Monday, June 2, 2008

Human Easter Eggs (or Last Blast from the Past)

I found one more gem on my last day with BEA that I can't help but share. Dial back the clock to October 2005, when Plumtree was being acquired by BEA. BEA was figuring out what to call the products, which at the time were the "Plumtree Foundation," which was the base portal, and the "Plumtree Enterprise Web Suite," which included Collaboration, Analytics, and a bunch of other stuff.

The Naming Police at BEA arrived at new names that some felt were counterintuitive and difficult to say:
  • AquaLogic Interaction (Plumtree Foundation) (aka ALI)
  • AquaLogic User Interaction (Plumtree Enterprise Web Suite) (aka ALUI)
Since people kept asking what these new names meant, we elected to hold a contest to see who could write the best poem explaining the names. A writer on staff named Nate Loux, who I think of as Donald Barthelme in a cube, came up with my favorite submission, which I can only describe as brilliant. It is posted here.

We've all put Easter Eggs in software -- what delights me is the easter eggs we stumble across in the workplace. I think that is why a lot of us are in software -- yeah, we're geeks, but it is really about learning the expect the unexpected in your everyday work environment. While it may not be obvious that the poem was an easter egg, it should be obvious that creating an environment that rewards creativity produces the unexpected, and the unexpected is what makes work fun. Which brings me back to the beginning, or the end I should say, of what was Plumtree and then BEA.

No comments:

Post a Comment