Bring Some Game To Your Code!

Bring Some Game To Your Code!

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Bring Some Game To Your Code!

A software engineer's glory so often goes unnoticed. Attention seems to come either when there are bugs or when the final project ships. But rarely is a developer appreciated for all the nuances and subtleties of a piece of code--and all the heroics it took to write it. With Visual Studio Achievements Beta, your talents are recognized as you perform various coding feats, unlock achievements and earn badges.

Learn More About Visual Studio

Visual Studio is a powerful tool with tons of features, many of which you may not know about. Earning some of the badges may result in learning about features you didn’t even know existed!

Download It

Download it today from the Visual Studio Gallery

How It Works

With the Visual Studio Achievements Extension, achievements are unlocked based on your activity. Your code is analyzed on a background thread each time you compile. In addition, the extension listens for certain events and actions that you may perform in Visual Studio, reporting progress on these events to the server.

When you unlock an achievement, Visual Studio lets you know visually with a pop-up:


Figure 1 - Unlocking An Achievement

In addition, your Channel 9 profile is updated with any achievements you earn, recalculating your position on the leaderboard:


Figure 2 - The Visual Studio Achievements Leaderboard

Some examples of individual achievements include Regional Manager (have more than 10 regions in a single class), Close To The Metal (use 5 preprocessor directives), Stubby (generate method stubs 10 times) or Interrupting Cow (have 10 breakpoints in a file). All in all, there are 32 achievements awaiting to be unlocked, all of which are listed here. Here's what the 6 different badges look like:

The Six Categories of Achievements




Customizing Visual Studio

Don't Try This At Home

Good Housekeeping




Just For Fun

Power Coder

Unleashing Visual Studio

Share Your Flair

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 you earn and/or share them on Facebook:


Figure 3 - Share A Page

Or, you can show a list of achievements on your blog using the Visual Studio Achievements Widget which is as simple as adding one line of script to your page. After all, those badges look so shiny and nice! Here's an example of the widget on a blog:


Figure 4 - The Visual Studio Achievements Widget On A Blog


We have to give props to the blog While True, whose blog post What If Visual Studio Had Achievements inspired us to go build this. That post spawned a reddit post that is the thread which started it all!


We're just getting started with Visual Studio Achievements and are hoping to release more in the future. If you have ideas for additional achievements, we'd love to hear about them. Please use the Q&A section of the achievements extension to make suggestions for future achievements. And if you have suggestions, concerns, issues or problems, again, use the Q&A section of the achievements gallery page. Give a read to the FAQ as well as your question may already be answered.

Download it today from the Visual Studio Gallery


Please note:

  • A fun add in
  • Educational but not best practices
  • Not a core Visual Studio team project but developed by Channel 9
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  • Good thing this was added... VS was too lean, efficient, and non-intrusive before... oh, wait.. I forgot. We're in M$ land where code doesn't need a useful purpose.

  • Yes, we get it, the VS team is out of touch with the real world. You don't need to prove this to us again and again.

    Before adding pointless fluff like this, could we at least try to understand why *other* products do it, and why it is popular?

    As others have mentioned, several of these promote and encourage bad coding practices. This kind of gamification is usually applied to encourage "good" behavior. Look at StackOverflow's badges, for example. They are there to promote the behavior that the team behind it wants to see from users. There's no badge for "have your comment flagged by 10 different users", for example, because they don't want their users to try to achieve that.

    In those cases, they're also an integral part of the product, and not some rushed bolt-on job in an add-in, which only works with a few select languages, and requires additional client-side processing in an already painfully slow product.

    Seriously, what were you thinking? *Were* you thinking? Doesn't *anyone* on the VS team care about just making your customers more productive as programmers?

  • Maybe they think that us veterans are just going to use VS anyway, and maybe they're trying to attract today's young kids (who seem to be those most interested in this).

  • As someone who's been using Microsoft C++ since before it was 'Visual' and has been waiting almost 15 years for basic things like standards conformance with C99 (never mind C++11) I find this flippant feature deeply disheartening.

  • @Marsh Ray:

    C++ 11 is partially already in VC2010 SP1 and more is coming in next version. (lambdas, portion of new STL for sure)

    Just take a look at

  • I also wait C99 support. I dont care about C++11.

  • Hello: I used VS2010 's flagship version, in introducing SVN tools export project, appeared in Microsoft Visual studio 2010 has stopped working, specific details are as follows:

    Question sign:

    Event name: APPCRASH

    Application Name: devenv.exe

    Application version: 10.0.30319.1

    Application time stamp: 4ba1fab3

    Fault module name: StackHash_cfc3

    Fault module version: 6.1.7600.16915

    Fault module time stamp: 4ec49d10

    The exception code: c0000374

    Abnormal offset: 000ce903

    The version of OS: 6.1.7600.

    The locale ID : 2052

    Other information 1: cfc3

    Other information 2: cfc36273ef06e34488d89c14114c1395

    Other information 3: ffde

    Other information 4: ffde43e758ff69076ac15f89dbc4c6d2

    System log:


    Error: devenv.exe application name, version: 10.0.30319.1,: 0x4ba1fab3 timestamp

    Error: ntdll.dll module name, version: 6.1.7600.16915,: 0x4ec49d10 timestamp

    The exception code: 0xc0000374

    Error: 0x000ce903 offset

    Error ID : 0x1718 process

    Error: 0x01ccec5d2db56357 application start time

    Application error path: D: \ \ Microsoft Program Files ( x86 ) Visual Studio 10 \ Common7 \ IDE \ devenv.exe

    Error module path: C: \ Windows \ SysWOW64 \ ntdll.dll

    Report of ID : 7f087de9-5850-11e1-b9f7-005056c00008

    Detailed information:

    - < Event xmlns =" http: / / / win / 2004 / 08 / events / event" >

    - < System >

    < Provider Name =" Application Error" / >

    < EventID Qualifiers =" 0" > 1000 < / EventID >

    < Level > 2 < / Level >

    < Task > 100 < / Task >

    < Keywords > 0x80000000000000 < / Keywords >

    < TimeCreated SystemTime =" 2012-02-16T03: 44: 15.000000000Z" / >

    < EventRecordID > 11561 < / EventRecordID >

    < Channel > Application < / Channel >

    < Computer > User-PC < / Computer >

    < Security / >

    < / System >

    - < EventData >

    < Data > devenv.exe < / Data >

    < Data > 10.0.30319.1 < / Data >

    < Data > 4ba1fab3 < / Data >

    < Data > ntdll.dll < / Data >

    < Data > 6.1.7600.16915 < / Data >

    < Data > 4ec49d10 < / Data >

    < Data > c0000374 < / Data >

    < Data > 000ce903 < / Data >

    < Data > 1718 < / Data >

    < Data > 01ccec5d2db56357 < / Data >

    < Data > D: \ Program Files \ Microsoft Visual Studio ( x86 ) 10 \ Common7 \ IDE \ devenv.exe < / Data >

    < Data > C: \ Windows \ SysWOW64 \ ntdll.dll < / Data >

    < Data > 7f087de9-5850-11e1-b9f7-005056c00008 < / Data >

    < / EventData >

    < / Event >

    The problem has been bothering me for a long time I hope you can help me, how to solve this problem. You can give the solution. The trouble to send to my mailbox.. or reply directly to the issue of the following line. Thanks.

    My mailbox:

  • Great Sometimes i see very nice and easy created blogs but in the most ways they are very usefull like your blog.

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