Gamification to help motivate

I’m sure freecodecamp has explored the competitive landscape of self-taught skills like codeacademy, odin project, or even duolingo (for other languages wink) BUT, I want to still make this suggestion:

What if freecodecamp curriculum had gamification features built into the experience? I would feel more motivated if there was a progress bar or levels. FCC is already very addicting (in a good way) but I’d feel better about my work if I could track each day in a quick scan.

FCC already does this a bit. Under ‘Profile’ I can see bars of progress with “points” for the day, across several months. That’s helpful. I’d like, though, something specifically inside the curriculum challenges. So you have the instructions, the console, the navbar, and maybe somewhere your points for the day? idk. just tossing around ideas!

Hello and welcome back to the community~!

I understand where you are coming from - gamification, and “Internet Points” in general can be very motivating and addicting. However, I would argue that pushing people to “earn more daily points” would be counter-productive here.

Programming is something that takes a significant time investment to learn. Some of our challenges can be completed in rapid succession, while others may take a day or two for a single lesson - and mileage may vary depending on your knowledge, experience, and other factors. Creating a system that implicitly encourages people to move more quickly through the curriculum would be a detriment to their learning, IMHO.


Personally, I find gamification annoying. (I’m sure I’m part of a minority, made up of mostly grumpy old men.) I wish I could turn off all the gamification and cartoonish encouragements in Duolingo - sometimes I have to turn it off just because I get sick of the saccharin silliness of it.

And as nhcarrigan points out, once you start measuring things, people start trying to game it. I remember and internet adage that went something like “If you put a number next to someone’s name, they’ll obsess about making it go up.” Yes, that is motivation. I also remember a principle in business that if you start using a metric, people will find a way to meet the metric, even if not in the manner originally intended. People figure out how to game the system. People will feel a pressure to move quickly.

I would also argue that self-motivation and time management are both very important skills for a developer and they are things that should be nurtured.

But then again, I’m an old curmudgeon.


I’m a young curmudgeon and whole-heartedly agree.

IMHO, GitHub’s contributions graph is an excellent example of this - and I’ve seen a number of communities devolve into “your worth as a developer is defined by these green squares”.


I value your honesty and criticism. Maybe you’re right. FCC is a resource I use more consistently than any of the other language learning platforms because, well, there’s no noise, no distraction, no fanfare. Thanks for the perspective.


And thank you for caring enough to make a suggestion.