C# and Azure Coding Camp + 48h Workshop in Magdeburg

This is a guest post by Gerd Schmidt (Microsoft Student Partner, Germany)

During the week 05.03.2018-09.03.2018 the Microsoft Student Partners from the University of Magdeburg (Maximilian Klockmann , Christian Sandkämper, Johannes Hauffe , Mohammed Khaled, Jonas Hielscher and Gerd Schmidt), Germany, has gotten active again . The team packed all 7 days of the week with a program to keep the students awake between the academic semesters and get the creativity and coding skills running again. By no means a full course, we introduced our fellow to the broad range of Microsoft services and helped them to get them running in individual C# apps. We were very thankful and were delighted to have welcomed more than 30 students daily.

Welcoming the latest batch of undergraduates in our ranks, we started the Monday with the basics in Visual Studio and C#. Being somewhat comfortable in Java, the progression was smooth and allowed us to dive into more specialized matter.
Also on Tuesday there was a bunch of input. With a workshop on WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) a lot could be learned to build the perfect UI for an application.
From Wednesday on, the workshops got more advanced as some of our more C#-versed participants trickled in. Many had never utilized the C# multi-threading capabilities and the beauty of LINQ expressions, so we were glad to help them along.

In the afternoon there was an introductory workshop in Azure. So the first steps in Azure could be made together. For the interested reader we highly recommend the Visual Studio Dev Essentials or Microsoft Imagine to get an easy start with Azure.

On Thursday we broadened this foundation by building Azure Web Apps and play around with this set on possibilities. Afterwards we had a look at the ADO.NET framework in C# to manage and interact with our own Azure databases.

On Friday it became interactive. With the help of the Microsoft Bot Framework we explored different aspects of an automated conversation guidance. In addition to creating a simple bot, Microsoft Cognitive Services helped us add more functionality to a service bot. Other nice features to play with: the built-in Dialog-Builder and for better user interaction: the context-related information saving (stored in Azure databases).

48h Hackathon
Then the weekend was finally there - time to prove what had been learned and to throw it all together in an 48h hackathon! By this point, we were down to a core of 15 people that took the challenge finally. They implemented a bunch of great ideas as prototypes. From chatbots via WebApps up to the development of a custom API for multiplayer games to establish the connection between clients, there was a lot to admire. At the end of the Hackathon, the results of the participants were presented in a small presentation. We are pretty amazed by the level of quality that was reached in such short a time and look forward to more awesome projects being pursued during the coming term.

Here are some impressions of the 7 days in Magdeburg. Taking into account the privacy of the participants, we have just published a few selected photos, for which we have received an approval. Thank you again to all participants!

Best regards on behalf of the whole MSP team in Magdeburg,
Gerd Schmidt
Microsoft Student Partner

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