We’ve been supporting student developers in universities for many years with great programs like Imagine Cup – and Microsoft Student Partners, which have provided free tools, contests, and opportunities for aspiring professionals.
But today technology is being embraced by younger and younger students. Kids are learning to use touch devices for apps and games before they even learn to read. Microsoft has helped students around the world learn to not just use apps and games, but to begin making their own.
We want to empower students of all ages and skill levels with the right tools, projects, and opportunities so that they can learn to create, code, and develop. Whether it’s a ten-year-old making her first game or a university senior building projects for their first job application, Microsoft can provide what they need, for free, today.
This brings me to Microsoft Imagine, a new cornerstone of Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative, designed to do just this: empower all students. We invite students of all ages (and their parents) to come learn more at http://imagine.microsoft.com.
You’ll find quick connections to the right tools and online tutorials for students to make games and apps, using a variety of free software inlcuding Kodu Game Lab, Project Spark, and TouchDevelop for the exploring technologists. For collegiate developers aspiring to enter the workforce, we offer free pro software such as SQL Server, benefits like a free Windows Store Developer account to publish apps and games for Windows and Xbox, and resources like app development guides and online developer training from PluralSight.
We’ve been connecting students with our dev tools for years and we’ll continue to ensure student developers worldwide can build what they dream, without any barriers.
More Students, More Journeys
In the months ahead, we’ll begin doing some exciting new things, like releasing new projects for student developers on a regular basis, which all students will be able to download and explore. We’ll also expand Imagine Cup, our global student technology competition, to younger students everywhere.
Many roads lead to code and this week features a big one: the global Hour of Code in partnership with Computer Science Education Week and Code.org. This is a great introduction to coding for anyone, especially younger students, and this year we’ve got a terrific new Hour of Code experience using TouchDevelop from Microsoft Research. Plus, on Channel 9 today, viewers can watch an Hour of Code Live from home or in a classroom.
More than ever, Microsoft believes in the power of developers to change the world — and we’ll continue to evolve and innovate in the ways we help. No matter where developers live, no matter their age or what platforms and services they’re passionate about, Microsoft is committed to opening the doors that let student developers’ imaginations run wild.