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WP7 Sat Ottawa at Algonquin College summary

Oct 4

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Monday, October 04, 2010 8:58 PM  RssIcon

Starting the day offOn Saturday, Microsoft and DreamDigital held a WP7 Saturday at Algonquin College.  Read on for my summary.

Starting the day offOn Saturday, Christian Beauclair (Microsoft) and Colin Melia (DreamDigital) hosted a WP7 Sat Ottawa event at Algonquin College.  The event was a FULL day of WP7 starting with Silverlight and then XNA.

After Christian's intro, Colin took over demoing to everyone a REAL AND LIVELY WP7 DEVICE!  Yes, Christian and Colin braved the masses and brought a real phone!  It was VERY impressive, responsive, and dare I say COOL!  (Ok, I'll let the MS fanboy stuff drop here, sorry)

Then Colin went into developing a real Twitter application, complete with live feeds!  Ok, there were some canned VS snippets but it was up to us to insert them in, read them, understand them and hit F5 to see the stuff work!  Ya, it worked, right in front of our eyes we were coding up a Twitter client with a live feed and item templates an all!  We had a bit of time to play with it a bit and it was very cool to see how easy it was/is to make a WP7 app.  If you're interested in checking out the app, check out the inaugural Mobile Developer Magazine article by Colin, Hello, Windows Phone 7!

After lunch, Christian took us through from nothing to a complete running XNA game!  That was cool!  I learned a lot about XNA Saturday!  I didn't realize it was C# and a specialized gaming platform!  It's very cool and Christian impressed a lot of people with it.  The game was a catapult aiming/firing/destroying game and it can be found on Creators Club Online.

Although that pretty much summarizes the day, there are two other things to talk about.  

One, I a bit saddened to see the lack of community participation.  The day was partitioned 50% students, and 50% community members.  When I got there at 9:55, ALL THE STUDENTS WERE THERE!  WOW!  Impressive.  But there were still quite a few empty workstations for community members.  hhmmm that's odd. This was a first come, first registered, first butt in the seat took the valuable workstation.  So there was a cap to the number of participants, but there was a disproportionate number of communittee members missing to the students missing.  In other words, the students put a lot more value into the day than some of the community members.  

Hey, I know it's rough getting up early on a Sat, the weather WAS nice, it's probably a long drive, but sttill, if you register for an event like that, GO TO IT!  Otherwise you shouldn't have registered in the first place, then someone else who WOULD have gone and gotten something out of the day, COULD go and COULD get something out of the day!  Ok, enough harping, that's the bad news, now for the good news. 

I was COMPLETELY blown away by the quality, intelligence, excitement and enthusiasm the student's had!  I mean, I was sitting in the middle of two groups of students and they were both tweaking games during the breaks THEY had created!  One group beside me even has their own website and looking at publishing their games (Vector Graphics Game Studios)!  One guy, Chris Ziraldo, was a C++ developer, who's created a couple iPhone games, owns an Android, was there checking things out and could whip out XNA code like there was no tomorrow!  I was blown away by his knowledge and enthusiasm for technology in general.  It was very refreshing.

So that's how I spent my last Saturday.  Some people might find it boring but I was completely enthralled with the whole day, thank you Colin and Christian for taking a Saturday to do that!  I even got to see Ahmed and we talked about the potential to give a "coding for Windows 7" presentation.  Very cool man!

Ending off the day 

John Marshall, Ahmed AlAsaad, Christian Beauclair and Colin Melia

Now it's time to get a coffee and get coding!



Vector Sphere Game Studios

Colinizer: Colin Melia of DreamDigital, Ottawa newest MVP

MSDN: Keyboard Mapping for Windows Phone Emulator

Mobile Developer Magazine: Hello, Windows Phone 7! by Colin Melia

XNA Creators Club Online

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