Microsoft Student Partner Summit


On Jan 29th we held our second annual Microsoft Student Partner Summit in Canada. The event was held simultaneously at 3 locations, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. 30 MSPs from all across Canada came out to have fun, meet other MSPs and full-time employees and attend technical presentations. Microsoft Student Partners are student evangelists who share their passion for technology with fellow students, host events and hackathons, tell students about the free software that Microsoft offers and more. I will be writing a more detailed post about the Microsoft Student Partner program soon for those who are interested in becoming one.

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Technical Workshops:

All three of the workshops were broadcasted live via Skype!

The first workshop on Azure Machine Learning was led by Senior Technical Evangelist, Susan Ibach. Using a dataset on flight departure and arrival times, Susan showed us how we can use Azure Machine Learning Studio to predict whether or not future flights will be delayed or not. Many MSPs were amazed because they did not know a tool like this existed and how user friendly it is. In fact, you don’t even have to know how to code. There are many algorithms written by data scientists that you can use. Get started by visiting http://studio.azureml.net. In addition, MSPs from various schools will be hosting a Machine Learning Challenge this semester so stayed tuned.

Next we had Senior Audience Evangelism Manager, Jonathan Rozenblit give a presentation about personal branding. Jonathan talked about the importance of building your profile on social media as employers often look us up online. He encouraged us to start using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. and gave us tips on picking a username, profile picture and how many times we should post on each platform daily.

Our last presentation of the day was from Sergii Baidachnyi, Principal Technical Evangelist on Microcontrollers. I was sitting right next to Sergii for this presentation. The table was full of microchips and boards! He showed what which products were worth buying ($60 vs $10) and gave many demos. He ended his presentation by showing us how he could control the light bulb on the desk lamp using his surface.

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Surprise:

Surprise! All the MSPs a DSCVR headset. Virtual Reality is a currently a hot topic in technology. We hope the MSPs will utilize the headset to build VR apps.

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Team Building Activity:

We ended the day by allowing the MSPs to interact more with one another by participating in an activity together. Since I attended the Vancouver event, I got to experience FlyOver Canada. We experienced two 8 minute virtual flight rides where we got to explore the scenery across China and Canada. Combined with effects such as scents, wind and water, I felt like I was “flying”! A cool attraction to check out if you visit Vancouver someday.

The Montreal group went to play glow in the dark mini-putt while the Toronto MSPs completed an escape room activity.

I would like to thank to all the speakers and MSPs who came to the event. I look forward to seeing you all again next year!

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