We live in a time where great ideas rule the world. Combine that with passion and tenacity, and there's nothing standing between you and rocking the future.
TeenWebConf is an annual event founded by Callum Hill and Henry Moulton, and looks set to help people from all kinds of backgrounds and levels of experience bring their ideas to life.
From its conception TeenWeb Conference was intended to be a single day in the year where young people can network as well as to find information, direction, focus and help with entrepreneurship and, more specifically, the web. Hosting a variety of speakers, from different working backgrounds and industries, there will be something for everyone to take away. The main aim of the event in terms of conference content is to provide inspiration, presenting speakers that have been successful and can offer the best advice for young entrepreneurs.
We're excited to be supporting an event that brings together inspirational speakers, a great panel, and outstanding networking opportunities for young people!
Tickets for the event are on sale now - and if you get them quick, they're cheap too! It's aimed specifically at 11-25 year olds with a passion for technology, entrepreneurship, and generally doing awesome things to change the world. Some of our team will be there, along with some fantastic people.
What are you waiting for?
Grab yourself a ticket. Go on, be awesome. We dare you
Came across this blog which discussed 5 soft skills that are in demand in a high tech world. Interesting reading but thought we would see what our Facebook students though of it and we got a lot of people reading the link and a couple of comments about how it was all common sense.
Here is my personal take on the skills.
1. Ability to communicate professionally. Yes, we all do this don’t we? Well, actually, I am guilty of bashing away at my keyboard and not re-reading what I have written before sending emails, tweets, posts etc. So in my case its probably more “take care when communicating”rather than the professional word.
3. Maintaining a good attitude. This is hard to do 100% of the time and we are all influenced by lots of factors - internal and external. However, you are the only one who can control your attitude so again I think we could all practise techniques to make this a real skill for all of us. Pick the times when you need to be 100% positive and focus on it.
4. Critical Thinking. You can check this out for more info or the wikipedia article referred to in the blog post. Not an easy skill to develop and I personally think its more about practise. Infuse this into everything you do , think about it, practise until it becomes second nature. Easy to type this, very hard to do.
5. Teamwork and Collaboration. When interviewing students for roles they can ALL give examples of project work where 2 or 3 of the team did not pull their weight. So what did they do about it? A tough one but as a team member and possibly a leader you have a responsibility not just to yourself, but to the team as a whole. I coach youngsters at Rugby Union here and one of the biggest challenges is to get them to look up and see what is around them and involve their team mates proactively rather than reactively. When they have the ball they all want the individual glory, they like to run with it but by involving their team mates we can be more successful. I am being hard on them as they are young but we can take this into work as well – work out what skills people have and use them, if people are struggling or not engaged find out why and involve them in the way ahead!
Interesting times and I really enjoyed writing this article and thinking about soft skills. Hope it helps you.
Loads of you are now back at uni and for many it’ll be time to start applying for a placement year...
I'm @gracegimson ,and am on my year internship here at Microsoft . Here is an insight into my experiences of looking for and applying to a placement year... hopefully you’ll be able to relate to them or pick up some tips!
The application process is a lot about managing your time. Second year does feel like a step up, and with lots of coursework deadlines in the first term, you need to keep on top of it. While applying I was helping to manage a Christmas ball and had six sports teams to organise, as well as holding down a part time job. It’s all about prioritising what needs doing first, and placement applications should be somewhere near the top (I know how easy it is to put them off!).
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and you learn pretty quickly what you’re good at. I had lots of past experiences to talk about which definitely helped for the telephone interviews. But the part of the process I found hardest was the psychometric tests, particularly the numeracy tests. Luckily they get easier each time as you get used to working within a time limit!
Here are a few key tips which I learnt along the way:
- Make sure you have a solid, well prepared C.V. before you start applying. Ideally get this done at the start of the autumn semester (this is almost a whole year before the placement would actually start), and make sure someone who knows what they are doing has looked over it. At many universities you can show your C.V. to the careers centre and they will look over it to guide you on improvements.
- Come up with a list of companies you would like to apply to (do this by reading info on company websites, attending careers fairs, talking to students who are on placements, and checking placement/internship ratings on sites like RateMyPlacement).
- Start applying early. Find out when closing deadlines are to make sure you don’t miss any (some companies close applications as early as mid October).
- Learn about the companies...or it could be embarrassing when they call you for a telephone interview and ask why you’d like to work for them.
- Prepare cover letters carefully...explain how good you’d be for the company and specific position rather than listing facts about who they are (they already know about their own company!).
- Don’t give up, it’s not realistic to expect to get the first position you apply to. The competitive nature of placement applications means it’s an achievement to even get past the first stage, and it helps you to know what to expect the next time.
To give yourself the best chance of being accepted you need to put in time and thought to each stage of the process. Make a list of relevant experiences you’ve had, for example; when you’ve managed a team well, when you’ve overcome a problem, when you’ve influenced others and when you’ve exceeded someone’s expectations, this will be really useful for online applications.
Prepare yourself before a telephone interview; come up with a list of questions they could ask you, and make sure you’re ready with to-the-point but informative answers. When you get as far as a face to face interview, it will be a chance for you to ask questions as well as for them to question you. Really make use of this, for example you may be interested in knowing whether there are opportunities for career development after the placement, or whether the organisation encourages activities outside of office hours such as sports or volunteering. Most large companies use an assessment centre as part of the application process, the biggest tip I can give for these is be yourself and be confident with your abilities, especially if you are asked to give a presentation.
Overall, apply early, think carefully when giving answers, practice lots of psychometric tests, and be prepared. Don’t let it stress you out,
I (@philcr) am in Madrid at the moment at a worldwide meeting with my counterparts from all over the world. I love these meetings for 3 reasons:-
So whilst I might not come back and change the world straight away it is always a possibility that I’ll do it in a couple of weeks time.
So on that basis if you could change one thing what would you do?
It also got me thinking about how I approach tough decisions and it reminded me of the best course I have ever been on. I can strongly recommend reading the Steven Covey Seven/Eight habit books – like a lot of these courses, books etc you can take some, all or nothing out of it. I personally realised that you must seek first to understand and then be understood – don’t force your ideas on others until you really understand what drives them – it s a strong position to be in. There are lots of other take-aways (Chinese, Indian etc ) but rather than expose them all here have a look at the habits – you can get into some very good ones!
The Microsoft UK Academic and Emerging Business teams are supporting the Appathon events in October and the SVc2UK programme in November. For the Appathon events we’re providing a range of technical on-line resources as well as having mentors in place at four of the venues (Sheffield, London, Oxford, Southampton), and we’ll support the other two venues (Edinburgh, Cambridge) remotely.
Microsoft offers tools and platforms that enable software developers to build sleek, quick and modern applications and games across a range of devices using a variety of programming languages. The Microsoft platforms include Windows, Internet Explorer, Windows Phone, Windows Azure and XBOX, all fully supported by the powerful Visual Studio IDE, the Expression graphic design and content creation tools, and with a huge database of open source projects available to get you started.
In addition to the software platforms and tools, we also provide cloud APIs that enable you to tap into search (e.g. for images, video, news, location-specific information) and text translation, and if you’re working with geographic data, integrate maps and aerial photography in your app. The maps API provides interfaces for a range of different technologies, and embeddable controls for iOS and Windows Phone 7.
We also provide toolkits for iOS, Android and Facebook developers, which enable you to quickly build scalable apps for those platforms.
All the Microsoft software you need to get started is available free for students to download through DreamSpark, which also gives you free access to publish applications in the Windows Phone marketplace.
There are lots of great training resources available, including the Windows Phone 7 Jump Start videos, a free Charles Petzold e-book, guidelines for user experience design, and for a view of the future direction of the Microsoft platforms you can check out how to get started with Metro-style development and a large library of videos with more detailed technical information.
We will help all eligible interested Appathon teams to enter the global Imagine Cup student technology competition. The Imagine Cup challenges students to “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.” The leading teams from around the world will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the world-wide finals event in Sidney, Australia, in July 2012 and a chance to win $25,000.
***If you or your friends aren't used to developing for Windows Phone 7, then look through these tools to help the transition from developing for other platforms http://windowsphone.interoperabilitybridges.com/***
If you’re setting up a software business, we can enrol you on the BizSpark programme, which gives you access to free Microsoft software development tools, enables connections with key industry players, and provides marketing visibility for your company.
Throughout the Appathon events we’ll be posting more content on our blog, and if you want to keep in touch with the team, please like our microsoftukstudents Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @msukstudents!
List of Resources:
Are you more used to developing for other platforms than Window Phone 7,have a look here:
Download free professional developer and design tools, server software and more, including FREE Windows Phone AppHub registration for publishing your apps to Marketplace (students only):
http://create.msdn.com/ (Windows Phone 7)
Open source projects and code samples:
Search, translation, maps, aerial photography:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd251056.aspx (Bing API)
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd877180.aspx (Bing Maps API)
Developer training resources:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/gg477145 (main page)
http://create.msdn.com/en-us/education/quickstarts (Windows Phone 7 Quick Start)
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh202915(v=VS.92).aspx (User Experience Design Guidelines for Windows Phone)
Other developer platform resources
http://msdn.microsoft.com/ (main page)
http://dev.windows.com/ (Windows 7 and Windows 8)
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/learn/ (Windows Azure)
Toolkits for iOS, Android and Facebook:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/ee388574.aspx (Facebook C# SDK)
Additional tech student resources:
Starting a software business: