What is a meaningful "years of service" award for a programmer?
February 12, 2016 9:47 AM   Subscribe

I'm in a big company that just sends me PDFs to print and give to people when they get to various years of service. I want to give them something a bit more fun. They are web developers and QA. Some sort of geeky trophy maybe? I'd be paying out of my own pocket so the focus is on meaningfulness, not cash value.
posted by freecellwizard to Work & Money (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Nerf guns.
posted by INFJ at 9:57 AM on February 12, 2016

The number of years spelled out in keycaps, maybe mounted on a small piece of wood or strung on string and made into jewelry. Maybe add one of these cool keycaps.
posted by amtho at 10:03 AM on February 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Also, maybe a can of compressed air to clean out their keyboards :)
posted by amtho at 10:04 AM on February 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Award the years in powers of 2 and give them thumb drives with the company logo, with that many gigs of storage. 2 years = 2 gigs. 8 years = 8 gigs. Etc.

Or SD cards, whatev.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:07 AM on February 12, 2016

Best answer: A swanky-looking physical certificate/plaque, but with the markup code that is creating the certificate+layout visible on the certificate?

(Maybe the markup is in a lighter tone of ink rather than black, so it looks like a regular certificate from a distance?)
Maybe an easter-egg or in-joke in the choice of markup code?
posted by anonymisc at 10:54 AM on February 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Custom Embroidered badges or Custom pins?
posted by srboisvert at 11:02 AM on February 12, 2016

Best answer: I know of a tech company that gives its employees giant number-shaped balloons on their work anniversaries. They get to have a big shiny mylar "5" or whatever floating above their chair for a couple weeks.
posted by the_blizz at 11:24 AM on February 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Some whatsit engraved with a unix timestamp.

For bonus points, base your milestones on large round numbers of seconds rather than on years, so that a single employee's engraved whatsits will match on all but a few digits. Someone hired right now at 1455306562 might get awards every three-ish years, in which case their whatsits would read
and so on.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:51 AM on February 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: All great answers. I'll come up with some combination of these and report back with what I did. Thanks everyone!
posted by freecellwizard at 12:06 PM on February 12, 2016

I work in an electronics history museum and give my volunteers old vacuum tubes mounted into trophy stands. You can pick up tubes a dime a dozen (okay, realistically a dollar a dozen) at swap meets and my local award/engraver shop mounts them for about $5 each with a tiny plaque with their name and award title. Our awards have become coveted, I'm happy to say.
posted by AliceBlue at 12:10 PM on February 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

3d print a custom really cool-looking intricate trophy.
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:55 PM on February 12, 2016

« Older Help decoding 1958 Russian brochure   |   Should I attend a coding bootcamp? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.