Teaching Children to program

I was playing Robozzle with my oldest and he was having a blast and loved that he was programming like Dad does.  (He did let me know he wants to be policeman though. 🙂  It’s a fun way to introduce kids to programming and reminds me a little of the little logo turtle. 

I didn’t start out programming that way – I got into programming because my Dad was too busy to start the games I wanted to play on a computer.  Funny how one things leads to another – I ended up learning how to start the games, then I wanted more games which meant I had to program them from books (basic on the TI, don’t remember the other languages).  And eventually we learned how to make the computer do stuff (little Tron games on an apple IIe that my Grandpa had, that kind of thing).  We had a lot of fun with it, and I was way ahead when I took my first programming class – so much so that I finished very early and spent the time playing various computer games (full circle :).  So I’m a big believer in teaching kids skills through games (more fun for you, too).

What games have you found that do this for programming?  What really easy programming experiences are out there?  I would love to hear what you’ve found, and recommend that you give Robozzle a try (and contribute more easy puzzles so kids have more puzzles before things get too tricky).

[re-post from my MSDN blog]

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Dilbert on virtualization

Today’s Dilbert has been going around the Virtual Machine Manager team a bit this morning. 🙂
 

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Hyper-V review

The hypervisor support in Server 2008 is now out in beta and it’s great to see the product hitting the street.  Virtualization is a huge change for the industry that can do a lot for everyone from data-centers to software houses, to people who just want to be able to run programs without worrying as much (yes, yes, escape exploits would remain a concern).

Here’s a review from Windows IT Pro.  Of course, this isn’t what I actually work on – I work on the Virtual Machine Manager.  Sadly, our product is still behind closed doors – I can’t wait to get it out to customers.

To follow along until then, enjoy Rakesh’s blog, which explains such decisions as Why we decided to manage VMWare.

Cheers,

James

[crosspost from my msdn blog]

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Bill Gates on creative capitalism

I thought this was a fascinating presentation on how to meet the needs of the poor by generating recognition and profits for corporations.  I think the approaches were interesting.

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Beginning again – and hiring

Well, fun times.  I’ve taken a position on the Virtual Machine Manager team.  I’ll be one of the lead developers working on the next version.  It’s an exciting space, with a lot of players and a lot of new technologies.

I’m also hiring.  So if you’re interested we have a number of interesting positions UI and non-UI related (as you might imagine :)). 

Here’s a link to a UI programmer position, but please feel free to send me a message if you’re interested.  And again, I’m hiring for non-UI positions as well – the link is just to show a little more information about the team and the direction that we’re headed.   (We are a C# shop.)

If you’re interested in hearing more, you can follow along on the team blog.

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Windows Mobile Live Search Speech Recognition

Easy to use, and optimized for your phoneA wonderful thing finally happened.  The live search mobile app (in my opinion, one of the reasons to own a smartphone), now has speech recognition.  On my old Cingular 2125, it was a huge pain to type in addresses, businesses.  Even on my new Blackjack, it’s considerably better.

[ via Rob’s blog]

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Foux da fa fa

For the french speakers (or not).  I’m not exactly sure what this is, but it made me laugh.  It reminds me of all the cheezy French class videos. http://update.videoegg.com/flash/proxy.swf?jsver=1.4

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