Microsoft Student Partners organized this weekend a very cool event, meant to make easier for the students to enroll to Imagine Cup 2011 and have also good results at it. The agenda was pretty condensed, having 3 tracks in 2 days. The tracks were wisely organized, allowing each one of us to focus on its own area of interest.
But don’t imagine that all was about technology. It really was more than this – we got coaching also for improving presentation skills and creating a business plan – Microsoft offers not only BizSpark project for startups, but also coaching so this startups would turn into a success!
So in a beautiful yet snowy winter morning me and two or my MSP colleagues left Bonn in Frankfurt direction. After two hours and some stops for unfreezing our car’s windshield (the owner forgot to put in some anti-freezing liquid such that the sprinklers didn’t work because of the frozen water along the tubes) we arrived in the beautiful Castle Hoechst.
There the organization of event was perfect: we were surrounded by breakfast. Coffee, tea, cakes, fruits – everything one needs to start a good day.
At 11 the conference started with the Keynote of Dr. Lars Lippert, Academic and Start-Up Team Lead, and Henrike Röse, Academic Event Manager, which presented us some of the key facts about the competition:
We had afterwards a small lunch break in which I also enjoyed the XBox 360 with Kinect. Everybody enjoyed it so it was quite a large queue for using it.
Later on, I had followed the Track 1 by attending Alexander Galkin’s “Introduction in the .Net platform and the .Net 4.0 framework” where he presented a lot of interesting facts about LINQ, PowerShell and .net in general. Additionally, there were presented tools that improve the usability of Visual Studio 2010, like ReSharper and Refactor and some addins that help you in your daily work.
Next workshop was “Tools session: TFS, VS, Live Services uvm.” presented by Tom Wendel, Development Evangelist in Microsoft Germany, focusing on tools that complete the already used Visual Studio environment, like communication and collaboration over Skype, office Communicator / Live, TeamViewer, Problem steps recorder, uploading files to FTP using Filezilla, debugging with Sysinternals and many more.
Then a small relaxing coffee break allowed us to fill our batteries for another set of presentations and hands-on demos. This time XNA with Tom Wendel, where I’ve learnt some tricks in games development.
Afterwards, we were invited to dinner and relaxation. It was already 18 o’clock and I was tired but full of information. I had nice conversation and a gourmet meal. Here is an example of the nice dishes that were served:
And of course, afterwards we played with XBOX 360 and Kinect again: