SkilStak VIP Scoring

The SkilStak VIP scoring system is my way of ranking the priority of any particular member when making tough decisions that require leaving some members out of an activity or class.

For example, when attending conferences, activity nights, and (previously) deciding who has priority over time slots when one comes available.

💬 I have never liked the first-come-first-serve idea. It eliminates those who might otherwise deserve a spot much more than even existing members. It might seem unfair initially to some, but ultimately it is the most objective way to decide who has priority.

VIP Score Point Values
Name Points Explanation
Age 10/year How old you are.
Typing 5/wpm How fast you type.
WorkHours 100/hr/week How many hours you can work on stuff outside of class.
NonProfit 50/hour Every reported hour working for a non-profit.
YearsHere 50/year How long you have been here.
YearsLeft -60/year How close you are to leaving (and need cramming).
MissClass -50/occurance Just deciding not to show up without any notification.
NotOnTime -20/occurance More than 5 minutes early or late for any reason.
PushOuts -30/occurance Each push-out beyond the number allowed, notified or not.
LatePay -200/incident Just deciding not to pay or needing a reminder from me.
BreakValues -700/incident Violation of our core values

Everyone starts with 400 points for free as a cushion of forgiveness for the occasional violations.

Those below zero can be removed without explanation or refund. [Policies]

Why So Harsh?

Because the world is. This stuff is tame compared to what will be expected of you as a professional. Better you make the mistakes and learn your sessions with me than in places where it can destroy your reputation. Reputation is your currency in the gig economy.


Age is obvious. Older members get a very slight priority.

Typing Speed

Typing speed is critical to everything else. The faster you are the more we can learn together. Everyone should work first toward 30 and then eventually to 60.

Number of Weekly Learning Hours

How many hours per week you dedicate to learning either at home or in session is the single greatest factor in determining how big of a priority you are to me. Those who consistency show they are committed to learning by putting the hours in are always rewarded with first pick of everything I have to offer. If you are just coming to do stuff for one hour a week you will always have lesser priority.

This number is checked every week by simply asking you to report your hours the last week. The number is the average of the last three reported weeks. That means if you don’t do anything for two weeks your WorkHours VIP score will drop to 100.

When you miss you need to report remotely on what you are working on if anything, if nothing then the same average is taken.

Working for a Non-Profit Organization

One way to accrue a lot of VIP points is to use your technical skills for a non-profit organization. You must specifically use your technical abilities (coding, setting up servers, teaching about tech, etc.). Simply volunteering is not enough.

You don’t need to have a specific organization in mind. You could do something for the town, for example. You could code an SAT prep game that you make available for free. You could contribute code to an open-source project.

If you have a question about whether or not something counts, ask.

This is also a good way to recover your VIP score after damaging it in any number of ways described below.

Years You Have Been Here

Seniority is for those who have been here a while. This is currently five times more important than your age, but not nearly the most important thing.

[I loathe the evil practice of “legacy” priority given by some universities.]

Years Left Before Planning to Leave

This is more about getting everything wrapped up and ensuring you have the maximum amount of opportunity before you leave. It’s sort of like cramming priority points.

Missing a Session Without Notification

Just not showing up to a session without any notification is super annoying and rude. You keep doing that and people will find reasons to fire you, they just won’t tell you so to your face.

This is the biggest reasonable penalty I can place on rudeness. Frankly I wish I could raise it much higher. I hate when people leave me hanging not knowing what they are doing. At least you know.

[One particularly disorganized member has had six of these and nearly obliterated the VIP score. If it keeps up that’ll be it.]

Not Coming on Time

This is another rude one.

It is always better to take a push-out rather than show up 15 minutes late.

Late Payments and Bounced Checks

This one is so monstrously rude I wish I could drop you immediately, but usually this is an inconsiderate sponsor and not the member. Nevertheless, your actions affect me and therefore the person you are sponsoring. It might not seem fair, but neither is financial life, not for me, not for you, not for anyone.

[Bounced checks come with a $75 on top of that. Frankly, if you bounce a check with me I just won’t let you come back most of the time, VIP score or not. I don’t have time for dealing with that level of irresponsibility.]

Breaking SkilStak Values

A values violation is the quickest way to be kicked out and the most damage you can incur to your VIP score. Most of the time – unless you are a very senior member with a lot of VIP accrued – one violation of this will get you immediately dismissed with no refund.

For example,

All of these have happened at one point or another over the years. And yes, a few were removed for it.