Tag Archives: thoughts”

Turning the next generation into everyday superheroes thanks to Hour of Code 2019 – Microsoft News Centre Europe

When you think of coding, your first thoughts might be about highly specialized technical know-how. But did you know that effective coding requires skills like creativity, innovation and collaboration too – all of which will be hugely important for the workforce of tomorrow?

According to Microsoft research with McKinsey, the fastest growing occupations, such as technology professionals and healthcare providers, will require a combination of digital and cognitive skills such as digital literacy, problem solving and critical thinking. Young people having access to learning tools to improve both these sets of skills is crucial – a fact non-profit organizations like JA Europe recognize through their work to get young people ready for the future of work. If young people are given the opportunity to develop their digital skills, the European Labor Market will see significant benefits when they move into the workforce. According to a LinkedIn Economic Graph report, AI Talent in the European Labour Market, training and upskilling ‘near-AI’ talent could double the size of the current AI workforce in the EU. It also found that AI skills are concentrated in a small number of countries and that this must be addressed to reduce the digital skills gap in Europe.

In conjunction with Computer Science Education Week which began yesterday and extends to December 15, Microsoft continues its multi-year commitment to Hour of Code, a global movement that introduces students to computer science and demystifies what coding is all about. Activities are running across Europe to fuel imagination and demonstrate how these skills could be used to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. As such, code has the power to turn anyone into an everyday superhero.

To bring this to life, Microsoft is inviting young people to ‘save the day’ through Computer Science. Created in partnership with MakeCode, a new Minecraft tutorial combines code, Artificial Intelligence and problem solving skills. It is inspired by various Microsoft AI for Earth projects and encourages students to use their critical thinking skills to plot where forest fires could happen, put plans in place to stop them with AI and ultimately save the Minecraft village!

Since 2012, Microsoft has helped more than 137,000 young people and educators in Europe through Hour of Code events and programs. And, as the end of the decade draws near, we are keen to support even more people to get into coding and show how it can change the world. If you’re looking to help your children or students become coding superheroes, we have developed two training guides – one for students and one aimed at educators – no cape needed!

Go forth and code!

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Azure preparedness for Hurricane Florence

As Hurricane Florence continues its journey to the mainland, our thoughts are with those in its path. Please stay safe. We’re actively monitoring Azure infrastructure in the region. We at Microsoft have taken all precautions to protect our customers and our people.

Our datacenters (US East, US East 2, and US Gov Virginia) have been reviewed internally and externally to ensure that we are prepared for this weather event. Our onsite teams are prepared to switch to generators if utility power is unavailable or unreliable. All our emergency operating procedures have been reviewed by our team members across the datacenters, and we are ensuring that our personnel have all necessary supplies throughout the event.

As a best practice, all customers should consider their disaster recovery plans and all mission-critical applications should be taking advantage of geo-replication.

Rest assured that Microsoft is focused on the readiness and safety of our teams, as well as our customers’ business interests that rely on our datacenters. 

You can reach our handle @AzureSupport on Twitter, we are online 24/7. Any business impact to customers will be communicated through Azure Service Health in Azure portal.

If there is any change to the situation, we will keep customers informed of Microsoft’s actions through this announcement.

For guidance on Disaster Recovery best practices see references below: 

Wanted – Silent/Quiet PC

Right, the various offers have helped me distill my thoughts and requirements.

Ideally not after anything micro ATX-based, would far prefer a full sized motherboard.

Not too fussed about a separate GFX at this stage, although it would be useful to have something decent but passive, as long as on board has decent specs and at least 1 DVI plus plus 1 HDMI out.

Budget – £350 max but ideally lower.

Thanks

Inclusion at Microsoft: Bring your diverse abilities, thoughts and a sense of humor

“We need diversity! We need people who are diverse in abilities, diverse in thoughts,” said Jessica Rafuse, program manager with Microsoft Accessibility, and an employment attorney by trade. “It really makes all of us better to learn from those who aren’t necessarily as like-minded as we are.”

Jessica is passionate about technology and the potential to empower people to achieve more in all aspects of life. Since joining the company, Jessica has become a champion for the inclusive hiring program. She noted that, “we’re specifically looking for people with disabilities to join the team and bring those unique skillsets to work. It’s really cool to be part of that movement.”

To learn more about Jessica’s experience at Microsoft, check out the video below.

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Audio descriptive version available here.

In celebration of the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) conference focused on inclusive hiring, we are spotlighting the great contributions that Microsoft’s employees with disabilities make to the company. You can learn more about our approach to accessibility on our website. If you are interested in employment opportunities at the company, here is more information on Inclusive Hiring at Microsoft.