Any grocery store employee in the vicinity of Microsoft main campus in Redmond can tell you that Microsoft developers dig M&Ms. We can't get enough of the tasty little treats. And when there are no more chocolatey M&Ms available :-( we buy whatever other type of candy happens to be sitting nearby.

Why do Microsoft employees consume n times more M&Ms per capita than the rest of the world, on average?

By tradition, Microsoft employees celebrate our hire dates each year by placing one pound of M&Ms per year of service outside our offices.  While this tradition stretches back at least twelve years, I have seen as many as 14 pounds of M&Ms outside an office.

The two bowls of candy above announce the 6th anniversary of my favorite builder.  Congratulations, KR!

UPDATE:  I recently learned that this tradition has been attributed “to an employee named Hans Spiller, but he attributes the idea to Bob Scheulen.  Apparently they were both hired about one month apart in 1981 and got this idea on their ten-year anniversary (so in 1991).  Both have since retired, although Hans was still around to continue the tradition on his 15th anniversary.”