Mr. Spock and Star Trek’s Influence on my Life and as a Software Testing Manager

Mr Spock
Picture courtesy of the BBC News Entertainment & Arts.

I was saddened to hear of Leonard Nimoy passing at the age of 83. Trekkies knew he was sick and recently was in the hospital. Of course selfishly I wanted Leonard Nimoy to be part of the 50th anniversary Star Trek movie. It was wonderful to see him in the 2009 Star Trek movie. I loved the scene where he encounters a young Kirk – and greets him warmly with: I have been and always shall be your friend. Such profound and deep words if you really understand the friendship between Kirk and Spock. And Spock’s father who tells him that he married his mother (a human) because he loved her. Those are my favorite scenes from the newer movies – we are to witness some of the Vulcan’s emotions.

Mr. Spock was one of my favorites from Star Trek the original series. As a child I faithfully watched Star Trek in reruns and never got tired of watching it over and over again! The space travel and encountering new worlds and aliens was fascinating. Even today just hearing the Star Trek theme means an adventure awaits! The Enterprise is the most beautiful ship. My love of technology comes from those early days of Star Trek. Over the years we have witnessed how Star Trek has become reality through current technology. Look at their communicators and today we have mobile devices. In The Next Generation Picard uses a small flat screen computer – now we have iPads and Skype! Technology has dramatically changed over the decades. Earlier in my career computers were DOS based and printers were dot-matrix – they were loud and slow! My initial programming classes included writing and executing JCL through punched cards. Luckily that was only one semester! Click here for more information and the below picture is courtesy of wikipedia. But my education served me well as a programmer for 12 years and then many years in the testing field!

Punched card

During the 90’s computer magazines were filled with articles on how technology was changing. Of interest was the Chicago project that ended up being Windows 95. This earlier computer was expensive with a hard drive that was 1 gig. At that time it was considered to be a lot of storage! Those early days of computers with the Apple and Windows wars was exciting

Many nights started with the intention of spending an hour on the computer but ended up with late nights learning the new technology. At work my nickname was “geekette” as I helped my co-workers with the technology that was confusing for them. But for me it was a love affair! Technology was not as common as it is today with everyone having an iPad or a smart phone. Unlike the current generation, in kindergarten we did not have computers. Those of us who understood technology was a smaller group of people and many did not relate to us. But that was okay because we had Star Trek! Never underestimate the Trekkie bond!

Mr. Spock was interesting as he was half human and half Vulcan. He had the logic and self-control of the Vulcan’s but there were times when we witnessed his human emotions. When the Enterprise is under attack or there is a crisis, Spock is logical and in control. He can be heard to tell the crew that there is no reason to yell. Through the decades from TOS and the many movies we learn more about Spock and how he had to learn to keep his emotions under control and not let his human side take over.

I love this picture of the Enterprise and it is courtesy of Once Upon a Geek.
NCC Enterprise

There is an interesting parallel between Mr. Spock and my life as a Software Testing Manager. My love of logic and thinking through a situation by remaining neutral comes from Mr. Spock. Often I have been told I can appreciate both sides of a story and make decisions while remaining neutral and unemotional. I believe this is an important ability for a Testing Manager. We have to keep our emotions in control when the pressure of a pending release is high or we are juggling a lot of risks trying to determine the best use of time. It would be easy to cave into the human emotions. Instead we need to focus on the facts and test assumptions to make the best decisions. High emotions can cause us to have tunnel vision by looking at a narrow piece of the problem instead of trying to understand the overall situation.

My love for technology and logic comes from Star Trek and Mr. Spock. As I write this tribute I have a marathon of TOS playing on our Smart TV and one of my favorite two-part series in currently playing: The Menagerie. One day my husband and I went to Best Buy and I saw the Smart TV and well… had to have it! Some people are dedicated to one operating system whereas I use Windows, IOS, and Android. Charging multiple devices with different operating systems every day seems to be the norm.

Mr spock vulcan
Image courtesy of Fanpop.

Lastly, here is a video where Leonard Nimoy discusses the Jewish story behind Spock’s hand gesture that he brought into Star Trek. Leonard Nimoy will be missed but he left a wonderful legacy and influenced countless lives. But we still hate to part so soon!

What are your Mr. Spock memories?

Live long and Prosper!

6 responses

  1. […] Many of you know that I am a Star Trek fan with Mr. Spock being at the top of the list. I was saddened to hear of Leonard Nimoy’s passing on Friday. On The Testers Edge I wrote a posting discussing the impact of Star Trek and Mr. Spock on my life. You can read my tribute Mr. Spock and Star Trek’s Influence on my Life and as a Software Testing Manager. […]

  2. […] of them had the privilege to meet Leonard and get his signature. On The Testers Edge I wrote my tribute on the influence of Star Trek and Mr. Spock on my life and career. So many people I talk to in the tech field has a similar story to mine – Star Trek started […]

  3. This really took me back! It’s so true that Star Trek bonds many of us together – even people born long after the original series! I did watch the original series, but I had to watch it on the black and white TV in our house. Nobody else in my family would watch it, so they watched something else on the treasured 13″ color TV. I can still remember sitting in front of the big old Zenith, totally “transported” to another world! I learned a lot from that show. Not only an appreciation of what technology should do, but what kind people do for each other and the excitement of discovery. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Leonard Nimoy was a leader for us all.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story Lisa! A Zenith TV. I remember those. And the B&W tv – plus rabbit ears with foil. Star Trek was ahead of their time in so many ways and really paved a path for many of us and like you said so much more than technology. I was impressed with a woman on the bridge. It really set the stage at a young age that we could do anything!!

  4. What a flashback!– seeing that punch card. I took Fortran 4 at BU back in the ’60’s. I kind of miss the old programming days, where we understood the “behind the scenes” actions taking place. Unfortunately, I became more of a user (as a writer and illustrator.) But I have the highest respect for all those folks who’ve tinkered with the technology to make it useful to us today. Miss your recipes.

    1. I so agree. As a programmer we definitely understand how everything came together. I took Fortran in college but never used it on the job. I do miss that time period. And I am working on new recipes and will start blogging them shortly! Thanks for missing them. 🙂

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