Our favourite fictional IT pros The best from movies and televisionThere aren’t too many movies andtelevision shows focusing on the work ofthe IT professional.For some reason, the drama of compilingcode or re-imaging a desktop just doesn’ttranslate on screen as well as arguing amurder case in a court room or patchinga gunshot wound in the emergency room.When IT pros are portrayed, it’s often asan ancillary character, type-cast straightout of nerd central casting.There are some rare exceptions, though.So let’s take a look at our favouritefictional IT professionals. Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net By Jeff Jedras
Nick BurnsSaturday Night Live“Nick, the computer guy. He’ll fixyour computer, and then he’s gonnamake fun of you. Cause he’s NickBurns, your company’s computerguy.”How many times has any IT prowished he could tell a hapless user:“Yeah, it’s the computer that’sstupid, right?”In this recurring Saturday Night Live sketch, Nick Burns (Jimmy Fallon) is acorporate IT computer guy that fits the nerdy stereotype many have of theindustry. But he also says the things IT pros wish they could say to users, butcan’t.“Mooooove!”
Charles “Chuck” Bartowski Chuck At the beginning of NBC’s Chuck, the title character (Zachary Levi) is stereotypical underachiever, working in the “Nerd Herd” at a California Buy More (think Geek Squad at Best Buy). Overshadowed by his high- achieving doctor sister, he spends his days helping customers with their mundane tech problems untila database of CIA secrets is downloaded into his head. Then he becomes IT helpdesk technician by day, secret agent by night.The dream of many an IT pro. Along with the hot blonde girlfriend.
Peter GibbonsOffice SpaceOf all the movies made about theY2K bug, Office Space may be thegreatest. OK, it may also be the onlyone, but it’s still pretty great.It revolves around Peter Gibbons(Ron Livingston), a programmer at abureaucratic software companythat spends his days rewriting banksoftware to be Y2K compliant,filing TPS reports and generally hating his job.With a downsizing looming, he and his fellow coders create a virus to siphonmoney from the banks. But first he dates Jennifer Aniston and lives out every ITprofessional’s dream: taking a baseball bat to a problem laser printer.
Roy Trenneman The IT Crowd A British series popular with IT professionals, The IT Crowd follows three members of the IT department at London’s Reynholm Industries including Roy Trenneman (Chris O’Dowd), an Irish IT engineer. Trenneman doesn’t enjoy work and tries to dump it on others, preferring to spend his time with video games and comics.His half-hearted stock-greeting to any help desk caller is familiar to any ITprofessional. And hey, it works most of the time too.“Have you tried turning it on and off again?”
Montgomery ScottStar TrekAs the chief engineer and ITtrouble-shooter of Star Trek’s USSEnterprise, Montgomery Scott(James Doohan) earned an enviablereputation as a miracle worker.The secret to his success is one allgood IT pros employ when dealingwith demanding users: Multiply allrepair estimates by a factor of four.Yes, under-promise and over-deliver is always the way to go.While Scotty saved the crew of the Enterprise many times with his technicalknow-how and problem-solving ability, he also knew how to keep userexpectations in check.After all, “you cannot change the laws of physics.”
Q James Bond franchise In the James Bond film series, Q (standing for Quartermaster) isn’t a name. Rather, it’s a job. Q supplies Agent 007 with all the tech gadgets and gizmos he may need, from a laser watch to a tricked-out, remote control BMW. Like any good IT professional he’s always innovating, beta-testing new gadgets in his lab. And like any IT professional, he’s tired ofusers that sign-out company property from IT and return it in, shall we say, lessthan stellar condition.“Now, 007, do try to return this equipment in pristine condition…”