Building Apps as a Hobby Made Easy

Last week I hope to have planted a seed in your head about training – learning new technologies and skills – as a hobby rather than attempting to do it during work hours (unless you can, of course, which would make it that much more efficient!). I talked about training through real experiences and how building and publishing apps is a means by which you can gain those real experiences but also how published apps act as your ongoing resume to show people your work. To help you along on your journey, making it as efficient (fast) as possible, I suggested getting a developer mentor, a helping hand that could guide you through the building an app maze.

Developer Movement Virtual Camps

Starting at the end of the month, join me and your Developer Movement Developer Mentors in a series of virtual camps themed around what you want to build! By joining the virtual camps, you’ll be investing in your hobby – forcing functions to actually get you to go for it (you’ll thank yourself later, you know it!). You’ll learn everything you need in order to get started as well as give you a solid foundation from which you and your Developer Mentor can build and get you publishing apps.

The Virtual Camps are free, but we do ask you to register so that we can make sure that you receive a follow up after the camp with resources, tips and tricks, and most importantly, where you can find the on-demand content for later (re)viewing.


Developer Movement DevCamp
In this camp, you’ll get just enough Windows Store, Windows Phone, and Windows Azure knowledge to know where you’ll feel most comfortable and where you’ll be able to get the most number of apps done (and therefore rack up the most number of points!). Plus: Chat with various Developer Mentors across the country that could be paired with you to help with your questions and app building challenges. By the end of this camp, you’ll also know which of the upcoming virtual camps you’ll want to tune into to go deeper into specific topics.  REGISTER >>        

App Design 
Death to battleship-grey forms and confused users! It is no longer enough for an app to be functional, it needs to have a good user experience and a level of thoughtfulness about how it is designed. As we know now, design is not just what it looks like but how it works. In this workshop we intend to provide developers and designers with insight into app design and how you can make sure your apps are built with creating great experiences in mind. REGISTER >>        

Game Camp
Everyone enjoys games and interactive digital experiences, so why not create your own? Today we are seeing a proliferation of HTML5 games such as Cut the Rope, Atari Arcade and Contre Jour. We can easily take those games and port them to Windows 8 easily since it supports the HTML5 programming model to build native apps too. So take time in this workshop to learn first how to build games in HTML5, then take that game and migrate it to Windows 8 and take advantage of the Windows Store to showcase and make money from it. Also, we will be discussing the urban legend of the loveable and oft-misunderstood Yeti. REGISTER >>

Web Camp
This one goes out to all the Web developers! In this workshop you'll learn how to build awesome Windows 8 apps using the HTML5 and JavaScript skills you’ve already got. In fact we love this concept so much we’ve got two sessions dedicated to it! Working with Windows Phone? No worries there’s web love there too with a session dedicated to building Windows Phone apps with HTML5 and JavaScript. It’s not all mobile apps though, you’ll also learn how you can publish your .NET, node.js & php web apps to the cloud using Windows Azure Websites and FTP, Git, Visual Studio or WebMatrix. In short, if you are writing any sort of app and are fans of HTML5 & JavaScript you need to check out this workshop. REGISTER >>

.NET DevCamp
This one goes out to all the .NETs developers! In this workshop you'll learn about XAML (beyond basic layout), targeting multiple screens with MVVM (keeping your code DRY), Windows Azure Cloud Services (web scale!) and Windows Azure Mobile Services (so easy to build connected apps) and best of all, each session is geared for you, the .NET folks. REGISTER >>

The One About the Dev Who Learned to Build an App for Windows Phone – and Loved It!
Clearly, when people think about smartphones today, they think of the iOS and Android platforms. We get that. All that said, you may (or rather, may not) be surprised to hear that Windows Phone is making some amazing strides in handset sales. Steve Ballmer (Microsoft’s CEO) recently announced that Windows Phone sales have quadrupled year-over-year and the trends are continuing to show some great acceleration in the adoption of Windows Phone. This is great news for developers with apps and games in the Windows Phone Store today. This workshop is all about getting you started. If you build for other mobile platforms, we’ll have some great content for you to get onboard. If you are a web developer, we have some great guidance on how to start building hybrid apps with HTML5 and native code as well. All in all, any developer attending this workshop will learn how to build great apps for Windows Phone and by the end you’ll be ready to start the journey! It’s the right time to jump into experiencing building apps and games for Windows Phone. You will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to develop for Windows Phone. REGISTER >>

During the virtual camps, you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and have Developer Mentors online and in the chat answering them and offering guidance.

Looking forward to seeing you online and helping you learn new skills, gain real experiences, and turn great ideas into published apps!

How do you get a Developer Mentor?


  1. If you haven’t done so already, join the Developer Movement. You have to be part of the Movement to leverage its benefits!
  2. Send your Developer Movement Team an email with your mentoring preference (online, in-person, either/or), as well as any specific cities where you’d want to meet up with your mentor.

The Developer Movement Team will take care of the rest, pairing you up with a Developer Mentor that is closest to you or is available online, or both. Once you’re paired up with your Developer Mentor, you and your Developer Mentor can connect directly, get to know each other, and decide what will work best for the two of you.

More on Developer Movement

180x150_DM_CDC_v1Developer Movement is Canada’s app building rewards program. As you build Windows Store and/or Windows Phone apps, backed by Windows Azure services, you earn points that you can use towards rewards such as gizmos and gadgets, home theatre systems, laptops, and others. You can also earn additional points by complete Windows Azure hands-on labs and participating in Developer Movement challenges such as this one. If you’re not already a member of the Developer Movement, join today! (You actually start earning reward points simply by signing up.)

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