Villain Lore

Let me simply start by saying, I am a Villain. In fact, I think I renamed my blog “The Villain’s Lab.” Read on to find out more...

In classic scenarios, you have your protagonist and your antagonist. The Hero, and the Villain. The Hero is the one who stops the evil Villain’s plot to destroy everything or everyone. I am not this kind of Villain. I am the classic misunderstood Villain. The one who makes choices that don’t make sense until later on, when you have more context about the “Why did you do that?” Lets examine some characteristics of a (mythical) Hero based on the idea above:

  • Super strong (Not necessarily physically, can be mental, emotional, etc)

  • Makes the right decisions every time

  • Always saves the day

  • Can always be depended on

  • Never fails

Great, sounds good, right? Well sure, except it’s not. Now lets look at some character flaws of a Villain, or in my case, the misunderstood villain:

  • Awkward (Yep, they often have quirks that make them awkward)

  • Make some pretty bad decisions (oh boy do we)

  • Fails regularly (This stupid script isn’t working — hours later AHA! Stupid curly bracket)

  • Not 100% flawless, may let you down from time to time

Now, those seem like some pretty serious issues… detrimental ones in an employee, right? I would wholeheartedly disagree. These traits (I don’t think they are flaws, personally) make a villain a human being, a person who can be related to.

I am a Villain. I make mistakes. I don’t always hit deadlines perfectly. I trip and fall along the way.

Now, lets look at the traits that I neglected to list:

  • Does not give up

  • Thinks critically and analytically

  • Solves problems

Aren’t these just things that we expect to see in any good engineer? Yes, they are. What we don’t take the time to think about is that we can learn a lot more from a Villain than we ever could learn from a mythical hero. Wile E Coyote never gave up his persuit of Roadrunner. Yes, his methods were usually bad, but that was the writers, not him. Roadrunner on the other hand… Roadrunner never had to struggle, always kicked back, always relaxed, because Roadrunner would always get away.

I would rather have problems thrown at me, and iterate through a million choices to find the “right one for right now” than have all the right answers the first time. Imagine how boring a “perfect” life would be. Thankfully, my life isn’t perfect, and neither am I.