Microsoft Announces ‘Visual Studio Achievements’ for Developers

Need bragging rights as a developer? Don’t have enough points and badges from Xbox Live? Well, Microsoft has the answer for you, Visual Studio Achievements!

In what seems to be an effort to rile developers up through ‘gamification’, Microsoft has announced a beta campaign called “Visual Studio Achievements”. By installing the Visual Studio Achievements Extension, you can unlock badges and earn points by simply writing code that you were already going to write! Analysis is done in the background each time you compile your project to test it. When you hit a certain objective, you unlock an achievement.

Next comes the leaderboard. All the points and badges you earn are tallied into a score and you’re stuck up onto an online leaderboard with all other registered developers who are taking part in the campaign. You can view challenging developer points, avatars and maybe eventually see what they are working on. It would be a great way to get developers to collaborate on ideas and projects.

If sharing your achievements with alike developers wasn’t enough, you can share badges through Twitter and Facebook. This can help you raise awareness for your application, and get recognition from your peers.

There are over 32 different badges you can unlock, from as easy as loading more extensions into Visual Studio, to as hard as having 50 different projects tied to a single solution.

There are fun badges, like the “Potty Mouth” achievements which rewards you for using 5 different curse words in a project, or the “Time for an Upgrade” badge that is unlocked if your project takes over 10 minutes to compile. It’s a simple way to add a level of fun to programming and give developers a way to show off their skills.

Orkut Pioneers Badges on Social Networks, Gets Back At Facebook With Innovation

Orkut is by far, the most popular network in Brazil and has recently been topped by Facebook in India. Given the population of India, its user’s base can be estimated at quite a few million.

However, Facebook’s growth in India has been a threat to Orkut and to attract new users and possibly bring back old ones, it has started a system of badges. In the midst of all the spam and fraud, whether the system will be effective is a huge question. However, it does justice to one aspect of social networks. When on social networks, there is one thing people love to do and it is called “showing off”.


Orkut badges let you show off in the best way possible. There are badges for Early users, Trend Setters, Graduates and Strong Contributors. Other badges might show up soon and this is a good start. However, if you want to see a badge system done correctly, look at this Stack Overflow badge system.

This might not interest some, as it is all geek stuff. However, the badges are all justified according to behavior and Orkut can learn from this.


StumbleUpon Releases Official Badges

StumbleUpon allows users to discover new content and share them among their followers, it is one of the biggest sources of traffic for many websites.

Previously, users could add StumbleUpon sharing badges to their site, however, none of them were officially supported by SU. However, StumbleUpon has now officially release StumbleUpon badges, which users can easily add to their websites.

StumbleUpon Official Badges

The badges are available in different sizes and also display the number of hits a webpage got through StumbleUpon, along with providing users with an option to submit the webpage to SU. The badges are available for WordPress, TypePad, Movable Type, Feedburner, Blogger and any other website.

So, if you are looking to gain more traffic to your website, head over to the Official StumbleUpon Badges page to get the badge of your choice. More info is available at the Official StumbleUpon blog.

Update: There is a bug right now in the badge generation code, no matter which badge you select it will always display the first option. I have notified StumbleUpon about the issue, an update should be available shortly.

Update 2: The badge generation bug has now been fixed.