Long Zheng and Rafael Rivera previously kicked around a fun idea for Windows-based Achievements similar to those you see on Xbox LIVE, but this week Microsoft did the next best thing, providing an Achievements capability for developers using Visual Studio. How fun is that?
According to a Microsoft representative, the company is offering software developers the ability to bring some friendly competition and fun to their work, while--on a more serious note--gaining public recognition for writing quality code. Visual Studio Achievements awards points and badges to developers as they work, rewarding elegant code or adept use of little-known features of Visual Studio, as well as some tongue-in-cheek “Just For Fun” awards like “Potty Mouth” (for using 5 different curse words in a single file). Triggered badges are then posted to the user’s Channel 9 profile and a public leaderboard.
"Visual Studio Achievements, a Visual Studio plug-in, enables developers to unlock badges and compete against one another for a place on a leader board based on the code they write, its level of sophistication, and the Visual Studio capabilities they use to do so," the post notes. "Developers finally have the ability to actually show their friends, colleagues, project managers, spouses and customers how good they are at what they do all day and sometimes into the night."
There are 32 achievements with six categories and corresponding badges. And each time you earn a badge, a unique page is created with your profile picture, the badge and a description. You can tweet about achievements, share them on Facebook, and show a list of achievements on your blog using the Visual Studio Achievements Widget.