Cover image for Don't Let Gamification Bring You Down

Don't Let Gamification Bring You Down

charlesdlandau profile image Charles Landau ・2 min read
Photo by Kay on Unsplash

I was recently having a conversation that comes under the general header of "you are not your code." It's an expression I had never heard before coming to dev.to and I think it's an excellent reminder. Anyway the conversation was about how it's okay for a machine learning model to perform at less-than-perfect accuracy. It made me realize that gamification platforms, (like Kaggle, CodeWars, HackerRank, and DeepRacer) can change how we look at ourselves if we let them. Just like any other competitive game.

In reality, if you have a predictive, value-adding model in production where previously none existed, that's a big win. If you get it from .9 to .99 accuracy, that's a big win too. Likewise, if you can beat a 6kyu "easy" kata on CW, way to go! And if you can beat another version of the kata at "master" 1kyu, way to go!

It's great that these platforms give us a venue to compete, get excited, and show our skills. It's also important to keep it in perspective -- you are not your code. You can still be yourself if you lost a horse competition. Don't let yourself think you aren't a developer unless you can beat grand-master-level katas, or not a Data Scientist because you don't win top prizes on Kaggle. That's not what those services are about.

What have been your experiences with gamification platforms? What's your take?

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Charles Landau


Data Scientist | Sr. Consultant at Guidehouse


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