Increasing technology awareness among university students is an important first step in giving them the tools they need to be successful in the 21st century. That was our thinking behind hosting the Microsoft Turkey Open Academy Summer School in last year. 100 students got the chance to visit the Microsoft Turkey offices and increase not only their tech skills, but their business skills too.
The Summer School is a project we have run for 10 years, but we restructured it two years ago. Our new format sees the close collaboration with companies like Coca-Cola, Vodafone, Eczacibasi, Tofas, Markafoni and Teknosa, as well as three Turkish banks, all of which play important roles in helping to upskill the youth.
This year, we were thrilled to have 95 students from 33 different universities, as well as five students from five different high schools attend our Summer School. Along with the skills they learned, it was valuable for them to mix with one another and learn from each other. And, in addition to the 100 students in attendance, a further 56 000 watched live broadcasts from the school.
During the three-week period, they were exposed to 46 speakers, including CEOs, CIOs and personal development trainers. They also accumulated a total of 166 hours of training across architecture, software development, working in the cloud and the Internet of Things.
At the end of the Summer School, each attending student developed their own app, with 10 being selected to present their elevator pitches to a jury. The top three students, who we expect to see great things from in the future, were:
- Mehmet Reha Bayar for his Universal App, Gevrek – a 2D game in which the main character must save the princess to complete the mission. It includes local culture such as the gevrek (a bagel) and music
- Onuk Celik for his Windows Phone project, Benzinci – a location-based gas station application that allows users to compare gas prices and offers safe driving features like voice control while driving
- Egemen Güray for his Windows Phone project, Culinars – a recipe suggestion application based on what users have in their fridge
These students and their peers can continue to develop their technological skills by logging on to our free online program: www.acikakademi.com to continue their app development training.
With 100 000 lines of code created during the Summer School and more than 2000 hours usage accumulated on Azure, we’re excited to watch as these students grow. Learning how to use technology effectively is an essential skill for our youth, giving them the power to create opportunities for themselves and their communities.