The ninth-highest grossing Indian-produced film released in 2017 is a joyous oddity called Toilet – Ek Prem Katha, or Toilet – A Love Story in English. Praised by voices as diverse as those of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and American software tycoon Bill Gates, Toilet is a movie about adapting to changing times.
Set in rural India, Toilet addresses the somewhat appalling lack of access to first-world sanitation dealt with on a daily basis by the rural poor. Outside a small village, women gather in a field early each morning — early enough that each of them carries a lantern — to relieve themselves by squatting in the bushes.
There’s a tractor in the opening scene of the film, underscoring that even small Indian villages are gradually modernizing. The central dilemma arrives soon enough, as a young Indian bride complains about taking care of business out in the wild and asks her husband to build a toilet in their home.
Opposed by his domineering father and a village official, the young husband struggles, over the rest of the film, to circumvent the resistance on multiple fronts to complying with his wife’s request. You’ll have to see the movie yourself to find out how it tall turns out in the end.
Sometimes resistance to change is rooted in ideas that make sense, or at least have comprehensible (if problematic) underlying rationales. Sometimes, on the other hand, people just have a hard time seeing the benefit of altering customs and patterns that feel familiar and safe.
If you work in IT, then you already know that there’s barely time to feel familiar and safe with a given technology before things change. Sometimes you don’t even have the option to not comply. If you pig-headedly insist, for example, that you’re never giving up on Windows 7, eventually you’ll be on an island, exposed to the storms of cybersecurity, and without support even from the originator of your software.
In IT, you have to keep moving along, going with flow, and adapting to new tools, methods, and practices as they appear. One excellent means of keeping pace is to get a certification and keep it current.
Certification vendors want you to excel at your job. It reflects poorly on them if you fail, and if the certification vendor is also the company that builds or manages the products that you’re certified to use, then it reflect really poorly on them if you fail. Certification programs exist to help you not just succeed, but achieve greatness.
That doesn’t even take into account the many other benefits of certification. For example, many employers will reward your efforts to stay sharp with increased pay, greater job responsibilities, or both. And being certified often gives you access to the collective knowledge of a community of like-minded professionals.
In Toilet, the introduction of a toilet gradually shakes things up and forces people to adapt. In your professional career, getting certified keeps you ahead of the curve. You don’t even have to be shaken up, because you find out about the changes as they happen, incorporate them into your skill set, and keep moving forward.
In the movie, eventually, everyone agrees that have a toilet just makes sense. The same is true of certification and your professional career: Why squat in the bushes? It just makes sense to take advantage of everything certification has to offer.