Age of Mobility - Part 3

New Jersey Event: Get Your Windows Phone App Published – Finally!

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Is something stopping you from finishing your Windows Phone app?

Welcome to WPdev Saturday!

I would like to invite you to join me and other Windows Phone community experts for WPdev Saturday on February 22, 2014 in New Jersey for a fun day of mobile app building. WPdev Saturday is an event brought to you by Nokia DVLUP and sponsored by Microsoft.

Why?

The goal is to help you overcome any obstacles that might be preventing you from publishing an app. Whether you’re working on your first app or putting the polish on your 20th, all are welcome. If you do not have any apps in the works, then come and build a Microsoft App Studio app with our help.

When & Where?

Microsoft New Jersey Office – Iselin
101 Wood Ave South, 9th floor
Iselin, NJ 08830

Click for a map and directions

Register on Eventbrite here to reserve your ticket.

Important: This is a very limited seating event and is intended for developers in the NY Metro, NJ, PA and mid-Atlantic states, please do not register if you are 2,000 miles away or do not intend on showing up, you’ll only be taking a seat away from another dev who needs it.

Who?

This event is primarily for developers who have never published apps for Windows Phone. Professionals and students are welcome. We assume that you already got started with Windows Phone development and need some help to cross the finish line. If you need help getting started, see the Preparation section at the bottom of this post. If you’re already a published developer and you’re working on a new app, you can join us too.

While the day is mostly focused on Windows Phone app development, game developers are welcome to join the fun.

We also have some “Sensei slots” for experienced Windows Phone developers who want to join in as Subject Matter Experts (aka Sensei). Sensei must be published developers who want to attend the event primarily to help other developers with their apps.

Important: Do not register as a sensei unless you are qualified and willing to help other attendees. Otherwise, use a regular attendee slot.

DO NOT REGISTER AS A SENSEI AND A DEVELOPER, PICK ONE OR THE OTHER. OTHERWISE YOU ARE TAKING A SPOT ANOTHER DEVELOPER COULD USE. YOU ONLY NEED ONE TICKET PER PERSON.

Schedule

Here is the preliminary schedule (subject to tweaking):

  • 08:00 AM – Registration opens: Caffeine intake session. BYOB (Bring Your Own Breakfast)
  • 09:30 AM – Welcome & DVLUP Walkthrough (30 minutes)
  • 10:00 AM – Build an app in 30 minutes with App Studio (30 minutes): See how to build an app from an idea to publishable in 30 minutes, literally. No joke.
  • 10:30 AM – Hands-on time
  • 12:30 PM – Lunch: Food and snacks will be served
  • 02:00 PM – DevCenter Submission Walkthrough (30 minutes): See just how easy it is to submit and publish an app worldwide
  • 02:30 PM – More hands-on time
  • 07:00 PM – Event closes

The experts /sensei’s will be available to help during the hands-on time. They will be walking around helping and/or attending to requests for help. By the end of the day I fully expect everyone’s apps will be ready and submitted to DevCenter and on its way to the Windows Phone Store.

What you need to bring

  • Willpower! This is not a day to just listen to talks and hang out. This is a day to act, build and publish an app.
  • Laptop: If you need help on an app you already started, bring your laptop dev environment with your app on it.
  • If you want to build an app without any code, bring a laptop that has a modern browser (IE10-11, Chrome). You’ll only need your browser to build and submit the app to the store. If you do not have a Windows Phone, the experts will be able to help you test the app on their phone. You will still need a DevCenter account to publish (see Preparation below).

What we will provide

  • Workspace with Internet access & power
  • Morning coffee & lunch
  • Windows Phone development experts / sensei
  • Test devices: We’ll have a few test phones available on loan for those that need a physical device for testing
  • Prizes / giveaways
  • Fun!

Giveaways

Everyone who attends and publishes their app will be entered to win a “hero” Nokia Lumia (1020, 928, 925, or 920) of their choice, and we have more prizes for attendees, see below. Note that sensei are also eligible for prizes even if they do not publish an app as a “thank you” for their help.

Prize Pool: Anyone that publishes an app on event day is eligible to win

  • 1x Nokia Lumia “Hero” device (i.e. winner’s choice between a 920, 925, 928 or 1020)
  • 2x Nokia Lumia 820 Phone Dev Kits (courtesy of Microsoft)
  • 1x Nokia Qi Wireless Charging Plate
  • Other Nokia DVLUP swag (TBD)

Giveaways: Anyone who attends will get all of these

  • Nokia DVLUP t-shirt
  • Nokia DVLUP USB car adapters
  • Bonus 250 points to spend on DVLUP rewards

I’ll probably have other goodies on-site too like NFC stickers, 8-bit sunglasses for kids, and such. Microsoft will also be bringing some prizes of their own!

Note: If you accept a prize from me, you agree to these terms.

Preparation for the Event

You’ll have a bit of homework to do to get ready for the event:

  • Install the Windows Phone developer tools: See my Getting Started page here.
  • DevCenter Registration: It takes a few days to be accepted as a registered Windows Phone developer. Take care of this now so you’re ready to publish on Feb 22. It only costs $19. Check the offers below if that’s too much for you.
  • Nokia Developer Offers: This package gets you a free DevCenter registration and additional tools from Telerik, Infragistics and others. Get started here.
  • BizSpark: Start your own business as an app developer and apply for BizSpark. You’ll get a free MSDN subscription, free DevCenter registration, free Azure credits and more. Sign-up here.
  • DreamSpark: If you’re a student, sign-up for DreamSpark instead and get many of the same free benefits.
  • Start working on your app: This is highly recommended if you already have an idea. Unless your app idea is very simple, going from start to finish in one day is hard. The more you code ahead of time, the better. If you get stuck, bring your code and your problems and our experts will help you out.

If you have more questions about the event or how to prepare, post them in the comments below.

See you soon!

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.

ActiveNick Assimilated by the Microsoft Collective

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Yes, it’s true. Yesterday, I have officially joined Microsoft as a Senior Technical Evangelist in the DPE East Region Audience Team, specifically covering the New York Metro and New Jersey area.

This move has been a long time in the making. I started my professional career back in 1992 as a programmer-analyst working with Microsoft QBX (QuickBASIC Extended) and Visual Basic 1.0. I became a Microsoft Certified Professional in 1995 and MCSD in 1997. I started speaking about Microsoft technologies at developer events in 1996 and have to date presented more than 200 talks in several countries. Five of my seven employers before Microsoft have been Microsoft Certified Partners. I was named Microsoft Regional Director in Montreal back in 1997. I started specializing in Microsoft mobility products back in 2002 and became an MVP in 2005 – an award that I have received 10 years in a row.

I could go on and on…

The bottom line is that I owe my entire 22-year career to Microsoft. This is where I feel at home and an opportunity was presented to me to join the evangelism team here in NY/NJ and I happily took it. I’m super excited to join Microsoft and continue my community work, this time in an official capacity.

My New Role

As a member of the Technical Evangelism team, we work with students, developers and IT pros to help them learn, adopt and use the Microsoft developer platform to design and build the next generation of apps for Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Windows Azure. I will organize and speak at events, user groups, meetups, code camps, conferences and such. I’ll keep on blogging and writing. I’ll produce training material, samples, starter kits and videos. I will of course be talking about other technologies as well, some from Microsoft, some from partners, and some from competitors. Microsoft plays well with others and I love to demonstrate it.

I invite you to also follow me on Twitter at @ActiveNick and also follow my colleagues from the NY Metro Team:

I know that many of you will think that I will lose my objectivity, that my word can’t be trusted anymore because I’ll be biased. The truth is I was always biased in favor of Microsoft technologies because it’s what I always specialized in. But I also made sure to not just blindly agree with Microsoft on all things. Those that know me or have seen my talks know full well I call it as it is. Microsoft makes mistakes, just like Nokia, Apple, Google or Amazon also do. And Microsoft makes awesome technologies, and so do Nokia, Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung and others. I always tried to be honest and set developers on the right path, not necessarily the Microsoft path. Nothing changes in my book.

Always remember that I don’t like the products because I joined Microsoft. I joined Microsoft because I like the products.

Please, as you read my blog over the coming months and years, know that everything I say here is my own opinion. My viewpoints are my own, and not those of Microsoft or my colleagues. Feel free to quote me, but when you do, you are quoting Nick Landry, NOT Microsoft.

Introduce Yourselves

If you’re a developer in the NY / NJ area, please introduce yourself in the comments below. Hopefully I will get to meet all of you in the coming months and years. If you’re a regular follower of mine on Twitter, in prior blogs or at conferences, you’re welcome to introduce yourself too, no matter where you’re from. You can also say hi on Twitter at @ActiveNick.

Working and engaging with all of you is the best part of my job. Thank you for being such an awesome community.

Q&A

Q: Will you still be a Microsoft MVP on Windows Phone Development?

A: No. MVPs are always external to Microsoft. I had a great 10-year run as MVP with Windows Phone Development (and Windows Mobile Dev before that) and it’s time for me to continue my community work from the inside.

Q: Can I have your MVP spot?

A: You can try, but it’s not up to me. Good luck!

Q: Who will be the new Nokia Developer Ambassador for NY, NJ, PA and Mid-Atlantic states?

A: Me! I am continuing my role with Nokia since it is perfectly in sync with my role at Microsoft. With Microsoft acquiring the Nokia Devices Division this year, I suspect things will merge over time and it’ll just be business as usual for me. As Nokia Developer Ambassador, I have a wider territory covering the states of NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV & KY. If you’re a Windows Phone or Windows 8 developer in these states, please introduce yourself below.

Q: Will you still cover non-Microsoft technologies in your blog and conference presentations?

A: Yes. Maybe not as much as I used to, but I strongly believe in the cross-platform nature of the mobile space. My favorite platform has always been Windows Phone, but I also cover Windows 8 of course. I’m also proficient with iOS, Android, Xamarin, PhoneGap, jQuery Mobile and other technologies. I plan on covering a wide range of mobile technologies on my blog and at events. Ultimately, my goal is not to pull you away from other platforms. A true mobile developer should know iOS, Android and Windows.

Q: Does the implant hurt?

A: Not really. I tried to avoid it but I was told that resistance is futile.

Q: I run a User Group / Meetup in the NY / NJ area. Will you come and speak to our members?

A: Sure. Introduce yourself in the comments below or contact me on Twitter at @ActiveNick

Q: Where will you be speaking next?

A: Check out my Events Page for up-to-date info about scheduled events & appearances, and links to past events, sessions materials and demos.

 

Got other questions for me? Ask away in the comments below.

Cheers!

Nick

Mobility42: Apps for Life, the Universe and Everything