Visual Studio Toolbox

Visual Studio Toolbox: Visual Studio Achievements

Download this episode

Download Video


In this episode, Karsten Januszewski introduces us to Visual Studio Achievements. Once you install this extension, you can unlock achievements based on things you do in Visual Studio such as loading custom settings, organizing usings, or having three startup projects in a solution. Some of the achievements are things you do regularly and some are things you may have to learn about. Have more fun coding—compete with your friends and colleagues and show off your Visual Studio prowess.



Available formats for this video:

Actual format may change based on video formats available and browser capability.

    The Discussion

    • JasonBub_​Nielsen


      I am really looking forward to using the tool within my team.  I plan to have a couple of my senior onshore guys beta test the add-on for the next couple of weeks and then roll it out to my offshore team and have them try to "knock" the senior guys off the hill - just for fun competition.

      Although, after I downloaded and installed the add-on, was prompted for my username and password and to authorize the app and then clicked Tools > Achievements, all I get is just the Loading... screen!

      I have tried Disabling and Uninstalling and Reinstalling.  I have rebooted my computer.  I can't get it to work.

      I am running Version 10.0.40219.1 SP1Rel with .NET Framework 4.0.30319 SP1Rel.

      I have another guy on my team that is working without issue.

      Please let me know what I can do it get it working.



    • Duncanma

      @JasonBub_Nielsen: Hey Jason, there is a bug with how achievements works with a username with underscore(s) in it. For now there is a work around here: if you don't want to wait until we get the fix deployed

    • karstenj

      The workaround is to update a registry key with your correct Niner username:

      reg add HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\VSAchievements /f /v User /d NinerName_With_Underscore

    • ErDraug

      Keep getting this error:
      The requested operation cannot be performed on a file with a user-mapped section open.

      Seems like the Achievment Addon keeps using my .dll and .exe files in my bin folder and therefore prevents VS from deleting them to replace with my newly built files... Please solve!

    • JasonBub_​Nielsen


      Thanks, that worked!

      General comment: I reviewed the achievements and while I understand that some are meant for the developer to have fun, I would like to suggest that we create ones that really show that the developer is exploring the whole .NET Framework and what Visual Studio has to offer.  For example, Architecture related tasks, Testing, Performance Optimization, Code Analysis, use of Team functionality, Deployment, use of Parallel LINQ, Dynamic Data, Silverlight, User Controls, RIA Services, REST, returning data in various ways with WCF, using Reports, creating a various application types (console, Windows Service, ASP.NET, MVC, Silverlight, WPF, Windows Phone, etc.), using Workflow, using Master Pages, creating an MVC application, etc. etc.

      I would like to use it as a way to review how much my various team members are exploring the whole .NET Framework and what Visual Studio offers.  It's a great a fun way for people challenge themselves and an easy way for me to identify people that may need a little coaching.

      Thanks for the cool add-on.


    • rogreen

      @JasonBub_Nielsen:Jason, that is great feedback and I will make sure Karsten and the team see it. There are several directions you could take the Achievements. I think in this first go round the idea was to go for inclusion, so whether you have Pro or Premium or Ultimate you can unlock all of the achievements.

      Moving forward, we could create various categories of Achievements: ALM, XAML, MVC, etc. It is certainly worth thinking about. I am not on the Achievements dev team, so I can't sign them up for work Smiley . I can only agree with you.


    • karstenj

      @ErDraug -- Thanks for reporting this. We have logged the issue and are investigating.

    • JasonBub_​Nielsen

      @rogreen: Thanks.  That sounds great!!! 

      I just realized something that doesn't seem fair; I just grabbed the latest version of a project that my team is working, compiled it and got about 6 achievements!  

      I wasn't responsible for those achievements ( I wish I could say that I knew what 5 preprocessor directives were Wink ), but instead my team was responsible, and I unfairly got credit for it.

      If I want to use this to measure which of my team members is exploring .NET and VS, this "bug" prevents that, as once they compile the code they will all get achievements that my senior engineers utilized in the code.



    • Duncanma

      @JasonBub_Nielsen: this is do to how we are looking at the code, we aren't watching you type, but instead just doing a pass over the whole project. Obviously this creates a few 'false positives', like when I received the achievement for using GOTO, when I've never used that command in C# in my life (I didn't actually realize it existed), but a project that we have in our solution does use it.

      At the moment though, we don't see any easy way to avoid this issue. On a positive note, it does mean that you will get achievements for code that you wrote in the past (assuming you are still loading and building it), not just code written after installing this add-in.

    • Stephen

      Is there a performance hit to have this add-in monitoring what I am doing?

      What about privacy of my code and such. Is code being sent to the achievements server.

    • Duncanma

      @Stephen: No code is sent to the server, we only send information about the achievement itself (progress made, achievement unlocked, etc...)

      As far as a performance hit, there is some impact when your code is scanned, which happens after a build event, but we haven't really noticed any major slow down. The larger the project(s) the more you are likely to notice it though.

    • jteixeira

      On a large project after bulding (achievement is scanning the code) the cpu stays at 100% for a few minutes...

    • mbraghini

      hi, I have same problem, Installed Lastest version but i'm freezed on Loading window Sad

    Comments closed

    Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.