Visual Studio Achievements

From the it-had-to-happen department, Announcing Visual Studio Achievements Beta:

Impress your friends! Earn achievements while you code! Code while you earn achievements!

What's troubling is that the list of achievements in fact includes various anti-achievements such as Go To Hell (for using goto), Potty Mouth ("Use 5 different curse words in a file"), Turtles All The Way Down ("Write a class with ten levels of inheritance") etc.

In the grim future of gamified PLT, you'll not only be tyrannised by your BDFL, your aberrances from the One Microsoft Way will be broadcast to your peers in realtime.

Also: XCode achievements on Twitter.

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Good idea, bad execution

Humans are strange creatures. Geeks even more so. We have a deep love of collecting points and achievements, and they can motivate us for the better. Stack Overflow is a good example of a site that leverages this principle, and does it well.

This Visual Studio thing is different. A few 'funny' achievements are fine, but bad practice is being rewarded more than good practice here. So this will be nothing more than a procrastinatory aid for bad programmers.

Stack overflow achievements

Stack overflow achievements are social, visual studio achievements are technical, so of course they will be simple and non-serious, just like any other "metric" that is observed automatically. The achievements need to be bestowed by a social group to be meaningful.

I agree, up to simple and

I agree, up to simple and non-serious. Gamification can be designed to introduce users to a system (technical features). That went wrong here. They can also be used socially (builf trust, guide community, etc.), but that doesn't look like the intent here.

Funny that it's the same company that brought us codebook :)

Don't Try This At Home

They title the anti-patterns `Don't try this at home` on the site.

Clearly, they want you to try it at work...