Iron Man, software development and entrepreneurship

Just finished watching Iron Man. It’s a fun movie, especially the Tony Stark character (the guy wearing the Iron Man suit).

He’s somewhat narcissistic and arrogant but he has a good heart underneath that armor, well sort of, at least when it’s powered by that reactor thingy.

In usual Hollywood style he comes up with snappy replies, but he’s also extremely talented. Which leads me to the most intriguing and fascinating part (for me) about Tony Stark:

He makes stuff happen. He builds stuff – cool stuff – and puts it out there. And they work really well, they’re all groundbreaking, and did I mention they look cool?

He doesn’t hang around. He built the first Iron Man suit in 3 months for crying out loud (ignore the fact that it’s in movie time), in a cave with scraps (!). I think he spent like 11 days building a fairly awesome prototype for the 2nd-gen Iron Man suit (after he escaped).

Mate, I’ve spent like a month just setting up a Java Web Application framework in Netbeans, organising projects and build scripts, writing an AES encrypter, parsing property files, setting up tests, and a bunch of other low-level nonsense (well, kinda senseful), but my web app still only writes “hello world” because I can’t get the Tomcat dev server to work properly.

Granted, I’ve been going forward slowly “deliberately” as I’m sort of on holiday and can waste time on the small things, but the mainline is that software development is SLOW.

We want to build cool stuff quickly. We (or just me?) want to be like Tony Stark. We want to spend less time fiddling and more time being superstars, being awesome and ‘living’ life.

If that’s not something worth striving for then I don’t know what is.

The next time you’re writing software, try to be awesome and don’t lose sight of your goal (of being awesome).

Or just watch Iron Man.

Editors note

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should rush things and create crappy, insecure throw-away products. Also the learning process of learning a new language and technologies, its capabilities, conventions, routines and so on feels hardly like a waste of time.

It’s just that, at the end of the day after you’ve refactored your singletons to use factories, Tony Stark has invented a new type of energy.

Just saying.

Maybe I got caught in the moment :)

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  • Mauricio

    I got your point, but still if you watched it properly he spends all of his time in the wrokshop, so actually he is doing the same as we do, we spend a lot of time doint “nonsense” but that nonsense is what makes the “cool” stuff work, and also you are missing a point there, that is he has a Jarvis to help him building the stuff, i mean he only designes it and jarvis creates it, then he goes for Ver 0.1, to Ver 1.0 and he keeps on improving just like all the programmers do, just saying… you are missing the point of the movie he actually works hard imagine you wroking nonslepping for 3 months… just to build a suit, and then about two weeks to improve the previus suit,
    you dont eat, dont sleep and dont waste time on being on superstar, after all that you have a product then you use it for your own good xD

    • Kjetil__H

      Haha, you’re right. 80% of my article is rendered useless now, cheers :P but he did create Jarvis did he not, so it’s like creating a tool which .. does everything for you.. oh well, perhaps it was written partly out of frustration/excitement :)

  • akshay

    what i found fascinating about the movie was the striking resemblance of stark building the iron man suit to the spirit we all share in building cool stuff…btw building something like a jarvis is a cool idea coz loads of devs would go crazy if something even remotely close to that was built