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  • Blog Post: By Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education: 2014 Hour of Code: Helping Build a New Generation of Creators

    Guest post by Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education It's Computer Science Education Week, and through Microsoft YouthSpark, we're celebrating as a lead supporter of the Hour of Code … one of the largest learning events giving more than 100 million students around the...
  • Blog Post: Getting Ready For Windows 8

    Like almost everyone at Microsoft I have been hard at work getting ready for Windows 8. I’ve got the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and the Visual Studio Express Beta for Windows 8 of course. Trying out the Windows 8 Consumer Preview has been fun as I get used to the new interface. Of course as a developer...
  • Blog Post: Recursion First

    I’ve long had mixed feelings about recursion . (I’ve written about recursion several times in this blog.) In one post, Recursion Early, Recursion Late , I wrote about the suggestion that recursion be dropped from a first programming or computer science course. In another post I asked if it should be...
  • Blog Post: Useful Download Links for Windows 8 and Windows Phone Development

    Part of my job is to help people find valuable resources. I especially like it when they are free. Free is good. These links are for students, faculty and professional (or non professional) developer.  Please check these links out, visit the websites, find what looks interesting and download the...
  • Blog Post: Home Grown Computer Camp

    Michael Scherotter who works for Microsoft decided to run a computer programming day camp in his home for his 9 year old son and 9 of his friends. Taking  on teaching programming to 10-year olds may not be for everyone but from the sound of Michael ...read more
  • Blog Post: One Compile A Day

    A recent blog post by Ian Bogost ( The Virtues of Long Compiles ) has me thinking once again about the trouble with fast compiles. How would you program differently if you could only compile your project once an hour or perhaps once a day? Actually its more complicated than that. What would you do between...
  • Blog Post: Windows Phone Mango Jump Start Workshop Now On Video

    IF you missed it live (like I did) you can now view the recording of the Windows Phone Mango Jump Start training on Channel 9. I borrowed these direct links from the official announcement . Microsoft MVPs Rob Miles and Andy Wigley are back! The "Building Applications for Windows Phone "Mango"...
  • Blog Post: Tic Tac Toe for Windows Phone

    Introduction We are going to create a simple Tic Tac Toe game for Windows Phone. We’ll be using Visual Studio as our development environment and C# for our programming language. All the resources you need are listed below and all are free.   Resources: VISUAL STUDIO 2010 EXPRESS FOR WINDOWS PHONE...
  • Blog Post: Abstraction At The Core of Computer Science

    I spent the latter part of last week in Palo Alto, California working on the CS 2013 project . There are some pretty amazing people involved in this project ( CS 2013 steering committee ) and I learned a lot in the various discussions we had around computer science curriculum. Since we are talking about...
  • Blog Post: Collection of Kinect in Education Links

    Thanks to Johnny Kissko ( 9 Excellent Programming Resources for Kinect ) I recently discovered Ray Chambers who is “currently teaching ICT at Lodge Park Technology College in Corby Northamptonshire.” in England  who has been doing a lot with Kinect. Check out some of his more recent blog posts....
  • Blog Post: Don’t Panic

    The other day I was looking through the analytics for this blog to see what sort of searches people were doing that let them here. Mostly I was seeing things I expected to see but one stuck out. Someone had searched for the string “ i am scared of programming .” I suspect that the searcher was not afraid...
  • Blog Post: How To Read Code

    We don’t teach students how to read code. Actually we don’t event teach them that they should read code for the most part. The closest we get is sample code in textbooks, demos, and for AP CS teachers the case study. Even there I think we could do more. One of the great learning experiences of my early...
  • Blog Post: How Many Sorting Algorithms Do Beginners Need To Learn

    Do beginners even need to learn sorting algorithms? Let’s face it most modern programming environments have a sort function built in. In the so-called real world just about the only people who write sorting algorithms have PhDs in math or computer science and have likely published papers in peer reviewed...
  • Blog Post: Big Projects!

    Last night I visited Londonderry (NH) High School to see some of their student’s senior projects. I met a student from this school at the FIRST Robotics Championship earlier this year and was told about his team’s project to create a virtual tour of the school. This school is not far from...
  • Blog Post: Hacking Vs. Programming

    What is the difference between Hacking and programming? One opinion I have heard expressed is that a hacker can put a lot of code together in a hurry but if a change is needed the code has to be completely rewritten. A programmer may take a little longer ...read more
  • Blog Post: 5 Developer Lessons from Tom Kosnik

    Tom Kosnik, Professor at Stanford University, spoke at Microsoft Startup Boot Camp in Silicon Valley this week and shared his advice on how startups can successfully cater to their customers in a way that makes sense for their business goals. Here are the top 5 must-dos to help narrow your focus and...
  • Blog Post: Encapsulation–An Introduction

    My good friend Sam Stokes posted an introduction to Encapsulation not long ago. Not that I am competitive mind you but I thought I could do better. And since I had some vacation time in which to think and write I have given it a try. I’ll let you judge ...read more
  • Blog Post: Your Chance to Learn Windows Phone Development for Free

    Microsoft is offering a number of FREE Phone Camps around the US. These are fun and interesting workshops – hands on – to help people learn about developing Windows Phone applications. If you are an instructor who wants to add mobile development into your courses, a student who wants to create apps and...
  • Blog Post: Why are all programming languages in English?

    Last week I was at the CSTA Computer Science & Information Technology conference in New York City. One of the great thing about events like this is the hallway conversations that just happen. When you get a lot of interesting people together the conversations ...read more
  • Blog Post: There Is Only So Much You Can Cover

    I’d fallen a bit behind in my blog reading lately. Over the long weekend I tried to catch up some and came across a post by Leigh Ann DeLyser called Lets just blame the Intro CS… That post was a response in part to an article about the struggle to plug the embedded programming gap . It seems as though...
  • Blog Post: Some Serious Fun With Kodu Programming

    As regular readers know I am a huge fan of Kodu, the highly graphical, easy to program game development product from Microsoft Research. It is easy enough that an 8 year old can create some great fun games with it (and some smart younger kids have done cool stuff as well) so it is easy to take this software...
  • Blog Post: ACSL International Contest About to Begin

    Interested in programming competitions for your students but travel is not in the budget? You may want to look into the ACSL contests. This announcement came via by the CSTA member listserv. The American Computer Science League opens registration for this year's contest September 1st. ACSL is An international...
  • Blog Post: Tip Calculator Hands On Lab for Windows Phone

    This is the basic instructions for the demo I did as part of the Mobile App Development throwdown at the CS & IT Conference July 10th, 2012, Open Visual Studio (you can get it as part of the Windows Phone SDK ) and create a new project. Be sure to select Visual C# as the language, Silverlight for...
  • Blog Post: When Just Working Isn’t Good Enough

    I wrote a tic tac toe game for my Windows Phone today. It works just fine. I’m just not happy with it. I loaded a screen shot of it to the left. Oh it is obvious that the graphics are not so hot. Graphic design and UI design are just not my thing. I’m actually pretty happy that (in theory...
  • Blog Post: Quality of Testing and Quality of Code

    I see a good number of Tweets in my Twitter stream that just flash by without leaving any impression. Chatty comments between people I barely know (if at all), links to things that don’t really interest me, and other items that really don’t have a lifetime beyond a few minutes after they are sent. But...