star wars character dart vader

May the Source Code Be with You

Using The Force to get yourself a promotion or a raise has its limits. Fortunately, Star Wars is like one long lesson in making the most of your talents and recognizing your Dark Side. And if you end up in Zartis in Ireland, you can go check out the location for some of the film’s most dramatic landscape…

“Do or do not. There is no try”

No matter where you are in your career, do everything you can to do the job properly. No half-way efforts just because it’s a low-profile project. Follow through. Deliver. Build a reputation as someone who finishes what they start.

“Great, kid. Don’t get cocky”

So you graduated top of your class. Or your first job was at The World’s Coolest Company. That doesn’t absolve you from your obligation to abide by the most important rule in life: Don’t be a jerk. Enjoy your successes but remember…

“Much to learn you still have”

We talk about this a lot on the blog. That’s because it’s true: the more you learn, the more you practice anything, the better you get at it. As “Secret CEO” David Byttow says, “Have goals in mind…develop a portfolio of finished and unfinished projects…having an eclectic body of work is huge.”

“Switch off your targeting computer”

Listen to your inner Obi-Wan and learn to be able to work without a plan.  Be able to respond to change instead of slavishly sticking to a plan – software development can be a very fluid place, your ability to recognize –and cope with – the limits of planning in a constantly changing environment will set you up for success throughout your career.

“A pleasure to meet you. I am C-3PO, Human-Cyborg Relations”

So you’re an Olympic-grade engineer, the ultimate SysAdmin or the only person on the planet who gets cyber security. That’s great. What do you know about accountancy? Marketing? You get the idea. Welcome to the client side…it’s your job to ensure your non-technical colleagues find you a pleasure to work with. Don’t roll your eyes. Explain. Good relationships with the business side of the fence are the secret to success on the tech side.

“Obi-Wan has taught you well”

Never ever ever ever disrespect your older colleagues. Ever. They were coding while all you were watching Dora the Explorer. Learn from them. Better still, find your Yoda and be mentored by someone who knows their stuff. And when you’ve got a few years under your belt, return the favor and find a young Skywalker to help out. It will keep you engaged and fresh.

“You have failed me for the last time, Admiral”

Aka No strangling. Trying to get respect through fear makes a bad manager – if your staff are permanently afraid that they’re going to be force choked if they get it wrong…

“Execute order 66”

In the movie, Order 66 unleashes the clones and we get to see first hand what happens when you let rip with a mass of herd-thinking, mindless yes men… the Jedis are annihilated. Pack your team or company out with too many yes men and too few entrepreneurs and you’re building an empire that can’t last.

“I am your father”

Because we couldn’t leave it out, could we…

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