Do any programmers work at your company? Give them the ultimate retirement gift—save all code contributions (e.g. `git` commits) and have them published as a leather bound book!



Occasionally, people get a gift or memento from a company after working there for a certain period of time, or, sometimes, when their jobs are outsourced to a much cheaper country and everyone is fired.


For programmers, what better way to commemorate their contributions to a company than a log of all their code contributions?

Specifically, the proposal is to collate all of the log messages into a giant bookshelf-worthy tome.

Here, I’m using git as an example (Figure 1), but any version control system with annotation could work (e.g. user comments in Microsoft Word’s “Track Changes”).


Fig. 1: Each time user “jsmith44” changed code in a codebase, a line like the ones above was generated. The comments in red are what we’ll be including in the published book. Note that only comments are included—not the actual source code.

All of a user’s contributions to a codebase can be collected by running a simple command (e.g. git publish_book –user=jsmith44 –start 2014 –end 2018). This would generate the raw PDF / ePub / Microsoft Word document that would then be sent off to a print-on-demand printing company to generate a physical book (Figure 2).


Fig. 2: After the code contributions in Figure 1 are printed out, we would end up with a book like this one. For users with particularly extensive “commit” messages, a multi-volume series could be generated.


PROS: Makes for a great retirement gift!

CONS: Reading it could cause existential dread, especially if the code was contributed toward an ultimately-failed project.