (and Marvel®) franchise. He’s captured imaginations since his first appearance in 1974, and appeared in countless comics with the X-Men and solo. But even within the context of the X-Men movie franchise, he’s far from the most powerful.

Magneto: “You must be Wolverine. That remarkable metal doesn’t run through your entire body, does it?”

No, it’s pretty clear that the most powerful being, certainly in Logan , but also in the mutant-verse, is Charles. Again, the ability to contact every human mind on the planet is nothing to sneeze at, and it puts healing ability and metal claws to shame.

Here’s what I want you to take from this: your ideas, thoughts, and ability to reason are the things that make you an IT powerhouse. It doesn’t matter that your PC has a quad-core processor and 128Gb of RAM. Nobody cares that your environment is running the latest container technology, or that your network has fiber-to-the-desktop. You have a veritable encyclopedia of CLI commands or programming verbs in your head? So what.

You are valued for the things that you do with your tools. Choose wisely. Think actively. Engage passionately.

It’s never about what you do (or what you have achieved, fixed, etc.). The story of your IT career has always been and will always be about who you met, who you helped, and who you built a connection with.

The movie Logan is not, at its heart, about stabbing people in the head with metal claws, or car chases, or mutant abilities. While there is plenty of that, the core of the movie is about two men coming to terms with themselves and their legacy, and how that legacy will affect the world after they are gone.

It is a movie about the very real father-son relationship between Logan and Charles – how they love each other but wish the other could be “better” in some way. They understand that they cannot change the other person, but have to learn to live with them.

It is also about caring for another person: about whether we choose to care or not, about how we express that care, about how those feelings are received by the other person and reciprocated (or not).

Once again, I am invoking the blog post by fellow Head Geek Thomas LaRock: “Relationships Matter More Than Money” (https://thomaslarock.com/2017/05/relationships-matter-money/).

“When you use the phrase, “It’s not personal, it’s just business,” you are telling the other person that money is more important than your relationship. Let that sink in for a minute. You are telling someone, perhaps a (current, maybe soon-to-be-former) friend of yours, that you would rather have money than their friendship. And while some jerk is now getting ready to leave the comment “everything has a price,” my answer is “not my friends.” If you can put a price on your friendships, maybe you need better ones.

Why are you in IT? Odds are very good it’s not for the money. Okay, the money isn’t bad, but no matter what the payout is, ultimately it’s probably not enough to keep you coming back into the office day after day. You are in IT for something else. Maybe you like the rush of finding a solution nobody else ever thought of. Or the pure beauty of the logic involved in the work. Or the chance to build something that someone else wanted but couldn’t figure out how to make for themselves.

But underneath it all, you are probably in IT because you want to help people in some meaningful way.

That’s the IT lesson we can take from Logan. The climax of the movie isn’t when Laura shoots X24 in the head with an adamantium bullet.

It’s when she clutches Logan’s hand as he’s dying and cries out, “Daddy!” in her loss and Magneto: “You must be Wolverine. That remarkable metal doesn’t run through your entire body, does it?”grief, and he accepts both her name and love for him, even if he doesn’t feel he’s worthy of either.

We are here – on this planet, in this community, at this company, on this team, on this project, doing this job – to forge connections with the people that we meet. To learn, mentor, befriend, lead, help, teach, follow, grow, foster, mentor, and so much more. The rest are just technical details.

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