Presentation: MakeCode: Types, Games and Machine Code

Track: Pushing the Web Forward: JavaScript, Frameworks, Transpilers, and WebAssembly

Location: Pacific LMNO

Duration: 10:35am - 11:25am

Day of week: Tuesday

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Microsoft MakeCode is an open-source platform and accompanying web app for building educational programming experiences (code editor, simulator, debugger, tutorials, documentation, etc.) for small, cheap embedded devices. Students can program by stacking together graphical blocks, or using Static TypeScript (STS) - a fairly extensive subset of TypeScript. STS code is compiled in the browser to machine code to run on devices with as little as 2kB of RAM. In this talk I will demo the MakeCode platform and give some technical details about the STS compiler. In particular I'm going to show MakeCode Arcade - an editor for retro-style games (160x120, 16 colors) that run in the browser and on dedicated hardware, and can be programmed very easily using modern, high-level APIs. MakeCode and all hardware to be demoed are readily available.

Speaker: Michal Moskal

Principal Research Software Development Engineer @Microsoft

Michał Moskal works at Microsoft Research in Redmond on programming languages and related topics. In the past Michał has worked on software verification (including VCC – a state of the art formal verifier for C programs) and automated theorem proving. In the past decade Michał has worked on programming experiences for beginners. In 2010, with Nikolai Tilmann, he started Touch Develop for programming phone on a phone, later adopted a programming environment for the very popular BBC micro:bit. In 2016, with Peli de Halleux and Tom Ball, Michał started Programming Experience Toolkit (PXT), which has grown into Microsoft MakeCode – a platform for creating domain-specific programming experiences for beginners, especially in education.

Find Michal Moskal at


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