Gamification for coders, how cool would this be?

After some dialog with Facebook friends I thought it would be entertaining to write this post. Imagine an extension to Eclipse that connects to a leader board where you can see what “badges” coders are awarded through daily coding. While this is just for fun, I actually think this could end up being valuable in the end. Similar to the way people +1 your skills on LinkedIn, this could give anyone a very good idea of your skills.

So, using Java, I created a few hypothetical badges you could earn. You can level up the badges the more you use a specific part of the language (ie. Java). I even thought of how this could be implemented in a practical sense. You could fill out a “new project” dialog and associate a work space, file name, or line changes to your id (which most source control track anyway!). This would prevent someone else from claiming “your badge” for the same code in a given project. At the end of the project, coders could get “awarded” something more monetary like a bonus or something based on their “best practices badges”.  Here are few to wet your whistle to get an idea of some possible badges:


Comment each method in a given class to earn this badge!
Inherit your classes from a base or abstract class!
Use recursion effectively in your project!
You protected the members of your class with access methods!
You are a master of templates and generics!

I could probably think of hundreds of badges you could create but I limited it to a few given how long it took me to make the graphics! Each badge could essentially have a level or score associated with it. Like “Template IV” for a level four Template badge. The concept can certainly grow from there into leader boards for specific projects, languages, etc. If the badges are good enough you could easily get an idea for how good a coder is in the given language/environment. You wouldn’t have to rely on a résumé or a prospects “word”, just look at their badges!

3 thoughts on “Gamification for coders, how cool would this be?

  1. Great concept Bob. We have started integrating Kudos Badges into IBM Rational Jazz and Team Concert to reward & encourage our software engineers for their usage of RTC in managing their projects/builds etc. The concepts you have above is a great example of rewarding and recognizing users for not only their quantity of work but importantly the quality of their work.

    • That is very cool indeed. I think these types of programs can be beneficial in the long run. Anything to “measure” performance in software industry of a developer is good. Too often I have had to argue ones value over another on the team and it becomes subjective very quickly.

  2. Pingback: Can’t remember that person who Sametime’d you? | Bob's Blog

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