How to Hire Nerds for a Gamification Team

By Kris Duggan, Kate Shoup

On the technical side of your gamification team, you need nerds with the knowledge to architect, develop, and test your gamification program to meet the business objectives and vision of the program.

Ideally, they’ll be skilled in the following technologies:

  • HTTP: This web standard is the foundation for all data communication on the World Wide Web. HTTP is the method by which your gamification technologies will communicate with your web platform.

  • HTML: HTML is a language for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web. The current version, HTML 5, supports all the latest multimedia, but remains easily readable by human types and computing devices alike.


  • JavaScript: This is a scripting language that can be used to build the various widgets that appear on a gamified site.

  • REST: REST is less a technology and more a set of principles that define how various web standards, such as HTTP, are supposed to be used. The key characteristic of RESTful communication is that it’s stateless. You make a request, you get a response, and you’re done. Theoretically, if you adhere to REST principles, you’ll end up with a system that plays nice with the web’s architecture.

  • JSON data: This is a text-based open standard for the exchange of data, usually between a server and a web application. JSON is derived from JavaScript — although it’s language independent. It’s designed to be readable by actual people.

You’ll also need someone who understands how to integrate the gamification program with your back end — in other words, someone who understands the platform on which the Web property is built. There are hundreds of platforms you could gamify. Examples of platforms and the corresponding skills needed to work in them include the following:

  • WordPress: WordPress environments typically require someone with the ability to read and manipulate JavaScript code.

  • SharePoint: If you’re gamifying a Microsoft Sharepoint property, you’ll need someone who understands SharePoint and has .NET experience.

  • Oracle: An Oracle system requires an understanding of Java.

  • apps run off the platform and Apex code.

If you’re working with a gamification provider, that provider may offer a connector — that is, a pre-built piece of code that handles the various aspects of integration with your back end. If a connector is available to you that means you don’t need so much in the way of technical expertise on your team.