Ever since I started coding, I have always used Github. Almost every developer on the face of this earth uses Github for one thing or the other. The advantage of using it is that, it makes version control easier. Every developer knows the advantage of version control and Github just makes the job easier for us.
Am not going to go in to the advantages of using Github so let me get straight to the point.
History of Github achievements
So let me tell you the story of how Github achievements came about.
Last year, which is 2021, NASA together with Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) launched the first Mars helicopter into the Martian atmosphere. The helicopter was built using open-source software so Github decided to place badges on the profile of every developer who contributed to the specific versions of any open source projects and libraries used by Ingenuity, the helicopter. In order to recognise the work of these developers, Github achievements was born.
The image above shows the first-ever Github achievement badge ever created.
It was really exciting to see some developers with these badges, just seeing a developer with any of these badges meant he ever contributed to something great. Like a veteran. Two other badges were released together with this badge. The “Artic Code Vault” badge and a badge for people who sponsor open-source works via Github sponsors.
The point is, these badges were very important badges which were very difficult to earn. Only the worthy had them and one had to work really hard or do something great in order to be awarded any of these badges. The were very rare to get and so it made it really worth fighting for. I really wanted one of those badges back then but I knew I would have to do something deserving in order to get one of these badges.
Thheeen, my dreams came true, but not as I expected.
The new Github Achievements and why I hate it
Just two days ago, Github rolled out a beta-version of their achievements section and it really sucks. It gives out badges unecessarily.
These are the new badges which were introduced by Github.
The idea of Github introducing a new set of badges is great but how the badges are distributed or given is very bad.
Let’s start with the first badge.
This is a badge you recieve for creating a pulll request. Though the badge is great, let me tell you the part about it that sucks. You can get this badge by just creating a pull request in your own repository. See the point??, it sucks, this is no reason to earn a badge. A user will always want to merge his own pull request so what’s the achievement in that??
- Pull Shark
As the name suggests, it’s a badge you get each time your pull requests are merged. It’s a really great badge but you can award this badge to your self by merging your own pull requests.
The facts that these badges can be awarded to you by yourself makes the whole point of achievements worthless. What’s the achievement in awarding yourself something??
With this, almost every developer is going to have these badges, nothing makes them unique no more. I have seen a handful of developers getting these badges and it’s really sad to see that most of them just made some commits in their own repositories and received this badge. “The rarer, the better”. Something is worth fighting for once it is really hard to get or difficult to earn.
What I suggest is that, Github should retake another strategy as to how they award their achievements.