I’ve just discovered the Microsoft Coding4Fun website on MSDN. Looks fantastic – lots of articles, ideas and help for people who are new to programming or just programming for fun (rather than for food, like me).
It describes itself as:
The Coding4Fun Developer Center was built by a few of us at Microsoft who also consider ourselves hobbyist developers on the nights and weekends. We built this site in our spare time, on a shoestring budget, with a whole lot of passion for giving back to the hobbyist developer community.
We have signed up several awesome bloggers and writers who will be contributing regular articles to the Coding4Fun columns you see in the left-hand navigation menu. We’ll also link to some of the coolest projects and hobbyist news happening in the community.
Sounds like a similar kind of concept that we had for backstage.bbc.co.uk.
The sections of the site demonstrate the areas of programming being covered:
- In the Box (pre-built source code to use and mess about with)
- Some Assembly Required (does what it says on the tin)
- Web Coder
- Game Development
- Cool Applications
- XML for Fun (try telling that to my some of colleagues)
- Weekly Updates (makes it easy to dip in)
To accompany Coding4Fun, Microsoft are offering Visual Studio Express (currently free in beta).
The Visual Studio Express editions expand the Visual Studio product line to include lightweight, easy to use and easy to learn tools for hobbyist, novice, and student developers who want to build dynamic Windows applications and Web sites.
There are “Express” versions of MS C++, VB, ASP.NET, C# and J#. Currently they are free, in beta, and the site says they will cost a mere $49 when launched.