Windows 8 App Developer Workshop Farmington CT

Screenshot (3)Attend a free hands-on workshop this weekend, October 12th 2013! This one is perfect for beginning developers and experienced coders alike. Get individual guidance on designing, building, marketing and publishing your app. Who knows? Your app could entertain, educate or even change the world!

The App Development Workshops provide you Windows 8 and Windows Phone starter kits based on well-known open data API’s such as Twitter, Meetup, Instagram, Edmunds and many more.

By attending a workshop you will:

1. Code Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 apps by leveraging our API starter kits
2. Publish your apps to the Windows and Windows Phone stores
3. Market your app online and through social media to drive downloads

Workshop Agenda

Hour 1 Presentation: Getting started with the Windows App Starter Kits

Hours 2 & 3 Code your app following our Hands-On Lab Workbooks and get expert, personal help with your project

Hour 4 Presentation: Marketing Apps 101

Refreshments will be served

MeetupSign up over at Meetup.


View the resources need for this event.


Awesome Chance to win Cash for your App

Just this week on 10/1, some friends at MoDev announced a contest, for a chance to win cash prizes, totaling $10K.  My favorite part, is that you can actually control whether or not you win, with a public vote, which will occur after the contest entry period ends on 12/31.  You just have to get your friends (and their friends) to vote for your app! Helps drive awareness for your published app & increase your downloads, but also increases your chance to win.  Check out the details below.

The Modev Windows $10k App Contest

We’re looking for those game changers, industry disruptors—denizens of creative awesome from across the developer community. We’ll award prizes two ways:


  1. An impartial panel of judges will pick the top three apps from among the entries and award prizes
  2. We’ll put the pool of entries up for a public vote, and encourage some healthy competition between entrants to promote your app and get the public to vote for you


To qualify, entrants need to submit new Windows 8 or Windows Phone apps to the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store between October 1 and December 31, 2013, and fill out the Contest Entry form. Judging and public voting will begin in January 2014, with winners announced by January 31st.

Successful Windows Game Development Event in Farmington

Screenshot (3)

On September 28th, Microsoft Technical Evangelist Jim O’Neil held a Windows Game Development workshop in the Farmington campus. I was in attendance as a “shadow” since I have not held an event yet. My first event is on October 12th in Farmington (more on that later). We had 16 attendees that were a mix of young adults, hardcore developers and developers wanting to learn more about Windows Game Development.

Jim took the lead by introducing some casual gaming concepts and tools to create these games. He showed off a few of his games along with some others that are in the store. The audience provided great feedback in terms of what they would like to see and try to create. Once the slides were out of the way, we got down to creating apps.

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We used Construct 2 to demonstrate how easy it is to get started. If you are not familiar with Construct 2, it is an IDE built on top of Visual Studio. They make the interface very simple to create casual games such as some platformers, top down views along with a few others.

We modified the standard Constcut 2 turtorial to add some Windows features, such as Touch and Snapped Mode. (These Windows Game templates can be found on our Github repository.) After adding the objects to the screen, we got into the event handling aspect of Construct 2. The ease of putting together commands for all of the objects can allow even the novice developer to become seasoned quickly.

The theory behind the “event sheet” in Construct 2 is the same pattern and practice as other development methodologies such as MVC. In the MVC pattern, you have the Model, which is your data storage or object. In Construct 2 these are the Sprites, System, Touch etc. The View which is your presentation of the Model can be found in the Layouts of Construct 2. And then you have the Controller, which provides access to the Model and the View for handling and manipulating data or business rules. This is the Event Sheet.

After wiring up the event sheets to the objects we got a full functioning game by lunch time. There is still more to do, such as exporting to Visual Studio and then importing into the Windows Store but this gave the audience a great jump start on building a game.

So what’s next? Finish that game. Or take our starter kits and build upon them.

If gaming is not for you, then on October 12th I will be going over app development for Windows 8. We will be looking at Bing maps and plotting data points all with HTML5 and JavaScript.


Stay tuned.





3 Windows Store Games to Check Out from Small Dev Shops

We all know about the LARGE development shops that create the popular games. At some point in time the makers of Angry Birds (Rovio) were small. I am not saying any of these games will be the next Angry Birds on the Windows platform, but, they are entertaining and worth checking out.

Zombie Pop

Zombie Pop

Fight back the unthinking, undead hordes with your zombie-swapping, color-matching prowess. In this fun twist on classic match-three games, the jewels are zombies who must be stopped. Slow the creeping menace by tapping crowds of three or more zombies of the same color, and watch them collapse, even as more join them. Can you stem the tide, or will you succumb to the zombie invasion

Zombie Lines

Zombie Lines

How long would you last during a zombie apocalypse? Take the test with this new kind of zombie game and find out. Clear rows of advancing undead with a unique matching system. Group sets of three or more matching zombies to kill them (again) and fight back. Compare your score with friends to decide who is most likely to survive when the dead walk the Earth!

Junk Rocket

Junk Rocket

Aliens have destroyed all of the best and brightest in the world, and now it’s up to one brave soul and his crew of poorly trained technicians to mount a desperate counterattack. Use your junk cannons to prepare your ship for the ravages of space, and then navigate your way to the alien overlord for a thrilling showdown!

Keep Track of Your Local Rivers

Screenshot.202925.100000Weather has always been unpredictable, just ask anyone who lives in Florida. However, when we look at patterns we can “sorta” predict weather. There is an app in the Windows Store that looks at these patterns to display rising rivers in your area. Why is this useful? Well, have you seen what happened in Colorado or even in Austin?

Fluvium (Fluvial – term used in geography and Earth science to refer to the processes associated with rivers and streams and thedeposits and landforms created by them – Wikipediaallows you to find nearby rivers and add them to your watch list. Data comes in from the USGS is updated every fifteen minutes, providing close to real-time monitoring. There are thousands of USGS monitored sites that you can choose from and add in Bing Maps integration to give you a pinpoint view of the area.

The app is definitely worth checking out.

Webinar for Startups Sponsored by Microsoft Ventures

uvanyLeaders from Microsoft Ventures will discuss:

• Resources and tools that support growth oriented companies
• The business and technical aspects of building a startup, including training on cloud and mobile technologies
• How startups can partner with large corporations
• Programs such as Microsoft Accelerators, Microsoft BizSpark and the Microsoft Seed Fund
• How Microsoft Ventures supports the startup community to encourage innovation.

Live broadcast from the offices of Nixon Peabody in NYC

Hosted by: Todd Tidgewell, Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP

Thanks to our Exclusive Event Sponsor:


And our Industry Partner:


Click here to Register Now!

After you register, call in information will be emailed to you.

In addition, as a member of the UVANY community, qualified
startups get access to free software and tools through the Microsoft BizSpark program.

Microsoft® BizSpark® is a global program for startups with over 50K+ members in a 100 countries, that helps provide access to free software development tools (including Dev tools, Office, Windows and SQL), training and visibility. There is no cost to being in this program.

Simply sign up using the code below to get your free BizSpark program benefits:

Your Windows App Start Here!

MicrosoftYour App Starts here! Windows App Developer Workshops

Whether you want to develop Games or Apps we’ve got workshops for you! These free hands-on workshops are perfect for beginning developers and experienced coders alike. Get individual guidance on marketing and publishing your app or game. Who knows? Your app could entertain, educate or even change the world!

Seating is very limited – Registration is required for each workshop.
While you learn how to leverage well known open data APIs (such as Twitter, Meetup, Instagram, Edmunds and more) through our easy Starter Kits we’ll also show you how to approach marketing and publishing your app in the Windows and Windows Phone stores.
By attending a workshop you will:
1. Code Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and/or Windows Phone 8 apps by leveraging our APIMASH starter kits
2. Publish your apps to the Windows and Windows Phone stores
3. Market your app online and through social media to drive downloads

Workshop Agenda:

  • Hour 1 Presentation: Getting started with the Windows App Starter Kits
  • Hours 2 & 3 Code your app following our Hands-On Lab Workbooks and get expert, personal help with your project
  • Hour 4 Presentation: Marketing Apps 101

Refreshments will be served.

Here are our East Coast Events

Ft. Lauderdale
New York City



Microsoft Azure Developer Camps are Here!

WindowsAzureJoin a Microsoft Developer Camp and learn the critical skills that modern developers need to know. Take part in these hands-on workshops and get trained in the latest Microsoft development tools and technologies.

Discover the latest Windows Azure development environment. Explore Windows Azure websites and virtual machines using ASP.NET and Microsoft SQL Server to deploy Cloud Services.

Sharpen your skills on the Microsoft Modern Platform. Learn how to update an app to a Modern Architecture and configure and test a Modern Application.

All languages are welcome. Move your existing applications to the cloud using almost any language, framework, or tool. Register today for the event near you.

New Windows 8 App for Making Windows 8 Apps


IconMaker is a tool for people making Windows 8 apps. Many different sized icons are needed for finishing and submitting a Windows 8 app to the store. This will load an image from your Picture Library and save off .PNG files for the needed sizes.

Steve Maier, a fellow Microsoft Technical Evangelist, launched this app the other day. You can check out the IconMaker app here and more of Steve’s work at his blog.

Getting Started with Windows Application Development

If you are a developer and have not heard about building apps for mobile devices then you must still be in a dark room with coffee and loud music. Apps are all the rage. Ranging from seasoned developers to 12 year old kids with a Mac. But how do you get started? Do you just start coding and submit? Sure. Well it is not that simple but there are some great tools to get a jump start on app development. This article will talk about a few ways to jump start your application development for the Windows 8 platform.

The Idea

Do you have one? Great. If not, there are plenty of ideas out there you just need to ignite the spark. What better way to ignite it with some starter kits. The Technical Evangelist team at Microsoft has created a bunch of “starter kits” that consume public API’s.

apimash StarterKits · GitHub

They range from the more popular Foursquare and Instagram to Chuck Norris and World of Warcraft. Download these, fire them up, and see how they can jumpstart your app idea.

More Help

Once you are up and running with your idea, you might need more help on location services or media access. There is a plethra of examples and kits over at the Windows Dev Center that can point you in the right directon or answer that question.

What Next?

In the next few weeks I will be sharing a starter kit along with my Windows Store app submission process. I have a great idea, the app will…wait…I can’t let you know yet.