CodeScientists boast talents that extend beyond work responsibilities. We have jazz musicians, homebrewers, improv comedians, artists, crossfitters, photographers, outdoor enthusiasts, and, one of my favorites, storytellers. Storytelling is a skill that inspires support, defines culture and values, and explains who you are.

At CodeScience we have an annual competition to celebrate creativity and storytelling: our Annual Holiday Out-of-Office competition (Check out the cream of the crop from 2016 and 2015. Below are this year’s winners (and keep reading for a surprise!):

Winner In the Design Category: Karen Engstrom

I am known as a bit of a baker. My mother taught me how to bake when I was a little girl. She was an Army brat and traveled for much of her childhood. She brought back with her a love for special treats and fantastic flavors. So Christmas in my house was always glistening with sugar cookies, Macaroons and the best of all… Gingerbread!

It’s usually a slow time of year for us. The Winter weather sets in, the baking pans come out and we end our hiring year with recipes that take flour, sugar and exotic spices.


So here is my recipe for an awesome company. It requires simple ingredients but you’d be surprised how hard some of them are to find.


  • 2 tbsp. -Spices (From all over the World. The more the merrier. We will source from anywhere and everywhere. More flavor makes everything better)
  • 1 cup – Sugar (We need to stay sweet. My Dad always says you catch more flies with Honey instead of Vinegar) … yes I just slipped some old timey dad advice in. We’re like that around here.
  • 1 lb – Flour (We need something that binds us all together. So the grind on a nice fine flour will have to do. After all, not everything is sweet. Challenges come and it’s that glue that keeps us together where some of the magic really happens)
  • 10 bags of Nuts – Any Kind… Enough said. Whisk all of your ingredients in a big old bowl and be sure to add lots of elbow grease. I always mix my recipes by hand just like mom did. Building strength together as a team is a critical component of success. Bake until the edges are a little toasty (Not crispy, we never want crispy.. just lightly toasted is good)

and Viola! a tasty company treat that everyone is sure to enjoy. Add frosting or decorations as you please (May I suggest a costume on your first day!)

If you like these kinds of recipes and you are looking for a tasty new company for the new year.. go ahead and leave me your ingredients list (Or a Resume works) and I will get back to you as soon as I can!

Happy Everything and Merry Always!
Minion Hunter

And if you would like a real recipe, here is my actual Gingerbread recipe. The kids and I will be using this to make houses today. Wish me luck!


  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups molasses
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger

Royal Icing:

  • 2 pounds of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 6 eggs whites

In a large bowl combine butter and brown sugar, eggs, molasses and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add molasses and eggs. In a separate bowl combine flour salt, spices and soda and mix until thoroughly combined. Add your dry mix to your creamed butter mixture. Divide into smaller pieces and roll to1/8 inch thin. cut out pieces and bake in 350′ oven until edges start to brown. Cool thoroughly and use your royal icing to connect pieces and Decorate. Enjoy!

Winner in the Humor Category: Bobby Tamburrino

Merry Christmas!

I’m not ACTUALLY out of the office BUT we’re doing an Out of Office Email contest here at CodeScience and I totally didn’t want to be like Rudolph and be left out just because I don’t have to travel for the holidays.

Don’t be like Rudolph this Christmas.


Winner in the Story Category: Daniel Kastner

Holiday OOO – 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Santa’s Yearly Trip

Did you know that Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus begin packing the sleigh at the end of May? They work hard months before the flight to make sure all of the gifts are packed in a bundle just right (the LIFO method is part of the magic, obviously). Luckily, some of the gifts are shirts, socks, and coats, etc. They can just squish in. The toys, electronics, special stuff… these gifts require the most planning and care. It takes Santa and company literally forever. Santa also employs 2 elves. Mrs. Claus has been tagging along recently — she likes the little elf company and let’s face it, it’s quite the adventure to be a part of. Now, the sleigh, well it doesn’t quite look like the pictures. It has high miles, and the reindeer don’t exactly have a ton of power to take on the elevation and powerful jet stream forces flying East to West. They get by just fine though. Why does he have to travel upstream in the current, you ask? Santa has TIMEZONES to make up for (not GMT). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since Santa loves ending up on the West coast. It’s a phenomenal place for him to unwind a little. I mean, he was working all year at the North pole. Apparently, Santa often winds up in Seattle last for his route. He likes the milk alternatives, vegan cookies, coffee, and craft beer. The Puget Sound is his favorite spot to relax after the long haul…

OKAY okay, this story isn’t quite about Santa, his better half, and his helpers. In May-June 2017, I prepared for an enormous cross-country move from Minneapolis to Seattle with my wife. The elves are the 2 cats that traveled 1,676 miles with us over 5 very long days of driving. The gifts were… ALL of our belongings. The sleigh was an enormous, beat-up box truck with over 200k miles and a transmission problem. My wife drove our car with the pets, bless her soul. They actually had a pretty great time exploring all of the hotel rooms. Driving through the rainy Montana mountains proved a little difficult with the not-so-happy truck. We completed the biggest driving adventure we had ever been a part of safely and on-time. Nothing broke, although our ’70’s electric piano was quite out of tune.

Seeing most of the country in those few days was really rewarding on a personal level. Seattle treats me so well. CodeScience Inc. made this trip stress-free and possible for my little family. I love what I do, and I look forward to the new year with this company. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and new year, wherever you may be. Safe travels, and I’ll catch you in 2018.

I’m out of office, but I’ll be back on the 1st. If you have any concerns, please email [email protected]!

Happy holidays and merry everything,

Daniel Kastner

We have celebrated the above categories for years. This year, however, we had a surprise entry. It was uncategorizable. Submitted by a brand new (seriously, Jerry started on 1.2.18) employee, this post stood out to us so much that we created a brand new category.

Winner in the (newly created) MVP Category: New CodeScientist Jerry Campbell

Thank you for your email. I will not be able to immediately respond since I won’t be here till January 2, 2018.

Let me explain…

In January of 2012, I joined Salesforce selling the platform.  Salesforce was still working on how to sell the platform so it was a pretty bumpy time for the team but I definitely got the Salesforce Ohana (  

Ironically, the one area of real opportunity I saw for the team was ISV’s developing applications for the Appexchange.

I left Salesforce in January of 2014 to go work on artificial intelligence, but the Salesforce Ohana never left and I felt I was wondering the non-Ohana wilderness till I got an email in October 2017 from Karen at CodeScience.  Karen extolled the virtues of CodeScience as the high kahuna’s of the Salesforce Ohana.  She warned that some are called but only a small number make it through the grueling selection process.

It’s taken till January 2nd, but I finally made it and that’s why I am just now responding to your email.

Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou…..

Salesforce Blog
What is Ohana Anyway?

A huge thank you for to everyone who participated. I love this competition. CodeScience has some of the most creative people around, and this is one of the ways we celebrate that creativity even as we are spread out all over the country. Congratulations to our winners! And welcome to the CodeScience team, Jerry!

Want to join a team that has fun all year round (while finding time to do fantastic work)? Check out our opportunities — we’re hiring!