Events

Developer Reactions to Build 2016

Microsoft takes opportunity every year at //build - its annual conference for developers - to make as many shock and awe announcements as it can, and this year in 2016, there was plenty of shock and plenty of awe.

Maybe you’ve watched all the keynotes already. Maybe you’ve even watched all of the sessions already. We’re going to assume, however, that even if you have seen or otherwise caught wind of the announcements that you would like to get an answer to the question “What does that mean for me?”
In this post, I’m going to invite a number of colleagues - all Microsoft Technical Evangelists - to share in detail via blog posts and videos about their favorite announcements, and what they mean for you - the developer.

This is an active blog post that will be updated as new content lands, so check back often.

We’ll start with a Channel 9 introduction to a few of the team. In this video you’ll meet…

Now, as promised, here’s the line-up of content from the evangelists you saw in the video and a few more. Topics will be filled in as we go and links will light up when they’re active.

James Sturtevant @aspenwilder

APRIL 11: My reaction to the news that Bash is on windows, the .NET Foundation gaining new members and what Service Fabric going GA means to developers.

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Adam Tuliper @adamtuliper

APRIL 13: Excited to get started developing for the HoloLens – even if you don’t own one yet? Join Adam for a tour of what the HoloLens can do, how to get started with the Unity bits for the HoloLens, and explore some of the powerful APIs to work with the HoloLens!

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Shahed Chowdhuri @shahedc

APRIL 15: Do you dream about publishing your own games on a major game console? Get caught up with the latest Xbox news from Build 2016 and hear about the different ways you can publish your very own game on Windows 10 and Xbox One. Use your own Xbox One console for development or apply for a dev kit via ID@Xbox. Harness the power of DirectX 12 and use a variety of tools to build your own games!

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Tim Reilly @timmyreilly

APRIL 18: Interested in what a Partner Evangelist pays attention to during build? Sertac Ozercan works with partners to bring their apps to Windows and shares his notes about changes to the store, chase-able tiles, and more.

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Sam Stokes @socalsam

APRIL 20: //Build brought new, awesome, stuff for Power BI. Power BI is powerful as is, so just what are the designers changing? In this video I will cover the super cool things that have changed in Power BI to make it an even more powerful tool then it already is. Is BI really open source? How about a no-code app for Apple devices or Android? What if you need everyone who is using your Power BI dashboards? Embedded Power BI, isn’t what you think it is. Watch this video and catch the excitement of Power BI!

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Jennifer Marsman @jennifermarsman

APRIL 22: Jennifer Marsman fills you in on the machine learning announcements from Build 2016. We announced the Microsoft Bot Framework and showcased the Microsoft Cognitive Services (formerly Project Oxford) for adding intelligence to your applications. We’ll discuss the fun Project Murphy bot and the inspiring Seeing AI story.

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Brian Sherwin @bsherwin

APRIL 25: Coverage of IoT and Office 365 announcements and resources to follow up on.

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Nick Landry @activenick

APRIL 26: We are moving from a world of data and apps, to a new exciting world of conversations with personal digital assistants and bots using speech and natural language. Nick Landry provides an introduction to the latest advances in Cortana integration on Windows 10, as well as the brand new Bot Framework, opening up a new realm of possibilities in human-computer interactions.

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Jerry Nixon @jerrynixon

APRIL 27: Build 2016 was like Christmas for UWP developers creating Windows apps. As existing features were enriched, several new innovations were unveiled to make developers more productive and apps more valuable with signature Windows experiences and capabilities. In this article, we’ll walk through the Windows announcements – every single one of them – from mapping to proximity, XAML enhancements, the Action center, and implications for cross-platform development.

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Sam Stokes @socalsam

APRIL 29: Skype will blow your mind if you just think Skype is only for instant messaging or voice mail. Medical telepresence may save the Affordable Care Act by making medicine more efficient. You as a developer can actually save lives by getting access to HIPAA compliance directly! What about Project Management. If you are developing Project Management tools, this is for you! In this video we will take a look at the excitement of Skype, Skype Bots and how you can generate wealth for you and society. Of everything at //Build 2016, Skype may be the quiet way to success for you!

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Seattle Code Camp - It's a Doozy!

Here it comes again. Seattle Code Camp happens every year and it’s one of those events where you don’t even think about whether or not to attend - you just attend. This year it’s September 12, 2015 at Seattle University in the Capitol Hill area.

As always, it’s free. As always, there’s food. And as always, it’s a big collection of coders of every skill level presenting on subjects that inspire them and hopefully inspire you too.

Several tracks give you a wide choice of information to glean, and a couple of gatherings of the entire crowd give you a chance to rub shoulders with your peers.

If my sessions are accepted, I’ll be presenting on some IoT topics. That’s what really drives my boat these days. As of this writing, the speaker registration is still open. You don’t have to be a wizard to present. Beginners are just as welcome as experts. So work up some courage, dust off your public speaking book from college, and sign up.

I’m looking forward to it. See you there.

Presentation at ASB

The topic of our conversation was encouragement to go beyond our inevitable role as digital consumers and aspiring to be digital producers first and foremost.

That means, we don’t just entertain ourselves with what others have created, but we get behind the paint brush, the hand saw, or the mouse and we create it ourselves. We use it to inspire others, to lead others, and ultimately to love others. That’s a charter.

First, we talked about making websites. You each got free Azure Passes, and I hope you’ll redeem them for some cloud time. We made a website in just a few seconds in class, and you can do the same thing from home.

To redeem your pass, go to microsoftazurepass.com and enter the code. Ignore the number on the left. The code starts with ‘M’.

Next, we looked at Touch Develop by visiting touchdevelop.com. You can go there any time from pretty much any device and make something awesome. When you’re done, publish it and then send me a tweet at @codefoster, so I can help you tell the world about what you made!

We couldn’t help ourselves and started talking about the exciting and coming Microsoft HoloLens project and the world of 3D. I showed you Autodesk Fusion 360, which is my 3D modeling software of choice. If I had a HoloLens to design with, I would, but Fusion 360 is awesome too :) Since you’re students, you can download and use Fusion 360 without charge.

Finally, we learned how you can take your JavaScript skills to the world of devices and the Internet of Things. We set up Tweet Monkey, sent a tweet with #tweetmonkey, and watched him dance away.

Tweet Monkey is a really simple project that will help you get the basics of using JavaScript to control things. It’s controlled by the awesome Intel Edison. I have blogged extensively about this device at codefoster.com/edison. You can get all the details at codefoster.com/tweetmonkey. If you want to graduate from Tweet Monkey and try something harder, check out his older brother Command Monkey at codefoster.com/commandmonkey.

Thank you again for your motivation. That’s inspiring to me. Be sure to keep in touch and tell me about the cool things you make.

OSCON 2014 in the Rearview Mirror

At OSCON this year, Olivier Bloch and I declare Portland to be the open source capital of the world, and while our declaration might not be official, it certainly makes sense.

The breadth of innovation represented in the exhibit hall is both impressive and inspiring.

In this special edition of CodeChat, I have a good chat with Olivier Bloch from Microsoft Open Technologies about the variety of ways that Microsoft collaborates with open source software and some exciting topics in the area of IoT. Enjoy.

Game On Events

Join us for this FREE, hands-on event and learn how to build a Windows 8.1 and/or Windows Phone game in record time. We’ll cover everything you need to create, upload and publish an amazing game. Expert developers will outline different game frameworks and give you the tools you need to start building. They’ll also explain how to add graphics, levels, and sound to base games, while sharing other cool ways to make the game your own. In one jam-packed day of learning and coding, turn your idea into reality – by dinner time! How awesome is that? Students, first-time developers, or seasoned pros - everyone is welcome! Register today for Game On: aka.ms/gameonwest.

Let's Go MoDev!

Next week, I’m going to be joining a few folks from my team and a bunch of folks from Seattle for MoDev’s next conference right here in our sunny city.

MoDev is the conference to attend if you’re involved in development, design, or event marketing for the mobile tablet market, and really who isn’t these days? Even the auto body shop down the street needs a mobile app. Everybody needs a mobile app.

The conference is going to be graced by experts from the likes of Amazon, Samsung, Zillow, Rovio, and many more.

You can go here to register for the conference if you haven’t already.

Personally, I’ll be talking about creating native applications for Windows 8 using the web development platform. On most tablet platforms, you can find some way to eek out an app if you favor the web languages of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but in every case except for Windows 8, that app is going to be wrapped in a browser and confined to the inherent limitations of said browser. Tools like PhoneGap map a number of functions from JavaScript into the various platform specific nomenclature, but on Windows 8 your JavaScript is sitting directly on the kernel.

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic or any other the other talks at MoDevTablet, register now and I’ll see you there!

Register here

UW Seattle Student Appathon

If you’re a student at UW, then I’ve got a cool opportunity to throw your way.

Come to the Microsoft Appathon @ UW, learning to build apps, eat free food, win cool prizes, and get $100 per app on top of it all!

We’ll be giving away a Surface and some Xbox hardware, and who know… we may even have a good time too.

Instead of just a single event, we’re also going to hold two mini-events to give you an opportunity to get your system set up and ready for developing Windows 8 apps. Below are the event dates and registration links. I’ll see you there!

Mini-event - Tuesday, May 7: http://aka.ms/uwmini1

Mini-event - Friday, May 10: http://aka.ms/uwmini2

Main event - Saturday, May 11: http://aka.ms/uwappathon

Jump Start Your Brain

My colleague Michael Palermo and I are scheduled to present two Jump Start video series on Channel 9. The first will cover basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript development, and the second will cover those web technologies as they apply to creating Windows 8 apps.

You can get a lot more information about this content and register to attend by going to http://aka.ms/Win8Dev-JS.

Seattle Give Camp just around the corner

In less than two months, a number of charities will gather in the Commons on the Microsoft campus with a lot of project requirements to share. Those projects will be matched up with developers from the area that are willing to give a weekend to help out a good cause. Many hours will be spent furiously designing and coding away, and at the end of the weekend the fruits will be shared.

I haven’t been to a Give Camp before, but I’ve heard that it’s pretty remarkable what can get accomplished in a weekend and how helpful it is to the charities. Many of these groups are on very tight budgets and don’t normally have IT help or don’t have nearly enough.

If you’re going to be around the weekend of October 19-21, I encourage you to go to http://seattlegivecamp.org and sign up as a volunteer designer or developer. Even if you don’t have technical skills, you can volunteer to cover other needs. You can put your skills to a really good use and probably end up having a good time to boot.

I hope I’ll see you there.

Windows 8 2-day Camp - Content

Thanks to all of the attendees of our Windows 8 2-day Camp and Hackathon last week!

It was an exhausting but excited couple of days and some attendees left with Samsung Series 7 slates, an XBox console, a bunch of XBox games, and more.

The Windows 8 content from day 1 will be available soon on Channel 9. Until then, I promised that I would upload the content from my session and the content from Bart De Smet’s session on Reactive Extensions.

My Content - Windows 8 Contracts

My session was an introduction to integrating the Windows 8 experience into your app by implementing the Windows 8 contracts. We looked at Search, Share, Settings, the FilePicker, and PlayTo. The code is extremely simple and intended to get you in the door. Let me know if you have any questions…

CFContractDemos.zip (40.04 kb)

Bart De Smet’s Content – Reactive Extensions

Bart De Smet was a guest presenter on day 2 on the topic of Reactive Extensions. He presented mostly JavaScript examples, but the content below includes all of the .NET examples as well. If you’re not familiar with Reactive Extensions, I think you should get acquainted, and Bart’s slides are very well made and helpful in coming to an understanding.

Reactive Extensions.zip (6.53 mb)