Keychains, Meaning & The Ceremony of the Iron Ring

Whenever I give a talk with students, I'll wrap things up with a story about myself, and the keychains I collected as a kid.

This came after years of giving away small trinkets and prizes that were generally meaningless. I wanted to take a different approach - something that would connect the students to a larger purpose.

This story gets connected with an Engineering Ritual practiced by many Canadian colleges, and finishes off with small meaningless token to which students can ascribe meaning.

I'd written about it in the past, but I'm happy to finally have a video of this portion of the talk because it's often my favorite bit.

Having given out more than 300 of these little chains, it still always excites me when I see the kids rush to the fishbowl to grab one.


I've had some ask if they can take one home to their parent who is a software developer - and sometimes even professional coders, whether Seniors or Junior, will come by to ask if they can grab one.

I can't wait for the day that one those students lands their first #job, maybe bumps into me on LinkedIn, and says "I made it!"

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