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I happened to notice that Jon Skeet just got awarded a silver tag badge for programming. Not that I mean to deny Jon yet another badge, but why does this tag need to exist? is it to balance out all the questions tagged not-programming-related? Questions on SO are supposed to be about programming, so this appears to be a redundant tag.

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Only Jon Skeet could get a badge in programming. Just... programming. – Phoshi Dec 2 '09 at 21:25

People, for some reason, make and use stupid and obvious tags like programming, help, question, etc. Probably because they don't understand tags. Likewise, we have tags like one, 2000, in and the (I complain about those in this question). Some people just don't "get" tags. I call this kind of person TheTXI.

And if you answer a lot of questions like Mr Skeet you end up getting a lot of upvotes in stupid tags. The badge mechanism isn't sentient, so it doesn't know that the tags it's making badges for are stupid. That's how Jon got a programming badge on a programming site.

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In their defense, how can ponies be expected to understand tagging? And do they even need tags when they have such beautiful, luxurious flowing manes? – Jeff Atwood Dec 2 '09 at 21:37
@Jeff @wood: Yes. Yes they do. – JSONBog Dec 2 '09 at 22:09
I feel it important to mention that Guffa is the point leader on the question tag:… Arguably, this is the most important tag on any question and answer site. – JSONBog Dec 2 '09 at 22:20

You get special badges for upvotes in the different tags

Check it yourself

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Yes, I'm well aware of how the process works. My question is about the tag itself, not the process of being awarded badges for tags. – Greg Hewgill Dec 2 '09 at 20:57
It's automatic, there's no specific control over what tag gets a badge and what doesn't – juan Dec 2 '09 at 21:00
what = which.... – juan Dec 2 '09 at 21:01
Oh, seeing Gargamel's answer I now know what you meant – juan Dec 2 '09 at 21:02

Oh, I don't know, there's some real gems in that [programming] tag...

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That is because programming is hard , time for some – waffles Dec 2 '09 at 22:06
Oh man those are great. – JSONBog Dec 2 '09 at 22:10
Programming is hard. Let's go shopping! – Josh Lee Dec 2 '09 at 22:35

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