Coffee and Code

Winnipeg Coffee and Code: Thursday, December 9th

by Joey deVilla on December 8, 2010

coffee plus phone

Since I’m in town for TechDays Winnipeg, I thought I’d stay an extra day and host a Coffee and Code there. I’ll be at the Second Cup at 100 Osborne Street from 11:00 a.m. until at least 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 9th, the day after TechDays. Come drop by, talk about Windows Phone 7 or any other topic that comes to mind!

Map picture

Creative Commons photo (coffee cup) by Ballistik Coffee Boy.

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

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just us cafe

We’re holding a Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code in Halifax on Thursday, November 4th at Just Us! Café (1678 Barrington Street) from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.. Come join us and learn about Windows Phone 7, see a Windows Phone and even try deploying apps to it!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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TechDays Halifax: November 2 – 3

by Joey deVilla on October 29, 2010

techdays halifax

TechDays, Microsoft Canada’s cross-country technical conference for developers and IT pros, heads to Halifax next week! So far, we’ve been to Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto, and now it’s time to head out east.

TechDays Halifax will take place on Tuesday, November 2 and Wednesday, November 3 at the World Trade Centre (1800 Argyle Street). As with TechDays in every other city, there’s a lot going on:

  • CloudCamp on Monday, November 1. On the day before TechDays, we’re sharing our venue with the folks behind CloudCamp, the unconference on cloud computing. To find out more about CloudCamp, check out the registration page.
  • TechDays proper takes place on Tuesday, November 2 and Wednesday, November 3. We’re talking about 60 sessions on programming, systems administration, Microsoft technologies and “best practices” (I hate the use that term, but I’m at a loss for another phrase that captures its meaning). We take the content from big-ticket conferences like TechEd North America, MIX and PDC, give it to “local heroes” to present, bring it all to a city near you and charge a few hundred (instead of a few thousand) bucks.
  • TechDays Gives Back! We’re asking TechDays attendees to bring a non-perishable food item to the conference. All food will go to a local food bank.
  • Go DEVMental happens at the TechDays venue on the evening of Tuesday, November 2 – it’s our student event! If you’re a post-secondary student looking to get into web or phone development, you’ll want to catch Go DEVMental, where we’ll show you what’s possible with Microsoft tools and technologies, and you’ll walk away with a DreamSpark membership and fully-functional copies of Visual Studio Professional 2010 and Expression Blend. It doesn’t cost anything to attend; you just have to be a post-secondary student (with the ID to prove it. To attend, register here!
  • We’ll be holding a Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code during the afternoon of Thursday, November 4 at Just Us Café on Barrington (1678 Barrington Street) from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Come on down, see Windows Phone 7 devices up close and personal, and if you’ve got an app that you want to test on a real device instead of the emulator, this is your chance!

See you next week!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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What I’m Up To This Week

by Joey deVilla on October 25, 2010

It’s going to be a busy week for Yours Truly…

Monday: Windows Phone Deployment Clinic

monday - windows phone deployment clinic

On Monday, I’ll be helping out at the Windows Phone Deployment Clinic at Microsoft Canada HQ in Mississauga (1950 Meadowvale Boulevard, off Mississauga Road, north of Highway 401), where you can book some time to test your apps on a real Windows Phone 7 device. If you’ve got an app and you’re going to be in the area, drop me a line and book an appointment!

(By the bye, that thing I’m standing beside in the photo above is a promo device known colloquially as the “Big-Ass Phone”.)

Tuesday: AndroidTO and TechDays Setup

tuesday - androidto techdays

On Tuesday, I’ll be spending some time at the AndroidTO conference, a gathering of Android developers, where I’ll be minding the Windows Phone 7 booth. Yes, that’s right, Microsoft is a gold sponsor at an Android conference. Why? Because:

  • We feel that if you’re an Android developer, go ahead an build Android apps, but expand your market reach by developing for Windows Phone 7 too! The programming languages and layout markup are similar.
  • If you’re an Android developer, what’s the best OS for doing development? We think it’s Windows 7, which is a great environment for Java. Loads of great Java dev tools run on Windows, and we don’t consider Java to be deprecated.

AndroidTO takes place at the Polish Combatants Hall (206 Beverley Street, just south of College), is free-as-in-beer, and is alas, completely booked solid.

I’ll also be doing some setup for TechDays Toronto, which takes place on Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday: TechDays Toronto and Go DEVMental

wednesday - techdays godevmental

Wednesday brings with it TechDays, Microsoft Canada’s cross-country tech conference: two days of great sessions for developers and IT pros who are building stuff with the Microsoft stack. I’m the guy who picked the content for both developer tracks, “Developing for Three Screens and the Cloud” and “Optimizing the Development Process”. I strove for the best mix of both technology-specific stuff like Mark Arteaga’s Windows Phone 7 sessions and Kate Gregory’s Windows API Code Pack presentation as well as practice-of-programming sessions such as “Top 10 Mistakes in Unit Testing” and “Branching and Merging Strategies”. TechDays will occupy me from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m..

From 7 p.m. on, it’ll be Go DEVMental, the student event where we’ll show university and college students what’s possible with Microsoft’s web and mobile platforms. I’ll be doing a presentation on getting starting with game development for Windows Phone with an amusing little live-coded game called “BieberSmash”, starring the bubblegum pop idol of the moment. Go DEVMental is free and open to post-secondary students – just bring your student ID! You’ll get all sorts of goodies, including a DreamSpark token and Visual Studio 2010 Pro.

Both TechDays and GoDEVMental take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s South Building (222 Bremner Boulevard, right beside the CN Tower).

Thursday: TechDays, Day 2

thursday - techdays day 2

Thursday means another full day of the TechDays conference, to be followed by some very strong whiskey-based drinks.

Friday: Coffee and Code

friday - coffee and code

I’ll be running a Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code this Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Timothy’s at 225 Front Street West (in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre building). I’ll be hanging out at the cafe, working on Windows Phone 7 code on both the emulator and real Windows Phone devices. Want to learn more about Windows Phone 7, see a real-live phone, play some games or test your code? Come on down!

Saturday: ACSE Conference

saturday - acse conference

University of Toronto computer science prof Steve Engels invited me to speak in front of a group of high school teachers at the ACSE (Association for Computer Studies Educators) Conference taking place on Saturday. I’m going to be showing them programming for high school students on Windows Phone as well as with the Kodu game development environment.

…and Sunday?

sunday - zzzzz

Well, it won’t be all sleep. I’ll have to pack for my Monday flight to TechDays Halifax!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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coffee and code

Just a reminder: there are a couple of Coffee and Codes this week…

  • Ottawa: Join developer/trainer Colin Melia and IT Pro Evangelist/destroyer-of-technology Rick Claus as they set up office on Thursday, October 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Bridgehead Coffee House at 109 Bank Street (at Albert). They’ll have some WP7 devices that you can deploy apps to, and you can ask them questions about Windows Phone 7. Colin will field the developer questions while Rick will handle your “How does this fit into the enterprise?” inquiries.
  • Toronto: Join yours truly, Joey deVilla, at the Starbucks at King and Yonge, where I’ll be on Thursday, October 14 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. I’ll have a WP7 device you can deploy apps to, and if you’re working on an app and think you have have it done by Monday the 18th, you will really want to drop by and talk to me!

Come on down, see a real live Windows Phone up close and personal and deploy your apps to it!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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deployment opportunities

You’re building apps for Windows Phone 7. You’ve tested them as much as you can on the emulator. You now need to test them on a real device. We can help!

Getting your hands on a Windows Phone is a very hard thing to do. Even those of us who work inside the company are having trouble getting our hands on them because there just aren’t enough advance devices to go around. We have a small pool of phones and a big number of people who need to test their apps on them, so we’ve had to get creative in order to help people test.

First, there’s Coffee and Code. Coffee and Code has traditionally been an event where we take advantage of our mobile worker status and work out of a café, where we’re easily accessible. Lately, we’ve been using them as a chance for you to drop by, impromptu, take a look at our Windows Phones and even deploy apps to them for some quick testing. These are pretty informal, with no appointment required, and first-come-first-serve.

Then, there are the Deployment Clinics. These are a little more structured – you book an appointment to drop by one of Microsoft Canada’s offices and spend some quality just-you-and-your-app time with a Windows Phone. You have to book time in advance, and you have the phone all to yourself for the appointment.

Take advantage of these opportunities to test your WP7 apps on a real phone!

Here’s the schedule for the upcoming Coffee and Code and Deployment Clinics:

What When Where
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, October 14
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Ottawa
Bridgehead Coffee
109 Bank Street (at Albert)
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, October 14
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Downtown Toronto
Starbucks at King and Yonge
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Friday, October 15 Downtown Toronto
Microsoft office
Ernst & Young Tower,
TD Centre, 12th floor
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, October 21
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Downtown Toronto
Starbucks at King and Yonge
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Monday, October 25 Mississauga
Microsoft Office
1950 Meadowvale Blvd
(Off Mississauga Road, just north of Highway 401)
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Wednesday, October 27 Vancouver
Microsoft Office
1111 W. Georgia, 11th floor
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Friday, October 29
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Downtown Toronto
Timothy’s
255 Front Street West
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, November 4
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Halifax
Location TBD
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, November 11
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Ottawa
Location TBD
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Friday, November 12 Montreal
Microsoft Office
2000 Ave McGill College,
4th floor
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, November 18
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Downtown Toronto
Starbucks at King and Yonge
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Friday, November 19
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Montreal
Microsoft Office
2000 Ave McGill College,
4th floor
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, November 25
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Montreal
Location TBD
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Monday, November 29 Ottawa
Microsoft Office
World Exchange Plaza (100 Queen Street), 5th floor
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Wednesday, December 1 Calgary
Microsoft Office
Atlus Centre (500 – 4th Ave. SW), 19th floor
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, December 2
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Downtown Toronto
Starbucks at King and Yonge
Deployment Clinic
(Book an appointment)
Friday, December 3 Calgary
Microsoft Office
Altius Centre (500 – 4th Ave. SW), 19th floor
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, December 9
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Winnipeg
Location TBD
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, December 9
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Downtown Toronto
Starbucks at King and Yonge
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, December 16
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Calgary
Location TBD
Coffee and Code
(Drop in)
Thursday, December 16
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Downtown Toronto
Starbucks at King and Yonge

To book an appointment, drop Samantha Wong a line and she’ll set you up.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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I Probably Owe You an Email…

by Joey deVilla on October 7, 2010

"Getting Caught Up": Large stack of papers in an office cubicle

…or a phone call, or visit or something along those lines. The past couple of days have kept me quite busy helping run TechDays Edmonton, but that ended yesterday, and I’m spending today helping run Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code Edmonton (it’s at the Second Cup at 102 and Jasper) and getting caught up. I’ll be working through my backlog in reverse chronological order, and if there’s something that needs my attention, it wouldn’t hurt to fire me a reminder email!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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