Continuing my series of posts about my visit to Microsoft (Day 1, Day 2 part 1, Day 2 part 2, Day 2 part 3, Day 3 Part 1), its time to talk about part 2 of day 2 of my visit where I got to get the low down on what is going on with XNA, make an appearance on 1 vs 100 Live, shop at the company store and much more! Here we go!
When we arrived at Studio A, which was the building we were to meet Stephanie Reimann, we were greated by one of the coolest pieces of art I have ever seen. Just inside the door, there is what looks like a giant ocean wave created from hundreds if not thousands of old music records. I wish I had taken a picture of it because it was really cool. If I ever get back in that building, I will make sure to take a picture of it. After a short wait, we were told that Stephanie was busy so we would be meeting primarily with Michael Klucher, the Program Manager for XNA.
Michael talked with us for close to an hour about XNA. From XNA’s history to what it has become, it was a great conversation. Although I haven’t played with XNA in probably a year and a half, when I have used it, I really enjoyed it and from the conversation we had, it sounds like there has been a lot of improvements since I last used it so I will likely be playing with it again in the very near future. For those that don’t know what XNA is, it is a great framework for creating games for the PC, Xbox 360 and even the Zune. When I created Pong with it, it seemed to me that it was far easier to make games with than just working with managed DirectX even though very closely tied. If you are interested I highly recommend checking it out at http://www.creators.xna.com. After learning more about XNA than I ever thought I would, as we were getting ready to head to lunch, Stephanie Reimann made an appearance and she came bearing special XNA branded 8GB Zune 2nd gen portable media players for each of us! With this Zune (That I still have in its box), I now have a 30GB 1st gen Zune, an 8GB 2nd Gen Zune and a Zune HD. The XNA branding on this Zune is really cool and I definitely love it! After our surprise Zune gifts, we walked over to the Commons area for lunch.
Like the previous day, the lunch at the Commons was quite good and we had more great discussions with multiple Microsoft employees about what they do and what it is like to work at Microsoft. I have wanted to work for Microsoft all of my life, but until getting to talk to some of the employees, I never realized just how cool it would be to work for. Google isn’t the only one with a really cool work environment!
After lunch, we met back up in Building 99 where we spent some time talking about the Student Insiders program and how we could do some cross promotion and collaborate on things in the future. It was a nice little work session, but the best part of the day was yet to come. After our little work session, it was time to find out about the inner workings of 1 vs 100 Live!
That is all for Part 2 of Day 2. Check back tomorrow where I talk about the final part of my trip to Microsoft including my appearance on 1 vs 100 Live!