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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!

publish

 

 

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!

 

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Based on my latest Wikipedia wisdom, mango is the the most cultivated fruit of the tropical world. With a little ambitious creativity, the phrase “cultivated” can be interpreted in two ways: The fruit is grown and produced or mangos are sophisticated, refined and well-educated. Yet to support the latter, we need a few facts.

Mango, as a fruit, has long been a symbol of  summer, but this fall it embraced a new role to embody sophistication as the latest Windows Phone Update! Custom ringtones, new speech commands, visual voicemails, linked inboxes, groups, enhanced social network integration, multitasking, even better live tiles, improved search + maps features and the list goes on and on. If you check out the videos on the update feature list page, you will soon discover, that there is sufficient evidence to state, that this fall the term “cultivated” simply translates to “sophisticated/refined” for the mango we are talking about!

Certainly this attempt of literary explanation may sound like a far reach for some of you. So let’s shift our focus to the excitement Mango has in store for Windows Phone developers. As I shared in my previous blog entry, there are numerous Windows Phone Camps taking place allover the country.  Participants get a full day of free training plus a chance to win a Windows Phone 7. But this is just the beginning; the surprises don’t stop here!


Windows Phone – Go Mango App Contest

Just recently, a new US-based contest has been announced: Go Mango! The contest will run from October 15th and December 31st. The APPortunities for Windows Phone developers are two-fold:

  • Every new Mango app you publish within the contest timeline will be entered to win 1 of 5 Samsung Series 7 slates.
  • When you publish 5 new apps, you will earn 1 entry to win free advertising for one app of your choice.

The free advertising will run on the Windows Phone Application Network for about 60 days and include 25K impressions.


The more Windows Phone Mango apps you get into the marketplace until the end of 2011, the more chances you will get to win. You can find the detailed contest rules here.


Windows Phone Ad Campaign

Another great offering for Windows Phone developers is the Windows Phone Advertising Campaign“Your app here” . The campaigns run from December 2011 to February 2012. The application submission deadline for the December campaign ended yesterday, October 25th; however there are still two more months, if you plan to submit your Windows Phone application.



Each month from December through February, up to seven apps will be selected and promoted in campaigns created and funded by Windows Phone. Selected apps will get an online banner and their ads will run across the MSN Network of sites. This campaign will deliver one million ad impressions for each app selected. To participate, your Windows Phone App

Besides these participation terms, your app should certainly be user-friendly and engaging, stick to Metro design principles and provide integration of App Connect if relevant.

You can explore great Metro tutorials on the .toolbox site. You may also want to check out the User Experience Design Guidelines for Windows Phone on MSDN. The Mango Jump Start Series on Channel 9 by Rob Miles and Andy Wigley are also quite informative, if you need a fast-paced deep-dive into Windows Phone Mango.


Fast Track to the Mobile App – Design Contest

This is a Windows Phone Design Contest organized by Core77 and Microsoft. The contest challenges participants to rethink “work everywhere” capabilities of smartphones. Participants are expected to create designs with maximized usability, productivity and integration features by utilizing the benefits and features of the Windows Phone Platform. The contest does not require any coding; a contest entry can consist of a Sketchflow mockup, images of the sketches and an optional video and/or presentation. The contest ends November 18th.



One of the contest taglines summarizes the constantly connected, mobilized life-style of today: “We’re looking for design that understands, your computer is no longer on your desk, it’s in your pocket.


Telerik Special Prize for Windows Phone Unleashed Apps

Though this may not be directly Mango news; it is still a great Windows Phone related activity. It may also motivate you to attend one of the Windows Phone Camps; there could always be new surprises for these latest round of developer events. Telerik has announced a Grand Prize for applications submitted by participants of the Windows Phone 7 Unleashed events. These events were organized by Microsoft and local developer communities. The Grand Prize winner will be announced Friday, October 28th. 



There will also be a special prize for a WP7  community app and you too can support fellow Windows Phone developers. Just click the tweet button placed under your favorite app until Thursday, October 27th; the tweet must include #telerikwp7prize in order to qualify.


Idea of the Week – Student Contest

Microsoft kicked off a new contest called “Idea of Week” for students on October 17th. The goal is to inspire students to come up with unique and original app ideas. You can find out more about the contest on the Windows Phone Developer blog; official rules are listed here. Submitted ideas can be tracked on twitter with the hashtag #wpappitup.


I Unlock Joy – Student Contest

A few months ago, Microsoft India launched the “I Unlock Joy” developer contest for students in India. The contest runs until December 18th.



Students, who get four of their submitted applications certified in AppHub, are eligibile to apply for a Windows Phone Developer Device. Detailed terms and conditions can be found here.


Icing on the Cake

What could top all these developer opportunities such as the free training at Windows Phone Camps, various contests to win cool prizes and free ad campaigns just for building Windows Phone apps, a Windows Phone design contest etc.? Probably a sign, that would provide further assurance, that developing for Windows Phone has a bright future?


Wait no longer; the Nokia Lumia Windows Phone has arrived. Just today, Nokia introduced Lumia, its first device build on the Windows Phone platform, at Nokia World 2011. They are launching an impressive marketing campaign, with the catchy tagline “The Amazing Everyday“.



My first phone was a Nokia, easy to use and sturdy as a brick. Over the years, I used various mobile phones, most of them Nokia devices. Aside my nostalgic bond, I believe, Lumia brings Nokia’s outstanding industrial design and Windows Phone’s elegant UI together. This is truly a stunning collaboration, which I wish to become highly successful. The attractive pricing strategy, prices ranging from 270 to 420 Euros, will also  play a key role in the adoption of Nokia’s first Windows Phone in the consumer market.


Nokia does not shy away from futuristic research, fast forward and your Windows Phone experience  may get you the flexible and twisted interface of the prototype Nokia Kinetic device:



This “fast forward” may have been too fast; but you get the idea. The future is exciting and bright. You can contribute to shape and enrich this future by building Windows Phone applications, which delight and fascinate the user.


Last minute bonus link: There is a contest to win a Nokia Lumia 800 on “the Amazing Everyday” Facebook page. Good luck!


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Microsoft TechEd will start next week and I’m pretty excited because I’ll be a community facilitator at the WomenBuild event on May 14th. Only registered attendees can take part in the event, but the event is open both to women and men, who want to grow the number and visibility of women in IT.

 As a facilitator I will lead a table (up to 10 attendees) through a series of building / sharing activities around the issue of Women in Technology that have been pre-determined by Robert Rasmusen from Lego SeriousPlay in Denmark.

The  WomenBuild program is specifically designed to address the decline of female talent and leadership in the computer science industry.  Microsoft partnered with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY (LSP) through Robert Rasmussen & Associates to create a unique interactive workshop, using LEGO® Bricks to model solutions for growing strong female leaders in the software industry. WomenBuild’s principal goals are to drive awareness that diversity is important in the field of technology and to build a community to help attract, retain and empower women in technology. Reading through the WomenBuild information, I couldn’t help myself and note down some points for future reference:

The importance of diverse opinions and respect in achieving common goals.

Having your voice heard as a woman and discussing differences in communication style.

Diversity isn’t about celebrating what’s different about us, but celebrating what we have in common.

Diversity is about celebrating differences in opinion. You can’t have a solid solution based on only 1 type of opinion.

Up till now, there have been WomenBuild events in the following cities: Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, Boston, Washington DC,  Orlando, Dallas,  San Francisco and Seattle. Yet the WomenBuild event next week at TechEd 2009 will be the largest event to date!

 WomenBuild in DC was featured in the Washington Times on Inauguration Day – January 20, 2009.  The line –an event to find and develop female software “stars” for the future– in the article meant a lot to me! Who doesn’t want to be a genius with star quality? I’m not sure why, but I think we need constant reminders that being a genius (girl) geek is something highly desirable and extremely enjoyable.

 

Here is a series of  mixed links:

Lego Serious Play: http://www.seriousplay.com/

Video about previous WomenBuild events:
http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/LauraFoy/Tech-Ready-8-and-WomenBuild/

Video about WomenBuild at MSDN Developer Conferences (with Asli Bilgin and Stephen Forte): http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/LauraFoy/WomenBuild-with-LEGOS-at-MSDN-Developer-Conferences/

You can also join the WomenBuild Facebook group, if you want to promote WomenBuild events!

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Microsoft has launched a new contest called “Mix 10K Smart Coding Challenge” for the Mix09 conference. Project entries will be accepted until the end of January 2009. The web applications must be in Silverlight, WPF or run as a XAML Browser application. Applications will be be made available online for “Public Voting”, which means that there will be a “Community Choice” winner besides the “Judge’s Choice” winner. The winners will receive cool prizes; you can check them out here: http://2009.visitmix.com/MIXtify/TenKRules.aspx

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So basically you should maximize the user’s Silverlight/WPF experience, but minimalize everything else – cut down/optimize your code, remove irrelevant libraries, comments, whitespaces etc. The code might not be pretty in the inside; but everything is about polished looks these days any way 🙂 Just kidding!

 

The 10K challenge info page also gives the following list of similar contests for some inspiration:

Wolfenstein 5K: http://www.wolf5k.com/

5K: http://www.sylloge.com/5k/entries/list.html

Stewart Butterfield’s 5K: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/5k

 

I googled and searched through tweets to check out some blog entries/news about the 10K contest. Bill Reiss’ Silverlight blog has some tips+tricks on how to cram an application into 10K. The notes really gave me “food for thought”! But I’m not sure if I’m motivated enough to become a contest participant; probably I need some food for courage as well?

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