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My Visual Studio Achievements

The While True blog recently posted an interesting article: What if Visual Studio had Achievements?, a fantastic play on the achievement system that quite a number of modern video games implement.

For the unfamiliar, achievements in video games are normally awarded to players after specific in-game milestones (like the Trusty Hardware achievement in Half-Life 2, awarded after the protagonist acquires the crowbar melee weapon), or for accomplishing something worthy of note (like the Zerglot achievement in Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty, awarded after a Zerg player succeeds in warping in a Zealot — normally a Protoss unit — during a standard online league game).

Having a ready list of “Visual Studio achievements”, I just had to scan it and pick out the achievements that I would have earned during my professional career as a programmer. So, here they are:

  • Job Security – written a LINQ query with at least 30 lines of code.
  • The Sword Fighter – five consecutive solution rebuilds without a single code change. (I must admit, sometimes I’m just paranoid.)
  • The Mathematician – defined five local variables with a single character name. (Normally when I want to obfuscate my code, especially in Javascript.)
  • Spaghetti Monster – written a single line of code with over 300 characters. (I’m not proud of this, but yeah, now I break on commas when I can, and chain dot-notation when possible.)
  • The Portal – created a circular project dependency.
  • The Multitasker – have at least 50 source files open at any one time.
  • Highway to Hell – successfully created a WCF service.
  • The Explainer – written a comment with more than 100 words.
  • Rage Quit – pressed ALT-F4 after a failed bug fix.
  • The Architect – created 25 interfaces in a single project. (I normally did this in the past on my data layers — my interfaces were normally entity behaviors, like IsSoftDeletable or IsArchiveable.)
  • The Right Way – created a (unit) test method that is longer than the actual method being tested.
  • The Defender – checked every argument for null exceptions. (Had to do this once, passing in arguments into an Oracle stored procedure.)
  • Warm Bath – successfully consumed a non-.NET web service.
  • The Cloner – copy-pasted at least 50 lines of code. (Doesn’t matter from where to where, right?)
  • Paying the Bills – imported a Visual Basic project.
  • First Hit – imported a CodeProject.com library into your project, and it actually compiled.

Looking back, most of those achievements strongly highlighted bad coding practice. I’d like to think that I’m a waaaaaaaaaaay better coder now than, what, four or five years ago.

And as a parting note, I really should obtain this achievement:

  • Steam Powered – added Visual Studio as a Steam game.



2 comments thrown in. Share your two cents.
  1. Ron says: January 27, 20119:17 am

    Wahaha! Nice achieves! I Sword fight a lot too! XD

    • Richard Neil Ilagan says: January 27, 20111:50 pm

      I know what you mean by “sword fight”, but that just didn’t sound completely right. Haha! :D

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