James Croft came to see us yesterday. He now works for Black Marble and they were kind enough to let him slip across from Leeds to give a Rather Useful Seminar all about the Microsoft Imagine Cup competition. I've been involved with the Imagine Cup as a mentor, judge and competition captain and I think it completely rocks. But I'm very old. I thought it would be more meaningful if someone who has actually taken part came along and said how good it is. Which is just what James did in a well put together presentation.
Microsoft have done some neat things with your pathway into the competition so that you can build up your development, from pitch video to working software, over the weeks leading up to the finals and get credit, feedback and prizes at every stage. There are the usual three challenge areas, Game Development, App Development and World Citizenship. The World Final is in Seattle and involves trips to Microsoft Campus among other places. And the prizes are awesome.
The bottom line is that if you're a student you really should engage with the competition. I say this not because I'm convinced you will win (although students from Hull have an enviable record) but because taking part adds hugely to your personal value as a developer and communicator and also sets you up with valuable industrial contacts who will give you feedback, advice, a reference and maybe even a job. It has happened.
Anyone from Hull who is thinking about forming a team should come and see me so that we can start making plans.
Thanks for coming and doing such a good job James. I took a video of the session but something strange has happened with the dimmed lighting in the room which has caused awful banding effects on the picture, making it hard to see. Never mind though, James will be doing a webcast of the presentation later on his YouTube channel. Follow him on Twitter and find out when it becomes available.