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Hour of Code

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

Today (19th December 2015) I had the privilege of attending a Microsoft organised 'Hour of Code' event. In the morning, we were entertained by two internet Minecraft dubbing stars: P' Tackle and Uncle Pakawat and were later introduced to, a Minecraft themed introduction to Javascript programming. In the afternoon, we were taught how to create our own website using Microsoft Azure and then had a short tutorial on Kodu and Project Spark, two of the many Microsoft softwares used to create games.

Having been pre-exposed to the 'Hour of Code' platform on in previous ICT classes at school, I knew what to expect - but this Minecraft themed session was new. In fact, me as a someone who does not play minecraft (not because I am against it but rather because I struggle to avoid the temptation to build a pigpen in the clouds), did not expect the presence of the two Minecraft stars to be so amusing. I was totally wrong. The famed pair dubbed a video of Holo-Lens Minecraft: something I did not expect!

This really inspired me to become a Computer Scientist once again as it reminded me of one of my favourite reads of alltime: 'The Last Lecture'. One of my ambitions is that I would one day be able to create such a virtual world that would enable people of all ages to be educated in a platform that is actually fun! Imagine being able to spend your history class completing archaeological missions in the Great Pyramid of Giza or being able to write your trench diary essay based on your virtual reality experience of WW1!

The afternoon was something seriously new. We were all given access to Dream Spark, where we were able to download Microsoft softwares for free. The platform Microsoft Azure, however, was based entirely on an online cloud. In no time, I was able to launch my own Wordpress website and change themes, menus, pages, posts and many other functions accordingly. The highlight of the session for me, however, was when I learnt how to link my web (or blog rather) contents to my Facebook and Instagram feed using a plugin - something I find extremely convenient as it saves me the time needed to update all three platforms :)

I am also particularly proud of this site as it earned me a Minecraft Lego set after coming 3rd in the web page competition hosted in the same afternoon!

Note: Originally published on Saturday 19th Dec 2015 via Firefly

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