For the first time ever at Microsoft Build, our premier conference for professional developers, students ages 14-21 were invited to attend. Parents who registered for the conference were able to bring their student with them for free, and five local Washington high schools came with class field trips to experience the latest in technology and innovation first-hand. Young developers had access to the inaugural Student Zone, which included tech talks and workshops from industry experts, interactive coding labs, a career center, and more.
To kick off day one of the conference, the 2019 Imagine Cup World Championship was broadcast live from the Student Zone ahead of CEO Satya Nadella’s keynote, where the top three student developer teams from across the globe pitched their projects for a chance at the trophy. The top innovation from 18-year-old Bryan Chiang was awarded USD100,000, among other prizes.
Empowering every person on the planet to achieve more begins with inspiring future innovators to build a strong technology foundation with the tools necessary to develop their passion. Over three days of experiencing the latest and greatest in technology, more than 400 students who attended Microsoft Build propelled their technology journeys forward through hands-on innovation. “I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, but as soon as I walked in the doors there was this kind of energy that was like…I really could get to work on my coding skills while I’m here,” commented one student from Bellevue College. With coding backgrounds ranging from beginner to expert, students had access to 50 unique content sessions covering topics such as AI, Robotics, Machine Learning, Intro to Cloud, MakeCode, and career advice. Each student also received a backpack and Surface Go laptop to continue their tech journeys after the conference. “I had a fantastic time,” commented Microsoft Senior Recruiter Dan Griffin, who volunteered to mentor students in the Career Center. “A girl started tearing up and smiling. She commented that the Surface was the most expensive thing she has ever owned, let alone been gifted.”
The Student Zone was segmented into several core experience areas designed to provide an immersive educational experience, each packed with opportunities to get hands-on, ask questions, collaborate, and network:
The Dream It zone featured a self-paced DIY coding space to provide students with the opportunity to work on what they were most interested in, including a robot obstacle course challenge with Wonder Workshop Cue Robots, Minecraft mod challenges with friends, and building a first web game on a VR Headset. The Dream It area also featured a Career Center with over 40 industry experts, ranging from recruiters to developers and many in between, so students could network, learn about different career paths, and get feedback on their resumes.
MakeCode coding labs facilitated by developer professionals were set up for student to get hands-on learning to code, including in Minecraft, Circuit Playground, Micro:bit, and Arcade. Every student who created with MakeCode received a Circuit Playground Express and an Arcade—tiny programmable computers designed to make learning and teaching easy and fun.
The Live It zone featured tech talks and workshops from developer experts, Cloud Advocates, and industry influencers like the Cyber Code Twins and Angie Chang from Girl Geek X. Topics ranged from getting started in the cloud, networking, building a robotic hand with HackingSTEM, and much more. Microsoft Principal Program Manager Scott Hanselman also stopped by to run a Minecraft co-coding session with students, broadcast live on Twitch.
Check out some of the amazing workshops and tutorials from the Student Zone to start creating your own fun projects, and recap the action from three days packed with learning, innovation, collaboration, and student inspiration at Microsoft Build.
Are you inspired to make an impact with technology? Put your own coding skills to the test building the project of your dreams and vie for the opportunity to network with likeminded peers and industry experts with Imagine Cup. Registration for the 2020 competition is now open – sign up today to build purpose from your passion and get the chance to win cash, travel, prizes, and more!