Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto Windows 8 Codapalooza

Windows 8 Start ScreenFor anyone in Ottawa, Montreal or Toronto trying to get those Windows 8 app ready for the excellence labs, come code with company Smile

The app excellence labs to get your app into the Windows 8 store first are upon us!  Build an application now, go to an App Excellence Lab and you could deploy your application in the Windows 8 store before everybody else (and get two years free). There are also virtual labs available.

In Montreal

Frederic Harper and Ramez Debbas  have two days where they will help you build your application to give you the possibility to register for the App Excellence Lab. On the 7th, and 9th of June, we’ll be available from 09h00 to 17h00 to help you build your application, in French or English, from HTML/JavaScript/CSS, or from C#/XAML. Details on where and how to register at the bottom of this post.

In Ottawa

You can join me, Susan Ibach, Thursday the 7th of June as I spend the day coding her app and helping you with your Windows 8 apps wherever possible from 9:00 to 9:00! My French isn’t as good as Ramez & Frederic but if you’ll put up with my Acadian accent I’ll try!  Details on where and how to register at the bottom of this post.

In Toronto

Paul Laberge will be hosting a day-long Codeapalooza on June 6th at Microsoft's downtown Toronto office (222 Bay Street, 12th Floor) from 9:00AM to 5:00PM in the MPR Room just beside the reception area.  Specific details are at the bottom of this post.


What is a Windows 8 Codapalooza

We’ll be there coding our own application and games, but also we are there to help you build yours. We’ll have French, and English support in the lab, and some expertise around HTML/CSS/JavaScript, and C#/XAML. Join us when you can!  We think being able to publish your application to the Windows 8 store before everyone is an amazing opportunity, we don’t want you to miss this chance. It’s going to be an informal event, where coding and fun will be on the schedule! No presentations, just coding, as the goal is to get at least 60% of our application ready so we are set for the App Excellence Lab.

What if I don’t have any app ideas?

No worries, we have plenty of ideas. Stop by and we’ll brainstorm until we find something you like.

Are you crazy, we can’t build a full application in one or two days?

Well Fred is a bit crazy, but that’s not the point, one day can make a difference!

  1. You don’t have to finish the application to attend the Excellence lab and get the magic token so you can deploy your app to the store before everybody else. If you can get about 60% of app done, you can still register.
  2. You don’t have to build Photoshop or AutoCAD for Windows 8. This is your first Windows 8 app, Use it as a learning opportunity to build a simple yet useful app, an RSS reader for your favourite blog, or a pace calculator for runners.
  3. You can port existing HTML5 application or games you have for Windows 8. See the resources part of this FAQ to help you get started.
  4. If you have experience in HTML, DotNet, or C++ you don’t have to learn a new language, just the APIs!

So yes, we do think you can get an app ready for the lab in one or two Codapalooza days.

Why should I develop with you guys instead of coding in the comfort of my home?

I know, it’s nice to develop at home with the fridge nearby, but there are reasons to come code with us:

  1. You’ll have access to a Microsoft employee to help you.
  2. It’s not always easy to concentrate at home with all those distractiacagastions (sorry my cat just walked over my keyboard, case in point)
  3. Free beers! Yes, we like coding with a beer. (Okay that was Fred in Montreal promising free beer, I can’t guarantee free beer in Ottawa, we’ll see what we can do Smile)

Do I need to pack a lunch?

Absolutely… not! We need to eat too! We’ll have some food. You need to be there before 11:00 to get this royal treatment, as we’ll order with people there to be sure we have everything to satisfy all tastes.  In Ottawa same deal for lunch, and please be there by 5 if you want in on dinner.

What do I need for the event?

A computer with Windows 8 installed (you can download it from here) on it (primary, dual-boot or in a virtual machine). You’ll also need the SDK/Visual Studio 11 installed on your Windows 8 machine (you can download it from here). Last, but not least, your coding skills to build your next amazing application..

If I want to start now, what are resources?

Here are some steps you can follow to help you in the building process.

  1. Read Planning Metro style apps. It’s always easier if you plan before attacking the coding part. Use this to sketch out the concepts of your app and figure out functionality.
  2. Read Design guidance for Metro style apps.
  3. Find the right scenario via the End-to-end apps and gamesdocumentation.
    1. Web Sites to Windows 8– This is not very difficult at all and is a pretty minimal effort if you use the HTML5 programming model in Windows 8.
    2. Porting web-based Games to Windows 8– Specifically games that were built with HTML5 <canvas> or those that used a library such as CreateJS or easier to port to Windows 8. An example that has been done in HTML5 and converted to a Windows 8 app is Cut the Rope and Pirates Love Daisies.
    3. Developing Reader/Content Aggregation Apps – These are simple to build and I have seen them built in a day at Hackathons and can go from design to production very quickly.

If I already built my app, or don’t need your help, what can I do?

Perfect, register for the App Excellence Lab to get all the benefits of having build an application now. You can read this blog post to get more information on the lab, and you can send an email to and include the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Your city
  • The date you want to do in-person or virtual lab
  • A brief application description (no binary, optional screenshot, but only send if the screenshot is not confidential)

OK, how can I register?

As this event is open only to people that really want to build an application during one or two days with the goal of going to the App Excellence Lab, registration needs to be done by e-mail. Here is the simple process,

For Montreal: send me an email at with your full name, the day you want to join it, and the time you’ll be there. The event will be held at our Montreal office at 2000 McGill College (corner Maisonneuve, and McGill subway station). Only people that had sent me an e-mail will be able to join the event. I highly recommend you to be there as soon as possible so you’ll have plenty of time to build your application.

For Ottawa: send me an email at with your full name, and the time you’ll be there. I have limited spots, if you decide to join at the last minute, email me ahead of time and give me a tentative yes. The event will be held at CTE Solutions, at 11 Holland Avenue just across from Tunney’s Pasture, Thursday June 7th from 9AM to 9PM. A big thanks to CTE Solutions for letting me use one of their classrooms for the day! The more time you can spare, the more of your code you can finish. I’m hoping to make some big progress on my app.

For Toronto:  send Paul Laberge an email at with your full name, and the time you’ll be there. The event will be held at Microsoft's downtown Toronto office at 222 Bay Street on the 12th floor.  Once you enter reception, the MPR room is right there.  The Toronto date will be held on Wednesday, June 6th from 9AM to 5PM.

Feel free to forward this to friends, and co-workers. I hope to see you there!

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