New Zealand Kids and Their Windows Phone 7 App

by Joey deVilla on January 28, 2011

They’re barely in their teens and look so impossibly young, but they’re writing apps for Windows Phone 7. These kids from Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti, a special charter high school in Christchurch, New Zealand, where students do self-directed learning and follow their own interests and enthusiasms. In the video above, they’re being interviewed by Ben Gracewood about a WP7 game they wrote called Pop-ins, which tests your geographic knowledge of New Zealand. (I can locate Auckland and Christchurch, but that’s as far as my New Zealand geography goes.)

In his blog entry about these kids, Ben writes:

With next to no outside help, these young developers picked up the WP7 dev tools [and] coded up a working game – testament to just how straightforward development for the Windows Phone platform is. Part of their motivation was that the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace is less saturated than the iPhone App Store.

They’re writing Windows Phone 7 apps and you should be too! Want to get started?

  1. Download the free tools! The installer will do one of two things:
    • If you don’t have Visual Studio installed, it’ll install Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, which will let you write apps and games for Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360. Even though it’s an “Express” version, it’s got a lot of the features that make Visual Studio the best IDE out there.
    • If you already have Visual Studio installed, it’ll simply add on the necessary stuff to make it possible to write apps and games for Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360.
  2. Install the October 2010 update for Windows Phone Developer tools. This update provides enhancements and additional goodies to the free tools.
  3. [Optional] If you’re more comfortable coding in Visual Basic than C#, download Visual Basic for Windows Phone Developer Tools. This will add support for the Visual Basic programming language to the free tools.
  4. Try out the “Hello Windows Phone” exercise. It’s a nice little “Hello World” program that will help you get familiar with the development environment and the process of writing Windows Phone 7 apps.
  5. Get your hands on these FREE ebooks on Windows Phone 7 development.
  6. Look around the App Hub. There’s lots of stuff in there for Windows Phone developers of all skill levels.
  7. Keep reading this blog! We’re going to be covering all sorts of aspects of Windows Phone 7 development.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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