S. Somasegar is the corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Learn more about Somasegar.
Today, we launched the Beginner Developer Learning Center (BDLC) – a centralized learning environment specifically targeted at beginning programmers.
Since we released the Microsoft Visual Studio Express Editions, we have had over 10 million downloads of the same. We have also grown one of the largest communities of recreational developers – our Coding4Fun site has over 150,000 visitors per month. This is a community that is near and dear to all of us – that first piece of code which actually compiled and ran (in my case using Fortran and punch cards on an IBM 360), the first application or web site we customized and made our own – that first step we took down the software development path.
Even with the release of our Express products and community sites, we wanted to decrease the barriers of entry to software development even more, and we have taken another in that direction today. This fun site provides a learning environment for anyone who is new to programming – the lessons start at a basic level with an introduction to general programming concepts, and gradually work their way up in difficulty to guide people through creation of complete Windows or Web solutions. It is a great way to learn to program, and a great way to increase your passion for coding by sharing this knowledge with others.
I encourage you to walk through a couple of lessons with your children, friends or family – this could be a fun way for people to create and customize. With this, we are getting closer to our vision of anyone and everyone to participate more in this online, digital age.