While being called a nerd was anything but a compliment back in my school days, it seems like the tables have turned and pop culture can’t get enough of the stereotypical ‘geek’. What was once too nerdy to be considered cool is now everywhere, from movies to TV shows to fashion and even music. And when it comes to being nerdy, techies are probably the most common stereotype in film and TV shows.
There’s everything on the character spectrum, too – from Richmond, the reclusive and antisocial server admin from the IT crowd, to the gritty and almost superhero-like Elliot Alderson from Mr Robot.
Since it’s the silly season, we thought we’d have some fun and ask our readers which one of pop culture’s most iconic tech characters they identify with the most. We’ve chosen three of the most famous fictional techies for this article – read the paragraphs below and let us know which one best describes you!
Maurice Moss (The IT Crowd)
Maurice Moss (played by Richard Ayaode) is one leg of the IT crowd’s tripod of loveable misfits, the other two being Roy (Chris O’Dowd) and Jen (Katherine Parkinson). Moss is upbeat, good-natured and optimistic to the point of naïvety. He doesn’t like breaking the rules, and prefers to see things done in an organised, orderly fashion. Moss prefers the idea of a good glass of milk and a book over a night out drinking, and would be much more comfortable discussing chemistry or electronic engineering with his science buddies than discussing the footie or talking to members of the opposite sex.
For all his tendencies to neatness and organisation, Moss isn’t particularly enthusiastic when it comes to getting his job done. When he can get away with it, he prefers doing the bare minimum rather than being called out to fix a fault outside his basement IT room – which he usually accomplishes by responding to callers with his infamous line: “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”.
Elliot Alderson (Mr Robot)
Elliot Alderson is the reclusive and mysterious protagonist of the award-winning TV series Mr Robot. Played by Rami Malek, Elliot is a loner; a misunderstood computer savant with a strong conscience and a conviction to do what he believes is the right thing. Elliot isn’t afraid to put his knowledge of networks and computer systems to legally and often morally ambiguous use, but when he puts his mind to something, he won’t stop until he gets it done one way or another.
Elliot has a few friends who he keeps at arm’s length, preferring to work alone in the comfort of his home, and focus on doing as good a job he can while he’s in the office. He’s often perceived as awkward or strange by his colleagues, but to him social interaction is a mysterious and unnecessary complication. Elliot is hard-working, and doesn’t stick to what most would consider a normal sleeping pattern, often spending all-nighters obsessively searching for what he needs or tweaking the code on a project until it’s working perfectly.
Richard Hendricks (Silicon Valley)
Richard is the CEO of Pied Piper in the hit TV series Silicon Valley. In the show, he and his team of developers – equally nerdy techies with their own quirks – start out as young developers who create a compression algorithm that ultimately and unexpectedly wins them a prize at a massive tech expo. Richard is a workaholic in the truest sense, and he’s always getting himself out of disasters with ingenious last-minute thinking under pressure. Richard and his team are much more than the sum of their parts – when they come together, they complement each other in ways that bring out the best in them and help their company thrive
Richard is always narrowly avoiding disaster by striving for perfection in everything he does, and gets himself into a myriad of tricky situations as a result. However, he’s always the one that pulls his team together at the last minute and makes sure they come out the other side in one piece.
So, which one of the three fictional techies in this article do you identify with best? Let us know what you think. No matter which one you are, it’s time for a well-deserved break. While you’ve got a chance to put your feet up, why not consider IT outsourcing to make the new year less of a daunting prospect? Download our IT health check to find out what you could be doing to make your life easier today.