Broken Build “Awards”

As I have mentioned before, I recently read Raymond Chen’s The Old New Thing: Practical Development Throughout the Evolution of Windows. In an essay entitled "Whimsical embarrassment as a gentle form of reprimand", Raymond discussed the various items someone who breaks the build receives and must keep until someone else breaks the build.

Reflecting on this I have a long history of using minor embarrassment awards to encourage a change in behavior. When I was a Boy Scout, my troop has similar awards. The first was the "Johnny-Come-Lately" award given to the camper who was the last to arrive (late) to an assembly. The recipient was required to wear the award (essentially a large, gaudy necklace) to all meals until it was given to the next recipient. The other award was the "Fly-Baita-Campa" for the messiest tent. I was the "proud" recipient of this award a couple time during my first week at camp.

In terms of broken builds, I have used two different items for awards over the last ten years. The first award was a decoy duck, intended to train retriever dogs, of a wounded duck. The duck appeared to have a broken neck and a gunshot wound. Truly, a fitting symbol of a broken build. The second award, and one I used for over seven years, was a rubber chicken. We referred to it as "Dopey, the Chicken of Shame". Dopey because most broken build were due to stupid mistakes. The chicken of shame because of the embarrassment of receiving it.

Raymond’s original post can be found here.