Inspiring the next generation of programmers - developer tools from Microsoft

Inspiring the next generation of programmers - developer tools from Microsoft

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At Microsoft we have an amazing set of tools to inspire future developers

Here a list of developer tools to help inspire tomorrow developers (Figures in bracket are guidelines for ages that it is appropriate) For FREE additional curricula materials see http://www.microsoft.com/faculty

·         Kodu (5-11)

Kodu is a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. The programming environment runs on the Xbox, allowing rapid design iteration using only a game controller for input. The core of the Kodu project is the programming user interface. The language is simple and entirely icon-based. Programs are composed of pages, which are broken down into rules, which are further divided into conditions and actions. Conditions are evaluated simultaneously. The Kodu language is designed specifically for game development and provides specialized primitives derived from gaming scenarios. Programs are expressed in physical terms, using concepts like vision, hearing, and time to control character behaviour. While not as general-purpose as classical programming languages, Kodu can express advanced game design concepts in a simple, direct, and intuitive manner. See http://www.kodugamelab.com/about

·         The Kodu Cup (7-14)

The Kodu Kup is a game creation competition for UK school-children aged between 7 and 14. The Kodu Kup is open to any child enrolled as attending a UK school and who is aged between seven to fourteen years of age at the date of entry. Children are entered by their appropriate school teacher as a team of three. For more information the flyer can be downloaded from here: http://bit.ly/KoduKupFlyer

·         Small Basic (5-11)

Small Basic is a project that is focused at making programming accessible and easy for beginners. The Language draws its inspiration from an early variant of BASIC but is based on the modern .Net Framework Platform. The Environment is simple but rich in features, offering beginners several of the benefits that professional programmers have come to expect of a worthy IDE. A rich set of Libraries help beginners learn by writing compelling and interesting programs. Small Basic is intended for beginners that want to learn programming. In our internal trials we've had success with kids between the ages of 10 and 16. However, it's not limited to just kids; even adults that had an inclination to programming have found Small Basic very helpful in taking that first step. See http://www.smallbasic.com

·        .NET Gadgeteer (6-24)

Are you ready to create something awesome? Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer is an open-source toolkit for building small electronic devices using the .NET Micro Framework and Visual Studio/Visual C# Express. Build all manner of electronic gadgets quickly and easily with .NET Gadgeteer! LEARN HOW TO GET STARTED

·         TouchDevlop (8-24)

TouchDevelop makes learning programming exciting! You can write code directly on any device and you can directly use sensors and media via high-level APIs. It's easy to create games and apps, publish them or tweak those published by others. You write code in our touch-friendly editor where you compose programs by tapping on your screen, yet concepts you learn transfer to traditional languages such as Java or C#. TouchDevelop embraces the "Bring Your Own Device" revolution by providing a unified programming environment everywhere. http://www.touchdevelop.com

·         Project Spark (8-24)

Project Spark is a digital canvas which can be used to make games, movies and other experiences. A player can download other user-generated content, remix that content or create content of their own. A player can use the Xbox controller, keyboard and mouse, touch-devices and Kinect to build experiences. Kinect can be used to animate models and record audio. The created environments can contain mountains, rivers, and towns. http://www.projectspark.com

·         Web Application Template (11+)

The Web Application Template is an Open Source Visual Studio 2013 template that lets developers create Windows 8.1 apps based on existing web content. Used in the right way, Web Application Template can facilitate the creation of compelling extensions to your web content for Windows users.

·         Windows Phone AppStudio (8-24)

Windows Phone App Studio lets you swiftly build apps for immediate publishing, testing, and sharing with clients, co-workers, and focus groups. Windows Phone App Studio generates your source code - a feature no other app-builder tool provides so you can learn the basic and make enhancements with Visual Studio. http://apps.windowsstore.com/

·         Project Siena (8-24)

Microsoft Project Siena (code name) is the beta release of a new technology for those interested in building an app without any programming experience, you can create powerful apps for the device-first and cloud-connected world, with the potential to transform today’s business processes.

Here are some examples of what people have already been building:

  • Apps to explore media-rich product catalogs and create ensembles that together serve a customer’s needs
  • Apps used on the spot to resolve customer service bottlenecks and logistics exceptions, with the custom intelligence to help the user make local tradeoffs

Apps for auditing and inspecting a manufacturing facility through photos, videos, and pen and voice notes, all tied to an asset database see http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/projectsiena/default.aspx

·         DreamSpark (6+)

DreamSpark is a Microsoft Program that supports technical education by providing access to Microsoft software for learning, teaching and research purposes.

DreamSpark is simple: it's all about giving students Microsoft professional-level developer and designer tools at no cost so that students can chase their dreams and create the next big breakthrough in technology - or just get a head start on their career.

DreamSpark helps educators teach the latest technologies and experiment in research. Microsoft knows that to make learning more motivating, relevant, and engaging for today's students requires a diverse set of resources. DreamSpark gives educators the resources to ensure their classrooms always have the latest technologies to challenges, motivate, and keep students engaged in new ways.

DreamSpark is also a subscription for Academic Institutions: it provides a cost-effective way to put Microsoft developer tools, platforms and servers in labs and classrooms, and on their students’ and faculty’s computers for learning and research purposes. It reduces lab costs and teaching budgets.

How do I get DreamSpark Software?

As a Student: simply create an account, verify your student status and download software through this website at no cost. If your school/university has a subscription, you can also get access to more software titles.

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As an Educator: you can get access through your institution’s subscription. Talk to your school administration to get a DreamSpark subscription and order today!

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As an Academic Institution: order the subscription type that is right for you. DreamSpark Standard is for all types of institutions from primary to tertiary educations. DreamSpark Premium has a wider software catalog of over 500 products and is for qualifying technical departments only.

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·         DreamSpark FREE Store Developer Account for Windows 8 and Windows Phone (16+)

Develop applications for Microsoft software that showcase your talent, your skill and your development creativity. If you can imagine it, you can create it, and you may even just change the world with it. https://www.dreamspark.com/Student/App-Development.aspx

·         Xbox For Education (6+)

The Xbox for Education offer includes a 3-Year DreamSpark Standard subscription for the institution. To take advantage of this offer from Monday 27th January, schools and colleges should visit: www.Xboxforeducation.co.uk

Xbox for Education and the associated resources available at DreamSpark http://www.dreamspark.com and Microsoft Faculty Connection Resources http://www.microsoft.com/faculty provides teachers with resources from first principles to advanced techniques.

These resources will shows you how to use the C# language to solve problems and how C# is used within the Microsoft XNA Framework to create games. The games that you write using the resources available can run on a Microsoft Windows, an Xbox 360, or a Windows Phone.

Or simply use packages such as Kinect Sports and Adventures, Mind Craft, Kodu and Project Spark in the classroom.

·         The Imagine Cup (16+)

There are lots of ways to participate in Imagine Cup. Find the competition that's right for you and your team. Fans of gaming? Check out the Games Competition. Want to change the world? Take a look at the World Citizenship Competition. Click on any competition's name to learn more about it, read up on the rules, and learn how to sign your team up. http://www.imaginecup.com

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  • Of course you could just bring back VB6 instead.

    visualstudio.uservoice.com/.../3440221-bring-back-classic-visual-basic-an-improved-versi

  • True, so true! It is simple: Visual Basic 6.0 ! I do not understand why you're talking about some systems without any value when we have the smartest programming language, namely Visual Basic 6.0 ! Design a new Visual Basic 6.0 for goodness' sake!

  • Hi

    If you still love Visual Basic you can still download this via DreamSpark www.dreamspark.com/.../Product.aspx

    Additionally we have lots of FREE curricula for visual basic and building modern apps for windows phone at www.microsoft.com/faculty simply search the faculty resources.

  • A computer programmer exemplifies Human thought, translating in effect each brain-step to a computer command. It is therefore ABSOLUTELY necessary that the programming languaged used is as close to Human thought as possible. This is exactly where VB6 and VB-NET score High. But I do appreciate the need for other languages.

    It is time to re-invent VB6, given that it offers an excellent, proven environment for converting thoughts to programs. It will be sad and illogical to simply ignore so much human expertise in vb6 and so many good projects written in vb6.

    Professor E. J. Yannakoudakis (eyan@aueb.gr)

  • We need include more powerful support programing through visualisation diagrams and using animation of games to make development process more interactive.

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