Coffee and Code

A Scene from Today’s Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code

by Joey deVilla on September 30, 2010

My LG Windows Phone 7, with "Smiles" displayed on the screen.A test version of Smiles running on my WP7 device.

In between chatting with developers who dropped by today’s Coffee and Code in downtown Toronto and getting some work done, I’ve been playing Smiles (pictured above), an incredibly cute and incredibly addictive puzzle game by London, ON-based development shop Sykhronics.

Here’s a video of Smiles’ gameplay in its “Drop” mode:

Mike Kasprzak of Sykhronics was kind enough to send me an early test version of Smiles to show off the Phone’s game capabilities as well as the level of “polish” that Windows Phone 7 developers should be aiming for in their apps. Mike’s got some pretty high standards and is working to make sure that Smiles for WP7 meets them, and it shows! Even in this test version, Smiles looks and feels like a polished arcade classic, and when it’s done, it’s going to be a must-buy.

Keep writing those apps, and aim high! We’ll do what we can on our end to help out, which includes:

  • Articles on Windows Phone 7 development in Silverlight and XNA
  • Articles on good mobile user interface design and marketing your apps
  • Announcements of upcoming Coffee and Codes and WP7 Deployment Clinics across Canada
  • Coverage of “Phone Heroes”: People building apps for Windows Phone 7 – and hey, you could be one of them!
  • Pointers to useful tools, resources and other things to help you build WP7 apps

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Montreal/Toronto/Edmonton Event Reminders

by Joey deVilla on September 30, 2010

reminders

Deployment Clinic Today in Montreal

Deployment clinics are a little more formal than Coffee and Codes. You can book an exclusive timeslot to deploy and test apps to a Windows Phone 7 device, and there’s one taking place all day at Microsoft’s Montreal office (2000 Avenue McGill College, 4th floor) on the 30th. Email Christian Beauclair to reserve a time slot.

Coffee and Code Today in Toronto

I’ll be at the Starbucks at King and Yonge (4 King Street West) from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with a Windows Phone 7 for you to play with and deploy your apps to. I’ll be at or near the big table in the back — come on down!

Montreal “Speaker Idol” Deadline is Soon!

Compete in Speaker Idol to win a licence of Visual Studio Ultimate and the respect of the Montreal .NET Community! The deadline to subm,it a 200-word abstract and a brief bio for your 10-minute presentation is coming fast (midnight Friday).

TechDays Edmonton is Next Week

TechDays comes to Edmonton next week, taking place on October 5th and 6th, and with it will come CloudCamp Edmonton (October 4th) and Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code Edmonton (October 7th). Watch this blog for more details!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Montreal Coffee and Code Today!

by Joey deVilla on September 29, 2010

Coffee and Code: Cup of coffee and a milk server on a wooden table

Today, Wednesday, September 29th, join “les bons gars”, Developer Advisor Christian Beauclair and Regional Director Guy Barrette, who’ll be holding a Coffee and Code at Le Café de la Cité on 75 Queen. They put on a professional appearance, but we all know qu’ils vont ecrire des «fart apps»! They’ll be doing it in both official languages: Silverlight and XNA!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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This Week’s Coffee and Codes / Deployment Clinics

by Joey deVilla on September 27, 2010

Coffee and Code: espresso cup sitting among coffee beansCreative Commons photo by “Demion”.

Join us as we make ourselves available to you so you can try out a real live Windows Phone 7 device and see how your apps work on the real thing. We’ve got a couple of Coffee and Codes and one deployment clinic this week:

Wednesday, September 29 in Montreal (Coffee and Code)

Coffee and Code is all about us spending the day working out of a cafe so that you can find us, join us, talk, ask questions and get to know us better. These days, it’s also about Windows Phone 7, but we’re happy to talk and answer questions about anything. Please drop by, whether it’s for five minutes or five hours!

Join “les bons gars”, Developer Advisor Christian Beauclair and Regional Director Guy Barrette, who’ll be holding a Coffee and Code at Le Café de la Cité on 75 Queen. They put on a professional appearance, but we all know qu’ils vont ecrire des «fart apps»! They’ll be doing it in both official languages: Silverlight and XNA!

Thursday, September 30 in Montreal (Deployment Clinic)

Deployment clinics are a little more formal than Coffee and Codes. You can book an exclusive timeslot to deploy and test apps to a Windows Phone 7 device, and there’s one taking place all day at Microsoft’s Montreal office (2000 Avenue McGill College, 4th floor) on the 30th. Email Christian Beauclair to reserve a time slot.

Thursday, September 30 in Toronto (Coffee and Code)

I’ll be at the Starbucks at King and Yonge (4 King Street West) this Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with a Windows Phone 7 for you to play with and deploy your apps to. I’ll be at or near the big table in the back — come on down!

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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This Week’s Coffee and Codes

by Joey deVilla on September 21, 2010

coffee and code

This week, we’re having Coffee and Codes in Ottawa and Toronto! Coffee and Code is where we work out of a cafe so that we’re easy to find. Come and talk to us, ask us questions about Microsoft tools and technologies, the industry, career, whatever! We’re also here to help you deploy apps to Windows Phone 7: we’ll have a real live Windows Phone 7 device that you can deploy apps to.

Wednesday, September 22 in Ottawa

Colin Melia and Rick “Claus” Claus from Microsoft’s Developer and Platform Evangelism team will be at Bridgehead Cafe (224 Dalhousie Street) from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to host a Coffee and Code there. Drop in, say hi, have a coffee, ask questions and if you’ve got an app, try deploying it to a real live Windows Phone 7 device!

Thursday, September 23 in Toronto

Join Kate Gregory and me as we host a Coffee and Code at the Starbucks at King and Yonge (4 King Street West) from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., where we’ll merge with the Coffee and iOS group who are coming in at 4:00 p.m.. Want to find out more about WP7 or iOS development? This is the time and place!

See Kate’s blog entry about this Coffee and Code

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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coffee and code

Update (Sept. 21 @ 6:15 p.m. EDT): Made some corrections to the schedule.

We’re out there, and we want to help you with your Windows Phone 7 development by giving you a chance to deploy your apps to an advance-release Windows Phone 7 device for testing! We’ll be in the following cities on the following dates:

Wednesday, September 22 in Ottawa (Coffee and Code)

Colin Melia and Rick “Claus” Claus from Microsoft’s Developer and Platform Evangelism team will be at Bridgehead Cafe (224 Dalhousie Street) from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to host a Coffee and Code there. Drop in, say hi, have a coffee, ask questions and if you’ve got an app, try deploying it to a real live Windows Phone 7 device!

Thursday, September 23 in Toronto (Coffee and Code)

Join Kate Gregory and me as we host a Coffee and Code at the Starbucks at King and Yonge (4 King Street West) from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., where we’ll merge with the Coffee and iOS group who are coming in at 4:00 p.m.. Want to find out more about WP7 or iOS development? This is the time and place!

See Kate’s blog entry about this Coffee and Code.

Wednesday, September 29 in Montreal (Coffee and Code)

Join “les bons gars”, Christian Beauclair and Guy Barrette, who’ll be holding a Coffee and Code at Le Café de la Cité on 75 Queen. They put on a professional appearance, but we all know qu’ils vont ecrire des «fart apps»! They’ll be doing it in both official languages: Silverlight and XNA!

Thursday, September 30 in Montreal (Deployment Clinic)

Deployment clinics are a little more formal than Coffee and Codes. You can book an exclusive timeslot to deploy and test apps to a Windows Phone 7 device, and there’s one taking place all day at Microsoft’s Montreal office (2000 Avenue McGill College, 4th floor) on the 30th. Email Christian Beauclair to reserve a time slot.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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Scenes from TechDays Vancouver, Part 5: Day 2 and Beyond

by Joey deVilla on September 20, 2010

Day 0 (The Day Before)

TechDays typically happens on a Tuesday and a Wednesday; we usually arrive on the Sunday or Monday in order to prepare the venue, our speakers and our own presentations. The afternoon of Day 0 is usually spent setting up the computers in each of the track rooms and in the Collaboration Lounge and “Ask the Experts” areas.

Here’s Christian Beauclair taking a tour of the facilities on the afternoon before TechDays.

Christian Beauclair in the hallway at Vancouver Conventioon Centre's West Building

I usually see Samantha Wong at Microsoft Canada’s headquarters in Mississauga, but last week she was with us at TechDays Vancouver, minding the table for the WebsiteSpark program, which gives free development tools available to eligible fee-for-service web design shops.

Samantha Wong, minding the WebsiteSpark table

We made the TechDays venue available to CloudCamp on the evening of Day 0. The Vancouver one was quite well-attended. John Bristowe, pictured below with the camera, took some photos of the crowd:

A crowd of CloudCamp attendees gathering as John Bristowe takes a photo of them

We’re usually quite busy with other things on the evenings of Day 1 and Day 2, so we hold the speaker dinner on the evening of Day 0. We took the speakers to Town Hall, where they got a chance to hang out with us over food and drinks and play with the new Windows Phone 7 devices. Morten Rand-Hendriksen seemed particularly delighted to take WP7 out for a spin:

Morten Rand-Hendriksen smiles maniacally as he holds a Windows Phone 7 device

Day 1

Here’s track host Miguel Carrasco delivering a short introductory presentation for “Developing for Three Screens and the Cloud” track the at the start of Day 1. We have introductory presentations on both days; they ease the audience into the day and tell them what to expect from each track.

Miguel Carrasco delivers the welcome presentation to a packed room

Also presenting in the “Three Screens and the Cloud” track was Aaron Kowall:

Aaron Kowall makes a presentation

Both developer tracks were well attended. Here are some scenes from the other developer track, “Optimizing the Development Process”:

Packed presentation room

Packed presentation room

Day 2

We’ve always got extra goodies to give away at TechDays. This year’s bonus prize was a special Halo Reach edition of the Xbox 360, and Lowell Picklyk was the lucky winner. Here he is, being presented the prize by Barnaby Jeans:

Barnaby Jeans and Lowell Picklyk hold up the box for the limited edition "Halo Reach" Xbox 360

Here’s Anthony Vranic talking about some of the new goodies in ASP.NET 4 WebForms:

Anthony Vranic makes a presentation

And here are Aaron Kowall and Miguel Carrasco watching Anthony:

Aaron Kowall and Miguel Carrasco, seated and watching a presentation

In addition to the usual developer and IT pro tracks, we added a new track to TechDays: the Local Flavours track. Unlike the other tracks, whose content comes from other big Microsoft conferences such as TechEd North America, MIX and PDC, Local Flavours’ presentations are the creations of developers and IT pros in each city.

In Vancouver, the last Local Flavours session was a special treat: a recording of a DotNetRocks show with DotNetRocks stars Richard Campbell and Carl Franklin interviewing Pete LePage, Senior Product Manager for Internet Explorer. IE9 Beta had been released earlier that day, so it was the perfect time to interview him.

Here are Richard, Carl and Pete being introduced to the audience by John Bristowe:

Richard Campbell, Carl Franklin and Pete LePage seated as John Bristowe introduces them

Richard Campbell, Carl Franklin and Pete LePage seated as John Bristowe introduces them

Richard Campbell, Carl Franklin and Pete LePage seated as John Bristowe introduces them

Day 2 Evening

After the end of TechDays, we tore down the computer setups in the session rooms, “Ask the Experts” area and Collaboration Lounge and packed them for shipping to Edmonton, the next TechDays city (TechDays Edmonton takes place on October 5th and 6th).

The day wasn’t over yet: we changed out of our TechDays clothes, dressed up a little and made our way to Glowball Grill in Vancouver’s Yaletown district for an IE9 blogger night, where 604-area tech bloggers, tech press and other notable nerds were shown IE9 in action.

Here’s Arnaud Gabaudan, the consumer lead for Internet Explorer, welcoming the crowd:

Arnaud Gabaudan makes a quick speech to the attendees in the lounge area of Glowball Grill

John Bristowe waits “in the wings” to do his presentation after Arnaud’s introduction:

Arnaud Gabaudan makes a quick speech to the attendees in the lounge area of Glowball Grill as John Bristowe watches

And we’re off! Here’s John’s grand tour of the new, faster, more standards-compliant beta of IE9:

John Bristowe's presentation, as seen from the bar

And tucked off to the side were those of us in the bar. We still had a pretty good view of the presentation, plus we had easy access to drinks!

The scene at the bar

Don’t worry, John; I’m paying attention – I just pay better attention when I’m enjoying a Bloody Caesar:

John Bristowe's presentation, as seen from the bar

Day 3 (The Day After)

We held a Coffee and Code on the day after TechDays at the Take 5 Cafe at Granville and West Hastings, a stone’s throw from our hotel, and the site of the foundings of a couple of Vancouver tech groups and startups. I started Coffee and Code at the beginning of 2009 as a way for Microsoft to be better in touch with and more accessible to developers, it’s been going strong ever since.

The scene at Take 5 Cafe

The faces I know in the pictures above and below, from left to right:

  • Boris Mann (blue jacket)
  • Chris Nicol (red shirt)
  • Christian Beauclair (blue shirt)
  • Morten Rand-Hendriksen (green plaid shirt, far back)
  • John Bristowe (black t-shirt, seated farthest back)
  • Anthony Bartolo (rightmost blue shirt)
  • Mark Arteaga (rightmost in the white shirt)

The scene at Take 5 Cafe

We will be holding Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code events in all TechDays cities. Watch this blog for announcements about the locations of upcoming Coffee and Codes!

The scene at Take 5 Cafe

The scene at Take 5 Cafe

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

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