OK this is a bit of a reach but bear with me. Microsoft just released a new extension for Visual Studio 2010 that brings it into the gaming world. No not an extension to make games but an extension to Studio that gives it a common game feature, achievement badges.
Yes you can earn those achievement badges that give gratifying feedback to the gamer now in a programming environment. Most programmers need feedback, and instant feedback of a positive sort we all crave. It’s even better then the coffee buzz. So Microsoft made us something to help us get that. It also does another interesting thing, introduces programmers to new things in the environment that will help you use it more effectively (well some of them.)
So what badges can you get. I am not sure if this is a comprehensive list or not but there is a list at Channel 9 as well as a leader board and other info.
My favorite badge so far is Interrupting Cow. This achievement is for having more than 10 breakpoints in a single file. (break points are for debugging, you put in a break point so that execution stops at that location and you can check if variables are set right, and that your code is executing properly. You can then step by step go through your code and find the bug.)
There is a list of achievements and I am not sure that they are all listed. Other favorites are, Lonely, Scroll Bar Wizard and Job Security.
You can share your achievements both on the Channel 9 site and on your various Social networks and blog. (You may see some show up here.) It will work with any Visual Studio 2010 install (only 2010 I am afraid) but some are only available with certain other plugins or the higher (more expensive) versions of the game,,, I mean IDE.
Anyway they have made it a game and we are paying 1900 a year for me to play it so it better be good! See you in game, I’m going to make my character a rogue.
- Visual Studio Achievements Program (i-programmer.info)
- Announcing Visual Studio Achievements Beta (channel9.msdn.com)
- Microsoft keeps it old-school with a pricey text adventure game (arstechnica.com)