We love to play as hard as we work. We also like to externalize it in creative, fun ways. As many people know, our out of office messages can be quite hilarious – we actively encourage it! Over the holidays, though, we move beyond actively encouraging it to having a full company competition.

And the winners are…

Best Story

Jason Dodds – Director of Engineering

I’m currently away from my job at CodeScience and will return January 4th. My family carries on a holiday tradition that requires a deep commitment from me and there’s little possibility I can balance those responsibilities with delivering on the job, so family wins out during this time of year. Hopefully next year I can get out of the whole ordeal because I’ve been doing it forever, and quite frankly, it’s a pain in the ass.

One side of my family are small, ornery, Cajun folk that moved back to Canada a while ago, and drove the farthest north possible (like, arctic north). Half of this fine branch of my family tree are kleptomaniacs who raid every Target, WalMart and BestBuy they can find and the other half of them sit in their garages building god knows what pounding Miller Lites all day long. This artic crew of snappy dressers like to crack big-box stores all year long and stockpile a mountain of black market goods that simply won’t fit in any of T-Roy’s storage units. They get paranoid the cops are watching them towards the end of every year, cause they always want to get rid of everything in one big blaze of glory. That’s where I come in.

Now, you probably have some pretty weird stuff going on during the holidays too, so don’t judge. I like to get bombed out on Christmas Eve. It’s my thing and I don’t promote anyone else doing it, but it’s something of a tradition of mine. One consequence of this yearly act of poor decision making is an openness to the ideas and challenges of my Acadian brethren. These crazy-ass little bastards like to dress me up in a suit that looks like a cross between a stop sign and something Bette Midler would wear to dinner. I don’t know where they got the suit, and I don’t ask. I just wear the thing and this wacked-out hat they have to go with it. The fur lining comes in handy, cause once we break out the Fireball, I fly an old flatbed trailer my cousin Levon has mounted to an engine that runs on moonshine and cooking oil and I head off to disperse the big-box contraband anywhere I can. For some reason Levon strapped ten deer decoys to some 2×4’s on the front of the flatbed and wired one of the trailer brake lights to the face of the deer in front so we can see in bad weather. He got real drunk one year and named them all after girlfriends he had in high school. It’s a sad state of affairs with Levon, but he’s family, so what can you do.

To throw the cops off, me and the boys wrap all the loot in whatever we can find and put a note on the package saying it is from the ‘South Alberta Nuclear Transit Agency’. We started abbreviating that with an acronym a while back since we had so many ‘gifts’ to wrap and it took forever to write. I the take Levon’s redneck rocket ship and haul ass all over the place ditching stuff in people’s houses, since according to Law & Order, the dumpster isn’t a great option. I used to have to do a little B & E to get in the houses, but now Amazon has these drones you can just fly through the chimney and make deliveries under trees and stuff. The camera on those drones is pretty tight so I built this IoT app to follow the people in the households around and process their behavior data using AWS NoN (a predictive analytics engine) to build profiles of them. I can use it to determine what to leave over at their house as opposed to their neighbors’. Parents now use my yearly swag run as a conspiracy theory to hold over their kids’ heads to keep them in line. Cloud technology is so bad-ass.

Anyway, once I’m done getting rid of all the evidence, I head to the crib and sleep it off. It takes me about a week to recover, but we head back down South to blow it out for New Years and put a night cap on the end of the year. I’m so fat and liquored up by the end of it that I have to do cross-fit for weeks just to recover. I spend the rest of my year doing some tinkering of my own at CodeScience, but for these ten magical days in December and January, your boy’s out of pocket. My apologies for missing what very well may be the most important email in the history of mankind.

If you’ve got a lot of budget and some big plans for 2016, you can holler at [email protected] in my absence. Maybe I can customize my Amazon IoT app to build profiles of your customers for you. Who knows? If there’s anything else you need right now, know that I’ll sift through my post-holidays mountain of email about as quickly as I sift through the things that link my family to grand larceny. It may take as long.

Happy Holidays, and go create your own tradition this year.


Best Design

JT Lovell – Product Owner

A ChrisMatt Carroll
Twas the holidays for Minions, they’re away from their mouse,
Except for James writing code to build his new house,
Matt Carroll had checked his into Git with care,
Crushing user stories with his Superman hair.
JT was on the playstation with his kids near Lex,
Unlike Rina and Chad making personas for UX,
Amber was offline spreading cheer near and far,
Did you know she and Barton killed Jeff at the bar?
And down in Tampa relaxing after something weird,
Steve squashed a bug with only his beard,
Eddie was off doing some shopping just like Santa’s elf,
We totally sold him as a project – just him by himself.
Dan was off in Cali, which is finally getting some rain,
Using his vaca to turn eggnog into a SPA app – INSANE!
John Nelson was helping, chattering actively in Slack,
He put the booze in the eggnog using only webpack.
Brian was asleep dreaming of all hands last Spring,
And all the good tidings for this year it would bring,
All of CodeScience still somewhat in shock,
When Spoon and Rob showed up each sporting a hawk.
Dodds was playing Santa and spreading good will,
Hanging out with his elf helper – Boomerang Bill,
Skipping the last minute shopping and the bargain bin,
Jeremy was back in line to see Star Wars again.
Autumn was cracking the whip for the year’s last time entry,
Doug was getting ready to use ALL CAPS to help her ride sentry,
Twas the holidays for Minions and all through the cloud,
The office was quiet, and Uncle CodeScience was proud.
If Santa ignores you and doesn’t put an app in your stocking,
And you need it real fast, and you want it rocking,
CodeScience can help, it’s what we do best,
We’re off for Christmas, but we’ll be here for the rest.

Most Humorous

Jake Wills – Product Owner (tie)

A Visit From Uncle CodeScience
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through CodeScience
Not a creature was stirring, not even our clients;
The apps were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Uncle CodeScience soon would be there;
The Minions were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of the AppExchange danced in their heads;
And Brian in his leisure suit, and Spoon in unicorn cap,
Had just settled their brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out from my phone there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away at the charger I dropped it with a crack,
Entered the unlock code and opened up Slack.
The moon on the screen reflected the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to the chat channel below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a missed Scrum meeting and many loud jeers,
With a little old ScrumMaster so lively and compliant,
I knew in a moment he must be Uncle CodeScience.
More rapid than CTAs his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Cole! now, Doug! now Jeff and Coni!
On, Jeremy! on, Jason! on, Autumn and Eddie!
To the top of the board! to the top of the whiteboard wall!
Now groom away! groom away! groom away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to Sprint Planning the coursers they flew
With the backlog of stories, and the ScrumMaster too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the Hangout
The hemming and hawing of each little doubt.
As I put down my phone, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. ScrumMaster came with a bound.
He was dressed in CS swag, from his feet to his dome,
And his clothes were all wrinkled from working at home;
A bundle of User Stories he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a commuter just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
He’d been into the bourbon, his nose like a cherry!
He nodded towards the bar, prompting his host,
And the beard on his chin was as big as Prevost’s;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know this PO had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the sprints; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his mouse,
And giving a nod, the first sprint was kicked off;
He sprang to the Hangout, to his team gave a nod,
And away they all coded, the clients all awed.
But I heard him exclaim, as he logged out of Slack—
“Happy Holidays to all, and to all… you better not let the freakin scope creep!”

As you may be able to tell by the amount of time I spent on that poem, I am on vacation. If you need something urgently — and I mean REALLY urgently — call me or send me a text and I’ll get back to you asap. Otherwise… “have a merry Christmas, happy Chanukah, kwazy Kwanza, a tip-top Tet, and a solemn, dignified Ramadan.” See you next year.


Dan Shahin – Developer Evangelist (tie)

Dan is out for X-Mas
H e is with family and friends.
E njoying the season.
L oving every minute.
P lease excuse his absence.
M erry X-mas
E ach and every one of you.

Congrats to all of our participants and winners! Hope you had an amazing holiday and have kicked the new year off with a bang!

Want to join our band of expert lunatics? We’re hiring.