Greenhorn When you first sign up you are automatically given the rank of greenhorn. You have to earn the title of Ranch Hand!
Ranch Hand After your 30th post the forum software automatically upgrades your rank to that of Ranch Hand. This is the last automatic rank change.
Ranch Foreman Ranch Foremen are recognized as the most productive non-moderator members on Coderanch. At any given time, there may be up to (a total of) seven Ranch Foremen (and Master Ranchers), whom are chosen every month, by Gir Bot -- who is a rather limited, but automated, software bot buried deep within the bowels of the ranch's forum software. Frequently promoted Ranch Foremen are also candidates to be promoted to Bartender by the Trail Boss.
Rancher On occasion we manually offer members a Rancher title mostly because we feel like it. There is no criteria to this title, it gets applied if and when any staff member feels like it. Benefit to this title is, a rancher gets privilege of granting cow(s).
Master Rancher Master Ranchers are recognized as the most productive Ranchers on Coderanch. At any given time, there may be up to (a total of) seven Master Ranchers (and Ranch Foremen), whom are chosen every month, by Gir Bot. Frequently promoted Master Ranchers are also candidates to be promoted to Bartender by the Trail Boss.
Author Authors are folks that have written a book.
Bartender This is the first staff title. Bartenders are people that have been recognized as generous, decent, helpful people and given the keys to a forum to do moderating as they see fit. They can edit, delete, or prune any posts in their forums. If you have a question about a particular forum, you should direct it to (one of) the forum's bartender(s).
Saloon Keeper Saloon Keepers are recognized as the most productive Bartenders on Coderanch. At any given time, there are five Saloon Keepers, whom are chosen every month, by Gir Bot. Frequently promoted Saloon Keepers are also candidates to be promoted to Sheriff by the Trail Boss.
Sheriff Sheriffs are Bartenders (also commonly frequent Saloon Keepers) that have been recognized as being so generous, decent and helpful, that they have been given the keys to all of the forums and most of the rest of Coderanch.
Marshal Marshals are recognized as the most productive Sheriffs on the JavaRanch. At any given time, there are five Marshals, whom are also chosen every month, by Gir Bot.
Marshal Commander The Trail Boss picks one Marshal from time to time as someone who is most likely to be able to jump on issues as they come up.
Trail Boss Paul Wheaton. 'Nuff said.
Some people have donated a big heap to JavaRanch and we let them pick their own custom title. If you'd like to pick your own custom title, check out the Tip Jar.
Why have greenhorn and ranch hand?
We want strangers to the ranch to feel welcome and the best way to make them feel welcome is to recognize them and say, "Howdy!" The greenhorn title lets us recognize the new ranch hands. Greenhorn has nothing to do with Java knowledge.
Why don't you have more automatic titles when a person posts 100 times or 1,000 times?