Microsoft Top Picks: 5 Not-To-Miss Events This Week

Events 10-5

October swept in and we are headfirst into fall! As the weather (and scenery) changes, keep civic tech the same with our top picks for events this week:

hubweek1) HUBWeek
Saturday, October 3 — Saturday, October 10
Boston, MA | Cambridge, MA
Twitter: @HUBweek

HUBweek is an invitation. An invitation to wander. To ask why and why not. To be a part of something bigger. And to celebrate the world-changing work, art and thinking being imagined and built in Greater Boston. Join us October 3-10, 2015 for a series of events, unexpected experiences and celebrations taking place all across the city.

14427709272) Marketing Nerd Challenge
Tuesday, October 6, 6pm — 8:30pm
Microsoft New England R&D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter:  | 

Ready to flex your competitive muscles? Join Brafton in this mini case challenge–the group will present a real client case. Attendees will then break down into teams to create a compelling content strategy in 45 minutes.   Teams will have to consider several channels and bring forth creative ideas on mobile delivery strategy, infographics, media etc. Each team will present their strategy and a collective vote will determine the winner. Brafton will then explain how they solved the problem, sharing exclusive tips and best practices.    This workshop will be an exciting way to challenge yourself and gain invaluable coaching from one of Boston’s leaders in content strategy. Students and junior marketers should attend for an opportunity to get actionable takeaways and an opportunity to network. Senior marketers we hope you’ll join us for this opportunity to share your knowledge with junior marketers and get some insight from senior leaders at Brafton to inspire your next ideas.

14432776673) Show Me Don’t Tell Me: Visualizing Design Strategy
Friday, October 9, 9am — 1:30pm

Microsoft New England R&D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @aigaboston

Visualizing Design Strategy Workshop is for graphic designers at all levels who want to find new ways to spark creativity by engaging clients and audiences on a deeper level. This workshop provides designers with fun activities for solving strategic design problems through visual thinking, drawing, images, words, role playing, mapping, stories and other activities. Most designers look within themselves to spark creativity and come up with answers. But as some of the worlds most successful design firms have learned finding your next big design solution won’t necessarily come from you. By actively engaging clients and audiences in the design process, designers open themselves up to a world of creative insights, allowing them to create meaningful design experiences, and provide increased value to the people they serve.

4) 70-534 Azure Architect Exam Prep
Friday, October 9, 8am — 5:30pm
Microsoft New England R&D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge

Learn what you need to know to become a certified Azure Solutions Architect. We will go through the lessons found in the book 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions. We will wrap things up with our speakers (and authors of the book) doing a book signing so bring your copy of the book.

r_UkmnQC_400x4005) Xamarin Dev Days – Boston
Saturday, October 10, 8am — 5pm
Microsoft New England R&D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @XamarinEvents | 

Xamarin Dev Days provide attendees with an intense, hands-on learning experience. Spend the morning exploring mobile development with sessions from Xamarin, our technology partners, and members of your local developer community, then roll up your sleeves for an afternoon dedicated to diving into code.

Each Xamarin Dev Days is unique, but you’ll always walk away with a better understanding of how you can build, test, and monitor native iOS, Android, and Windows apps with Xamarin.

HUBweek is Here!!!

hubweekMicrosoft New England is excited to be supporting HUBWeek 2015: the inaugural technology, arts and science showcase in Boston, MA.  Founded and initiated by The Boston Globe, MIT, MGH and Harvard University, HUBWeek will bring together a myriad of leaders in the civic tech ecosystem for interactive workshops, lectures, demonstrations and networking sessions.

There are so many fantastic events, but we’d like to highlight a few that demonstrate innovation within government to encourage new ways of approaching traditionally stagnant problems:

1. MA STEM Connect on October 5th 9AM – 5PM

Session on infusing the STEM field with students as the future of economic growth in the Commonwealth is dependent on filling science, technology and engineering jobs.  

2. US Conference of Mayors Community Development & Housing Committee Town Hall on October 7th 7:45PM – 9PM

Town hall discussion at Roxbury Community College, where mayors from across the country will talk about what is being done to connect people with the economic opportunities they and their families need to be financially independent.

3. Inside Kendall Square: Women in Tech Story Slam on October 8th 4PM – 6PM

Featured speakers include:

– Julia Austin, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School
– Cynthia Breazeal, Founder and Chief Scientist at JIBO
– Laura Fitton, Inbound Marketing Evangelist at HubSpot
– Sheela Subramanian, VP of International Operations at JANA
– C.A. Webb, VC Partner at Assemble
– Daphne Zohar, CEO at PureTech

4. Our Convention on October 9th 1PM – 6PM

During Our Convention, delegates will form smaller teams to collaborate and rapid prototype solutions (policy, product, service, etc.) focused on different local issues (transportation improvements, housing affordability, etc.) facing Greater Boston. 

5. #Tech4Democracy on October 9th 5PM – 7PM

The #Tech4Democracy Showcase and Challenge will bring together the local civic tech community and anyone with an interest in learning more about civic tech–from those curious about how these technologies can benefit them to public officials looking to bring new technology to their work.

As HUBWeek 2015 begins to take shape in the upcoming weeks, we at Microsoft New England are anxious to share our enthusiasm for civic technology with the Greater Boston Community. See you there!

Join Us For Workshops at the Roxbury Innovation Center!

RIC-wordmark-300x77In partnership with Venture Café Foundation, the manager of the Roxbury Innovation Center, Microsoft New England will host a series of workshops for students and educators. Microsoft New England is thrilled to be a part of this endeavor, as we believe that community engagement is paramount to promoting a successful civic tech ecosystem.

Success in this field is a measure of civic engagement, and citizens are most engaged when they are using all of the technological options to their benefit.  For example, in our “ideal civic ecosystem” local business would employ “smart business practices” by analyzing the data they collect from customers, schools would harness the power of the Internet to provide a more enriching environment for scholars and students would have a strong computer science education.  However, the creation of this environment requires a meticulous plan of action to empower all community members to harness the possibilities of current technology.

Through community conversations, we have held discussions about topics such as the importance of entrepreneurship, jumpstarting innovation and supporting a benevolent “start-up” culture.  We see our co-sponsored workshops as a way to fulfill the ideas about which we write: Microsoft will specifically offer sessions geared towards (1) students, (2) administrators and (3) small business owners.  

  • For students, Microsoft seeks to engage with aspiring coders and provide them with the tools and skillset to become adept at software development
  • For administrators, Microsoft hopes to offer innovative ways to promote technological solutions within the classroom
  • For small business owners, Microsoft aspires to create efficient business practices through new software and technological trends

Logistically, there will be a multitude of workshops ranging from topics such as “Website Deign” to “Fundamentals of Excel”.  The workshops begin the last week of September and continue throughout the middle of December.  To register for a workshop please follow the link:  For any specific questions, please reach out to

The Roxbury Innovation Center is positioned to become a key “hub” for collective community entrepreneurship and Microsoft New England is passionate about promoting this vision.  

On Wednesday October 7th, a session on the “Fundamentals of PowerPoint” will occur at 2pm.  We are inviting all interested community members to learn about the basic functions of Microsoft PowerPoint.  PowerPoint can be especially helpful for small businesses who wish to pitch their product, make large presentations or recruit employees.

On Thursday October 8th at 1pm we will have a session for educators/administrators called “Changing the Way We Teach and Learn”.  Participants will see how Windows 8 provides the integrated features needed for the modern educational environment & Meeting the Needs of 21st Century Learner: Participants will learn about many features in OneNote to meet diverse learning needs, and simplify everyday tasks for teachers and students.

On Thursday October 8th at 3pm we will have another session for educators/administrators called “Anytime, Anywhere Learning”. Participants will be introduced to the online and blended learning capabilities of Office 365 and Office Mix. Participants will learn how simple it is for students and teachers to create Sway presentations that are dynamic, adaptive, cloud-based, easy and accessible on any device.

Extra Life Gaming Marathon for Boston Children’s Hospital

As part of our mission in civic tech, we love to seek out ventures that combine technology with social good. So when we heard about Extra Life Gaming’s upcoming video game marathon to support Boston Children’s Hospital, we knew we had to talk to them. Below, see our interview with Rick Heaton, community manager for Extra Life. We hope you’ll join us in supporting this exciting event!

Can you talk a bit about the Extra Life Gaming Marathon?

Extra Life is a way for gamers to give back to their community and support kids at their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital by doing what they love. It functions much like a traditional marathon in that you sign up, get your donor page, and ask friends and family to support you in reaching your fund raising goal. On November 7th this year Extra Lifers come together to celebrate gaming, help kids, and have a lot of fun.

Who can participate and how can they sign up?

Anyone can sign up and participate. Sometimes people get the wrong idea that Extra Life is just about video games or something only streamers can do. In reality, we have people who play a wide variety of games. Everything from old school pen and paper Dungeons & Dragons to family board games and of course video games.  Usually they do it at home or maybe at a friend’s house. It’s just people getting together to have fun for a fantastic cause. Oh and you don’t have to stream. While a lot of people do stream their marathons, the majority of Extra Lifers do not.

I’m not a gamer, how can I still be involved?

If you’re not a gamer, and I think people might be surprised to find they probably are gamers without realizing it, you probably know a gamer.  If they haven’t heard about Extra Life you can share it with them and help them get involved. Or if you do know a gamer who is participating, step up and contribute to their efforts and help them reach their fundraising goal.

What are your fundraising goals for this year?

Every year we set a high bar and ever year our incredible community rallies and tops it. Last year we exceeded our goal by about a million dollars and ended the year with more than $6.1 million raised for the kids. This year we’ve set a goal of $9 Million. It’s a big jump, but there’s a big need and it keeps growing every year.

What is your favorite part about the Gaming Marathon?

I think if I had to pick just one thing it would be that moment, sometime around 3 A.M, when you’re really struggling to get through the last few hours and you realize that there are tens of thousands of people just like you all over North America hitting that same wall and powering through it. All of you doing what you love to do, playing games you love to play and it matters. It’s important.  You’re part of something that’s making a difference in the lives of real people right there in your community. Maybe even right down the street. It’s a powerful feeling.

Microsoft New England Picks: 6 Not-To-Miss Events This Week

Events 9-28

Where did September go? As we creep into October and dive head-first into fall, we’re kicking off the new month with 6 Not-To-Miss Events This Week:

Learn-Launch1) Teachers, Data, and Your Edtech Product
Monday, September 28, 6pm — 8pm
LearnLaunch Institute | 31 St. James Ave/ Suite 920 | Boston
Twitter: @learnlaunch

To support the product development efforts of K-12 edtech entrepreneurs, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation surveyed more than 4,600 teachers about how they use digital tools and student data to tailor student instruction. The findings from this research are essential to helping entrepreneurs develop tools that are appropriate to the districts and schools that they are looking to serve. More than 93% of teachers in the study reported using some sort of digital tool to guide instruction, but more than two-thirds of them are not satisfied with the effectiveness of the data and tools they have access to on a regular basis.

During this session, you will:

  • Absorb the key findings of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s latest research studyTeachers Know Best: Making Data Work for Teachers and Students
  • Hear local teachers reflect on these findings
  • Reflect on how the recommendations, including for interoperability and integration, might affect your product or idea
  • Engage with educators and other entrepreneurs on the challenges this presents for entrepreneurs, and what potential paths forward might be

African-Women2) African Women: Changing the World!
Tuesday, September 29, 4:30pm — 9pm
Microsoft New England R&D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @WARA_WARC

On Tuesday September 29, 2015, the West African Research Association and The YWCA Cambridge will host a panel discussion that should be of interest to both the general public and more specifically the Kendall Square community. This will be the kick-off event for our annual Giving Common Campaign.

From Queen Nzingha in the 17th century who bravely fought and defended her people, to  Funmilayo Ransome Kuti well-known Nigerian women’s rights activist and mother of musician activist Fela Kuti in the mid-20th century, African women continue to take leadership roles on the continent and beyond. Today Folorunsho Alakija is one of the richest women in the world and a pioneer in philanthropy.

The goal of this presentation is to highlight the important contributions of African Women—in politics, business, the arts, philanthropy, journalism, and other fields. There will be a panel of three distinguished scholars, each of whom will talk about different aspects of African women’s leadership.

2015_SoapBox_Series_HOMEPAGE3) Re: Making Life —From DNA to Designer Genomes
Wednesday, September 30, 6pm — 7:30pm
MIT Museum | 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Building N51 | Cambridge
Twitter: @MITMuseum | 

Wednesday evenings this September and October, MIT Museum hosts a four-part series about synthetic biology. Explore what “synbio” is, how scientists are using innovative techniques to modify organisms, and for what purposes. Add your voice to the discussions while meeting new people and learning about state-of-the-art science and technology! These events are free, and light refreshments will be served.

Mass-Medic4) Preventing the Unthinkable: Issues in MedTech Cyber Security — Trends and Policies
Thursday, October 1, 8am — 3pm
Microsoft New England R&D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge

FDA’s recent warning that Hospira’s Symbiq infusion system is vulnerable to outside tampering underscores a new danger in health care delivery. The use of wireless medical technologies has increased in recent years, as manufacturers and product developers have sought to reduce costs and offer streamlined patient monitoring and care.

The security of these devices and the security of the patient data collected and stored in them present new challenges to the medical device community.

This half-day conference will gather government, industry and security experts who will share their insight and perspectives.

python-boston-sq_400x4005)Boston Python October Project Night
Thursday, October 1, 6:30pm — 9pm
Microsoft New England R&D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @bostonpython

Python project nights are unstructured chances for Python developers to work together, mentor each other, connect socially, teach, learn, or do whatever else it is Python developers want to do together. Our project nights are great ways to build the Python community, by allowing them to meet and interact in whatever way they find most beneficial.

BASC6) Boston Application Security Conference (BASC) 2015
Saturday, October 3 – Sunday, October 4, 8:30am — 7pm
Microsoft New England R&D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @owaspboston | @basconf

The Boston Application Security Conference (BASC) 2015 will be a free, one day, informal conference on Saturday, October 3rd of 2015 aimed at increasing awareness and knowledge of application security in the greater Boston area. While many of the presentations will cover state-of-the-art application security concepts, the BASC is intended to appeal to a wide-array of attendees. Application security professionals, professional software developers, software quality engineers, computer science students, and security software vendors should be able to come to the BASC, learn, and hopefully enjoy themselves at the same time.

The I Am The Cavalry (IATC) Boston 2015 Conference will be on Sunday, October 4th of 2015. The Cavalry is a global grassroots organization that is focused on issues where computer security intersects public safety and human life. We strive to ensure that these technologies are worthy of the trust we place in them. We are seeking to organize as a non-profit educational foundation. Our areas of focus are medical devices, automobiles, home electronics and public infrastructure.

Join Us for the 2015 Code for America Summit!


How can we transform government?

That’s the main question behind Code for America’s mission. Across the country, government workers are banding together to use technology to better their civic practices and keep our communities strong.

That’s why we’re excited to join Code for America (CfA) for their annual summit in Oakland. The 2015 CfA Summit brings together some of the nation’s top leaders in government, civic technology, community organizing, design and more in a chance to share ideas, inspire others, and work together to make great things. And we’re lucky to have one of our own names, Adam Hecktman, leading a panel on data visualization.

We want you to join us in the spirit of CfA summit — as Annmarie Levins mentioned in her call for action to make the most of Open Government Data, we want to collaborate on new ideas with as many people as possible. Let’s use our skills and passion to empower communities.

Local speakers include:

  • Joseph Curtatone, Mayor, City of Somerville
  • Daniel Hadley, Chief of Staff, City of Somerville
  • Denise Taylor, Director of Communications, City of Somerville
  • Skye Stewart, Director of Innovation and Analytics, City of Somerville
  • Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Chief Information Officer, City of Boston
  • Alex Soble, 2015 Somerville Fellow, Code for America
  • Uri Harel, Elementary Curriculum Coordinator, Somerville Public Schools
  • Samantha Hammar, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Massachusetts Office of Information Technology
  • Curt Savoie, Principal Data Scientist, Boston
  • Holly St. Clair, Director of Data Services, Boston’s Metropolitan Area Planning Council
  • Harlan Weber, Captain, Code for Boston

There is still time to register for the summit! Buy your ticket now at this link.

Can’t join us in Oakland? Participate in the conversation online by following @codeforamerica, @MSNewEngland, and #CfASummit on Twitter.

Together, we can transform government for the 21st Century.

Microsoft New England Top Picks: 3 Not-to-Miss Events This Week

Events 9-21

As autumn kicks off, we’re getting ready for a productive season to wrap up the last few months of the year. Fall into civic tech and innovation with these not-to-miss events this week:

Sano-Helbling1) Bringing Science to the Art of Wound Healing
Monday, September 21, 6pm — 8pm
Cambridge Innovation Center, 5th Floor, Havana Room | One Broadway | Cambridge
Twitter: @cicnow | @phayre

Join a discussion with Paul Hayre, Founder of Sano. Sano is pioneering a disposable, low cost, point-of-care diagnostic platform focused on chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers and pressure ulcers. Sano’s device measures wound biochemistry to personalize treatment, promote faster healing, and reduce treatment costs.

Paul launched Sano after watching how his father’s chronic pressure ulcer was treated day in and day out: simple dressing changes, never healing. That protocol is largely the standard of care in the US today. His goal is to give clinicians visibility into wound biochemistry to determine effective treatments.

Refreshments provided by Helbling (6pm-8pm). Afterparty at Firebrand Saints.

Ga-Bos2) #OFFCAMPUS — Order Up: Lessons Learned From A Food Truck Startup
Tuesday, September 22, 6:30pm — 8:30pm
GA Boston | 51 Melcher Street | Boston
Twitter: @GA_Boston

Ever dream of starting your own food truck? Wonder what it’s like behind the wheel? Curious to hear about how they prepare all that delicious food in such a small space? Join Branchfood and General Assembly for an in-depth exploration of the food truck economy.

On this panel we’ll hear successful food truck entrepreneurs, and the local organizations who support them, talk about the Boston economy, how they got to where they are now, and what you should know before starting your own.


This September, skip the classroom and get #OFFCAMPUS with General Assembly. Through this curated series of events, workshops and panels you’ll learn the hands-on, practical skills you need to pursue work, and passion projects, you love from top, local practitioners.

JLABS3) Out of the Lab and into the Newsroom
Thursday, September 24, 8:30am — 10:30am
Microsoft | 255 Main Street | Cambridge
Twitter: @JNJInnovation

You’ve got your cutting-edge technology, you’ve raised money, and your company is making great headway on the R&D front. You’re ready to bring your company out of stealth mode and into the limelight, but what’s the next step? Media is a critical venue to communicate with investors, new hires, and other important stakeholders. At this event, you’ll connect with a panel of veteran life sciences reporters and communicators to explore how to take your story out of the laboratory and into the headlines.

Celebrate the Launch of Office 2016 at the Microsoft Store!


Microsoft New England is celebrating the launch of Office 2016 by inviting small business owners and administrative professionals to breakfast. Join us September 22nd at 8:30am at The Shops at the Prudential Center to learn how Office can help you do your best work. The 90-minute session will feature time to network with other businesses and remarks from Gavin Bauman, Technical Evangelist for Microsoft New England. Gavin will discuss how Microsoft is helping to grow and enhance businesses everywhere and how you can implement Office to do the same with your own business. You’ll also get to see the new Office 2016 features in action and speak with our technical advisors about upgrading.

Register today to reserve your spot as space is limited. If you have any questions feel free to reach out We hope to see you there!

#BackToSchool at Boston’s Microsoft Store


It’s September, and Boston has come alive as we welcome back our student residents. If you’re anything like us, your laptop already has too many tabs open, your schedule is packed and you’re on constant look out for opportunities to chill out for second and escape from that #BackToSchool grind. Fear not, students of Boston! We have some opportunities at your local Microsoft Store (located inside the Prudential Center), that we think you’ll enjoy….


Is your laptop feeling a bit heavy in your bag? Ever thought of totally replacing it with a Microsoft Surface? And that pen tho! Students can get 10% off Surface & PCs with their Student IDs at your local Microsoft Store. 


Monday-Saturday @ 3pm | Do more with Windows 10 by joining our 60-minute workshop to learn everything Windows 10 has to offer for everyday use, whether it’s for work or play, home or office.   You’ll learn how get the most out of new features, how to personalize your Windows experience, work and play across all your devices, and get more done faster with new productivity capabilities. Aspects of Windows 10 covered in the workshop include: Navigation, Start, Windows Explorer, Menus, Accessing Applications, Security Features and Synchronization across Devices.   Upgrade your world with Windows 10, and register today.


Monday-Saturday @ 7pm | Need to relax and unwind after class? (or maybe get away from the roommate for a second?) Come to our free Xbox gaming events Monday-Saturday at 7pm. Learn about the newest titles in Xbox and see what the new Xbox One has to offer. 


Monday-Saturday @ 9am | Is your computer not running as fast as it used to? Do you have a ton of files sitting on your hard drive? Are you worried that you might have a virus? Do you want to learn more about getting your computer running the way it should? In this 60 minute workshop, we’ll walk you through easy-to-learn maintenance techniques and storage opportunities in the cloud. At the end of the session, you’ll know all about the Performance Troubleshooter, Windows and Office Update and Disc Defragmenter. You’ll know how to remove viruses and spyware, and back-up files on your computer with OneDrive. Please arrive 10 minutes early with your computer for the best experience.

Microsoft Boston is located inside the Shops at the Prudential Center at 800 Boylston Street. Head here to browse all of our fall events. 

Microsoft New England Picks: 4 Not-To-Miss Events This Week

Events 9-14

With the back-to-school buzz settling down, it’s time to get going with civic tech. Here are some of our top picks for events not to miss this week:

techonomy1) Techonomy Detroit 2015
Tuesday, September 15, 8:30am — 5:45pm
Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium | 471 W. Palmer Street | Detroit
Twitter: @techonomy | 

The impact of tech on the American economy, its cities and how tech is transforming the urban ecosystem will shape the agenda for our fourth annual one-day Techonomy Detroit conference. The social and economic evolution of our cities is being impacted every day by tech-driven change in every aspect of how we live and work. Be it advances in transportation, education, healthcare or government, tech is enabling new tools to address the challenges and opportunities that will drive the business and social structures of our interconnected, urbanized future.

DevOpsDays2) DevOpsDays Boston 2015
Tuesday, September 15 — Wednesday, September 16, 8am — 6pm
Microsoft New England R&D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @devopsdays

DevOps Days is a 2­ day conference that will promote awareness for bridging the gap between development and operations. DevOpsDays is a grassroots event for professionals in the field to connect for sharing challenges, advice, and ideas relating to DevOps and Technology in general. It is organized by peers who care and believe in collaboration, automation, measurement and constant improvement.

Interaction Design Foundation3) Interaction Design Foundation Boston/Wakefield Mash-Up Monthly
Tuesday, September 15, 6:30pm — 9pm
Microsoft New England R&D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge
Twitter: @interacting

The Interaction Design Foundation – the IDF – is a ten year old transformative non-profit enterprise focused on educating, informing and stimulating the global design community. IDF -Boston and IDF-Wakefield are local chapters that get together on a monthly basis focusing on providing providing stimulating but fun discussions, insightful information, and face-to-face networking opportunities.

69YwX0Ea_400x4004) TiE-Boston Monthly Dinner
Wednesday, September 16, 5:30pm — 9pm
Microsoft New England R&D Center | 1 Memorial Drive | Cambridge

TiE-Boston Monthly Dinner is a series of Panel discussion and/or keynote address to keep the community engaged and updated with the happenings of Entrepreneurial field in the area.