Microsoft announces free availability of Visual Studio Community.

Microsoft announces availability of Visual Studio Community.

Blog-microsoft-600Something for budding programmers and dedicated teachers –  the Visual Studio Community.  Tony Saxby from CSE explains why is it is a great free resource for schools and students.

Visual Studio is an IDE (Integrated Development Environment). This is a system that helps software developers, with a single system that allows code editing, system debugging tools, compilers (converts code into running applications) and a method of packaging up developed applications into an installer. Microsoft Visual Studio Community provides a development platform for C++, Python, HTML5, C#, Visual Basic and JavaScript. It is an idea platform for developing Windows, Android and iOS applications.

Visual Studio is probably the top development system out there, there are loads of resources and tutorials available on-line. In fact The Microsoft Academy is a place where you have access to literally hundreds of technology courses online. Take a look at for a start. It is a superb free resource for teachers and learners alike.

The Raspberry Pi is a brilliant idea that has captured a lot of interest and is a single board computer (SBC) that runs a Linux based graphical operating system. To all intents and purposes it provides a Windows type system that is cheapish and ideal for the enthusiast and the young learner to play with. It has reasonably good I/O capabilities for both input and output. In other words it can read things into the system, like the position of switches; it also has output capability so that it can control things like switching  LED lights on or off or controlling electric motors (process control).

However it isn’t a real development platform because it doesn’t have the power or professional development tools to create Windows, Android or iOS applications. This is, I believe, a missed opportunity because the future is basically mobile devices – phones and tablets.

Visual Studio provides the environment that allows you to develop applications that have the potential to run on billions of devices. So to all budding programmers out there and the dedicated teachers who will be helping them on their journey, check out the wonderful, free resources now available to you!

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