Brownie Points for help on forums

@P1xt you’ve just confirmed my suspicions. I hate trolls as much as I love the internet - it’s unfortunate. Those people should be banned ASAP, but I suppose it takes a lot of resources for that.
I will stick to this forum, which has been very civil and topic related since I joined.

I don’t think taking away brownie points for helping is a good idea. Can you imagine Stack Overflow without a reputation system?

Sure, you can always implement higher brownies/streak savers for projects/certificates for even more motivation, but I don’t see why the current system is flawed, especially this -

brownies are awesome, but the way it’s setup now it rewards tiny time wasters over substantive work. It rewards you for hanging out chatting instead of tackling the more difficult projects.

Why is hanging out chatting considered bad? Those who are serious about finishing the projects/certificates would do it either way, and I don’t think “hanging out chatting” would get in their way.

Besides, helping out in the help/help JS rooms has often helped me remember a lot of important concepts which, I’m sure, I would have forgotten otherwise, over time - something a lot of other regulars in the chat room would also agree to.

As for the trolling incidents mentioned above, I recollect most of them were limited to the main room.


I like the idea of awarding Brownie points for campers that help fellow students’ solve problem. These LIVE problem tackling feature where you can get other students online to help you with difficulty is superb and make it look like you are not alone in a world all by yourself learning how to code.

To think that someone is out there, standing by to proffer solution where you are stuck, makes it gratifying for me.

Please, we should encourage campers to watch out for others that might need help.I will like to offer help when I hit my first certification and even when am done with FCC.

I want to say a big thank you some campers that helped me through to this point, though not exhaustive,Thank You to: @vittorioVT @roxroy and all that helped me solved some code error. I’m at this stage because you offered help.


I think it’s a great idea to award more brownie points for completing projects, to put more value on the substantive work that people put into their projects.

I am usually on Gitter, and I just want to remind everyone that there are a lot of people in the Help, HelpJavaScript, HelpDataviz, etc. rooms that have contributed many hours to helping hundreds if not thousands of people understand coding concepts and solve the challenges and projects. In those rooms, the “thanks” is often genuine and well-earned - it’s not just a bunch of trolls gaming the system. The brownie points are not the sole reason we do it, but they do make it fun and motivating for us to keep coming back to help people.

The main room (Freecodecamp/Freecodecamp) is definitely a different story. I myself left that room because of what I felt was a tense, intolerant, and negative atmosphere. However, I will say the good thing about it is it kind of acts as a filter so that most of the trolling, arguments, etc. happen there rather than in the help rooms. Also, my experience in that room has made me work harder now to keep things positive when I am in the help room.

And thank you to everyone who helps out and builds community here on the forum!


That’s great that you are planning to help others! :smiley:

Sure you didn’t dream it?
I read somewhere where “brownie” points come from…

1 Like

Yah. sometimes there’s motivation to keep helping out on the helpchat just for the brownies…

Totally agree with this point… and like the suggested leveling

Specially with you and Manish… there’s a few other regulars who do it for the fun, and don’t mind the brownies (knowing full well they are rather pointless other than keeping a streak going…)

1 Like

… who do it for the fun, and don’t mind the brownies (knowing full well they are rather pointless other than keeping a streak going…)

…and making friends, making it easier to pair programme, getting inspired by others, learning how to fix problems as part of their own learning process
Yeah… pretty pointless I guess. :confused:
I must stop wasting my life in chat!

I think @DarrenfJ was saying that the brownie points are pretty pointless, not that participating in the chat is pointless.

1 Like

Perhaps, SO would be a place where people act with more civility to other users? The reputation system at SO encourages people with a big number next to their name to treat those with smaller numbers next to their name like garbage. SO has one of the most toxic communities of any programming related website on the internet.

That said, I don’t necessarily think Brownie Points here at FCC are a bad idea. Personally, I found that I became more productive when I stopped worrying about my Brownie Point streak and focused on solving algorithms and building projects.


1 Like

Is that true for all users at SO? I don’t think so. Even I was a new user at SO once, and from what I learnt gradually - SO is not a place for newbies to just dump homework questions and expect answers, which by the way, happens a lot in the gitter help rooms, and people still help them out nicely, perhaps due to the motivation of the brownie points?

SO expects you to show your efforts when you post questions, like things you’ve tried, or documentation you’ve read, or even proper formatting when you post a question. All these things aren’t such a bad idea, especially if you’re serious about being a programmer.

Toxic? Perhaps, yes. But still SO has some of the best answers you could possibly find.

Either way, we’re not here to discuss about SO, so coming back to the problem at hand, I’d just like to reiterate again that if you’re serious about solving algorithms and building projects, things like brownie point streaks or hanging around in chat rooms shouldn’t get in your way.

Peace :vulcan:


Yah,they’e pointless in the sense that you can’t really do much with them… and as was mentioned, sometimes they’re don’t really represent the amount of effort put in…

I have seen people in the helpRoom helping for hours and getting maybe on thank you… But they do it for the lurve.

I would say figure out a way to incrementally award brownies as certain portions are completed… the Beta projects have test cases… pass a test case, get a brownie.

I do agree with your overall vibe though… 1 brownie for any of the challenges or projects is not going to motivate anyone

Isn’t the motivation to finish the projects the Certificates?

Well I don’t think it’s a waste. It makes me want to go and get points every day, which will benefit the guys & girls trying to learn. :blush:

Not sure if you have seen this table
but it rewards people for completing projects (50 pts per project I think) more than helping, which I believe is what you are suggesting?

Maybe it is just a question of the logistics of coding the system to do all that.
At least on the forum you get badges for achievements. I find both the forum and gitter useful.

1 Like

I’m with you on this one.

As far as brownies go, I think after the brownie point system was created and gitter rolled out it was never expanded.

I’m sure since fCC is partially user/volunteer based/built/supported someone (you, me, the ever elusive other) could offer to figure out how to expand it, kick off a project to do so and build something that does it, and the collective whole help make it into a reality…