At Conversocial, we structure our work with pull requests. Each one is supposed to be reviewed by at least one other member of the team before it gets anywhere near the master branch. Adding comments to pull requests is a good way to get a dialogue going that can highlight potential problems with the code. Zach Holman posted a good summary of this working style last year.
Without much happening last weekend, I decided to create something to add a little bit of incentive and competition to our pull request process.
Version 0.1 of this system is tremendously simple. Every 10s it checks the github API to see whether there are any new pull requests, or if any have been updated. If that's the case, it fetches the comments and gives out points based on their content. For simply making a comment on someone else's pull request, a developer receives one point. If the comment contains the ':sparkles:' emoji, then the author of the pull request receives 4 points (as long as the commenter isn't also the author!).
Accumulated points are displayed on an LED matrix hung on the wall of our office. My hope is that this will encourage more feedback in general, as well as a way to give a colleague a little slap on the back for a clever algorithm or a nice bit of attention to detail.
That LED board is a Peggy that I made a couple of years back from a kit. It involved over 1300 solder joints, so I'm glad to see it in use again! It's only 25x25 LEDs though, so I had to economize on space.
The system is quite obviously open to gaming, but gaming attempts will have to take place in the open. Maybe we'll need to adjust the scoring and add more sophisticated measures to make it meaningful. Time will tell whether it has positive effects.
The code is on github, of course.
Related tags: gamification, projects