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Less than two months until the Microsoft Ignite conference! There is still some time for registration to secure your spot at the event, where you can meet the best and brightest minds to talk about cloud infrastructure and management, productivity, big data and the internet of things, unified communications, mobility and so much more.

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Especially as a developer, Ignite will give you the opportunity to network with developers from around the world working on various platforms. You will get to dive into multi-device multi-platform focused sessions and get world-class training plus practical tips from experts.

The session list is available, in case you need some more convincing to attend. The list does not just include topic details, but speaker info, if you are looking forward to catch a particular presentation. Some of the featured Microsoft speakers are Satya Nadella, CEO, Dave Campbell, Cloud & Enterprise CTO, Gurdeep Singh Pall, Skype Corporate Vice President, Brad Anderson, Enterprise Client & Mobility Corporate Vice President, Joe Belfiore, PC Tablet and Phone Corporate Vice President and Peggy Johnson, Business Development, Executive Vice President.

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If you are ready to make your plans for Ignite, you can find insider info on the Ignite Forums on Channel 9. There is also a Knowledge Based available for Ignite on UserVoice, where you can quickly find out information about the event agenda, transportation, hotels, map, attendee parties etc.

The Microsoft Ignite Countdown also contains valuable, up-to-date and fun info. The latest video, “The One About Breaking In Shoes Now, Wrigley Field, Navy Pier and Buddy Guy’s Legends“, answers many forum questions and has tips for first-time conference and Chicago visitors.

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Make sure not to miss the countdown videos!

As a surprise bonus; if you were planning to get Microsoft certified, all Microsoft certifications will be offered for %50 off the regular price for all registered Ignite attendees. Don’t forget to pre-register!

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Last but not least, check out the Ignite Facebook page and Ignite Twitter feed for the latest updates!

Cloud DevCamp in LA

If you have time this Thursday and would like to find out more about Microsoft Azure, do not miss Microsoft’s free Cloud DevCamp in LA. I have been to multiple Windows Phone events in the past couple of years, which have been quite informative. This event format is quite similar and it will provide lots of learning opportunities, if you want to find out more about what Azure has to offer.

This Cloud DevCamp’s content will include information about new Microsoft Azure features and services including Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines, Websites, and Visual Studio 2013 to build and move a variety of apps to the cloud. You will see how to build websites, mobile applications, and enterprise-class applications. The instructor will also demonstrate how to build websites, mobile applications, and enterprise-class applications. There will be hands-on labs focusing on the following:

  • Microsoft Azure Websites and Virtual Machines Using ASP.NET & Microsoft SQL Server
  • Deploying Cloud Services in Microsoft Azure
  • Exploring Microsoft Azure Storage for Microsoft Visual Studio 2013

As an attendee you may use any development language you like to build or move existing applications to the cloud. You only need to bring your laptop to the event and activate your free 30-day Microsoft Azure subscription prior to your arrival.

Lately I have been busy with a Windows Phone image application idea and it was very convenient to fire up a VM in my Azure environment, setup Xamarin tools and start working on the project right away. You should certainly give Microsoft Azure a try. Do not forget to register for the Cloud DevCamp here! Happy coding.

In case your week was not the best one so far, here is some good news to cheer you up for the rest of the week if you are a developer! Starting today, the Windows Dev Registration Center will only require a single payment to grant developers the ability to submit applications to both the Windows and the Windows Phone store. This will be a one time payment only, with no annual renewal fee and it will cover you for good like yeah, forevaaaaaa! If you already have a developer account, you do not need to pay renewal fees any longer, you have a lifetime membership already.

For further details, you can check out this post on the Building Apps for Windows blog .

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If you have been procrastinating with submitting your Windows or Windows Phone app to the Dev Center for a while, do not wait any longer. Get a lifetime membership and share your awesome work with world, because apps make the world go round and round…

This is a brief reminder to let you know that the SoCal Code Camp weekend is coming up in 10 days. As you may already know, this is a community driven event and completely free.

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If you check out the session list for next weekend’s code camp, you will see that there is a variety of topics, which include presentations and discussions about Web technologies, mobile development, developer networking, coding standards, design patterns, game programming, databases, Universal Windows apps and so much more! There is certainly one topic that will interest you and besides the awesome content, you will have tons of time for networking with fellow tech professionals.

For latest announcements before the event, follow the SoCal Code Camp tweets and check out their Facebook page. If you decide to attend the event, do not forget to RSVP and in case, you want to share something with the community and be a speaker at the event, you have time until this Friday,  June 20th, to sign up.

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There is always some great event going on after the sessions in the evening, make sure not to miss any of those! All tech and no play, what’s the fun in that? A little socializing can do wonders:)

In just 2 days, May 16-17, you have a chance to bring your Windows and Windows Phone apps to one of over 60 global //publish/ coding events. You will receive on site support to help you overcome the final technical blockers, add finishing design touches, and get your app submitted to the Windows Phone and Windows Stores.

The following is just a list of locations in the US, but the event is taking place worldwide. Make sure to check out your country and city to find the most convenient location for you, so that you do not miss out on this great opportunity. This is a simultaneous event, taking place in over 60 communities, which will be connected worldwide!

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As an attendee, you will be able to collaborate and get help with application development and design, performance tuning, testing, publishing etc. You may even have questions about porting from Unity; no problem! There will be various testing devices that you can utilize to test your app. You may connect online with developers and Microsoft products specialist from all over the world, since these will be simultaneous worldwide events. Once your done, don’t act shy – you have the option to show off your awesome work at the App Showcase.

As a side note, attendees at the events will be surprised by tons of incentives at the event. Those who showcase and publish their app on the event day, may win prizes including a Dell Venue Pro 8 tablet, a Nokia 1520 Windows Phone and so much more! There is also the //publish/ contest with even greater prizes! You can check out all the details about the //publish/ contest here. Even if you are not an attendee, you will need to submit your application by June 1st, so time is running out, hurry up!

One final reminder; while you are at the event and want to share a tweet or if you would like to get out the word for one of the local events, please use the hashtag #pubwin. A little less than 48 hours and the fun can start!

 

23 Days of Devices

February is already a short month and you have got exactly only 23 days left to participate in Microsoft’s 28 Days of Devices sweepstakes. This is part of the App Builder Rewards of the Windows Store AppBuilder program.

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If you haven’t heard about the AppBuilder program, you should certainly take some time and check out the site content. You will find many useful resources and tools to kick-start, simplify or enrich your Windows application development endeavors and improve your coding skills. There is also support on how to publish and promote your applications. The AppBuilder Rewards program is a bonus feature besides the content and offers for a limited time points for completing quests, attending events and publishing apps to the Windows Store. Points can be cashed out to get Xbox games, a Windows Store developer account and much more. The following two graphics should give you a few hints on what the reward program offers to motivate app developers:

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On top of the existing AppBuilder Rewards, the 28 Days of Devices sweepstakes give you a chance to win one of 28 Dell Venue tablets with your qualifying app submission. You need to get your Windows app downloaded 100 times by the end of this month and you will be entered in daily drawings. A few more details about how everything comes together:

  1. Enter your Windows Store apps to the Apps Quest
  2. If your app has less than 100 downloads when you complete the Quest between January 21st and February 28th, you will get a $15 Windows Store gift card
  3. Use the App Promotion Kit, Windows Store gift card and AdDuplex advertising impressions to reach 100 downloads before the end of February and earn your chance to win one of 28 devices

It goes without saying that, the more apps with 100 or more downloads, will get you more points and sweepstake entries. The sooner your apps qualify, the more daily drawing chances for you!

You can check out the official rules for the sweepstakes here: https://build.windowsstore.com/rewards/28daysofdevicesterms

23 of 28 days are left. Hurry up. Happy building!

Do you have a hard time keeping track about all the goodies available for Windows Phone and Windows Store app developers? There are many opportunities out there to get free training or even get incentives for your Windows/ Windows Phone application development activities. You are not on your own when taking the first step to dive into Windows Phone/Windows Store app development and if you are ready to submit your app to the app store, you may even get rewarded for your hard work on your app with a little extra bonus. Let’s take a look at some of the offerings!

Keep the Cash

If you want to participate in Microsoft’s “Keep the Cash” opportunity, you have to act pretty quick! This offer ends June 30th, 2013. You get a chance to enter up to 10 apps per Store, Windows Store and/or Windows Phone Store, and get a $100 virtual Visa card for each application that qualifies.

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You can find out more about the official Keep the Cash Terms and Conditions here.

App Builder Virtual Summit

If you missed the App Builder Virtual Summit in May, the summit videos are now available for streaming on demand. You can learn the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of designing, building and marketing an app for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. It is certainly interesting to listen to first-hand experiences of developers, who have actually done it and want to share their thoughts.

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Connect with your local Technical Evangelist

You have the option to meet your local Microsoft technical evangelist  to get some help and guidance for your app development or idea. You can check out their office hours here.

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Windows Store App Lab

In case you need to test your awesome Windows app on Windows 8 devices, Microsoft offers an amazing test environment calles Windows Store App Labs. These are physical locations in more than 30 cities where you can access Windows 8 devices, get design help, and meet with Windows experts to make your app even more awesome! You can search for the lab locations here.

Last but not least…

If you are excited about all these developer opportunities, but just need some design inspiration, I suggest you check out the case studies of some Windows applications. There is also information out there about the Windows UX patterns to guide you through your application design and development. But before you start the actual development, you may also want to check out how to create apps that run on Windows Phone and on Windows to get an idea of how you could create reusable code for both environments.

Happy coding!

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