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 2014 Imagine Cup World champions recently traveled back to Seattle from Australia to claim part of their grand prize, an incredible boot camp that included a one-on-one mentoring session with Bill Gates. Jennifer Tang and Jarrel Seah, who make up Team Eyenaemia, won the competition with their groundbreaking app that uses a selfie to diagnose anaemia, one of the world’s most common blood disorders. In addition to $50,000 to further develop their product, they won this valuable week of meetings with innovative and influential people who offered advice and guidance for the next steps on their product.
“Everyone says you need to have experience, well Imagine Cup gives you the experience you need.”
Those are the words of Francesca Guerrera of Reverse, a team of students from Italy who competed in the Imagine Cup World Finals last month. The quote sums up what we heard from participants throughout the competition. It’s not just the final competition they will remember, but the year of learning that will last a lifetime.
Talking to teams who made it to Seattle gave us a renewed perspective on what exactly student developers take home from Imagine Cup. The teams’ ideas and experiences vary, but most agree the competition and year leading up to it taught them not just to develop innovative products and solutions, but important life skills. They learned team work, how to create business models, and public-speaking skills. They got access to mentors and industry professionals, and learned of other programs that could help push their projects along.
Microsoft came back home to Seattle to host this year’s Imagine Cup World Finals July 29 – August 2 and Avanade was there! The week started with 35 teams arriving on the University of Washington campus from all over the world. Passports were displayed with room assignments being made and then the real fun began – the competition briefings and then the welcome reception in UW’s Red Square. Lots of food and music filled the air, with Mt. Rainier as the backdrop while participants geared up for an opportunity of a lifetime – the Imagine Cup World Finals competitions. The winning team receiving $50,000 plus a private session with Bill Gates.
Days one and two were filled with presentations to the Imagine Cup judges where nerves appeared to be maintained. The panel of judges asked some great questions following the presentation and feedback was provided. Avanade sponsored a self-serve coffee cart in the student lounge – the main hang out at the competition. Students created coffee concoctions of all types to calm nerves, stay awake and sharpen their barista skills. Julie Madayag, Colleen Burke, Lisa Field, Rosanna Aho and I – all members of the NA Recruiting team – were present to talk to the participants and watch them prep for their presentations. We had the opportunity attend a few of these presentations and WOW – talk about top talent – these projects were impressive!!!!
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.
Get ready! It’s time for the Microsoft Visual Studio Connect(); event on Nov. 12 and 13! For two days, industry leaders and experts will be sharing their insight into software engineering, Visual Studio, Azure, and .NET development. You'll get a sneak preview of the next version of Visual Studio, code named 'VS14', and useful real-world advice for developing in the mobile-first, cloud-first era.
So who can attend? Everyone! The whole event will be broadcast live on Microsoft's Channel 9. You can hear what leaders like Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise at Microsoft, have to say about the future of software development on Visual Studio. You can listen in on live Q&A sessions with Scott Hanselman, the Principal Program Manager for Microsoft Azure. You can check out the technical details in over 40 on-demand technical sessions.
This is a particularly exciting month of July. The World Cup dominated attention spans around the planet. Now, the Imagine Cup community is ready to descend upon Redmond.
Roberto Sonnino has a unique perspective on both Cups. Originally from Brazil, Roberto works as a software development engineer for PerceptivePixel. For years, Roberto was a passionate and persistent participant in Microsoft’s Imagine Cup: Starting in 2005, when he was still in high school, he competed seven times with his brother. They won six first-place awards across various categories.
“There are many similarities between the Imagine Cup and the World Cup,” Roberto says. “People from all over the world come together in one place. We’re competitors but friends. All eyes are on you, as you are on the world stage.”
Team Centauri just returned to San Antonio, Texas, after competing in the 2015 Imagine Cup U.S. Finals in San Francisco. With three of the four members still in high school, Ryan Cooper, Jingqi Zhou, Angela Chen and Sophie He spoke with us about their experience as one of youngest teams participating in the Imagine Cup.
Ryan (18) and Jingqi (19) met at robotics club where student teams build and program FRC robots for competitions. After several years of programming robots together, Ryan suggested to Jingqi that they enter a tech contest organized by Microsoft called the Imagine Cup. They wanted to put their coding skills to test in the real world.
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.
Microsoft and the nonprofit STEM Labs teamed up to give students a chance to sharpen their coding skills by designing responsive and sophisticated cloud-based apps. Organizers and development managers were wowed by the results, saying the apps were as good as those created by professional developers!
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.
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?
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?
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.
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:
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. ;)
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!
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.
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
If you’ve always wanted to code your own game, summer is a great time to start! The newly launched Microsoft Imagine just added three more learn-to-code game kits. Designed for beginners of any age, the kits are free, easy to use and only take about half an hour per project. So, you can learn to code a game in the time it takes your dad or mom to make breakfast. Pretty cool.
Not only will you be introduced to the world of coding in a surprising and fun way, you’ll also be starting down a path that could change your future.
Check out this month’s new additions:
Air Hockey: Code scorekeeping, wins, and losses
Complete an air hockey game by coding in the scorekeeping, testing it out, and then adding win/loss conditions.
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.
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.
This year, we thought we’d bring a little bit of the Silicon Valley up to Seattle to shift the Imagine Cup World Championship into overdrive. We’re excited to announce that actor Thomas Middleditch, star of the hit HBO show “Silicon Valley,” will round out the trio of judges that includes Alex Kipman, inventor of HoloLens, and Jens Bergensten, lead developer of Minecraft.
You can watch all the action and drama unfold via a live webcast starting at noon PT on July 31. Be sure to tune in to find out who will be crowned the next Imagine Cup World Champion by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
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.
Want to know more about creating a cool app or game on Windows 10, but you’re not sure where to start? Then join @MSFTImagine from 8 a.m. PT – 9 a.m. PT on June 23 for a live Twitter chat with Microsoft Director of Windows Evangelism Giorgio Sardo. The inaugural #ImagineChat is your opportunity to ask a Windows 10 expert questions about Windows 10 and all the awesome things student devs can do with the Windows 10 SDK.
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.