My name is James Devine and I am currently a researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge in the UK.

My PhD thesis “Enabling Intuitive and Efficient Physical Computing” was formally accepted in May 2020. This work was supervised by Joe Finney & Jason Alexander and funded by Microsoft.

CODAL is a device runtime that forms part of my PhD thesis. It allows millions of children (and professionals ;) ) across the world to program physical computing devices using a web-based visual programming environment, Microsoft MakeCode. CODAL and MakeCode now support the 5 million BBC micro:bit’s in use across the world and thousands of MakeCode Arcade devices like the KittenBot Meowbit, and TinkerGen GameGo.

JACDAC, also a contribution of my PhD thesis, is a new protocol for interconnecting microcontrollers and peripherals. It brings plug and play dynamism to even the lowest cost and smallest microcontrollers. Using WebUSB, JACDAC also brings together the world of the low cost microcontroller and the web browser for an integrated physical computing experience and beyond. JACDAC has been used as part of a fashion show in Brooklyn, New York, and has become an established project within Microsoft Research.

My current research interests lie in tackling the problems introduced by long tail hardware production and continuing my work to build tools, protocols, and experiences that facilitate a physical computing experience for everyone.