Which X Are You

I caught a bit of X-Men: First Class the other evening. If you’re not familiar with X-Men, there are two main mutant characters: Eric (Magneto) Lensherr who believes mutants should use their powers to further the interests of mutants. Charles (Professor X) Xavier, who subscribes to only using mutant powers for good, and advocates peaceful co-existence of mutants and humans.

A bit ago, Carol said that programming was pretty close to having a super power. There is great difference in approach between Magneto and Professor X in terms of wielding one’s super power, and I see this play out almost every day in real life.

Simply put, I see some people loving programming just to love programming. These are the followers of Magneto, those who obsess over their mutant powers of the keyboard, debating languages, their use and every detail in between.

Not quite the opposite camp, we see people who talk more about using programming power for creating things, solving problems and enabling others. Charles and the rest of the X-Men talk less about powers and more about the philosophy of doing. What should be done? What is right?

This post is not to debate the virtues or vices of either camp, just to make the connection. I have to tip the hat to Ron for healthy philosophical debate on the alignment of the different X-Men.