I'll admit up front, I'm chasing the dev.to 16-week streak posting badge and am uncertain whether I'll have an article ready this week. This psychological pull is strong enough, that I feel compelled to follow it. This post potentially fills in a blank spot in my schedule.
It feels like everything is being gamified and nobody is paying attention to whether there is value behind it. Recently I started using an online todo list, and it gives me points for completing todo items. I had to turn off multiple notices to get it to be quiet. Now I have dev.to badges.
The biggest problem with chasing internet points is that it erodes intrinsic motivation. This has come up a lot in video game discussions. I find games to be intrinsically rewarding -- I feel happy when I complete a hard level of the game. I don't feel happy because I've received a trophy. I've turn all trophy notices off when I can.
So, what effect do the badges on dev.to, and other platforms have. I think they're an interesting way to encourage new people to write, but I feel a bit of pressure by them. As a regular author am I expected to have a lot of badges? Does it impact my legitimacy on this platform?
Consider that I actually feel pressure now to hit that 16-week badge. The 8-week badge was kind of like, ah, "cool", that's nice. But 16-weeks is a hefty badge to obtain. I don't think I'll feel rewarded. I think only that I'd feel defeated if I don't achieve it now. But what if there's a 32-week back after it?!
What do you think about gamification? What are your own personal experiences?
In this post we want to take a closer look at data structures designed for low read overhead that are commonly used in practice, i.e. hash tables, red-black trees, and skip lists. This blog post is the second part of the RUM series.