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.
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 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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!!!!
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!
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
Like many aspiring technology entrepreneurs in the Middle East, Mohammad Ateeq, Hassan Baker and Ayham Jaradat face unfavorable odds on the road to developing an idea into a business. Unreliable Internet infrastructure, limited pools of venture capital, a volatile political climate and an unstable economy all make it difficult to get a business off the ground.
Of all the worlds in our vast universe, none matters more to us than Earth. Advances in space science have paid off right here at home, as the latest satellite imaging technology can not only bring us the surface of Pluto, but reveal the intricate complexities of Earth itself.
Students ages 6-18 worldwide are invited to explore this exciting and vital area of scientific research in Imagine Cup Earth, a new coding competition for students. Whether you have never coded before and would like to learn, or if you’re already studying coding and want to take on a new challenge, all skill levels are welcome to dream big, build creatively, and boldly bring your ideas to life.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
On Friday at the Washington State Convention Center, thousands of hours of dreaming, coding, testing, troubleshooting and pitch-practicing came down to 30 minutes for three first-place Imagine Cup teams in the Games, Innovation and World Citizenship competitions. But they weren’t thinking about their long road to Imagine Cup, they were too busy wowing the judges and thousands of Imagine Cup fans! Team Virtual Dementia Experience, Team eFitFashion and Team IzHard brought their A-games to battle for the title of Imagine Cup World Champion!
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.
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.