MSP Tips— #4 Building Content

Knowledge, patience, and implementation.

First things first, when building content to present be aware that sometimes only a few hours is required, whereas other times it may take days or even weeks to research! Lucky for you there are tons of helpful resources available for you from Microsoft which I will share in this section.

Building Content for a tutorial/workshop

There are a few basic steps that I take to create my content.

  1. Identify the audience
  2. Write a general overview of the topic (scope)
  3. Decide on the medium
  4. Plan out the flow
  5. Make it happen!

Identify your audience 

Identify their level of technical knowledge. Are you addressing first-year students? Is it a mix of different years? Is there a mix of technical and less technical people? The level of your content and the terminology will differ considerably based on who your target audience is.

Write out a general overview of what you want to cover 

Identify how they would use the technology you’re presenting. Basically, the when, why, and how you can use this technology. Try to visualize how someone with no prior knowledge sees this technology and what a good approach to doing an introduction to it would look like.

Medium

How will you present the content? Do you want to write up a blog post? Create a youtube video? Do you want to do an in-person workshop? This is totally up to you!

Flow

Decide on your flow for the content/workshop. Do you want to give a general theory intro and then dive into an example afterward? Or do you want to have an example and throughout take the time to explain theory during your example? For each step think about the when and how you can perform that such step/task. Think about what the screen will show after you perform a task. How you arrive at the task, how you perform the task, or what comes next may be obvious to you, but keep in mind this may be a technology that your audience is not familiar with.

Making it happen

There are some great resources online for you to find content and ideas on what to present to your audience. Some of this includes Microsoft Virtual Academy and Microsoft Imagine Resources – on their GitHub they actually have templates for powerpoint presentations.

After you have created your content try to get as many different people’s feedback. Just because it makes sense to you, it may be too difficult for someone else (again why it is important to identify your audience). We all learn and understand differently so try to be as open-minded as possible and understand that your tutorial might not be a one size fits all …and that is okay!

One last tip

If you set up an example project don’t be shy to upload it online to a public repository. It’ll be easy for people to access it, download it, and refer to it later if they need. Best of all it allows others to make changes/improvements through pull requests!

Don’t forget!

We want to help make the world of programming as approachable as possible for everyone :).

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