The Development Game: Achievements in Visual Studio 2012

Microsoft has created an Achievements extension for Visual Studio 2012. Borrowing from achievements in games such as those on Xbox 360, and perhaps also inspired by the Office Ribbon Hero,  Visual Studio Achievements lets you earn awards for completing certain tasks, and share them on Facebook and Twitter. You can download Visual Studio Achievements from the Extension Gallery within the IDE.

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Once installed, you will see a notification each time an achievement is unlocked.

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You can also check your progress via the Achievements option in the Tools menu, though mine seems slow to update.

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It sounds a terrible idea, though there are some entertaining ones. Here are a few I like:

Job Security (0 points)

Write 20 single letter class level variables in one file. Kudos to you for being cryptic! Uses FxCop

and

Regional Manager (7 points)

Add 10 regions to a class. Your code is so readable, if I only didn’t have to keep collapsing and expanding!

and

Interrupting Cow (5 points)

Have 10 breakpoints in a file.Where’s that bug? Could here, could be there, could be anywhere!

and

Architect (5 points)

Add 10 items to a sequence diagram. You’re not just a developer; you’re an architect!

You get the idea.

Microsoft is using this to do some not-so-subtle promotion, with plenty of Windows Azure achievements, though it seems to short on Windows 8 badges as yet.

Unfortunately Visual Studio crashed shortly after I installed this extension and I am suspicious.

All pretty silly; yet I like the idea of friendly notifications when you breach some coding guideline.

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