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Jacqueline Russell and Dan Fernandez: The Beginner Developer Learning Center Begins

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On Thursday, March 1st Microsoft launched the Beginner Developer Learning Center (BDLC) in response to Visual Studio Express customer requests for more beginner-level learning content.

In this interview, Dan Fernandez & Jacqueline Russell discuss the new site and their vision for enabling absolutely anyone to learn about software development (yes, the day when your Mom can post embarrassing home videos and complain via blog entries about how infrequently you call on the family web site is not far off)!


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  • ZippyVZippyV Fired Up
    What about (unmanaged) C++ for beginners or DirectX?
  • Alexei PavlovBlackTiger If you stumbled and fell down, it doesn't mean yet, that you're going in the wrong direction.
    ZippyV wrote:
    What about (unmanaged) C++ for beginners or DirectX?

    Good joke! Cool
  • Dan FernandezDan
    ZippyV wrote:
    What about (unmanaged) C++ for beginners or DirectX?

    We do have native C++ in our plans for the future, but no set date just yet. At worst, it will be this summer.

    The BDLC won't be the place for all content/tutorials as it's really about the fundamentals. Things like DirectX or XNA will likely live on Coding4Fun, our home for fun technology Smiley

    We we do have a number of article on Coding4Fun using managed DirectX and are looking to add some on native DirectX, the biggest challenge we have is actually finding native C++ writers that are good, interested, available, and affordable. If you have suggestions, let me know. In the meantime, we're actually going to re-post, with permission, some of our favorite C++ articles on Coding4Fun.

  • ZippyVZippyV Fired Up
    One suggestion: work with 3DBuzz http://www.3dbuzz.com

    They made some excellent videos about all kinds of subjects and they are really good at explaining stuff to beginners. Epic Games partnered with them to create a big set of videos about creating levels in Unreal Tournament, programming in UnrealScript and modeling in Maya.
    They also made a serie about C++ but not all the videos are available for free.
  • There is a video that introduces native C++:

  • As I recall I actually met Dan once when he came to Dallas with Eric Gunnerson several years ago to get input from the developers in the Dallas C# Special Interest Group about what they would like to see in the next version of C# (2.0).

    http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=5895Eric Gunnerson - What is the biggest challenge for programmers?

    I enjoyed Eric's rather dry sense of humor.

    After an hour of suggestions such as better documentation and edit and continue, I spoke up.

    I pointed out that none of the colleges in the area were teaching either Visual Basic.NET nor Visual C#.

    The colleges were all teaching either C++ and/or Java and a few Visual Basic 6.0.

    College students were graduating from colleges with no exposure to Visual Studio, C# and Visual Basic.NET

    There was actually considerable resistence to teaching any beginning computer course in either Visual Basic.NET or C#., especially in the computer science departments.

    Thanks in part to the various Visual Studio Express editions of Visual Basic and C#, this is slowly changing.

    Good luck with the new site.

    Enjoyed the interview.


    PS Is Jacqueline a web developer and if so, what languages does she program in besides JavaScript?


  • JaqJaq
    Hey Raymond,

    So, at this point in my life I'd probably call myself a "recreational developer" (is that like a recreational smoker...? I only code at parties Wink Actually I don't, but I do only do dev work for fun these days (random websites & desktop apps for friends/family).  In a previous lifetime, I worked as a dev/consultant for Avanade.  Right now I'm working to teach my husband VB.  He's an advertising guy - totally non-technical, so if he can create a data driven WinForms app, then anyone can! 
  • dahatdahat inanity makes my head hurt
    *Grumble* *grumble*

    I’m actually kinda sad to hear about this new site and content... mostly because I was slowly working on something similar.
  • Thank god! I am recovering from a stroke nine years ago.

    Thing's have change a great deal! I am 56 years old and I have a lot of catching up to do.

    I thing you have giving me a start! Thank you!

    Jordan Powell

  • That girl is cute!
  • Why does every sentence need to start with "So"?  Even in written form?  Come on.  It sounds like everyone at MS is a clone of the original guy who invented "So,..."

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