10

Sep

2013

Campus Party Europe 2013 at the O2 with Microsoft!

So, now I’ve caught up on sleep and had several lovely showers, I guess it’s time to sum up my thoughts and experience from being at Campus Party Europe with the WindowsUK team.

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It started with me being asked to come and help run the Windows stall at the event, due to me being a Microsoft Student Partner, I readily and gratefully accepted! It was a superb opportunity for me to gain some much needed experience with one of the biggest technology companies in the world!

Eventually, (after what seemed like forever) the day to set off arrived, my train journey was painless (a first) and I arrived at the O2 to grab my Partner Pass and sort my tent out!

CampusParty (25)                   CampusParty (23)

I then went to find the MS guys in charge of the event, Rebecca and Olly, and proceeded to get my loan devices for the week! A new, shiny Surface RT and Lumia 820. After I’d collected my devices, I turned around to see an Xbox branded stand (News to me, according to all briefings we had a Halo stand!), low and behold there was an XboxOne being set up, the first publicly playable version in the world! I quickly set about becoming the first non (paid) Microsoft guy in the world to play on it!

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The demo game we had on stand was Killer Instinct, which with its short, round based gameplay was an excellent demo as it meant we could keep the footfall high through the XboxOne all week. This was imperative, as the XboxOne irrefutable drew the biggest crowd out of everything on our stand.

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Now, onto my task during the week. Me, and some other of the Ambassadors; James and Josh were tasked with running the Development area of the stand, demoing Windows 8, Windows Phone and Unity development to anyone who showed interest. Here’s a couple of shots of our stand:

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I decided to stick with what I know and man the Windows Phone development section of our area, with my knowledge gleaned from last year (expertly taught by Derek), I thought I was the most well suited to the job! So after getting online and downloading some of my code from my Github, I got to work setting up the demos!

The event went well, with interesting people and developers approaching the stand, I managed to get quite a few people enthused about developing for the Windows Phone platform, one of whom, Joe, gladly agreed to do an onsite interview with our own camera crew about the demo, my help and why he was looking forward to getting stuck into App development!

CampusParty (18)   CampusParty (20)

After that, I decided to see if I could try to reach a wider audience, so I went on a search! I managed to find a group of Under 18 students who were looking towards possible careers in IT, so I offered to do a whistle stop intro into the world of Windows Phone App Development! The talk went really well, with a few of the students asking for links to material to help them get going! Our camera crew caught a bit of it on film, and the ‘bigwigs’ were pleased with my enthusiasm and confidence when talking infront of a group of people.

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Throughout the event I was constantly on Twitter, promoting the stand and explaining things we were doing. With the gratefully received retweets from WindowsUK, and the ideas/conversations sparked from my tweets, I ended becoming the 30th most influential person at Campus Party 2013! (According to Kred ratings).

This, coupled with my demo performance and enthusiasm throughout the week, meant (much to my surprise) I was declared Team Member of the Week! Meaning I got to keep my Surface, Lumia and some other goodies! This recognition for my work throughout the week was very much appreciated, and made sleeping on the floor in a tent worthwhile….!

During the event, I had the pleasure to meet many interesting people, including most of the student ambassadors who I developed a good friendship with and can’t wait to see again for more exciting projects! I thoroughly enjoyed my week working with Microsoft, and hope that I impressed them enough to ask me to do more!

Here’s a shot of the ambassadors all together:

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My final thoughts on this; if you’re looking to get yourself out there and self promote, then volunteering for these kinds of events is invaluable! The fact you’re doing it not for a wage, but for the real passion you have for what you do will speak volumes about you, and hopefully lead to paid work in the end! (Which ultimately, is what we all want!)

Thanks for the memories Microsoft and WindowsUK! I’ll never forget my time at Campus Party 2013.

#Mugabe

 

 

About The Author

Dene