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The Beaver of Technical Incompetence

 
Sheriff
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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.
 
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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.
 
Marshal
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We have cows for being good already. Of course there are lots of pictures of dead cows; they have them in every 1950s Western.
 
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Oh heck no. I've some experience with a mascot that was handed out after breaking a build. It gets annoying FAST.
 
Tim Cooke
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Great stuff so far. Keem 'em coming!

(Added flags for shameless promotion of my own thread)
 
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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
[Thumbnail for gargoyle.JPG]
 
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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?
 
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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
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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
 
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We have a 'dodo' as a "tool of the month" award in our team.
 
Tim Cooke
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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)".
 
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The Honey Badger of Badass Practice =)
 
Tim Cooke
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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
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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
 
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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
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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).
 
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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.
 
Tim Cooke
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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.
 
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Here, you go, Tim: very cuddly (not)
 
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Or from the same site: Plush Microbes... one is named "Brain Cell" which might be appropriate!
 
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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".
 
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