Badge Driven Development

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Badge Driven Development

Microsoft has released Visual Studio Achievements, an extension that brings gamification to Visual Studio in the form of badges. The achievements are a mix that include feature discovery, best/worst practices, printing source code and swearing. 

Initially I wrote this off as a silly little feature. But it could be the start of a whole new development methodology religion that I'm going to call Badge Driven Development (BDD). 

It's related to Test Driven Development, but instead of writing unit tests first you start with creating a set of achievements. These should be a measurable mix of business goals, personal development, coding standards and random mayhem. Once you have measurable badges you can start writing code and build a leaderboard for teams and individuals. 

BDD has all the ascetic one-upmanship of TDD, and owes something to EDD as well. It's the Parkour of Agile. I should start a training business where you can become a certified Badge Driven Scrum Master.

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But does it get you in the HOV lane?

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mission:Explore Food - Crowd Fund It!

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

My brother is part of the Geography Collective, the team that make the Mission:Explore site and books. The first book won the Hay Festival and National Trust Outdoor Book of the Year in 2011. 

The latest in the series, Mission:Explore Food, is being crowd funded at There are a variety of levels to choose from, most of which will get you a copy of the book and your name in print. You can also get yourself included as an illustration (or surprise a friend). This is going to be a great book for kids and the young at heart. Check out the sample pages (PDF) and sign up as a backer today.

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Better Paperless

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

I've just spent several hours scanning and then shredding tedious statements, medical documents and other nasty paperwork. This is even after I've gone paperless with as many companies as possible. Very tedious, not to mention a monumental waste of time and money.

The companies that are paperless vary in what gets stored, for how long and in what format. And if I ever need some statement from years ago I may not even still have an account. I seem to change medical insurance at least twice a year at the moment. 

How about a common standard for pushing paperless whatevers out to a third party storage service? These could go directly to Evernote, SugarSync, etc and bypass the post-scan-shred cycle of doom. Just send a PDF, a date, a summary and maybe a service type. Make it easy (or mandatory) to opt in when signing up to each new bank account, health insurer, wireless carrier, etc. Make the world a slightly greener and slightly less boring place. 

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LEGO, now for Girls

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017 Friends - LEGO for Girls

LEGO Friends is “The new LEGO theme – for girls!

So I guess the current sets not for girls include Alien Conquest, Architecture, Atlantis, Cars 2, City, Creator, Harry Potter, Hero Factory, Heroica, Kingdoms, Mindstorms, Ninjago, Pirates of the Caribbean, Pharaoh’s Quest, Prince of Persia, Racers, Spongebob Squarepants, Star Wars, Technic, Toy Story and World Racers.

I know they’ve tried this before, but still, how about LEGO Vikings: The new LEGO theme – for Danes!

Misogynistic plastic peddling marketing weasels.

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Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

Grape Plasma

Updated on Saturday, February 19, 2022

Gill found these instructions for making plasma in a microwave by carefully cutting up a grape and then nuking it. I finally got around to trying it yesterday, and it’s awesome. Even better than microwaving a light bulb in a glass of water. Check it out:

Making plasma in a microwave!

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Cycling again…

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

From Bernal Hill to The Presidio and back

…after a five year break and while it’s true that you don’t forget how, your knees can stop being quite so flexible. I’m eyeing up the dog’s glucosamine laced treats quite enviously.

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Cam of Fortune!

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

We are working on a concept for a new game show. The working title is

Many thanks for sending us your outline for 'CAM OF FORTUNE'. Please bear with us while we consider your proposal, we will get back to you just as soon as we can...

Thank you for sending in your programme proposal

My first and last foray into being a TV production company. Tragic that this never got made…

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Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

Kate has a VTech Move & Crawl ball. From the name you can guess it’s supposed to help encourage crawling. Actually she was terrified of it for a couple of days, and now she likes to pick it up and interrogate it.


I can’t wait for her to get bored and move on to a BigTrak. The ball is going to get some spray paint and be reincarnated as Sargent Major Zero:


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