Microsoft – Week 6

This week has easily been the hardest week of my internship so far.  Not only was my calendar completely packed giving me close to no free time at all, I still have a lot of projects I’m working on with the end date of my internship right around the corner.  On the other hand, though, it may have been my favorite week too.  I guess I like being busy!

Monday was an all-out day of code.  I parked in MSR’s Building 99, met up with Peli, and got some serious work done on the TouchDevelop extension- I actually stayed a couple extra hours to get ahead.  We managed to get through the entire week’s worth of planned projects which definitely helped lighten up my load for the next few days.  There’s still more to do, but I luckily have one more week to get through it.

Tuesday was the real start of my event-packed week; in fact, I didn’t come close to my office one time the entire week.  I started off my day by attending the ‘Hololens Academy,’ where I finally got to try on that beautiful piece of technology.  The three-hour session covered the essentials of Hololens application development; we went through the entire process of designing a hologram, animating it, and testing it out on the device.  My main takeaway was just how easy it was to work with the core software development kits (SDKs) provided by the Hololens team; it just took a few lines of code to integrate with the region mapping, voice commands, and hand gestures.  The device itself was fantastic too- super comfortable, actually fairly stylish, and providing a resolution much richer than I was expecting.  My only disappointment was the small field of view you have of the holograms, something many other critics have noted as well.  I hope they manage to improve it before release.  Right after the session I sped off to RTC Building 5 to present to the Learning Experiences Leadership Team, where I talked about all of my projects and the progress I’ve made over the past five weeks- my idea of keeping the actual presentation PowerPoint simple to allow me to narrate the story worked very well!  After watching the other interns’ presentations I was just about exhausted- the day’s busyness had caught me off guard.  I didn’t realize I’d be putting in a solid twelve hours of work just the next day…

My giant day of judging the Imagine Cup finals began at 6:40 to make it down to Building 92 in time to grab a bite to eat before the presentations started.  I had about fifteen minutes to snack on some yogurt and granola until we were called into the ‘Normandy Room’ to watch the first round of contestants.  These lasted about ten minutes each with a ten minute break between each presentation- and with five of these in a row, I was fairly tired out once we finished.  The end of the presentations meant the start of the live demos, giving us judges a chance to actually play the games we had seen before.  This process repeated itself again after a lunch break, giving us a chance to both see the presentations and experience the demos of a total of nine competing groups.  All the games were very impressive, but it actually wasn’t too hard to narrow down the top three; these were decided on almost unanimously by the judges (in fact, out of the nine groups, my own rankings coincided with seven of the final results).  After having dinner and saying goodbye to the panel I ran over to the Microsoft Commons to review my role for the next day’s award ceremony, which resulted in me getting back to my apartment at almost 8 PM.  Gah!

Thursday’s award ceremony went perfectly!  I gave out the third and second place prizes ($5k and $10k respectively) and had the opportunity to watch the winners of each main category be announced- it was fun to help hold up the giant checks on stage.  I followed this up with my weekly video session over in the LeX studios, and then a trip back to the Commons for a brief interview with a Belgian blogger, Joey Driessen.  After grabbing a quick lunch (and checking out the awesome OneWeek expo), I took a shuttle to The Garage (a massive ‘maker’s space’ filled with 3D printers and other gadgets) to participate in the High School Interns Build Competition where we competed in a couple fun competitions to build tall and realistic structures with sticks and rubber bands… both of which our team lost.  Regardless, it was fun to meet up with my fellow coworkers again, and at the end of it I was off work for the day- yay!

Friday was the first day of the entire week I was able to sleep in (something my body desparately needed), and (most of) the rest of the day involved attending the Imagine Cup finals in downtown Seattle- a great way to end the week!  I got a backstage tour alongside the event’s producer, and even though the production was on a much smaller scale, I had a big flashback to my backstage moments during Build 2015- it’s crazy how much work goes into a single presentation.  Satya himself announced the World Championship winner, which was the leading group of the Innovation category.  The team, eFitFashion from Brazil, had developed a website to make tailored clothing more accessible.  Overall, I had such a great time working with the Imagine Cup; it was a great opportunity to see what other students with my passions were working on.  I’ll definitely be following next year’s competition!

At this point I only have five days left here in Redmond and I’m not ready to leave.  Hopefully I can make the most of my last week.

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