Welcome to the Microsoft Imagine Student Developer Blog

Creating games and apps is your dream, and Microsoft Imagine can make it a reality. Microsoft Imagine connects you with the tools and knowledge you need to create, code, and develop your ideas. So whether you're new to coding, studying it in school, or planning for your career, you can dream big, build creatively, and boldly bring your ideas to life.

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    Free coding kits from Microsoft Imagine

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    Free coding kits from Microsoft Imagine

    Want to learn to code? Know someone who does? Microsoft Imagine has just launched our new website and we’ve got a bunch of great learn-to-code kits suitable for beginners of any age. They use free visual coding software such as Kodu Game Lab, TouchDevelop and Project Spark to help anyone get started.

    Each of these kits enables you to make your first game, app or school project in about 30 minutes. We’ve got some great kits to get you started and more are coming every month:

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    Say Hola to Microsoft Student Partner Eduardo Ramirez Santos, coding machine

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    Microsoft Student Partner Eduardo Ramirez Santos.

    Eduardo Ramirez Santos, ‘Edu’ as his friends call him, is soft-spoken and doesn’t much like to talk about himself. Until you ask him about technology, that is. Then his words come out fast and easy, his voice gets louder and more animated and he makes punny techie jokes like, “I give Windows 10 a 10!” He’s 23, but when he talks about coding, Edu sounds more like a young boy with a brand new toy than a student developer, almost as if he’s been transported back to the first time he ever looked at a line of code.

    Edu was 10 years old, visiting his uncle at work at a telecommunications company in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, when he had his first meaningful encounter with technology. Standing at a computer terminal, Edu watched lines and lines of letters and numbers scroll by onscreen. When he realized that those lines controlled the machine’s movements, something came alive inside him. The idea that his own written commands could affect a machine’s functions thrilled him then and continues to drive him today. Edu loves that it takes so little code to do such big things.

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  • Microsoft Student Developer Blog

    Enter a Windows 10 Game Jam today

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    Want to create an awesome new game for Windows 10, but you’re not sure where to start? Then be sure to check out a Microsoft Imagine Windows 10 Game Jam, which will be hosted in more than 40 countries between May 14 and June 23.

    Gaming is getting a massive push with the Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform unifying gaming across PCs, phones and Xbox One. Find out how your next game project can support multiplayer gaming across devices, tap into an amazing gaming community and take advantage of the latest game engines and frameworks from Unity, Monogame and Cocos.

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  • Microsoft Student Developer Blog

    Build 2015 Student Diary – Day 3

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    Hi all! This is me again, Steven Cooreman, checking in for coverage of the final day of Build 2015. And let me tell you, it was a blast. The sessions were mostly top-notch, and the actual hands-on experiences on site were also very, very helpful.

    The first thing I noticed on the last day of the conference was that there were remarkably fewer people around. Whether that was due to conflicting schedules, the lack of a keynote or something else, I don’t know, but it was surely refreshing not to have to stand in line as much … Oh, and the attendee party the night before could have had something to do with it as well. ;)

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  • Microsoft Student Developer Blog

    Build 2015 Student Diary – Day 2

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    Hi all! This is me again, Steven Cooreman, bringing you my impressions of the second day of Build 2015. And, well, where to start?

    While the first day’s keynote session was all about new features and product introductions, the second day’s keynote kept it very close to developers’ hearts. During the two and a half-hour session on Thursday morning, we got practical examples of how to use some of the tools and features unveiled on day one. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that led to a slightly less frantically paced show, and a lot more depth. Still, for a second time, student developers got the first shout out of the show!

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  • Microsoft Student Developer Blog

    Build 2015 Student Diary – Day 1

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    Hi all! My name is Steven Cooreman, and I’m a Belgian Microsoft Student Partner. Currently living in Oslo, I’m a graduating electrical engineer, but am also an app developer on the side with a few highly rated phone apps. In that regard, my main interest for going to Build is to hear and learn more about Microsoft’s Internet of Things story and improvements in the app ecosystem.

    A selfie for Day 1

    My, oh my, what a day! Barely having recovered from jetlag, it started out pretty early with breakfast at 7:15 a.m., when people were already queuing for the keynote at 8:30 a.m. Wait, I wasn’t supposed to get there that early, was I? 

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    Tinkerer, techie, teacher: Meet Dara Oladapo

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    Dara Oladapo, Microsoft Student Partner from Nigeria

    In 2002, Dara Oladapo walked with his two older brothers to the local cybercafé in Ibadan, Nigeria. The three boys went to the café intending to open a joint email account. There, Dara’s brother taught him how to hold the mouse, click on the screen and navigate around Windows.

    That was the first time Dara touched a computer. He was 10-years old.

    Unlike many of this millennial generation, Dara, now 23-years-old, did not spend his toddler years binge watching Sesame Street on Netflix or tapping a touch screen to talk to Grandma on Skype. But talking to him now, you’d think he was born a techie. 

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  • Microsoft Student Developer Blog

    Code your dream app, game, or website with Visual Studio Community 2013

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    Want to create a new game to share with your friends? Or do you have an incredible idea for an app that you want to hold in your hand? What about sharing those on your website with the latest technology?

    Microsoft’s Visual Studio Community 2013 is an incredible piece of software that can help coders like you get started in game, app, and web development!  Visual Studio Community 2013 is an integrated development environment (IDE) that brings together many useful tools for developers, along with other services, that let you create code that works across several platforms. You can create and run your new app across Windows, iOS, and Android devices, at no cost!

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    Students see first-hand how technology transforms everyday living at Tech Days 2015

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    Several Microsoft Student Partners from Belgium recently attended TechDays 2015 in Paris, an intense, information-rich mega conference that offers non-stop sessions that last all day. This highly attended conference focuses on exposing IT pros to a new technology (in a day or two) so they have the confidence to deploy and then implement the technology wherever they work.

    But why should students like you, who might not have started a career yet, attend TechDays?

    From right to left, the Belgian MSPs at TechDays 2015 in Paris, France: Sebastiaan Polfliet, Quentin Devos, Alexis Georges, Julien Lebutte, Julie Cugnon, Alexander Clerbois
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    Using Microsoft Azure for students

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    With our new free Azure offer, student developers can publish their own web apps to Azure and host them in the cloud. But if you’ve never deployed to the cloud before, that first step can be a big one. 

    We’ve created a walkthrough to explain exactly how you can publish your code to Azure in any one of three ways: 

    • Publish a Web App to Azure using Visual Studio
    • Enabling Continuous Integration with Azure Web Apps & GitHub
    • Publish a Web App to Azure using FTP 

    Download the PDF and you can get started today!

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  • Microsoft Student Developer Blog

    It’s official, here are your Imagine Cup UX Challenge Winners!

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    One hundred sixty-three teams entered the Imagine Cup User Experience Challenge and the judges have announced the winners. Just like in the Imagine Cup contest, teams compete in the categories of World Citizenship, Games and Innovation. But for this challenge, we ask young developers to focus on user experience (UX) and design early-on and throughout their projects.

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  • Microsoft Student Developer Blog

    Announcing Microsoft Azure for students

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    From the latest startups to the largest enterprises, cloud services are where new projects are born and new ideas take flight. We want to ensure students around the world aren’t left behind, so today we launched Microsoft Azure for student developers. 

    This new offer for students in 140 countries around the world gets you started with the services you need most to develop in the cloud at no cost and with no credit card required.

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    Came for the tech, stayed for the curiosity: Meet Christian Hissibini

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    Christian Hissibini, a Microsoft Student Partner at the Université de Montréal in Montreal, Canada, is the kind of person who infects the room with his laugh. After a conversation, you realize you have been grinning throughout the entire chat. He puts you at ease with his light-hearted nature, and yet is still excited and eager to share his passion for developing and his knowledge of the Microsoft tools he believes every student developer should use.

    Christian is about to launch a new music app for Windows 10 that takes advantage of several music and online video services to offer a more personalized and rich experience to users. On the brink of this accomplishment, we spoke with Christian about growing up in Cameroon, his very first computer, developing more than 50 apps for the Windows platform and how following your curiosity is always the best policy when it comes to technology.

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  • Microsoft Student Developer Blog

    Imagine Cup 2013 winning game Schein gets the greenlight on Steam

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    Last June, we learned that Imagine Cup 2013 game category winners, Team Schein, were gearing up to submit Schein to Steam, the leading independent platform for computer games. After a lot of work, including numerous tweaks to the game and jumping through the seemingly endless hoops for Steam, Schein launched in October of 2014. We caught up with two of the members to find out all about that process.

    Schein is a puzzle game that tells the story of a father who enters a dark, mystical swamp in desperate search of his son. A wisp appears, offering him a light that reveals hidden worlds. Schein means "light" or "shine" in German, but the team named the game for Schein’s second meaning: "illusion,” referring to the different realities and illusions revealed in the wisp’s light.

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    Microsoft’s Imagine Access: The student’s one-stop shop for all things code

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    Sometimes getting started in programming can be intimidating, but finding the tools to learn how to code shouldn’t be. That’s why we’ve created Imagine Access, your all-access pass to the software tools you need no matter your skill level or experience, and all at no cost to students!

    Through Imagine Access, you can get tools like Kodu to create games on a Windows PC using a simple visual programming language – even if – especially if, you have little to no experience coding.

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    Off they go: Estimeet graduates from Microsoft Ventures Accelerator London with big plans

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    Microsoft Ventures Operations Manager Wesley Knowles catches up with Hayden Do, Chris Duan and Jason Wei of Team Estimeet as they wrap up their time at the London accelerator.

    The founders of Estimeet were once a few friends with a good idea. Now, they are entrepreneurs with a great app and lofty business plans. Several months after winning the Imagine Cup 2014 in the Innovation category, Jason Wei, Hayden Do and Chris Duan found themselves at the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator London excited and … cold.

    When we asked what they would have told themselves four weeks ago upon arrival in London, Jason Wei says, “Bring more warm clothes!” That and he would have told himself to have a pre-made list of all the things to accomplish in London because the accelerator proved to be full of more opportunities than he imagined. 

     

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  • Microsoft Student Developer Blog

    Students Turned Entrepreneurs: Estimeet gains confidence at Microsoft Ventures Accelerator London

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    Chris Duan, Hayden Do and Jason Wei of Team Estimeet take a break from an intense day at the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator LOndon with CEO in Residence Andy McCartney.

    Last week, we highlighted Team Estimeet, the 2014 winners in the Imagine Cup’s Innovation category. They’ve spent the last few weeks in London at the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator, learning what it takes to transform their winning social app into a successful startup company.

    Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in London offers a kind of crash-course in business for young, promising startups. In London alone, 40 different companies have graduated from the program. They’ve all benefited from meetings and sessions geared toward refining a business model, basic business accounting, pitching to investors, and deep dives into technical aspects, marketing strategies and legal advice.

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    Here they are … Your 2015 Project Blueprint Challenge winners!

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    It wasn’t easy, but the Project Blueprint Challenge judges have come to a consensus on the winners!

    In the Games category, the winner is Team Scrolling from the United States, for their puzzle-platformer Scrolling! The game centers on a clever size-changing mechanic that allows the player to manipulate the environment to solve challenges.

    In the Innovation category, the winner is Team Dogma from Germany, for their project CoZyPut! CoZyPut allows physically disabled gamers to control games with eye, tongue or single-hand gestures, with the fidelity and responsiveness necessary for fast-paced gaming.

    In the World Citizenship category, Team Eye3 from Canada takes the prize for their project Ciris! Ciris is a real-time color augmentation overlay that allows the colorblind to more clearly see contrasts on their desktop computers and mobile devices.

     

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    Imagine Cup Team Estimeet nabs a spot in Microsoft Ventures Accelerator London

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    Jason Wei, Hayden Do and Chris Duan of Team Estimeet – winners of the Innovation category in the 2014 Imagine Cup – discuss accounting and other financial aspects of their budding business at Microsoft Ventures Accelerator London.

    Meet ‘Estimeet.’ You might remember them as the Imagine Cup 2014 first place winners in the Innovation category.

    Hayden, Jason and Chris – three energetic New Zealanders – form the trio that is Estimeet. One of the perks of winning Imagine Cup 2014 is the chance to participate in Microsoft Ventures Accelerator.

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    Young coder wins big at AT&T Hackathon with app that helps drivers stay awake

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    Clyde Wallace (left) looks on as his daughter, Sabrina Wallace, discusses their driver-safety app and wearable device they developed at the recent AT&T Hackathon in Las Vegas.

    When Sabrina Wallace describes her latest technology project, she launches into a pitch and sounds more like a seasoned entrepreneur than a teenager. The young programmer recently walked away with $20,000 in cash prizes from the AT&T Hackathon in Las Vegas for an innovative app designed to prevent traffic accidents.

    Not only does she program, she just started college at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and volunteers teaching middle school students how to code. This impressive young teen has big plans for her future.

    At the hackathon, Sabrina and her father, Clyde Wallace, created a wearable device and cloud-enabled app that monitor driving habits to detect if users are facing danger due to road hypnosis, a trance-like state that occurs when driving on an open road for a long period of time. A watch measures wheel activity to determine if a user is driving in a straight line, and measures hand movements to detect when someone may be falling asleep. The app then sounds alarms and asks questions to ensure drivers stay awake.

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    Student developers share pitch video secrets to success

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    Imagine Cup fever is underway! We recently announced the winners of our Pitch Video Challenge. The top team in each category won $3,000 and after the excitement settled, we caught up with team members to talk projects and code.

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  • Microsoft Student Developer Blog

    Microsoft joins forces with GitHub to offer students more free developer tools

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    If you’re a student developer who is passionate about open-source development, then we have some great news for you today! Visual Studio Community 2013 is joining the GitHub Student Developer Pack!

    At the same time, we’re inviting GitHub-loving students to check out more of our great free tools, such as SQL Server and Windows Store developer accounts, as well as our great free training courses on Microsoft Virtual Academy including how to get started with GitHub in Visual Studio, plus free entry to join the Xbox LIVE Indie Games program. 

    For those who don’t know, GitHub is a powerful collaboration tool that offers code review and code management for open source and private projects. It’s a unique one stop shop for student developers.

     

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  • Microsoft Student Developer Blog

    Don’t just play video games! Make them!

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    HTML. The Cloud. Platforms.

    These are not exactly the words you’d expect to hear upon entering a 4th grade classroom. But guest speakers John Shewchuk and his 17 year-old daughter, Annaka, don’t seem the least bit surprised. It’s like they are used to speaking in code. This dynamic duo has volunteered their time to facilitate the Hour of Code.

     

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  • Microsoft Student Developer Blog

    Anyone can use code. Tomorrow’s heroes write it.

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    The students in Mr. Tanimoto’s 4th period Computer Science class may not know it yet, but it’s not your average Monday. Seattle’s Ingraham High School is one of many schools participating in Computer Science Education Week, and to kick off the first day, they have invited James Whittaker to speak.

    Microsoft and other tech engineers are a familiar sight at Ingraham. For three years, the school has partnered with Microsoft TEALS, which sends volunteer software engineers to schools to team-teach computer science alongside classroom teachers.

    Whittaker is a distinguished engineer at Microsoft, as well as an author and a former professor. With charisma, a Nine Inch Nails t-shirt and more pop-culture references than a late-night comedy sketch, he grabs the attention of these students right away, almost despite themselves. Even the hyper-focused kid who started working at his computer before class can’t help but look up and listen.

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  • Microsoft Student Developer Blog

    Introducing Microsoft Imagine

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    Love to code? So do we! But we also know that learning to code can be a real challenge for students of any age. And while Microsoft has some great programs like Imagine Cup and DreamSpark to connect university student developers with contests, free tools and great opportunities to learn and grow, we also want to welcome younger students just taking their first steps into this amazing world.

    That’s why we’ve created Microsoft Imagine, a new cornerstone of the YouthSpark initiative, and launched it today to celebrate Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code. At our new website, http://imagine.microsoft.com, students of all ages and skill levels will find everything they need to create apps and games. Whether you’re a 10-year-old student who wants to make your first game or a 25-year-old university student with a project to develop and sell in app stores, Microsoft Imagine is where you get started.

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