I’m a little late, but I wanted to do a quick wrap-up of last week’s challenge.

Day 3: Search

Richard Phillips  Dec 5, 2016 12:28 PM

Reminded us that it’s not all about immediate gratification: “In a day when search means typing something into a browser and getting back an answer we need to remember that the search isn't just about getting an answer, it's about learning and gaining data that can be used now and in the future.”


Meanwhile, EBeach

Waxed philosophical with the quote: “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it – George A. Moore.”


And tomiannelli Added some philosophical thoughts of his own, but closed with:

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”

  ― Dalai Lama XIV


Day 4: Understand

mlotter pointed out that “A true mark of Successful person is the ability to listen to understand instead of listening with the intent to reply.”


Not to be outdone, mtgilmore1 Invoked the first man on the moon, with, "Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand."  Neil Armstrong


And THWACK MVP bsciencefiction.tv  Countered one word with another when he said, “To me learning something new requires one of two two things acceptance or understanding.” And followed it up with a clip of Comedian Michael Jr as he explains the power of Why.


Michael Jr: Know Your Why - YouTube


Day 5: Accept

desr Kept it short and sweet: “Accept who you are and what you are that is all that matters. If you accept yourself your true beauty will shine.”


silverwolf started off with enthusiasm: “Working in IT, Studying in IT,  even waay back in elementary school...or even before that, I've always known I would be involved with IT somehow....one way or another, with computers...with technology! I Accepted that fact a looong time ago. I mean... it was all so COOL!  It STILL IS! It's an ADVENTURE!” and then brought a series of awesome Star Trek memes.


And in what I hope is a purposeful mis-spelling, wbrown said, “Sometimes we just have to except that everything has an acception”


Day 6: Believe

Several folks started out their entries with some type of definition of the word of the day, but bleggett managed to weave the word into their analysis of the definition of the word (how meta): “Interestingly, the etymology of believe is not quite what I expected.  Not unbelievable, but I believe it's credible. 

Online Etymology Dictionary


  1. bsciencefiction.tv also started off with a definition, but with a bit more detail: “Belief is objective. Unfortunately, today belief is too often accepted as subjective. By quick definition:

An objective perspective is one that is not influenced by emotions, opinions, or personal feelings - it is a perspective based in fact, in things quantifiable and measurable. A subjective perspective is one open to greater interpretation based on personal feeling, emotion, aesthetics, etc.”


sparda963 Dec 6, 2016 4:42 PM reflected on how belief informs his work: “I am not much of a believer honestly. I don't take it on faith that something is going to work unless I know it is going to work. Far to many people who I have worked with in IT over the years believe that just because they did something that it will work exactly as their believe it will. This often does not turn out to be the case.”


Day 7: Choose

Day 7 is noteable because it marked the first post by another member of the SolarWinds staff – in this case Head Geek Destiny Bertucci. In response, Richard Phillips highlighted one of the biggest career divides that IT Pro’s encounter: “Ahh, Decisions, Decisions. I've heard lots of complaints over the years "That boss couldn't do my job half as good as I do and he makes so much more money" But what you see in successful people and those that "climb the ladder." is their ability to make decisions, quickly and decisively. They own the fact that they won't always be the best or sometimes even the correct decision, but they own it and own the results. That's what keeps them moving and that's why people follow them.”


prowessa chose to use their entry to express their support: “I choose to go the write path and be a better Thwackster.”


And Michael Kent quoted one of the greatest sysadmins in history (if you judge by the length of his beard), Albus Dumbledore, who said “Dark times lie ahead of us, and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right”


Day 8: Hear

Radioteacher  Dec 11, 2016 1:29 AM

Related the word to his experience on the set of THWACKcamp this year: “I am in the white first year ThwackCamp shirt below. When sqlrockstar spoke on stage right I would stare at the back of Patrick's head knowing that from the cameras point of view it would look like I was looking at sqlrockstar. In some ways that it made it easier to focus on his voice, hearing what was said and reacting.”


Meanwhile, nedescon reflected on how hearing loss has affected their perception of the value of receiving information: “I think the most important thing to take away is there is a lot of noise that will get in the way if you let it. I truly am the only thing that I have any power or influence over. In other words, I can give my attention, but I can't always get another's.”


And steven.melnichuk@tbdssab.ca  succinctly pointed out the difference between hearing and listening: “hearing is one of the 5 senses of the human body...there is no skill involved. Listening is a skill and an art, and requires focus and commitment...and separates managers from leaders.”


Day 9: Observe

SolarWinds product marketing specialist Diego Fildes Torrijos submitted the lead essay for day 9, analyzing the way we observe the world around us (and how often we choose not to).


  1. bsciencefiction.tv  pointed out how the power of observation can serve us both personally and as monitoring enthusiasts: “The response to the "It's the [insert scapegoat here...but we know they are going to say 'network']" is a tool like Orion that allows you to observe your environment in near real time, coorelate data points and makee a logic deduction. Observer the world around you and make wise decisions. Observe the environment you are monitoring and make informed decisions.”


Then jamison.jennings  Offered a suggestion for the next SolarWinds product line: “In the future, when AI becomes more of a regular integral part of IT, SolarWinds should reserve OBSERVE for a name for their AI module. Observe will be the watcher for changes that happen to nodes on the network and learn and adapt to the ever changing network. New interface turned up over night during a maintenance window, Observe automagically starts monitoring. Drives removed and new ones added, no problem. Observe sees those "down" volumes and will go and look for new ones and add them in without relying on a scheduled network discovery.”


And Steve Hawkins  Used a quote by Andrew Carnegie to elaborate on how observation can inform our understanding: "As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do." Sometimes the most important statements people make is how they react to a particular situation.


Keep the amazing comments coming (they’re worth 200 THWACK points each day) and tune in every day for the next essay challenge. Thank you to all the amazing contributors!