Visual Studio Achievements: Who needs clean code anyway

I stumbled upon Visual Studio Achievements this morning via Maarten. The idea of combining development with game play might be enticing to some and as others have pointed out, could be a way to introduce younger generations to development and potentially get them interested. As such, the idea in itself is not an issue. What is however disturbing is the point system.


If you look carefully at the entries, you find that not only do some of them promote bad practices which lead to horrendous maintenance nightmares like the Region Manager


but a few of them are even geared more around selling higher end versions of the tool.


Were are the points for writing a Unit Test? Or keeping the number of lines in a method low?

As many of us have learnt ourselves through our mistakes, and are somehow trying to guide others in finding better ways to develop and write cleaner code, we are suddenly confronted with something that entices developers in the opposite direction. To those companies who waste millions having to maintain bad code or rewrite systems, this is not a game.

As it stands currently, that leaderboard should probably be renamed to “Hall of Shame”.

If this a joke, or the achievements points are not real, it would be a great opportunity for MS to really think through how they go about promoting this and what really does constitute a point.

11 thoughts on “Visual Studio Achievements: Who needs clean code anyway

  1. Chris

    Dear Hadi,

    look at this like a small gimmik not more and not less. If a developer preferes to gain more Achievements rather than writing better code, than he should not call himself a real developer. I like that “feature” because its fun and we should always have some fun during work 🙂

  2. David Adsit (@davidadsit)

    Speaking of Regional Managers, imagine my surprise and pleasure to find that not only is it possible to start a region in one class and end it in another in the same file, but one of my coworkers actually did it!!! Yay! There should be a special achievement just for that. I suggest “Grab your torch and pitchfork” as a potential name.

    I have R# configured to strip out regions when I format the code, but apparently, that wasn’t an expected pattern so I got to destroy that abomination by hand.

  3. Pingback: [OPINION] Visual Studio Achievements, algunos logros dan miedo !!! | El Bruno

  4. Pingback: [OPINION] Visual Studio Achievements, algunos logros dan miedo !!! - El Bruno

  5. Pingback: Regions in code « Gregor's work related blog

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