Gitpod shipped GitHub a launch cake for Codespaces

Sep 3, 2021

Gitpod shipped GitHub a launch cake for Codespaces

Avatar of ghuntley Geoffrey Huntley

This is a story about a cake. Following a long standing tradition in technology we decided to send an edible Gitpod workspace to GitHub’s San Francisco office last week. No trojan horse - just a tasty 🎁 🎂 sending them kudos for their GitHub Codespaces release.

Photo Credit: Rui Kowase Photo Credit: Rui Kowase

I don’t know if you have ever tried ordering a cake over the internet but let me tell you it’s not the easiest thing in the world, especially when:

  • ☠️ We are in the middle of a pandemic.
  • 🎂 You don’t know anything about cakes - at all.
  • 😱 Time-zones - Sunny Toowoomba in Queensland, Australia, is on the other side of the world to San Francisco.

Photo Credit: Geoffrey Huntley Photo Credit: Geoffrey Huntley

After checking with an insider at GitHub, we got confirmation that people in the San Francisco office had started to return to the office, that food is being served in their cafeteria and that they would serve our cake. With that knowledge under our belt, at the crack of sparrows, skype was downloaded, and I was off to the races cold calling bakers in San Francisco. Gitpod needed a baker that we should trust with our brand and one that would act autonomously because timezones would make further communication impossible.

“Bakers in San Francisco” was punched into Google Maps, and top-to-bottom, I called every single one. The responses were somewhat mixed:

  • 🦘 Wait, you are actually Australian and are calling from a McDonalds in Australia at 5am?
  • 🖨 We can print (😱) your logo on a cake, but that’s it.
  • 💾 Please go to our website, we don’t want to speak with you.
  • 🤷‍♀️ We aren’t making custom cakes because we can’t find any staff.
  • 🤫 I didn’t tell you this, but our competitor might be able to help you out.

That last tip-off was the tasty butter…

Photo Credit: Camisha's Cakes Photo Credit: Camisha's Cakes Photo Credit: Camisha’s Cakes

The brief

The baker of our cake was none other than Camisha Green of Camisha’s Cakes. A professional, independent small business baker who is seriously talented…

Photo Credit: Camisha's Cakes

Unfortunately, due to timezones, I was unable to contact camishascakes.com by phone, so an email was dispatched:

👋 I’m Geoff, from Gitpod, and this email is coming to you from Australia. A competitor of ours in San Francisco launched their product a couple hours ago, and Gitpod would love to send a Gitpod cake to their office in celebration. In the software industry, there is a long standing tradition between competitors sending each other cakes.

We would like to know your availability and hear your thoughts about commissioning a cake that uses the Gitpod branding to serve 60-80 people by next Friday.

Our style guide can be found at https://www.gitpod.io/assets/style-guide.pdf and the Kumquat fruit is a signature part of the Gitpod brand.

Can you please confirm production availability and share your thoughts about cake designs?

We are thinking something like this would be mint but instead of the Firefox logo use our brand. The top text would be CONGRATULATIONS ON SHIPPING CODESPACES and the bottom text would be LOVE GITPOD.

Casmisha promptly replied with:

Thank you for your email and what a fun idea! I’d be happy to give you a quote for this cake :) A half sheet cake, 3 layers high will serve about 60 guests And yes, we can take video and photos of the making as well! Here’s the link to my cake menu, let me know if you have any questions or if you’d like me to start an order for you

and I promptly replied with:

I’ve been scrolling through your facebook page and would love 🧡 to work with you. Yes, around 60 people would suffice. What if we increased the price of the cake and we made the cake really pop? What that means - I’ll leave that up to you.

Our style guide is at https://www.gitpod.io/assets/style-guide.pdf

Have a look at our website at https://www.gitpod.io/ and you’ll notice:

  • the background colour is white
  • we accentuate primary using orange
  • there are other colours that can be optionally used

The place where the cake is being sent to has a mascot called the Octocat - go check out Mona at https://octodex.github.com/

Expectations

As a person who knows nothing about cakes, here’s what I had in mind and shared with Camisha…

Photo Credit: Softpedia Photo Credit: Softpedia

Truth be told, I was 🤬 ‘ing myself. To trust someone in a completely different country that you haven’t met before is a huge, huge leap of faith. Meanwhile, over in the company slack, a vote was cast:

Photo Credit: Gitpod

Whilst Gitpod is a fully distributed company, that hires people from anywhere in the world our origins are from Kiel, Germany thus a lot of our employees are German. After an unfair vote, German Chocolate was declared the winner, but it wasn’t without some office debate as to what German Chocolate tastes like:

  • 🧔 “German Chocolate”? I only know of Swiss Chocolate.
  • 👩🏼 There are “German Chocolate” and “True Chocolate”. It seems that they are implying something…
  • 👧🏼 We have a lot of cows up here. So they need to dump all the milk somewhere.

Concept

Camisha, a couple days later, came back with:

Ok here’s a rough looking idea I came up with. We create a desk scene with an edible mug, cube, monitor, keyboard, octocat, mouse, and kumquat all sitting on the desk that is the cake. On the front of the cake we write the congratulatory message. What do you think?

and attached to the email was this image:

Photo Credit: Camisha's Cakes Photo Credit: Camisha’s Cakes

I started 🤬 ‘ing myself. Had I chosen the wrong baker? I am IN OVER MY HEAD HERE as I absolutely could not imagine what the end result would look like from this concept. We jumped on a quick video call (which was the first time we had spoken with each other), and it became super clear that Gitpod had indeed found a baker we could trust with our brand.

Reality

Delivery

Camisha, being the legend that she is, included 2 dozen gluten-free vegan cupcakes in the delivery just in case some wouldn’t be able to have the actual cake.

Photo Credit: Camisha's Cakes Photo Credit: Camisha’s Cakes

Here is the cake in all its glory. The edible Gitpod workspace was sent to the GitHub office - we know it arrived and made an extremely positive impression, but unfortunately never got feedback on how it tasted.

Dear GitHub please let us know as our office remains heavily divided over what does German chocolate taste like? 🇩🇪🍫

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Photo Credit: Camisha's Cakes Photo Credit: Camisha’s Cakes

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