Studio Time at Microsoft HQ


I remember a distinct moment in grade school when I decided that I never wanted to be a news reporter. An actress perhaps, or a singer, but as far as entertainment and media went I thought that presenting on camera would be too stressful, too serious for a job. How wrong I was! In the last month I’ve had two opportunities to get in the studios and try my hand at webcasting for Microsoft’s new ground-up coding tool, TouchDevelop, and I’ve absolutely loved it. Camera work is not nearly as terrifying as little Sage thought it would be, and now that I’ve got two official Microsoft casts under my belt I’m ready to take on more! The first show was the live Hour of Code webcast, which is now available on demand on Channel 9, and was done in our small studio in Toronto. But last week I flew out to Redmond, Washington, home to Microsoft’s corporate campuses, to film 5+ hours of content for a Microsoft Virtual Academy course to be released in the new year.

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Presenting on camera is entirely different to presenting in person because you have to keep your energy up without the natural feedback that a live audience provides. Luckily for me I had an amazing co-presenter, so it was easy to feed off one another’s enthusiasm and occasional (okay, frequent) silliness. Apparently our course, which is somewhat cryptically named “CODExist: The Birth of Bot,” is the first MVA course to feature two female presenters, and also the first MVA to feature a Microsoft Student Partner (me!). I can’t wait to share the course with you when it’s released!

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As always, it was a pleasure to work from the Redmond campus. Our offices here in Ontario don’t hold a candle to the offices at HQ, not just because of the scale but because of the invigorating energy. Picture this: when I was prepping my content for the course I was sitting in the Commons, which is the central building for food, services and entertainment on campus. Live jazz musicians were singing beautifully as I sipped my freshly brewed Seattle coffee, and a horse-drawn carriage was taking people from building to building outside. Now I know that’s just because it’s Christmastime, but wow, what a workplace! I wish every work day started out like that.

And of course, what would a trip to HQ be without a shameless stop in the company store? I couldn’t resist donning my geek gear that night as I psyched myself up for studio time.

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One response to “Studio Time at Microsoft HQ”

  1. Presenting on camera is always easier with a co-presenter. What is strange is that it is easier to present live than to record it and have it presented later. You get some feedback from live Q&A so you can see when the audience comments on your occasional (okay frequent) silliness or bad jokes. It’s so great to get feedback from the audience.

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