Why Star Trek is better than Star Wars.

Obvious click bate headline, I know.

You probably fall into one of two categories, either you said “damn right”, or “how could you be so wrong!”

With all the recent hype around the latest release of “The Last Jedi” my guess would be most of you are in the wrong camp. What if you’re undecided, or only soft wrong. I have my reasons, and we can learn something from the two genre as engineers and developers.

My kids have seen the latest Star Wars movie. I have not. They went with friends over the winter break at school. Could be I am bitter because I missed the show. Someone will try to argue the opposite in the comments. Go for it, but let me tell you my answer, “Messa Meesa no thinksa sooo.” (Use your best Jar Jar voice when you say that.)

All my kids can talk about is the movies. My son walks around making light saber noises. I have heard jokes like:

Who is the best driver in Star Wars?

Storm-troopers, they never hit anything.

And

What happens when a red shirt meets a storm trooper?

The red shirt shoots the storm trooper, then falls off a cliff and dies.

– No, I don’t really think that one is funny, but if you’re 9 it is hilarious.

So, why do engineers in the Star Wars universe build space ships with 100 meter open chasms? Ever hear of a guard rail? And why are people sword fighting right next to the cliff edge? Anyway, we won’t answer those questions here.

What can an engineer learn from Star Wars?

First, there are special people, Jedi. Jedi have secret force powers that make them the greatest, unbeatable super duper sword-fighters ever. These are the 10X coders. The problem is, when one of the 10X coders goes to the dark side, things go pear shaped really fast.

The only way to learn the ways of the force is from a master. Or, you could be born with Midi-chlorians in you blood, but we don’t believe in those.

Second, building a huge moon sized project will give your company ultimate power. Nope, some rebels in small ships can blow it up, once, twice, three times.

There is nothing new to discover. We are not exploring or expanding the universe. They are locked in a civil war, that has not ended since I was a kid. Whole planets have been destroyed. Not a happy place, but exciting. Maybe not.

Anyhow, let’s move on.

How about learning from Star Trek?

The idea for this came from the Hardware Entreprenuer podcast. Maybe direct your hateful comments at him.

We work asĀ a team. There are lots of people on our team, and they have different roles.

Kirk is the leader, the one who saves the ship. He listens to the crew and relies on them, but ultimately he is making the hard decisions.

Spock is watching the sensors. He is looking out and collecting data. Warning of dangers ahead and coming up with innovative ideas. Some of you may not believe this, but Spock is working in marketing.

Down in Engineering, Mr. Scott is working on the machine. He can sit in the commanders chair when needed, but would prefer working on the engines and realigning the dilithium crystals..

Sulu keeps us on course, Uhura communicates with the universe, and Chekhov mans the weapons and navigation.

There is a whole team, working together to make the ship run, meet the aliens and explore the galaxy. Eventually the aliens become part of the team.

Conclusion

You decide for yourself, but it is like waterfall vs. agile. Either can work, or either can be bad. It is all how you look at it, but I know where I prefer to work.

That is it, we are out of here.

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