Microsoft – Week 3

It’s that time of the week again: blog time!

I had an awesome long weekend; after running a patriotic 5k early Saturday morning on Bainbridge Island, I went on to see a spectacular fireworks show at Gas Works, a retired gasification plant turned into a popular green space.  And what a way to end the holiday with the U.S. Women’s National Team winning the Women’s World Cup!

Anyway, Monday and Tuesday were primarily office days for me- getting up to date via email and having meetings with my mentors.  There’s now a chance the Minecraft modding MVA course may fall through, but I won’t know for sure until the team gets back to me.  Regardless, there’s a new project in the works that will take its place if it doesn’t work out – the MSR (Microsoft Research) team is in need of a developer to port its Python-based tutorials for its Minecraft extension over to Touch Develop, and make a mini-series of tutorials.  It’s a bit tricky as I’m not really sure what I should be putting my full focus on yet, so I started my “Real Reelz” video script (a short self-narrated video of my story as a programmer) for the Hour of Code, which we’ll be filming at the end of my internship.  Although these days were a bit slow, I’m learning that this is just a part of the job – and when it is, it’s best to adjust yourself in order to stay productive.  I also spent a bit of my free time researching and learning the popular and lightweight data framework known as JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), just for fun (which should come in handy!).

Wednesday was also an office day, but it was much more busy.  After a morning meeting with Peli de Halleux of the MSR team I found that instead of taking up Python-to-Touch Develop port project, I’m actually going to be actively contributing to the Minecraft extension itself.  Rephrasing, I’m getting paid to develop a Minecraft mod- crazy!  After getting my development workspace set up and grabbing lunch I went onto my next meeting, this time with the group behind the Imagine Cup.  I had no clue how big this is going to be – there are three different focus categories (innovation, world citizenship and gaming), each with roughly ten participating teams, competing for first place prizes of $50k.  The event itself lasts an entire week (Microsoft’s “OneWeek” to be specific) and takes place right here on campus.  I still can’t believe I’m going to be serving as a judge- not only will I have the opportunity to work alongside some of the brightest minds in the tech industry, but I’ll be able to see competing projects at the forefront of innovation.

Thursday and Friday were my first real “code days!”  It’s been a bit of a challenge getting accustomed to the Windows platform- I’m just so used to developing in a UNIX environment.  I’m starting to get used to MS-DOS, though, with a little help from the internet.

Until next time!

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