A tech filled week at Campus Party Europe

By 8th September 2013 3 Comments
Xbox One Controller

Xbox One Controller

As many of you will know, I travelled to London on Monday for the Campus Party event at the O2 arena where I worked with a great team of student partners, ambassadors, interns and staff from Microsoft. It was probably a once in a lifetime experience, especially for the Microsoft Student Partners, and one that I will never forget!

What was I doing at the Campus Party?

As a Microsoft Student Partner, I was sent an invite to attend the event by the organisers of the Microsoft stand to demo developing for the Windows 8 and Windows Phone platforms using a free tool called ZipApp which uses a basic web interface to create a social media connected application for both platforms. The tool itself is very similar to the Windows Phone App Studio.

On the ZipApp Demo Stand

On the ZipApp Demo Stand

So the details into what I was doing was that I was showing students and the public know how to create an app using the tool in 5/10 minutes depending on how many sources their app would tap into, then downloading the Windows 8 HTML5/JavaScript source code to show their app running on a device! For students who were more technical/programmers, I would show them how to actually develop apps using C# for the platform and encourage them to register with DreamSpark to get access to great resources including Visual Studio and their Windows Phone & Windows 8 developer licences.

What else did I do while I was there?

It wasn’t all work down at the Campus Party event. As I was an AM shift worker (10-4), during the evening I managed to attend a couple of the talks that were going on in the O2 arena itself including one on IT careers which was put on by folks from Microsoft including Andrew “Deep Fat” Fryer, Simon May & Dan Pilling.

Dan, Simon & Andrew talking about their experiences

Dan, Simon & Andrew talking about their experiences

They gave a whole new insight into the roles that they play within Microsoft and what it takes to become a well rounded person within the IT scene.

As well as attending talks around the event, I also got to take a look at some new technology including the Xbox One and Oculus Rift which were both a great experience. While we only have Killer Instinct down at the stand, the controller for the Xbox One is actually not that different to hold as that of the 360. You pick it up and it instantly feels familiar so there is no need to look down to find where all the buttons are.

Gilmour wearing the Oculus Rift

Gilmour wearing the Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift was just awesome though. We had the Rift hooked up to one of our demo Surface Pro tablets to have a little play with it. When you watch someone else playing with it, like in the photo above, you notice on the monitor that there are two separate  displays for the right and left eyes. Now when you watch it just looks like a regular game which has been duplicated, much like watching friends playing splitscreen multiplayer games. However, when you throw this thing on you become fully immersed in the world you are in. Looking around feels like you are actually there.

Thanks to everyone from Microsoft who helped out on putting on the event and inviting us down including Olly, Rebecca, Paul, Phil, and the guys from Momentum UK. Also thanks to all the other Microsoft Student Partners and Ambassadors that attended. This is the first event I’ve been to as I am a newbie to the student partner scheme and it was great to meet you all. Hope to see everyone again soon!

Check out views from other MSPs and Ambassadors who attended!

Dene Palmer (Student Partner – Lincoln)

Josh Naylor (Go-To & Game Ambassador – Hull)

Danny Brown (Student Partner – Hull)

Stacey Watkins (Go-To Ambassador – Birmingham)

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