Boston Globe reports on 8yr Old Windows Phone App Developer


Tariq at Nokia DVLUP Day


Cal Borchers interviews Tariq at the MTC

Cal Borchers of the Boston Globe has captured the story of Tariq Ali, an 8 year old app developer. Tariq attended the Nokia DVLUP Day event held at the Microsoft offices in Cambridge MA back in November. Tariq used App Studio to publish his first Windows Phone app called Kids Zone.

Read the rest of the story here…

Nokia DVLUP Day NYC – Register to Attend

square DVLUP day logo



Learn to make amazing Windows Phone apps at Nokia DVLUP Day in New York City on Saturday March 22, 2014 and win big prizes just for participating. Join Nokia Developer Ambassadors Nick Landry & Lance McCarthy, as well as several Microsoft Technical Evangelists, as they provide hands-on Windows Phone development training in a dynamic and fun event. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or barely know how to code, you will walk away with the ability to write a mobile app.

With full sample source code and step-by-step instructions, you will learn how to make an app or game from scratch, or learn new techniques to enhance your current apps & games. No matter what you want to build – an app or a game – or what your programming skill level is, there are four individual tracks to choose from, which means there is something for everyone.

DVLUP Day is a unique community event that combines presentations by Windows Phone experts along with a hands-on workshop to help attendees get started on their apps. BRING YOUR LAPTOP! Work with our experts, get started on your app or game, publish it within 3 weeks after the event and get a free Windows Phone 8 device!


DVLUP Day New York City will be held on March 22, 2014 at the new Microsoft Office in Manhattan at:

11 Times Square, 6th Floor

New York, NY 10036

Click here for a map and directions

What You Will Receive

As an attendee of DVLUP Day NYC you will be eligible for the following:

  • A Windows Phone 8 device. Every attendee who publishes a new app or game within 3 weeks of the event will get a new Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 device.
  • A heavy-duty DVLUP backpack. The first 150 registered attendees to sign-in the morning of the event will receive a swag bag full of goodies, even the backpack itself is worth $89 (it’s a Wenger, Swiss Gear TSA friendly laptop bag). We’ll have swag, t-shirts and other goodies for everyone too.
  • A Nokia Developer Offers token. This is worth hundreds of dollars and contains the following:
    • Microsoft Windows Phone DevCenter account (this is your portal to publish apps to the Windows Phone Store and also unlocks physical devices for building apps)
    • Telerik UI for Windows Phone license
    • Infragistics NetAdvantage for Windows Phone license
    • BugSense Performance Monitoring solution for Windows Phone (3 months)
  • $50 AdDuplex credit (approx. 20,000 ad impressions). AdDuplex is an ideal network to cross-promote your app with others. You’ll learn about AdDuplex in the App Marketing & Advertising lightning talk.

There will be multiple random drawings for attendees to win a Nokia Lumia “Hero” device of their choice (Lumia 1020, 928, 925, 920) and other prizes. In addition to the phones, we’ll be giving away other prizes from Nokia & Microsoft, including JBL PowerUp Bluetooth Speakers, Xbox ONE and Xbox 360 games, software licenses, gadgets and more. The first drawing will be during the Lightning Talks after the day of training for all attendees. Another drawing will be held near the end of the event in the evening for the attendees who stayed to code and get help during the hands-on workshop.

Breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner will be served. Come see the latest Windows Phone & Windows 8 devices in our device bar, and connect with other developers in the community

Register for free today! This is a unique event you just can’t miss!

DVLUP Day NYC Agenda – March 22, 2014

  • 8:00am – Registration Opens: Continental breakfast & coffee will be served.
  • 9:00am – Opening Session: Introduction from Nokia, meet the experts, housekeeping.

*** 15 min break ***

  • 10:00am – Windows Phone Breakout Sessions: 4 tracks
    • o Track 1: App Development – Getting Started & App Studio
    • o Track 2: App Development – Maps, Imaging & Cloud Services
    • o Track 3: Game Development – Getting Started with Unity
    • o Track 4: Game Development – Porting Unity Games to Windows Phone
    • 12:30pm – Lunch Break
    • 1:30pm – Breakout Sessions Continue (same tracks)

*** 15 min break ***

  • 3:00pm –Lightning Talks with Q&A
    • o App Design & User Experience
    • o Windows Phone Packaging & App Store Submission
    • o App Marketing & Advertising
    • 4:00pm – Hands-on workshop begins – All staff on hand to help you get started
    • 6:30pm – Dinner Break
    • 9:30pm – Event Ends

Track 1: App Development – Getting Started & App Studio

Learn how to write Windows Phone apps with XAML/C# and explore the amazing APIs available to you. See first-hand how to use the powerful tools, Visual Studio and Blend, to produce great apps with amazing UIs. You will also learn how to generate a store-ready Windows Phone app in under an hour using Microsoft App Studio. Learn how to get started with App Studio and have a store ready app without having to write a single line of code. Then take a dive into the downloadable source code to discover how to customize your app further.

Track 2: App Development – Maps, Imaging & Cloud Development

So you’re already experienced with Windows Phone app development and you want to take your apps to the next level. Join us for a deeper dive into some specific SDKs for Windows Phone developers. You’ll learn about location services, maps and how to call Geospatial Information Services (GIS) from your apps. We’ll also explore the Nokia Imaging SDK, letting you easily add advanced imaging effects and filters when dealing with photos in your apps. Finally, we’ll see how your apps can reach leverage Windows Azure to create a custom back-end to store structured and unstructured data in the cloud and deliver a compelling user experiences. We’ll discuss how you can use Windows Azure to extend the on-line presence of your app by building additional channels to showcase your application and interact with your end-users.

Track 3: Game Development – Getting Started with Unity

Learn how to make fun games for Windows Phone using Unity. In this track you will learn how to code casual 2D games for Windows Phone using one of the best game engines and toolset – used by Indies and Pros alike. And the best part is it’s free! Game development is one of the most fun and rewarding forms of software development. If you’ve ever considered writing games, this is your chance to get started.

Track 4: Game Development – Porting Unity Games to Windows Phone

If you’re already an experienced Unity developer and have published games on other platforms like iOS, Android, PC or others, come join this session to learn how you can reach a whole new audience of gamers on the Windows Phone platform. Learn about adapting your game for touch controls, how to deal with Windows Phone specific considerations, and we’ll even help you to bring your game to the Windows Store too.

Developer Environment

Windows Phone 8 development requires Windows 8.x Pro to install the SDK and emulator. If you’re running Windows 7, you can still build Windows Phone 7.8 apps using the 7.1 SDK. If you’re using a Mac, you can create a Windows 8.x Pro virtualized environment using Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion.

All attendees can build Windows Phone applications using a web browser and Microsoft App Studio, as covered in Track 1.

For more information on getting started, visit


DVLUP Day was a huge hit with developers in 2013, with stops in Boston, Tampa, Sunnyvale and Vancouver. This is going to be an awesome day in New York City and I look forward to seeing you all there. Just for showing up and learning, you get hooked up. Just for publishing an app, you get hooked up. Mark off that Saturday March 22, register now and come join us.


DVLUP Day New York is completely free to attend but spaces are limited, so make sure you register your interest now.

You will need to have your DVLUP account ID ready. If you haven’t got a DVLUP account yet, just go to and sign up now. It will only take 2 minutes!

Any questions?

If there’s anything you’d like to know either before or after you register, email us right away.

Publish your Game to Windows using Unity

microsoft-favicon   Plus    unityLogoEqualLove

The following resources are mirrored on Joe Healy’s Wiki









Coding in the Cloud: Attend a Windows Azure Dev Camp


Spend the day with Windows Azure and leave with code running in the cloud.

Available in select cites, these free, one-day instructor-led workshops let you roll up your sleeves and get hands-on with Microsoft’s latest development tools and technologies.

You will learn how you can leverage the cloud for development, testing and deploying your solutions. The hands-on labs will focus on:

  • Windows Azure Websites and Virtual Machines Using ASP.NET & Microsoft SQL Server
  • Deploying Cloud Services in Windows Azure
  • Updating an App to a Modern Architecture
  • Configuring and testing a Modern Application.

All languages are welcome. With Windows Azure, you can use practically any language, framework, or tool to build or move existing applications into the cloud.

Register today for the event near you.

Video: An Interview with the creators of “WormRun” for Windows 8

Abstract: Stacey Mulcahy welcomes Mike Christatos and Andy Wallace from Golden Ruby Games as they discuss how they created “WormRun” for Windows 8. Tune in as they share their story from concept to creative to code as well as how they integrated the use of an Xbox controller to play their game.

Download “WormRun” for Windows 8

If you’re interested in learning more about the products or solutions discussed in this episode, click on any of the below links for free, in-depth information:

Blogs & Articles:


Virtual Labs:


App Anatomy: Virtuoso, a Music Sequencer


Virtuoso is a music sequencer for Windows 8.1. The app provides a fun and easy to use interface that allows you to compose original music using drums, bass, strings, vibes and guitar. Virtuoso will play 16 beats of music in a continuous loop. You can interact with the sequencer in real time changing notes, tempo and instrument volumes. You can save your songs to disk for playback at a later time.


Musicians can use Virtuoso as a scratch pad for their musical ideas and parents can use Virtuoso to teach their children the basics of music; rhythm, harmony and melody.


  • 5 Instruments, 65 Voices
  • 16 Beat Sequencer
  • Change tempo and mix instruments in real time
  • Play and Pause control
  • Save your songs to disk
  • Built in Tutorial

This article will cover the following topics:

  • Class Structure
  • Playing Audio using the SharpDX.XAudio2 API
  • Background Threads
  • Updating the UI from a background thread using the Dispatcher
  • App State File IO using XML Serialization
  • Deploying files at runtime using Zip File Decompression

Continue reading

Nokia Windows Phone Developer Day


What: Windows Phone Developer Day

When: Feb 1st, 12pm to 6pm

Where: Microsoft Offices, 1 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142


Mark your calendars for Saturday, Feb 1, 2014 and free up 12-6 PM to be in Cambridge, MA. The Microsoft and Nokia Evangelist are teaming up to help you publish your Windows Phone Apps!

Here is the preliminary schedule (subject to tweaking):

  • 12 PM DevCenter Submission Walkthrough (30 minutes): See just how easy it is to submit and publish an app worldwide
  • 12:30 PM 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.
  • 1 PM – 1:30 PM Lunch: I’ll be providing food and snacks. This is when you think about what you need help with or when you should think of your app idea for App Studio.
  • 1:30-6 PM Hands-on time: The experts will be available to help during this 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 it’s way to the global app marketplace.

What will you need to bring?

  • If you need help on an existing app, 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


Everyone who attends and publishes their app will be entered to win a “hero” Nokia Lumia (1020, 928, 925, 920, etc) of their choice. I’ll be saving some swag/prize surprises for the day of the event. Also, Microsoft will be bringing some prizes of their own! I will update this post with more details as we get closer to Feb 1st.

Note: If you accept a prize from Nokia, you agree to these terms.

Continuous Innovation Applied – The Fast Path to the Windows Store

The beginning is the most important part of the work – PLATO, The Republic

For many developers participating in the app economy is an exercise in learning to be a startup. You want to create a product (app), launch it into the marketplace (Windows Store), drive sales (downloads), receive feedback from customers (ratings and reviews) , make improvements and release the next version of your app. This is a cyclical process that is explained in great detail in the The Lean Startup by Eric Reis.<

One of the concepts that Eric lays out in his book is the idea of Continuous Innovation. This is a 3 step approach to creating, publishing and marketing your product.


Continuous Innovation

One of the key tenants of Continuous Innovation is to focus on what is called a Minimal Viable Product (MVP). The goal of a minimal viable product is to get through the Continuous Innovation cycle  as quickly as possible with minimal effort.

Gone are the days of yearlong development efforts followed by the big product launches. In the app economy you need to build fast, collect feedback from your customers and iterate on the next version. You need to test both the technical as well as the business hypothesis and implement features that customers want and fail fast on the things that are not driving downloads.

By starting out with a Minimal Viable App and moving through the Continuous Innovation cycle quickly, you will learn the entire process of how to launch a product, market that product, gather customer feedback and iterate on the next version. This skill set is what every developer needs to learn to be successful going forward in our industry,

Getting Started

For many developers coming up with a product idea can be daunting. The key to successful apps is typically tied to the richness of the data that you provide to your customer along with the set of features you provide for working with that dat

To help you with the process of getting an app in the store using open data API’s and learning how to apply Continuous Innovation the Technical Evangelist team here at Microsoft has created a set of Windows App Starter Kits. These starter kits are based on open data API’s which give you the rich data set you need to create a compelling application or a mashup.

To get started let me introduce you to the wonderful world of Open Data API’s.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. – Jim Rohn

The Wonderful World of API’s

Using open data API’s are a great way to get started creating compelling apps. The internet it turns out is source of rich content. Who knew! You can get a sense of the vast numbers of open data API’s by visiting API Hub or Programmable Web. There are thousands of API’s covering all industry segments and topics.


Upon investigation you will soon learn that not all API’s are created equal. There are differences in quality, speed, call thresholds, authentication and so on. Spending some time to validate API’s of interest is well served. Most APIs require the developer to register and request a Developer Key. Some API’s are throttled, limited to a certain number of calls a day or second. Many are free but some are not. Here is a list of criteria that you can use to validate API’s of interest:

  • Developer Key Required
  • API protocol – REST or SOAP?
  • Authentication Required – OAuth, SessionID, etc.
  • Performance – how well does the API perform?
  • Service Level Agreement (SLA) – is the API always available?
  • Payload format – JSON, XML, other
  • Throttled – If yes what is the limit?
  • Free or Pay
  • Is the API mashable – can the data be used as input to another API?

Last but not least is to read the Terms and Conditions of the API provider. The details of how often you can call the API and other usage rules such as a requirement to display their logo and to have that logo link to their site will be documented. If you are going to use an API read the T’s and C’s thoroughly before investing hours of development.

For more detailed coverage of API Basics see Stacy Mulcahy’s post here.

Windows App Kits

In order to streamline your ability to leverage API’s to create compelling apps for Windows, the US Technical Evangelist team has created a portfolio of 22 Windows 8 and 12 Windows Phone 8 Starter Kits that you can use to create your minimal viable product.


There are kits that provide solutions for Windows 8, Windows Phone and in either C# or HTML5/JS. The Chuck Norris Starter Kit also provides a VB implementation. There is also a starter kit for those who want to learn how to leverage Azure Mobile Services.

Each Kit comes with one or more Visual Studio solutions, a README.MD and associated blog posts that document how to customize each kit. There are also several kits that have corresponding Video tutorials on Channel 9.

Here are examples of apps that have been created using these starter kits: