The company is placing its global community of Windows Insiders at the heart of this new initiative, led by Jeremiah Marble, who has today been appointed to the new role of Microsoft's Director of Developer Marketing for Windows.
"My goal is that everyone in the world codes," Marble said. "We at Microsoft will continue to seek ways to make our platform and products more relevant to EVERYONE in the world."
Marble's comments follow the recent completion of Microsoft's second Windows Insiders4Good Fellowship program – a small-scale initiative in Africa that has had a profound effect on the way that the whole company develops its products. Microsoft's new push to promote coding is a further example of its efforts to harness the collective knowledge and enthusiasm of its Insider community, beyond simply testing new Windows 10 preview builds, the latest of which was released today.
"No surprise, we'll start with Insiders," Marble said. "There are 10-plus million of them around the world. We think ALL of them should learn to code. We believe that code is this generation's literacy."
The first step will be what Marble described as "an evolution of Insider Cohorts" – a new experiment intended to group Insiders into more focused groups of like-minded individuals with a common passion or area of expertise. "We're loosely calling [them] Microsoft Dev Circles. We'll start them up in a few cities, and work with communities of developers to help them help each other. Give them tools. Maybe some pizza and sodas," Marble said.
Cohorts and the upcoming Dev Circles are part of Microsoft's new two-year roadmap, known as "WIP 2020", exploring ways to evolve its Windows Insider Program.