Late last week, Microsoft announced an updated extension to the Visual Studio Achievements which includes new badges associated with Windows Azure development. In January, Microsoft announced a Visual Studio plug-in which enabled developers to unlock badges and compete against one another for a place on a leaderboard based on the code they write, its level of sophistication, and the Visual Studio capabilities they use. As developers, we finally have the ability to actually show our friends, colleagues, project managers, spouses and customers how good we are at what we do all day and oftentimes well into the night.

Built on ideas from developers like you, Visual Studio Achievements is one of several initiatives Microsoft is undertaking to recognize developers for their tireless and indispensable work. The idea for Visual Studio Achievements originally came from a developer in the Channel 9 community. Last January, Rudi asked “What if Visual Studio had achievements?” on his While True blog. The community conversation sparked by the blog post and a Reddit topic that catalyzed the Visual Studio Achievements Extension. With 80,000 downloads and counting, we see achievement badges as a fun way to socially share the accomplishments they earn.  Given the growing importance of developing in the cloud, the team decided to release new achievements for development in Windows Azure.

There are now 47 achievements in 7 categories, including Lonely (Code on a Friday or Saturday night. Coding? Tonight? Ouch) and Potty Mouth (Use 5 different curse words in a file. Wash that mouth out with soap!). See them all here: http://channel9.msdn.com/achievements/visualstudio.

Make sure to read the MNC blogpost, download the extension here and check out the leaderboard