A Challenge in Review

With the new year upon us, I wanted to take one more post to thank everyone for their generosity and support of the December Writing Challenge. Over the course of 30 days, this event has gathered more than 17,000 views and over 1,500 comments (a number that continues to climb), and has provided our THWACK users with a unique channel to share personal stories and create connections and a sense of community that is all but unique among IT forums of its kind.

As a final look, I wanted to share the way in which your comments and essays have affected the SolarWinds team.

Diego Fildes Torrijos (Product Marketing Specialist) wrote:

I found that Peter Monaghan’s comment on my article on “Change” very insightful. He said the following:

I've been in IT for 20+ years now. That's a pretty long time now. Every year along the way I have read an article stating that, "...IT is Changing Now More So Than Ever..." It's cliché! The technology has always been adaptive so I figured I should be as well. I stopped trying t be an expert in anything and learned to know technology just enough to be adept. That allowed me to keep up with all the moving, and changing, parts. Change is constant. Something else I learned. Take everything on your résumé that refers to anything prior to 2000 and delete it. Nobody cares.

I felt that this comment really nailed the current state of IT: ever-evolving change. It really made me think about how everything I’ve learned in IT these years (I previously worked for a CMS company) is temporary, because in 10 years it may be obsolete! Wow… so that means that my adaptation to these constant changes is critical for me to be knowledgeable of RELEVANT technology, literally. And even though in my post I suggest something similar, Peter’s post really reinforced this message and made me think about where I will be in IT if I’m lucky enough to be around for +20 years.

Rene Lego (Corporate Marketing Director) said:

What stuck out for me is how many people actually looked up and posted the definitions of words.

Václav Janištin (Product Marketing Specialist) commented that a few things which touched me in some way. I wanted to understand everything not only from IT pros perspective, but from the point of human being

  • “You have to be willing to abandon your preconceived notions and start over - again and again if necessary. You have to accept that the solution which worked for another person in another place may not be your solution.” (SEARCH)
  • “I feel like we don’t live and die by the choices we make, you live or die by choosing to stick with your choices.” (CHOOSE)
  • “Forgive, this word has helped me grow as a person and I just wish that I would’ve figured this out at a younger age” (FORGIVE)
  • Forgive yourself all faults and all other hurts that someone did to you, because everything in live is a choice and you could choose which path lead you to wherever you want to be, but remember – stick with the previous choices doesn’t meant the right thing everytime.

Ondrej Skacel (Product Marketing Specialist) submitted a collection of quotes that caught his imagination:

The tools are out there. The question is “Is the desire and ability to learn inside of us?”


Learning is even more expedient in IT security because the dynamics change all the time. You wonder why a lot of people like, love or dream of Thwack monthly challenges, because it is such a great opportunity to constantly learn. Thwacking = Learning!


The ability to "accept" results that are not perfect in the Security realm is hard to do at times but vital. This is especially true when one is new to an organization and sees current holes in security.  One must make progress to fix the holes that exist but be wary not to try to do it all at once.  One must make a multi-phase approach where there is a clear roadmap to a final solution.  While on the path, it is ok to "accept" certain risks as long as the exposure is not vital to the company.  This was a hard lesson that took some time to realize.

- dcalkins0924

“But we should believe - meaning to take as an article of faith that requires no proof, and which cannot be dis-proven by a single less-than stellar outcome - that we are capable of extraordinary things when we are willing to work for it.”

  - adatole


(Leon here) Once again, thank you to everyone who came, who read, who commented, and who shared.

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