Category Archives: Contest

Join ActiveNick for Studio Time in New Jersey + New Win8 Dev Contest

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What is Studio Time?

Studio Time – also known as Office Hours – is a block of time set aside to allow Windows Phone & Windows 8 developers to work on their apps/games and get some help and guidance in technical areas or with their app UX, design, and marketing. This is also a good opportunity for you to do some real user testing or get some guidance and feedback on how to improve the overall functionality and/or aesthetic of your applications.

This work session is the first of many I will be hosting at the Microsoft Iselin office in New Jersey. Studio Time sessions are open to anyone looking for some time and help to finish their project before publishing, or work on driving more downloads for their apps and games. Formal presentations are NOT held during office hours and these events will remain unstructured. Office hours will typically open at 4:00PM but feel free to arrive when you want. Check the schedule on the New Jersey Windows & Windows Phone Dev Meetup site for the exact schedule and hours.

Cross-platform developers who work on iOS and Android as well as the Windows device platforms are welcome – whether they use native tools or PhoneGap, Xamarin or various game engines. Note that Studio Time is about guidance, learning, sharing & testing. This is NOT a premier-level technical support service. If you have some esoteric bug or technical issue for which you cannot find any help online, don’t expect miracles during Studio Time.

If you have any questions about Studio Time, feel free to ask in the comments section below.

Please RSVP for Studio Time

Your name must be added to the building security list so please RSVP and do not show-up unannounced. Since there is a limited number of seats, please keep your RSVP up-to-date. If you RSVP and later realize you cannot make it, please cancel your spot as a courtesy to the event host and other attendees.

To RSVP and get the Studio Time schedule, times & location, visit my Meetup page. I will be adding more sessions over the following weeks and months. Join the Meetup to stay informed.

Microsoft’s Best App a Month Contest

I also want to let you know about a new contest we are running from March to June 2014 that might be of interest to some of you working on your Windows 8  apps. It’s called Microsoft’s Best App a Month Contest.

We want to find and showcase cool and innovative apps and games on the Windows 8 platform. Have you created something recently we should know about and have attended one Studio Time that month? Do you have an idea for a cool Windows 8 app or game and you’re just getting started? If so, enter your app / game into the Best App A Month Contest, where you could win a new Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet.

Who Can Enter

Legal residents of the US and DC 18 years and older who attend at least one monthly in-person Microsoft app development session (aka Studio Time) in an eligible location. I will be hosting the Iselin, NJ location. The other locations are New York City, Boston, Rochester, Atlanta, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Philadelphia, Raleigh and Washington DC.

How to Enter

Publish an app during one of the Monthly Prize Periods Mar-Jun 2014 and submit your entry via the city-specific web site form. Note that since Studio Time is only starting now in the Iselin, NJ office, the March & April entries will be combined for the April prize.

Entry form for Iselin, NJ: http://aka.ms/BAMnj

Prizes & How to Win

One winner will be chosen from each location each month using the following criteria:

  • Use of modern design and features
  • Performs as described without crashing
  • Originality and uniqueness
  • Use of Azure cloud services or storage

Prizes: Each monthly winning developer will receive a Dell Venue 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Tablet (ARV $299).

Terms & Conditions: You can win more than once in each city, but you cannot win in more than one city. This Contest starts at 12:01 A.M. Pacific Time (PT) on March 1, 2014, and ends at 11:59 P.M. PT on June 30, 2014 and will consist of monthly prize periods and participating locations. Important: For the Iselin, NJ location, the months of March & April will be combined into a single prize, then followed by separate prizes for May and June. Please read the terms and conditions for more details.

Good luck! Get started with your Windows 8 apps and I’m looking forward to seeing you at my upcoming Studio Time sessions. Please feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @ActiveNick or in the comments below with any questions you may have.

Nokia Promotion: ActiveNick’s February Giveaway for Windows Phone Developers

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Greetings Windows Phone developers!

One of the fun things of being a Nokia Developer Ambassador is running contests. I love the Windows Phone developer community and I love giving away free stuff. So here I am, kicking off February with a bang for the developers in my region. This includes the states of NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV & KY. If you do not live in those states, be sure to check the promotions by your own Ambassador. The full list can be found here.

How to Participate in the Contest

Simple: Build a new Windows Phone app! Here are the criteria:

  • You must live (and your DevCenter account must be registered) in one of the following US States: NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV & KY. No exceptions. I will ask for verification evidence if you win something.
  • You must must build a brand new app for Windows Phone 8 or Windows Phone 7.8, NOT an update to an existing app (though we always encourage you to update existing apps too).
  • The app must first be published between February 1st and February 28th 2014.
  • This contest is available for new and existing Windows Phone developers.
  • You must build a real app, no crapware please. It doesn’t have to be a complicated app but it must have real value. I will be the final judge. No arguments.
  • Your app must have at least 5 reviews by March 8 2014, with an average of 4+ stars.

Once your app is live and meets the downloads & ratings criteria above, send me your entry via my Contact Me form here. Please include the following in your entry:

  • Subject: ActiveNick’s February Nokia Giveaway
  • Your name
  • Your city & state
  • Your preferred email
  • Your DVLUP username (sign-up here if you do not have one)
  • Link to your app

What You Can Win

At the end of February (only 28 days, act fast) I will compile the names of all the participants and draw names randomly

  • 5x Nokia Lumia 800 smartphones (Black, GSM US bands, carrier unlocked, upgradeable to Windows Phone 7.8)
  • 5x DVLUP-branded Wenger Swiss Gear backpacks
  • 1x JBL MD-51 PlayUp Portable Wireless Speaker for Nokia – Black
  • 10x NFC “Testing Kits” (1x programmable NFC card and 5 DVLUP-branded NFC stickers)
  • 5x Reward Cards worth 250 points to spend on DVLUP rewards

I will do the drawing on March 8 2014 to allow enough time for late entries to reach the 5 required reviews. I will notify the winners via email.

Sounds good? Now go build some apps. Remember that your app must be published and in the Windows Phone Store by February 28 2014.

How Do I Get Started?

If you’ve never built a Windows Phone app before, visit my Getting Started page for a whole set of resources to get you started.

Disclaimers

  • If you already received/won/earned a free Lumia 800 from me (or my predecessor) as part of the “Build your First App” promotion in 2013, you are not eligible to win another Lumia in this contest. However you are still eligible for the other prizes.
  • Apps entered in this contest cannot be combined with other promotions I might run in the region.
  • Don’t try to fake your location to participate in this contest. I will find out.
  • By entering this contest you agree to my terms of service.

Q&A

Is this a Microsoft or a Nokia promotion?

This is a Nokia promotion available for all Windows Phone developers in the following US states only: NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV & KY.

Can I choose my prize?

No. I will assign the prizes at random when I do the drawing on March 8 2014.

Can I build an app with Microsoft App Studio?

Yes you can, but try to apply yourself to make it a nice one. Build something real around a common theme, don’t just throw a bunch of random links together and call it a day, otherwise I’ll throw your app in the “crapware” category. And remember that you’ll need to reach the 100 downloads and 5 ratings milestones to qualify.

Can I build an app with PhoneGap?

Yes, as long as the app is also published in the Windows Phone Store. If you want to target many App Stores, PhoneGap can be a good alternative.

Will I get more than one entry in the contest if I build more than one app?

Totally, yes! The more apps you publish, the more chances you have to win. You can even win more prizes! But you can only win ONE prize of each category (i.e. one phone, one backpack, etc.)

Can I enter the contest by updating an older app?

No. Though we always encourage you to update existing apps, this contest is only for new apps.

Will I still get DVLUP xp for my new app?

Of course! All Windows Phone apps are eligible for DVLUP challenges as long as you’re in a supported country.

Can I build a Windows 8 app instead?

You can, but it won’t be eligible for this contest. This Nokia promotion is only for new Windows Phone apps.