Microsoft has added gamification elements to its Visual Studio development tools, enabling developers to unlock achievements and compete on leaderboards to see who writes the most sophisticated code.
The Visual Studio Achievements plug-in
, which has launched as an open beta, awards users with badges based on the code that they write, and the features of Visual Studio that are used.
Microsoft software development engineer Karsten Januszewski explained that the new plug-in is "intended to be a humorous community-building game as well as a path to the many, and, to some, unknown features offered in Visual Studio."
The plug-in analyzes a background thread whenever code is compiled, and awards badges whenever particular events or actions are detected.
There are 32 achievements in total, with names such as "Regional Manager" (have more than 10 regions in a single class) and "Interrupting Cow" (have 10 breakpoints in a file). Developers are able to display earned badges on their profile page, and share achievements to Facebook and Twitter.
Leaderboards are also available, showing how your coding skills compare to other Visual Studio users, says Microsoft.
Jeff Sandquist, senior director of developer relations at Microsoft, explained, "We talk to developers every day because their work and ideas fuel our products, projects and services."
"Now there's a fun factor as well as a healthy, competitive environment for Visual Studio developers to show off their everyday contributions that are otherwise unnoticed."