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.
The day is finally here. After spending countless hours evaluating more than 150 student projects from 64 countries in our World Semifinals, the judges’ reports are in, the scores have been tallied, and what we have seen is nothing short of incredible. With projects that are entertaining, inspiring and even life-altering, these teams will certainly leave their mark on the world. We are thrilled to announce the 33 top teams that can now claim the coveted title of 2015 Imagine Cup World Finalist!
With Visual Studio 2015 and the Azure SDK, you’re ready to get started coding for the cloud. Let’s create a simple website and publish it to Azure, all within Visual Studio 2015, and see how this works.
You should have already:
(If you haven’t done these steps yet, check out our other blog entry on how to get started with Visual Studio 2015 and Azure. Then come right back here and we’ll start coding.)
Open Visual Studio Community 2015
If you haven’t already, sign in to your Microsoft Account by clicking “Sign in” in the upper right corner. You need to use the same Microsoft Account that you used with DreamSpark and Azure already.
Once you sign in, Visual Studio 2015 will automatically recognize your Azure subscription. It’s automagic
With our new free Azure offer, student developers can publish their own web apps to Azure and host them in the cloud, at no cost and with no credit card required. Students can take advantage of these great Azure services:
With Microsoft Azure, students can explore cloud development with their own web apps and MySQL databases, at no cost and with no credit card required. Let’s walk through the steps for a student to claim this offer and start using Azure.
Because only students get this special Azure offer from Microsoft Imagine, you’ll need to take a few steps to verify your identity and academic enrollment.
Go to http://aka.ms/ia
You’ll see this page:
John Scott Tynes
Visual Studio Community 2015 is the new version of Microsoft’s flagship coding tool – or as the pro devs say, “integrated development environment.” I’d say it’s a tricked-out street racer for hackers with a lot of horses under the hood.
This new release is incredibly powerful and completely free. With VS2015 you can code websites, apps, and much more and deploy your projects to Windows 10, iOS and Android.
I’m especially excited about this release because it introduces full compatibility with our free Azure student subscription, which gives any student the ability to publish websites and web apps to the cloud at no cost and with no credit card required. If you’ve been experimenting with our Azure offer, you probably know that Visual Studio 2013 wasn’t fully compatible. Well, that’s fixed now and you can really light up the cloud with this new release!
Want to get started? It all begins right here with this free download:
But don’t stop there! After you’ve installed VSC2015, you also need to grab the Azure SDK for .NET 2.7:
Run that installer and you’ll be all set.
The 2015 Imagine Cup World Finals are next week! While 33 teams lose sleep to finalize their projects, we caught up with four Imagine Cup alumni teams. All of these teams have transformed their idea into a startup company.
Team Eyenaemia (2014), Team Zero Gravity (2014), Team Chemicalium (2014) and Team Wormhole (2007) shed light on the wild ride that has been their post-Imagine Cup path to entrepreneurship.
Spoiler Alert: It’s hard, but they love it.
Jennifer Tang and Jarrel Seah stood on the Imagine Cup stage last year as students with a winning idea. Now, they are committed and extremely busy entrepreneurs.
For many, the time from idea to startup is focused on the product lifecycle. For others, the time is consumed by searching for funding. As a medical app, Eyenaemia must focus on both strategies. Without trials to collect medical data and patient studies, there can be no product improvement. But without funding, there can be no trials.
Eyenaemia is pursuing both simultaneously as well as working and studying at various emergency departments in Melbourne, Australia.
WordPress is a powerful and widely used tool for building and managing websites and blogs. It’s both free and open source, with a huge community of users worldwide. And with Microsoft Azure, you can deploy and configure your own WordPress website in minutes at no cost for students!
Before you get started, have you already activated your free Azure student subscription? There’s no credit card required for students to get this great offer.
Okay, let’s get started!
Go to the Azure preview portal:
and sign in with your Microsoft Account.
Select +NEW > Web + Mobile > Marketplace from the menu on the left. This allows us to create a new website based on an existing template. We are going to select the WordPress template from the marketplace:
There are multiple WordPress templates, but we want to use the basic one that works with your free Azure subscription. So type WordPress into the search filter to find all the WordPress templates in the MarketPlace, and then select WordPress from the results:
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently announced that the company will take a lead role in bringing the Hour of Code to millions of youth around the globe during Computer Science Education Week from Dec. 8 - 14. What a perfect opportunity for our Microsoft Student Partners (MSPs) to showcase their expertise!
MSPs from campuses across the globe will be volunteering to teach students in middle schools, high schools and learning centers to help bring the Hour of Code to 100 million youth during this historic event. Our MSPs have firsthand knowledge of how computer science skills can provide vast opportunities and are excited to help expose the next generation of developers to the art of computer science.
Many of our 7,000 MSPs will teach an Hour of Code using tutorials created by the Microsoft Learning Experience Academic Product team. One of those tutorials is an activity that uses the TouchDevelop coding tool, an easy-to-use visual game that teaches basic coding logic and gives students hands-on practice building and fixing games. During this Hour of Code activity, students will be asked to help fix a fun and simple game called “Jetpack Jumper,” that challenges players to guide a robot through a maze of wacky obstacles.
We did it!! We broke the Guinness World Record® for the “Most People Trained in Computer Programming in 8 Hours."
Kids from all over the Seattle area arrived at the Microsoft campus today for Imagine Coding Camps. In four bustling rooms throughout Building 92, children learned how to code in the best way possible, by having fun.
Thirty-three Imagine Cup World Finalist teams arrived in Seattle on Monday filled with hope and determination. They would face a trial by fire of perfecting their demos and sharpening their pitches in preparation for a fierce competition on Wednesday.
Now, at last, after many nail-biting hours, the wait is over. Join us in congratulating the best of the best! Meet your 2015 Imagine Cup winners in the Games, Innovation and World Citizenship categories!
1st Place: Virtual Dementia Experience, Australia: $50,000 and a Microsoft YouthSpark Boot Camp
2nd Place: Mozter, Singapore: $10,000
3rd Place: Prognosis, Greece: $5,000
1st Place: eFitFashion, Brazil: $50,000 and a Microsoft Ventures Boot Camp
2nd Place: NoObs, Azerbaijan: $10,000
3rd Place: Siymb, United Kingdom: $5,000
1st Place: IzHard, Russia: $50,000 and a PAX Boot Camp
2nd Place: Kuality Games, Netherlands: $10,000
3rd Place: Thief, China: $5,000
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.
Microsoft Student Partners (MSP) is a program for university students worldwide who are passionate about technology and want to share that excitement on campus. MSPs are trained in the latest Microsoft technologies and use their expertise to build skills, ignite their careers, and inspire and mentor the next generation. The program gives students in more than 100 countries the opportunity to represent both their region and local campus as a Microsoft technology expert.
We connected with four Microsoft Student Partners from around the world to learn more about their experiences in the program and how Microsoft technologies have helped them develop skills and lay a foundation for future success.
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.
With the 2014 Imagine Cup World Finals right around the corner, the top 35 World Finalist teams from around the globe are eagerly preparing their projects and getting them ready for our judges in the final round of the competition this July. Looking ahead, students may be asking themselves, what comes after Imagine Cup? Although the answer to this question may vary from team to team, one thing is for certain -- the possibilities are endless!
For Team Zeppelin Studio, the winners of last year’s Games Competition, life after Imagine Cup has indeed been full of endless opportunities as they continue to pursue their dreams. The team took home first place with their project Schein, a challenging puzzle platformer, and have since evolved the game from an academic project to a newly founded company with a fresh vision of the future. We had the opportunity to reconnect with them to check in on what their life after Imagine Cup looks like, how the competition helped them get where they are today, and if they could share a piece of advice for this year’s participants. Read on for the full story.
To keep your source code backed up and constantly up-to-date with your latest changes, you can take advantage of the Azure platform’s continuous deployment with GitHub. Whenever you commit code to your GitHub repo, that code can be automatically synced up with your Azure Web app, without any extra effort. Here are the basic steps that we’ll cover when first setting up continuous integration:
If you don’t currently have a GitHub account, you’ll want to set one up and then log into it to follow the rest of this walkthrough. If you have a brand-new account, or one without any repositories, your browser will look like this:
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a new series of monthly guest blog posts from our Microsoft Student Partners all over the world. The inaugural edition of the series is from Eva Pardi, an MSP based in Budapest and Debrecen, Hungary, who has a passion for Microsoft Azure.
When I became a Microsoft Student Partner, I decided to specialize in one very specific area of knowledge – Microsoft Azure. Here’s what I love about it: it feels, to me, like a platform with infinite possibilities. Azure was designed to be easy for developers to use and it gives me the opportunity to do a whole host of things that are important to me as a student developer. Using Azure, I can learn programming languages and learn the ins and outs of building and maintaining databases, among other things.
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.
Seattle greeted the 33 Imagine Cup World Finalist teams with sunshine on day two of the global student technology competition. Clusters of competitors boarded the busses that would take them across Lake Washington from the University of Washington to the Microsoft Campus in Redmond. Today is the day they got to be ‘Microsofties.’ They got an exclusive peek at the Microsoft HoloLens, ate lunch amidst the hustle and bustle of the Microsoft Commons, and watched Eben Upton (CEO of Raspberry Pi) play with robots at an Internet of Things presentation.
As they made their way to Holographic Academy, they walked by the shiny Microsoft Employee Store, smartphone cameras snapping. Teams are beginning to intermingle as many heed the advice of Imagine Cup alumni – to use this time to build some of the most important connections of their careers.
We caught up with a few of the teams as they walked out of the Holographic Academy.
Liam McGuire of Team Virtual Dementia Experience said, “My expectations were pretty high. But it seriously exceeded my expectations. There are technologies doing this, but they are very niche. The image quality was unbelievable.”
Months of work and miles of travel finally behind them, 33 teams competed today for the Imagine Cup in one of three categories: World Citizenship, Innovation and Games.
As students waited for their assigned time slot to present, they sported serious game faces. Three teams hit the ground running with an 8 a.m. presentation while others, like Team Octavian of Nepal, had to endure waiting until 3:30 p.m., the very last time slot.
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.
A former Imagine Cup team has built an international business based on a Kinect-powered game it developed to help students sharpen their math skills.
Now known as Jumpido, the Bulgarian-based team credits the Imagine Cup for helping it develop into a business, and says the company’s success wouldn’t have been possible without the mentoring, connections and support provided by Microsoft.
“The thing that we really appreciate was the faith that Microsoft put in us when we hadn’t even started,” said Kiril Rusev, a team member who now serves as CEO of the company. “They told us our product was great and we should make it available in schools, and this pushed us in the direction of starting our own company. Having someone with so much experience, coming from one of the most significant technology companies in the world, to trust in you is incredibly motivating and gives you the feeling that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.”
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.
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!
Sleep? What’s sleep?
How much sleep have you had the last 72 hours? On average, the Imagine Cup teams we spoke to clocked eight hours of sleep. For the 33 Imagine Cup World Finalists arriving today in Seattle, sleep is a nice idea, a distant memory, a dangling carrot. The 33 teams feel the sleep deprivation acutely, but like anytime where pain and adrenaline mix – the adrenaline wins.
The teams trickle in to register for the Imagine Cup, buzzing and nervous! You can tell they aren’t quite used to superstar status, surprised at being shuffled around by so many people armed with cameras and video recorders. But these kids are pretty much the cream of the crop.
And this is the big time. It’s the Imagine Cup 2015 World Finals! This is where all those hours of hard work will hopefully pay off.
Attention student technologists! The Imagine Cup 2015 season is officially underway, meaning it’s time to start thinking about how to turn your amazing app idea into a solution. We invite you to join us throughout the year for games, competitions, and training that will help make your vision a reality.
The Imagine Cup is not just the big technology competition you’ve been reading about over the past few months, it’s an opportunity to form your idea into a solid proposal, learn how to pitch it, and develop a business plan. You can do all this without the stress of worrying about investors or searching for professional experts to help you. We want you to spend that time on your project.
You’ll build the skills you need to launch a business and learn important life lessons that will help you throughout school and your career. Past participants have told us how much their public speaking, team building, and interview techniques improved after they became involved. It’s a pretty awesome thing to be able to put on your resume and a great way to launch into a career in technology.