Visual Studio gets achievements

Gamification for coding has hit the big time as Microsoft's Channel 9 releases Visual Studio Achievements Beta.

I guess it was only a matter of time before games and programming met right at the very coalface of coding, and achievements found their toasty little ways into IDEs.

An achievement extension for Visual Studio now gives developers the opportunity to gain badges, share them on Facebook, and even top the achievements leader board.

Among the list of achievements are counter-productive items, such as writing 20-letter class-level variables in one file, using goto keyword, and writing an enum with 30 fields. I'd like to counter that with a list of good coding practice achievements, but they simply aren't there; they mainly reward the use of Visual Studio's features. This is likely because judging what is good code is a subjective task at the best of times, and it is easier to automate the detection of bad code.

This could be useful to educate new programmers on what to avoid, with something like "You've achieved goto usage, now never do it again", and links on why to avoid it.

I'd hate to be on the receiving end of some code that the author decided to use to go for the Scroll Bar Wizard, Job Security and Field Master trifecta.

About Chris Duckett

Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic advent...

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