wood burning stoves 2.0*
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes The Beaver of Technical Incompetence Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "The Beaver of Technical Incompetence" Watch "The Beaver of Technical Incompetence" New topic
Author

The Beaver of Technical Incompetence

Tim Cooke
Bartender

Joined: Mar 28, 2008
Posts: 1016
    
  47

Another development team in my office have a "Beaver of Technical Incompetence", a soft toy plush beaver, that they assign to any dev in their team that does something a bit daft. It's all done in good humour of course and is the source of many a good laugh.

I think it'll be good fun to introduce something similar into our team but I can't think of what thing to use as the 'mascot'. Perhaps even have two mascots, one to be awarded for doing something good, one for doing something silly. Animals are a favourite because it's easy to buy a soft plush version of it, but it can be anything really as long as I can find something physical to represent it. I'd like to have something that sounds funny in itself but I can't think of much. "The Badger of Brilliance", "The Ferret of Foolishness". You know, that sort of thing, but better.

Suggestions welcome. May your imagination have no bounds.


Tim Driven Development
Stephan van Hulst
Bartender

Joined: Sep 20, 2010
Posts: 3647
    
  16

I like a fox for being on the ball. Like, foxes are sly, sharp, etc.

Then, maybe a dodo or something for goofing up. Or a toucan, or a puffin, or some other silly bird.
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38865
    
  23
We have cows for being good already. Of course there are lots of pictures of dead cows; they have them in every 1950s Western.
Jelle Klap
Bartender

Joined: Mar 10, 2008
Posts: 1763
    
    7

Oh heck no. I've some experience with a mascot that was handed out after breaking a build. It gets annoying FAST.


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Maneesh Godbole
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 10376
    
    8


source


[How to ask questions] [Donate a pint, save a life!] [Onff-turn it on!]
Tim Cooke
Bartender

Joined: Mar 28, 2008
Posts: 1016
    
  47

Great stuff so far. Keem 'em coming!

(Added flags for shameless promotion of my own thread)
Joe Ess
Bartender

Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 8908
    
    8

I have a foam finger called the "Blue Finger of Blame"

It resides in my office unless someone makes a grievous error. Once pointed, it goes back into hiding.

Here is my personal mascot. He resides on the shelf above my desk to keep evil spirits away...


[gargoyle.JPG]


"blabbing like a narcissistic fool with a superiority complex" ~ N.A.
[How To Ask Questions On JavaRanch]
Matthew Brown
Bartender

Joined: Apr 06, 2010
Posts: 4392
    
    8

Jelle Klap wrote:Oh heck no. I've some experience with a mascot that was handed out after breaking a build. It gets annoying FAST.


Doesn't that provide an incentive not to break it, then?
Saurabh Pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 507
Matthew Brown wrote:
Jelle Klap wrote:Oh heck no. I've some experience with a mascot that was handed out after breaking a build. It gets annoying FAST.


Doesn't that provide an incentive not to break it, then?


Personally I don't think so. For example, Newbie/intern might get singled out. Instead I would prefer to have reward/mascot/round-of-applause for good work which might actually encourage people. Again, it depends on how team or you take it personally.

In broader sense, it is the same reason why Facebook does not have "thumbs down" button or we (Coderanch) don't have -1 for post.
Jelle Klap
Bartender

Joined: Mar 10, 2008
Posts: 1763
    
    7

Matthew Brown wrote:
Jelle Klap wrote:Oh heck no. I've some experience with a mascot that was handed out after breaking a build. It gets annoying FAST.


Doesn't that provide an incentive not to break it, then?


Not really. Breaking the build was inevitable. Think 9 year old extensive code base with application testsets consisting solely of in-container "unit tests" (Jakarta Cactus) for a heavily asynchronous system - applications and shared components were decoupled via JMS. So lots of tests depending on asynchronous behavior, which were prone to miserable and inconsistent failure. Running a testset also took forever, because of retry/timeout behavior in a lot of the tests due to the asynchronous nature of the system, which at times resulted in just not running it locally. Checking in code was like a game of Russian roulette. Frustrating in and of itself, but aggravated times ∞ by being scapegoated.
/rant
Sachin Patil
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 08, 2002
Posts: 120

We have a 'dodo' as a "tool of the month" award in our team.


A tool that's lost its purpose makes a great toy.
Tim Cooke
Bartender

Joined: Mar 28, 2008
Posts: 1016
    
  47

Jelle, I understand your viewpoint on this and would not be looking to assign "blame" in a malicious manner. As you say, that would be terrible for moral within the team. Taking your example, if you had a naff and flakey system that just failed for the craic at seemingly random intervals for no good reason then I don't think it would be fair to start finger pointing if you happened to be the last person to touch it. That would suck. I've worked with that sort of system too.

I'm intending to use the 'mascot' as just a bit of a laugh for those really silly mistakes we all make. Things like "this & that" when you meant "this && that", or the old favourite "thisString == thatString" instead of "thisString.equals(thatString)".
Dieter Quickfend
Bartender

Joined: Aug 06, 2010
Posts: 543
    
    4

The Honey Badger of Badass Practice =)


Oracle Certified Professional: Java SE 6 Programmer && Oracle Certified Expert: (JEE 6 Web Component Developer && JEE 6 EJB Developer)
Tim Cooke
Bartender

Joined: Mar 28, 2008
Posts: 1016
    
  47

Dieter, that's brilliant! I'm sold on the Honey Badger of Badass Practice (of Badassness?).

Perhaps complement it with a regular Badger of Buffoonery.
Dieter Quickfend
Bartender

Joined: Aug 06, 2010
Posts: 543
    
    4

The Team of Lemmings of Code Complexity, for a team writing unnecessarily complicated methods.
And the Swashbuckling Pirate of Arrrrtistry, for the funniest JavaDoc comments
And the Plagiarizing Parrot, for someone copy & pasting classes.

Perhaps a Masterful Moose for the best developer of the month, and a Moose calf for the best junior dev.

Or a "Chicken of the Cave" (a bat) for the one putting in the most hours
Scott Halepaska
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 26, 2006
Posts: 26
Dieter Quickfend wrote:The Team of Lemmings of Code Complexity, for a team writing unnecessarily complicated methods.



How about the Unladen Swallow of Code Complexity for those that don't know what their code does?
Tim Cooke
Bartender

Joined: Mar 28, 2008
Posts: 1016
    
  47

Scott, some of our team would be a bit young to get that reference. One of my colleagues didn't even know who John Cleese was! I nearly went home in disgust (it was 10am).
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8815
    
    5
On a more positive note, there was a period of time when the rock climbers in Boulder, Colorado would invoke the "Safety Buffalo" when reminding each other to be extra careful and double-check everything before proceeding.


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
Tim Cooke
Bartender

Joined: Mar 28, 2008
Posts: 1016
    
  47

That's an interesting idea Bert, and one that could certainly apply to writing software too.

I've gotten some great ideas from this thread so thanks to all involved. As it turns out, it's not that easy to find a suitable plush toy. I went for a dander round town last week to buy something and came away with nothing as all the ones I could find were either (a) really soppy looking, (b) massive, or (c) too expensive. It was mostly because they were all too 'cuddly'.

I think I'm going to have to change tact. I'm going to have to find a plush toy that I like first, and then think of a funny name and tagline for it. So be ready for a "Name that animal" thread in the near future.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61221
    
  66

Here, you go, Tim: very cuddly (not)


[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18570
    
    8

Or from the same site: Plush Microbes... one is named "Brain Cell" which might be appropriate!
Jayesh A Lalwani
Bartender

Joined: Jan 17, 2008
Posts: 2377
    
  28

Well, if you are all fans of a particular show, you can use characters from the show

Like if you are Doctor Who fans, you could give them a TARDIS for being "The Doctor", and if the mess up, like a Weeping Angel on their desk with a message "Don't Blink. Don;t even Blink".
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: The Beaver of Technical Incompetence