Nerd Merit Badges

Sash with many nerd merit badges

Just as Boy Scouts earn merit badges for accomplishments in some area of study, now we geeky types can earn Nerd Merit Badges for nerdy accomplishments. The first in the series is now available: it’s “Open Source Contributor”, pictured below:

"Open Source Contributor" nerd merit badge

(In case you don’t recognize the image on the badge, it’s the “Octocat”, the mascot for the GitHub source code repository service.)

The badges sell for USD$3.99 and I assume that they’re working on the honour system – that is, the assumption that you’ll only order the badges you’ve earned. More badges are on the way; the best way to stay informed is to follow them on Twitter.

7 replies on “Nerd Merit Badges”

Joey, you assume correctly, you’re on your honor to wear only the badges that you feel you’ve earned. Now, nobody’s going to challenge you for wearing an “open source contributor” badge. You committed a million lines of code to the Linux kernel? Great! You gave ten bucks to the Drupal Foundation? Also great; the OSS community welcomes people at every level of participation.

Now, when it comes to other badges — let’s say, the “Regular Expressions” badge, you’d better be ready to back up your badge with some skills. We’re thinking about maybe having the badge equivalent of racing for pinks slips. Or a “wizard’s battle” if you want to be INCREDIBLY nerdy about it. You know, both contestants sit down with a copy of the phone book and a handful of slashes and tildes, and the first one to transform it into the first chapter of “The Hobbit” gets to keep both badges.

Like I said, we’re still working on that bit :)

Oh yea… It’s on! I can see my local nerd herd having patch battles at the tables in the school cafeteria. Perhaps a hierarchy of value to assist what badges can trump and what badges are just fluff… Will there be the hard to find Verduran Enchantress – Alpha badge that only true nerds can attain… We need rules!!! Or… Badges.. we don’t need no stinking badges!!

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