Microsoft Virtual Academy: HTML5 Courses

Creating Windows Store apps and Web application just got a whole lot easier.



Hyper Text Markup (HTML) 5 is a programming language used for creating, structuring, and presenting content on the Web. Its fifth version was released in 2014, 17 years after HTML4 was introduced, and it aims are to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia (audio, video, images). HTML5 was finalized in such a way as to keep it easily accessible to humans and consistently understood by computers and devices like web browsers, etc.

Mozilla’s Developer’s Guide classifies Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) as: “A stylesheet language used to describe the presentation of a document written in HTML or other markup languages”. The 3rd level of CSS was first introduced in 1999, and over the years it has gone through many changes. Some modules which are collectively referred to as CSS4 can be found online, but they are few and far between.

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) offers 24 courses on HTML5 and CSS3. Some of these training courses are designed for those who are about to sit for their certification exams, as part of earning their Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer or Microsoft Technology Associate certificate.

Other courses are for those who wish to brush up on their HTML5 skills, regardless of the certification examinations. The courses offered on MVA combine design and development skills, as well as other HTML5 essentials. There are courses for beginners (100), intermediates (200), and experts (300).

The courses cover many different topics. From developing games with various tools, through using applications like PowerPoint Online, to developing universal Windows apps.

Course Review: Developing ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Applications Jump Start

One of the most popular HTML5 courses is Developing ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Applications Jump Start, instructed by Jon Galloway and Christopher Harrison. This course is for those who are about to sit for their 70-486 exam, also known as Developing ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Applications, as part of their Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer certification.

Instructors Christopher Harrison and Jon Galloway

Instructors Christopher Harrison and Jon Galloway

The topics covered in this course are:

  • Introduction to MVC 4
  • Developing ASP.NET MVC Models
  • Developing MVC Controllers
  • Developing ASP.NET MVC Views
  • Integrating JavaScript and MVC 4
  • Implementing Web APIs
  • Deploying to Windows Azure
  • Visual Studio 2013/MVC 5 Sneak Peek
  • Recommended Resources & Next Steps

There are no prerequisites to taking this course. It is worth 78 points, and runs approximately seven hours. It includes nine modules, eight assessment exams, as well as slides for the entire course. This course is categorized as a Level 200 course, meant for experienced developers. It has been rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Learn enterprise web application development from the masters, with Microsoft’s expert duo. If you are a certified Microsoft platform developer, looking to expand his or her horizons and take full advantage of today’s technologies; alternatively, if you are about to sit for your certification examinations – this course can be the perfect companion to doing either one.

Galloway is a Windows Azure Technical Evangelist, with a particular focus on ASP.NET MVC. He has been working with Microsoft platforms since the late 90’s. Galloway is also an author and popular conference speaker.

Harisson is a senior content developer for Microsoft, focused on ASP.NET and Office 365 development. He is a regular presenter at TechEd. Side note: he is a blogger and marathoner.

Course Review: Gaming Engines for Windows 8 Jump Start

Another very popular course is Gaming Engines for Windows 8 Jump Start, instructed by Jeremy Foster, Michael Palermo, and Adam Tuliper. This course walks IT professionals through the process of developing games for Windows 8. It discusses different game engines, such as Construct2, GameMaker, and Unity.



The topics covered in this course are:

  • Planning your game
  • Game Assets
  • Construct by Scirra
  • GameMaker by YoYo Games
  • Unity
  • Monetization and Store submission
  • Recommended Resources & Next

There are no prerequisites to enrolling in this course, and it is worth 56 points. It runs approximately six hours, has seven modules, six assessment examinations, and includes all necessary slide presentations for easy learning. This is a Level 200 course, meant for somewhat experienced developers. It is rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Foster is a Developer Evangelist for Microsoft, with a focus on web platforms, Windows apps, and Azure. He is an author, presenter, coder, and blogger. Fun fact: Foster enjoys hiking and sailing!

Palermo is a Technical Evangelist for Microsoft. He served as Microsoft Regional Director, Most Valuable Professional, and “insider” on many different technologies. He has a passion for HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and all things relating to Windows 8.

Tuliper is a Senior Technical Evangelist with Microsoft, focused on web, data, gaming, and cloud tech. He has 20 years of experience as a software architect for enterprise, startups, public sector, healthcare, defense, and financial industries. He is a regular contributor to Channel 9, and a certified geek.



The three instructors which teach this course know their stuff, and they can help any student make the most of the tools which are available. With this course, students can explore every aspect of developing games for Windows 8, and the go on to create their very own games. More information is available in the final module, for professionals who wish to dive even deeper into the world of Windows gaming engines.

Games are everywhere. Ever since the 70’s, when Pong came along, people have been into video games. They are a part of our daily lives whether we think so or not. Computers, handhelds, smartphones, game consoles, and others – the games which inhabit these systems are all developed by engineers and professionals.

Games can serve as a wonderful outlet for developers who are looking to break away from the norm, or advance their careers by learning another skill. With games, a developer gets to experiment a lot more, bend rules, get creative in a different way than usual, and push game-building software to its limits, and beyond. The feedback which engine-builders receive from developers is crucial, and it contributes to the next generations of game engines and games.

It was worth the wait. HTML5 is a revelation, and it can make life so much easier. Whether you have experience with HTML or not, MVA’s courses can help you kick-start the next step in your career, and become a better, more professional developer.

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