Bootcamp

Windows Phone-a-Palooza [Updated]

by Joey deVilla on August 29, 2010

Update: Please note the changes to the Toronto-area deployment clinic locations!

The "Windows Phone Canada" LinkedIn Group

"I [Canada] Windows Phone" logo

If you’re not a member of LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, you should join it now! It’s a great place to keep in touch with your network of working peers, post and maintain your resume, find people in your industry and be found yourself, and take part in professional discussions in LinkedIn groups.

Once you’re a member of LinkedIn, you should join the Windows Phone Canada group. It’ll have links to the latest Windows Phone articles, host discussions about all aspects of Windows Phone development, from coming up with ideas for apps to writing them to selling them in Marketplace. You’ll also get to network with Windows Phone developers across Canada, and as I’ll tell you over and over, that’s where opportunities are born.

Join the WP7 discussion – join the Windows Phone Canada LinkedIn group!

Windows Phone Deployment Clinics

7 LG Windows Phone 7 phones charging

Pictured above: some of the phones we’ll be using in our deployment clinics.

Anyone who’s built apps and tried them out on an emulator and then deployed to the real thing will know what Jan van de Snepscheut was talking about when he said “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.”

To support you in your WP7 development and help you make the leap from theory to practice, we’re starting our deployment clinics this week! It’s your chance to deploy your app to a real WP7 phone and see how it works. This week’s are being held in:

There are also some events being planned for next week:

(I’m working on Toronto dates for next week…watch this blog!)

We’re working on ways to hold deployment clinics in as many places across Canada, as often as our schedules and pool of phones will allow. For those of you out west, we’re working on getting clinics out your way – watch this space!

Windows Phone Bootcamps

Photo of Windows Phone 7 bootcamp Montreal attendees sitting at a boardroom tableDevTeach’s Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp – a four-city, two-day, hands-on intensive training course taught by Colin Melia – started off quite nicely last week in Montreal (pictured left).

This week, the Bootcamp comes to Vancouver on Monday and Tuesday (August 30 – 31) and Ottawa on Thursday and Friday (September 2 – 3).

Next week, Yours Truly sits in on the Toronto Bootcamp, which happens next Tuesday and Wednesday (September 7 – 8).

Want to sign up for the Bootcamp? Register here, and save $100 when you use the discount code WP7BOOTCAMP.

Windows Phone Training and Deployment Clinics at TechDays

"Microsoft TechDays 2010" logoTechDays, our cross-Canada conference on how to make the most of Microsoft’s tools and technologies, is just over two weeks away, starting with TechDays Vancouver on September 14th and 15th. We’ve got two 65-minute breakout sessions on Windows Phone app development being presented by Windows Phone MVP Mark Arteaga and a half-hour “Turbo Talk” by Windows Phone MVP Anthony Bartolo on distributing your apps through the Marketplace. To find out more about TechDays, visit the TechDays site.

We’ll be running deployment clinics in the TechDays cities when we’re there (those cities, in order: Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary), in the TechDays lounge, as well as outside the conference. Watch this blog for details!

Windows Phone Training for Students at Go DevMENTAL

"Go DevMENTAL" logoJust as TechDays is a cross-Canada tour for working developers and IT pros, Go DevMENTAL is a cross-Canada tour for post-secondary students who’d like to learn more about the coolest apps and platforms, get connected with people in the software industry and get help in pursing a career. To find out more about Go DevMENTAL, check out the Go DevMENTAL site.

One of Go DevMENTAL’s tracks is dedicated to creating Windows Phone apps. It’ll have two sessions: one on building Silverlight apps for WP7; the other on building XNA-based games for WP7.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Windows Phone 7 Montreal Bootcamp on Monday!

by Joey deVilla on August 19, 2010

In case you hadn’t yet seen Windows Phone 7 in action, here’s a video that was shot recently:

I get a lot of questions about Windows Phone 7 development, and of these, the most often-asked one is “How do I get started building apps for Windows Phone?” My answer is always the same: take a guide or tutorial that suits you, learn how the example program works, and then start experimenting!

bootcamp

If you really want to dive into the world of Windows Phone development, you should check out DevTeach’s two-day intensive bootcamp hosted by Colin Melia, who’s presented at TechDays, wrote the Silverlight demo app that we used for the EnergizeIT tour and is one of our go-to guys for Windows Azure – simply put, the guy knows his stuff. If you’re looking to kick-start your WP7 development, there isn’t a course more hardcore than this one.

save100withWPBOOTCAMPcode

The first bootcamp takes place next week in Montreal at the Microsoft offices on Avenue McGill College. The registration fee is $999, but you can save $100 with the discount code WP7BOOTCAMP. Register today!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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What’s Happening with Windows Phone 7 [Updated]

by Joey deVilla on July 28, 2010

windows phone 7

Update: I added links to official Windows Phone 7 documentation.

And now, a quick wrap-up of what’s happening with Windows Phone 7. (What you see above is my phone in my hand, as seen from my point of view at Café Novo, one of my “remote offices” in Toronto.)

In this article, I cover:

  • General in-person reactions by people trying out Windows Phone 7
  • The developer tools
  • The upcoming Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp by DevTeach and DreamDigital
  • Resources, including the most complete list of upcoming Windows Phone 7 books that I know of
  • A little bit about Marketplace and how we plan to help you market your apps.

Read on for more!

Windows Phone 7 Makes a Splash at Tweetgasm

tweetgasm

On Monday night, I attended a monthly event called Tweetgasm, which took place in Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel. As the name of the event implies, it’s a gathering of Twitter users, and as expected, a good chunk of the people who came work in tech, internet marketing and that emerging business called “social media”.

Then came the inevitable question: “So is it true that you’ve got a Windows Phone?”

I pulled it out from my pocket, unlocked it, and said “Want to take it for a spin?”

I spent the better part of an hour letting people put my phone through its paces. From this experience, it became quite clear that seeing photos of WP7’s minimalistic interface and actually experiencing it “up close and personal” are two very different creatures.

“It’s really responsive,” was a common refrain as they tried out the touch screen. The touch response of the phone feels right. People got a kick out of flicking their way around the various hubs and pinch-zooming in both the browser and my photo collection.

“It’s easy to read!” was another common response. “Nice and clean, and what’s that font?”

(It’s “Segoe WP”, a variant of “Segoe UI”, which comes with Windows Vista and 7. You get Segoe WP when you download the WP7 developer tools. Hardcore typography nerds might want to check out Wikipedia’s entry on Segoe.)

“All right, Joey,” said a couple of developers who built apps for other platforms, “how do we get in on building for this phone?” I have their contact info, and I’ll be talking with them very soon.

And how do you get in on building for WP7 if you didn’t get my business card at Tweetgasm? Step one is simple: drop me a line.

Get the Windows Phone 7 Beta Developer Tools

tools

If you want to get started building apps for WP7, your first step is to download the tools. The tools recently made the leap from CTP (“Community Technology Preview”) to beta. The developer tools are free-as-in-beer and based on the excellent Visual Studio IDE.

click here to download wp7 developer tools beta

Here’s what you get with the tools:

  • Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone (beta). The development environment, debugger and compiler – it’s where you’ll be coding.
  • Windows Phone Emulator (beta). So you can take your apps for a test run. It works with touch screens, too – I use it with my touch screen-equipped laptop (a Dell Latitude XT2) all the time.
  • Microsoft Expression Blend for Windows Phone (beta). An interface designer that makes it easier to build the UIs for Silverlight-based phone apps. Used in tandem with Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, it makes building gorgeous apps a much quicker process.
  • Silverlight for Windows Phone (beta). One of the programming frameworks for WP7, this one is better suited for building event-driven “application”-style apps.
  • XNA Game Studio for Windows Phone (beta). The other programming framework for WP7, this game loop-driven framework is better suited for game development. It’s based on XNA Game Studio, which lets you build games for Xbox 360 and Windows.

Two Days of Intensive Hands-On Training at the Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp

bootcamp

Our friends at DevTeach and DreamDigital have teamed up to offer an intensive two-day “bootcamp” covering WP7 development in four Canadian cities later this summer:

  • Montreal: Monday, August 23 and Tuesday, August 24 at the Microsoft office
  • Vancouver: Monday, August 30 and Tuesday, August 31 at the Sutton Place Hotel
  • Ottawa: Thursday, September 2 and Friday, September 3 at the Microsoft office
  • Toronto: Tuesday, September 7 and Wednesday, September 8 at Microsoft’s downtown office

The bootcamp course will be taught by Colin Melia, who’s who’s presented at TechDays, wrote the Silverlight demo app that we used for the EnergizeIT tour and is one of our go-to guys for Windows Azure – simply put, the guy knows his stuff. If you’re looking to kick-start your WP7 development, there isn’t a course more hardcore than this one.

The registration fee is CDN$999 for the full-day training session, and you can save $100 by using the discount code WP7BOOTCAMP when you register. I repeat:

save100withWPBOOTCAMPcode

For the full details on the Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp, see the Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp page.

Where Can I Find Out More About Windows Phone 7?

guidance

joey wp7 accordion

Yours Truly and This Blog

For starters, there’s me (that’s me on the right, with the accordion with the “I love Windows Phone” stickers on it). I’m one of the designated “Windows Phone Champs”, and it’s my job to make it easier for you to write Windows Phone 7 apps. With my fellow champs Paul Laberge and Jamie Wakeam, I’ll be writing articles, organizing workshops, getting you the latest technical, user experience and marketing info you need, provisioning developer phones and doing whatever it takes to help you become a successful WP7 developer. Our success is going to be measured by your success.

Want to keep track of me and all the stuff I’m doing for Windows Phone developers? Check out the following:

  • I’ll be posting about WP7 quite regularly on this blog, so keep it bookmarked and come back often!
  • Follow me on Twitter: I’m @AccordionGuy.
  • Have you been working on a WP7 app using the development tools and emulator and are wondering what the next step is? You probably want to email me. Let’s talk!

Official Windows Phone 7 Documentation

The official docs are always a good starting point. Make sure you check out all these links!

Windows Phone Developer Blog

In addition to this blog, be sure to check out these blogs that cover WP7 development:

Books

There are a number of WP7 books in the works, including the ones listed below:

windows phone 7 unleashed

Windows Phone 7 Unleashed by Daniel Vaughan and published by Sams. He posted a quick blog entry about it earlier today.

beginning windows phone 7 development

Beginning Windows Phone 7 Development by Henry Lee and published by Apress.

pro windows phone 7 development

Pro Windows Phone 7 Development by Rob Cameron and published by Apress.

windows phone 7 game development

Windows Phone 7 Game Development by Adam Dawes and published by Apress. Here’s his blog entry on the book.

learning windows phone game programming

Learning Windows Phone Programming by Yochay Kiriaty and Jaime Rodriguez and published by O’Reilly. You can download a free 50-page PDF “sampler” of the book.

programming windows phone 7

Programming Windows Phone 7 by Charles Petzold and published by Microsoft Press. You can download a sampler of the book in PDF or XPS format, along with source code.

windows phone 7 application development using silverlight

Windows Phone 7 Application Development Using Silverlight by Corey Schuman and published by Addison-Wesley Professional.

xna game studio 4.0 programming

XNA Game Studio 4.0 Programming: Developing for Windows Phone and Xbox Live by Tom Miller and Dean Johnson and published by Addison-Wesley Professional.

wrox

There are also a couple of books coming out from Wrox that don’t have cover designs yet:

Promoting Your Apps in Marketplace

market 
Building WP7 apps is half the job; the other half is selling them in the Marketplace. We’re working on ways to help you market your applications, from articles explaining what works and what doesn’t (based on research and studying what works and what doesn’t for other mobile platforms), putting the spotlight on Canadian WP7 developers and their apps and sessions like Anthony Bartolo’s upcoming “Turbo Talk” at TechDays, where he’ll talk about Windows Phone Marketplace and how to get the most out of it.

Are you working on apps for Windows Phone 7? Make sure I (and through me, the rest of Microsoft Canada’s WP7 team) know about it – drop me a line!

Movin’ on Up

upward 
As a complete reboot and from-the-ground-up rethinking of Microsoft’s approach to mobile, Windows Phone 7 gives you a unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor, make a splash and be a rock star. Albert Shum’s new UI design makes it stand apart from other mobile OSs, and whenever I show my phone to people, they’re impressed by it. The new programming models – Silverlight and XNA offer a lot of power and flexibility, and I personally find programming with them and in C# far more pleasant that the options offered by The Esteemed Competition. As you’ll see in the coming weeks and months, The Empire is putting all sorts of resources behind WP7, and a lot of developers are coming along for the ride.

We’re movin’ on up – join us!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp

by Joey deVilla on July 13, 2010

Devvin' for Seven: Windows Phone 7 DevelopmentYou’ve seen the announcement and perhaps you’ve downloaded the beta of the Windows Phone 7 dev tools (if you haven’t, do it now!)

Click here to download WP7 Developer Tools Beta

Now that you’ve got the tools, what’s next? Will they just lie there, dormant on your hard drive, or are you going to use them and be a trailblazer on a brand new mobile platform?

Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp: Montreal (August 23 - 24), Vancouver (August 30 - 31), Ottawa (September 2 - 3), Toronto (September 7 - 8)

If you’re looking for intense training with personal attention by a highly-rated presenter with Silverlight and cloud development expertise, you’ll want to check out DevTeach’s Windows Phone 7 Bootcamps. They’re being presented by Colin Melia, who’s presented at TechDays, wrote the Silverlight demo app that we used for the EnergizeIT tour and is one of our go-to guys for Windows Azure – simply put, the guy knows his stuff.

BootThe Windows Phone 7 Bootcamps are serious courses – two full days of in-class hands-on training in which Colin will explain the Windows Phone 7 platform and especially Silverlight as it runs on Windows Phone, with all the details on Silverlight programming techniques, controls, templates, styling, resources, animation, data binding, navigation, interfaces and all those things you need to know about to build a mobile app. The course will mostly cover the Silverlight side of Windows Phone development, although there will be a section on game development with XNA.

If you’re a busy developer who’s having trouble setting aside time to learn all those separate bits that go into Windows Phone development – Silverlight, calling on web services, the Windows Phone-specific APIs, using information for sensors such as GPS and accelerometers and dealing with the constraints of mobile devices – this course is well worth the money. It’ll give you the kick start you start writing apps and capitalize on the wide-open marketplace of Windows Phone apps.

Windows Phone 7 "People" hubThe bootcamps take place in the following cities on the following dates:

  • Montreal: Monday, August 23 and Tuesday, August 24 at the Microsoft office
  • Vancouver: Monday, August 30 and Tuesday, August 31 at the Sutton Place Hotel
  • Ottawa: Thursday, September 2 and Friday, September 3 at the Microsoft office
  • Toronto: Tuesday, September 7 and Wednesday, September 8 at Microsoft’s downtown office

The registration fee is CDN$999 for the full-day training session, and you can save $100 by using the discount code WP7BOOTCAMP when you register. I repeat:

Save $100 with this code: WP7BOOTCAMP

For the full details on the Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp, see the Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp page.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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windows phone 7 bootcamp

Want some hardcore training from a developer who’s been doing Windows Phone 7 development since the tools were released in March? Then you’ll want to check out DevTeach’s Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp, taking place late this summer in Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto.

The Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp is an intense two-day training session run by indie training conference organizers DevTeach and will be hosted by Colin Melia, principal architect for DreamDigital. Colin’s knows a lot about Silverlight and cloud technologies and will share this knowledge at the Bootcamp, showing you how to make great mobile user interfaces as well as how to write phone apps that harness the power of networked-based services such as notification and location services as well as data access and isolated storage.

save 100 with WP&BOOTCAMP codeWhat You’ll Need to Know

Colin’s going to dive right into the nitty-gritty of developing apps for Windows Phone 7, and there’s quite a bit of material to cover, so you should at least be familiar with the following to get the most out of the Bootcamp:

  • Visual Studio 2008 or 2010
    (You can familiarize yourself with these by downloading the free Visual C# 2010 Express or Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone)
  • The C# programming language, or something similar
    (If you’re a Java developer you should find the transition pretty easy; developers using other object-oriented programming languages shouldn’t have too much difficulty following C#)
  • The .NET programming framework
    (Actually, pretty easy to grasp, especially with the assistance of Visual Studio)
  • XML
    (A basic understanding will do)

What You Won’t Need to Know

You won’t need to have any experience with Silverlight or phone development – the Bootcamp’s covering that!

What You’ll Need to Bring

one laptop will do

You’ll need to bring your own laptop running Windows 7 or Vista SP2 with “an appropriate up-to-date set of tools installed and functioning”. That means Visual Studio 2010 or at least Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone.

When and Where?

The Windows Phone 7 Bootcamps will be limited to 25 seats in order for you to be able to interact better with Colin, so register as soon as you can! They’ll be taking place in these cities:

  • Montreal: Monday, August 23 and Tuesday, August 24 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel
  • Vancouver: Monday, August 30 and Tuesday, August 31 at the Sutton Place Hotel
  • Ottawa: Thursday, September 2 and Friday, September 3 at a location to be announced
  • Toronto: Tuesday, September 7 and Wednesday, September 8 at a location to be announced

The registration fee is CAD$999 for the two-day training session, and you can save $100 by providing the discount code WP7BOOTCAMP when you register.

For More Information

If you’d like to know more about the Windows Phone 7 Bootcamp, visit DevTeach’s site, and particularly their special page devoted to the Bootcamp.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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