Gamifying the Workplace: Badges IRL with 3D Printing

Heartbleed BadgeWe’ve seen badges and gamificiation appear in everything from a core business plan (Foursquare & Gowalla) to navigation apps (Waze).  I’ve seen them on a user homepage at least two companies.  It helps get people engaged by bringing together groups of common interest and drive involvement in tasks that they might not otherwise be involved in.  You look up a colleagues and find they’ve done something similar to you.

The problem with the virtual badges is that they are too cheap to make (effectively free to create a new one) and only appear when you go to the employee’s homepage.  Having played with 3d printing, I realized that you could make these badges in real life and bring a bit of physical interest to the work place, applying the same rules.    With a few minutes on an online 3d modeling tool, online 3d printing services, and finally a magnet and some super glue,  you can easily end up with full color sandstone badge.

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Never, Ever Say “Process”

pro·cess

noun \ˈprä-ˌses, ˈprō-, -səs\

a series of actions or operations conducing to an end; especially : a continuous operation or treatment especially in manufacture.

Words are an amazing thing.  Words create images and communicate intent.  They have the power to strengthen and the power to weaken.  With software, the most divisive word is Process.  It truly is the demotivator of teams and can suck the life out of developers in an instant.
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The Five Stages of Benchmark Loss

This presentation was presented at Scale8x in Los Angeles in February, 2010.  It was primarily a vent piece highlighting the way that you can never win when running benchmarks and you can never win when publishing benchmarks.

Presentationad and audio available.