Will Write Poetry for Servers

May 9, 2011

Two weeks ago, I inadvertently opened the floodgates to a wave of creativity from the SoftLayer Development/Technology organization. Lance came by my office and dropped off a server he was given, and while I would have taken it home, souped it up and done something cool with it in previous years (or decades) in my life, I find myself in more of a "just buy an iMac" camp now.

Rather than endanger the safety of our employees by sending out a "First one to grab the server from my office gets to keep it" email, I sent out more of a challenge: "Write a haiku or limerick stating why you want the server. If I get more than one submission, I’ll pick the best poem. Oh ... And no Nantucket limericks."

I expected one or two entries to come in, but to my surprise, I was greeted with dozens almost immediately:

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

There was a young man with a lance
Who had three kids to finance
Yes they look and they see
Asking for a PC
But their dad said no not a chance

Linux or Windows
Not up to how the wind blows
The penguin's a go

When you’re whipping your verse into shape
And are caught in a verse-challenged scrape,
The delete key is handy.
Assisted by brandy,
And last, but not least, try escape.

Given the overwhelming initial response, we sweetened the deal a little by adding a second server to the mix (from George). When it came time to judge and announce the winners, I had to do so with my own poem ... which killed me because I hadn't written a poem in years.

My inbox laden
Server Poets bring me pride
Rewards were doubled

There once was a SLayer named Bradley
Whose poem was flattering badly
He said 3BFL
We said ‘Oh, What the Hell’
And gave him a server quite gladly

Among numerous entries we found
That nerdy rhymes and rhymers abound
And so many came forth
Our hand was quite forced
So to the contest more servers were bound

Thus also a Slayer named Hemsell
Was chosen to leave with a morsel
Wash the zeros away
Rip and store CDs today
Make this sad server sing loud and fell

With generous swagger Karidis did add
A prize sure to make the cable co mad
For Scott Thompson’s poem
Was moving and solemn
An Apple TV should not make him sad

And finally the team of Hannon and Chong
Grammar and spelling and format all wrong
But their desire so true
And coding poetry new
Request will be supported so strong

Translation:

Server Winner: Bradley Johnson

One, two, three bar life
Free drink, free shirt, free server
Movie files need home

Server Winner: David Hemsell

CDs sit offline
Once proud server is no more
Fill barren zeros

Apple TV Winner: Scott Thompson

Your free server will
fail to bring much joy to me
I use Macintosh

Additional Computer-Related Award of Some Kind: Chong and Harold

import com.softlayer.server;
public class freeAssetReserver{
   int count = 0;
   String you = “hero”;
   function void vmBoxOursObserver();
}

Congratulations to Bradley and David for winning the servers and to Scott Thompson for walking away with the unadvertised Apple TV! When we were going through the submissions, we couldn't help but reward the submission from Chong and Harold - A coding limerick!

We'll post more of the submissions in the comments on this post, so be sure to scroll down and add your own!

-Duke