Microsoft – Week 5

As expected, I had a crazy week, and it’s likely going to get crazier for the final two weeks on campus.  This internship really is flying by…

Though I spent the majority of Monday and Tuesday in my office, I had zero free time; I wasn’t even able to do my routine “Monday research session.”  Aside from responding to the many emails that seem to stack up in my inbox over the weekend and attending my weekly-check-in meetings, I did a ton of work on my ‘Real Reelz’ script, pushed out a new build of the TouchDevelop Minecraft extension, and helped the IT team get it set up on a good fifty computers for the event we held on Wednesday for MSR.  I also had to start work on the presentation I’m giving to the LeX Leadership Team next week.  I will be meeting with the GM of LeX and all of her direct reports to share details about my time here as an intern.  I had to complete a draft of my presentation by Friday.  I definitely understand the pressure of a full workday now- I swear I had a hard time staying awake for dinner several nights this week.

Wednesday was the day of the big event!  I had about an hour in my office that morning to get a few things prepared for the session, and then it was off to Building 40.  As expected, we ran into some immediate IT issues – quite a few of the computers didn’t have ready Forge installations, and a networking problem was preventing the Minecraft launchers from actually signing in.  Everyone was running around like mad for the half hour leading up to the start of the event; it was miracle, but we somehow managed to get the whole room prepared despite a couple stubborn computers.  The session ended up going very well- with raffle tickets and prizes as motivation, the students had a few minutes to play around in an empty world to get warmed up, and the TouchDevelop extension and tutorial worked as intended.  Most importantly, though, the students were clearly engaged and having fun.  There was one clear recurring issue though- all the TNT being ignited was seriously weighing down the software and constantly crashing the Minecraft clients, and I ended up becoming very familiar with the Microsoft task manager as a result.  Luckily I took some quick pictures of the crash logs with my phone so I’ll be able to get the issues fixed quickly once I have some time to get back into the code!

Although it was technically just another office day, I had a big meeting on Thursday with a member of the Redmond-based Minecraft team regarding my Minecraft MVA course proposal.  It turns out we’re not going to be able to put it up on the Microsoft Virtual Academy site, but the team is interested in hosting a course on a new Minecraft educational site.  It’s not exactly what I was looking for but it’s still an awesome opportunity- the only issue is going to be time, as I only have two weeks left here on campus.  Right now the plan is to do one or two trial videos in the studio during my last week to see how things go, and if the team likes them to continue them from home (though obviously without the LeX studio resources).  There are so many things stacked on my plate and time seems to be flying by- I’m definitely feeling the pressure!

Friday, summed up in a few words, was a studio day.  From 10 AM to 4 PM I was at Redmond Town Center B5 either waiting to go on camera or hanging out in the studio.  At least my Reel Realz video is all done, which means I have successfully crossed one more project off the ’to do’ list.  Whew!

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