29 Jul

.devdiv//AppDays with Microsoft Interns

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Internships for big companies like Microsoft are replete with lore and not a few jokes. They are also highly sought after, competitive, and worth every minute of the experience they offer. Never having done an internship myself, I never really understood that. This summer, I have had the opportunity to work with several Microsoft interns on terrifically compelling and sophisticated software projects. The software they are creating powns what I was able to create at that age. Very cool.

Videos: Microsoft Intern Hack-A-Thon 2012 | Summer Interns 2011: Parallel Watch Visualizers for Visual Studio 11

imageI have the good fortune of being the MC (master of ceremonies) for this year?s .devdiv//AppDays event. AppDays is a 48-hour hack-a-thon that has become a regular staple of the Microsoft internship program here within Developer Division. This is an opportunity for all DevDiv interns to work with the breadth of Microsoft technologies to create something cool. Anything, really.

And the individual teams get to keep the IP for whatever they make during the event! We may be about to launch some startups this week. How cool is that?

During the 48 hour event, which takes place Wednesday and Thursday of this week (July 31-Aug 1), self-organized teams are provided any resource they might need to create whatever software they can imagine. This year? participants will have incredibly hopped up laptops, Surfaces, Windows Phones, Azure credits, Kinects, SDKs galore, late-breaking bits Visual Studio, and a cadre of deeply knowledgeable technical wizards as advisors.

The down side is that the event is being held a little off the main campus, which means that some of the Microsofties who might otherwise have wandered over to check out the final projects may elect to stay home. That would be a shame. I am very confident these students are going to teach us some things about getting solutions done and delivered. The technologies and levels of abstraction at which these students work is just different than in previous generations. Today?s up-and-coming developers are delivering more value, with less code, in shorter cycles than ever before possible.

Final demonstrations of solutions will be Thursday afternoon in a giant science-fair format. If you a ?softie, get yourself over to the Bravern 2 building in Bellevue Thursday afternoon between 2:00 and 4:30. All the projects will be set up at review booths and I guarantee you will learn something from the new generation.