When he was still running Microsoft, Steve Ballmer caused quite the stir in the tech world by screaming “Developers! Developers! Developers!” Since the executive retired to spend more time with his basketball team, however, the tech giant’s current CEO is decidedly more…subtle in his approach.
In the kickoff keynote to the first all-virtual Build conference, Satya Nadella delivered a speech in front of a large shelving unit packed with knickknacks and family photos. And there was “RGV2cw.” The seemingly nonsensical string of letters sat to the right of the CEO’s head. But these kinds of backdrops aren’t chosen at random. Surely there must be some meaning in the madness.
The letters sent twitter users scrambling to decode. One noted the presence of a user on a dev board with the name. Another quickly snapped up the handle to send Build-related tweets. This user, however, appears to be the first to have cracked the code:
Microsoft’s Scott Hanselman confirmed the message. It was, quite literally, a coded message to developers. Specifically, it’s the word “devs” in the Base64 format. Here, run it through this decoder to see for yourself.
It doesn’t have the shouting, sweaty urgency of Ballmer, but it’s a nice tip of the fedora nonetheless.
Update: Hanselman tweeted at us to add, “That was a collabo between myself, Alex at @Proto_pasta who did the print, and @jongallant who did the modelling [sic].}