J-Fall 2015 Speaker Alexander Chatzizacharias – How to increase code quality using gamification

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Gamification is a booming keyword at the moment. Millions of people play games for countless hours. It is their choice of entertainment, and it keeps them engaged for thousands of hours. Gamification uses that strength in real life situations. Companies use gamification to engage their costumers, educate their employees, promote their products and many more. If the solution to a problem is human-focused, then gamification is most likely the solution. There are many successful examples of gamification such us LinkedIn and Foursquare. Java is one of the most popular coding languages at the moment. Countless Java projects are being created, with huge code bases. One of the most common problems in such huge java projects is code quality. Sometimes programmers aren’t motivated enough to go the extra mile in order to deliver top quality code. There are multiple tools that assist a programmer with this (such as Sonar and Findbugs), but these solutions do not try to intrinsically motivate a programmer to write quality code. They only point out what someone did wrong (negative feedback) which can be demotivating. Using Gamification, we can intrinsically motivate a person to go that extra mile during development, while teaching him how to write the best code possible. Gamification can help with teambuilding, education, code quality and member motivation. The goal of this session is to show attendees how powerful gamification is and how it can be used to intrinsically motivate themselves to write the absolute best possible code, while having fun. Attendees will learn methods to engage themselves in their java project, making it more appealing and engaging, such as using the Jenkins-game, introducing competition & peer pressure, mentoring , collections, levels and many more. Such simple methods are proven to be effective and are relatively easy to implement. The most important aspect of course, is that it makes coding and working on an java project even more fun! During the session we will not discuss a single method to gamify a project, but we will lay down multiple proven game mechanics & dynamics, and how they can be combined in order to create a fun and productive environment. It is up to the attendees to choose the most applicable game mechanics for their situation!

Bio van Alexander Chatzizacharias Alexander is a 25-year old java developer at CGI. He is of Dutch/Greek nationality. Alexander has a bachelor in Game Development (University of applied sciences of Amsterdam) and a master in Game studies (University of Amsterdam). During his master Alexander developed a passion for gamification and motivation theory. Why are people playing games for countless hours? What makes them so engaging? Can we use this to enrich our everyday life? Such questions keep him busy. Within CGI he is busy with promoting gamification to clients as a valid solution to many human-focused problems. He is always on the lookout for hot new technologies (such as the Microsoft Hololens and HTC Vive) and how they can be combined with gamification to solve everyday problems. His biggest hobby (and this might come as a surprise) is gaming. From shooters to role playing games, he plays everything. Furthermore he likes to windsurf and ride a bike.

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