Tag 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.

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.