Free Windows Phone Game Training in Portland - 5/11



On Friday, May 11th, at the Microsoft Portland Office!!

Even if you have developed applications for Windows Phone before, you won't want to miss this opportunity to learn how to develop XNA games for Windows Phone, and maybe win some of the $800 in prize money! Not only that, but we'll feed you all day long!  This is a great opportunity to jumpstart your game development!



Here's the agenda for the event.  In the hands-on-labs you will develop a Windows Phone XNA game that models one in the marketplace.

Session 1 - Introduction to XNA

• What is XNA
• Game Development Tools
• XNA Game Projects
• XNA Game Loop
• Debugging Games
• Working with Textures
• Playing Songs and Sound Effects
• Drawing text with SpriteFonts
• Getting input on the phone
• Using the Accelerometer
• Using Touch

Session 2 - Game State Management

• Keeping Score
• Tracking Health and Lives
• Adding Levels
• Creating Multi-Screen games
• Loading content in the background
• How to pause the game
• Phone Application Lifecycle
• Supporting Fast Application Switching
• Persisting and Restoring State
• Silverlight and XNA Integration

Session 3 - Advanced XNA Games

• Understanding the Windows Phone Marketplace
• Submitting your Game to the Marketplace
• Adding Advertisements to your game
• 3D Support in XNA
• Creating a simple 3D Game
• Building Games for Phone, PC and XBOX
• Other Multi-Platform options
• Using Windows Azure
• Social Gaming Toolkit

tags: XNA | wpdev

Portland Startup Weekend (Apr 27-29)

Startup Weekend is happening in Portland again, this time April 27-29 at Portland State Business Accelerator in downtown Portland. This is always a great experience. Be sure to put it on your calendars and take part in the Bootcamp happening on April 21. As usual, I'll be there pitching and working on some ideas involving Windows Phone and Metro apps for Windows 8, so please feel free to join me. I'm also happy to be recruited and hear your pitch if you feel like you have a great idea and need help building it.  This event always sells out in advance, so be sure to register now.


Startup Weekend Portland set for April 27-29

Startup Weekend is an intense 54 hour event which focuses on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. The weekend brings together people with different skillsets – primarily software developers, graphics designers and business people – to build applications and develop a commercial case around them. Why should you attend?

  • Build your network
  • Co-founder dating
  • Learn a new skill
  • Get face time with thought leaders
  • Join a global community
  • Actually launch a business!

Details for next Startup Weekend (Check schedule below for details):

  • Date April 27th-29th
  • Time Friday: 6 -10pm, Saturday: 9 -11pm, Sunday 9 -9pm
  • Place Portland State Business Accelerator: 2828 Corbett Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, OR

For those who want to know what Startup Weekend is all about, we offer a Bootcamp that will give you a better sense of what to expect at Startup Weekend, how to get the most out of it, and help you increase your chances of success during the weekend. Details for Bootcamp:

  • Date Saturday, April 21st
  • Time 12pm-5pm
  • Place TIE Westside Incubator: Suite 165, 19075 NW Tanasbourne Drive, Hillsboro, OR


Space is limited and this event will sell out, so be sure to register now.

tags: Startup Weekend

Barcamp Portland 2012

Barcamp Portland 6 is happening March 30th and 31st at the Eliot Center in downtown Portland. This is an annual event that brings together people from throughout Portland's tech community (and beyond!) to learn and share about the wide range of things we're interested in.

We'll start off on the evening of Friday March 30th with an opening reception, then resume on Saturday with a full day of unconference sessions. The unconference format is like a conference, but all sessions are scheduled on site the day of the event, allowing anyone who wants to start a discussion, ask a question, or show off something neat, join in by adding their topic to the session board.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP on Eventbrite to let organizers plan accordingly for space and food. The event is free, thanks to generous sponsors and individual contributions. If you'd like to know more about sponsoring, see

Barcamp Portland is completely volunteer-run. If you can help out during the weekend of the event, or want to get involved in the planning process, check out or stop by a planning meeting Monday nights at Collective Agency between 6:30 and 8pm.

See the Barcamp Portland website for more details:

My intention is to find other folks interesting in talking about Windows Phone, Windows 8, and mobile development in general. Hopefully I'll see you there.

tags: Windows 8 | Windows Phone | Barcamp | Portland

Building a Developer Community

Over the years, I’ve been involved in a number of Microsoft related user groups here in Portland.  For some I’ve just been an attendee, others I’ve spoken at, and a few I’ve even organized and ran.  Here’s a few that come to mind:

  • Portland Area Dot Net User Group (PADNUG)
  • PDXUX.Net
  • Portland Silverlight User Group (PDXSLUG)
  • Portland Windows Phone User Group (PWPUG)
  • Portland Area XNA User Group (PAXNAUG)

It’s been tough having my efforts split up amongst all these technology groups.  In fact, all of these groups except one had a specific technology as part of its name.  What’s scary is that I was thinking of doing this again with WinRT.  Really?

What’s needed here is convergence, not divergence.  I need something that allows me to focus (i.e. simplify) my efforts as a speaker/leader/member and not be overwhelmed.  Let’s be honest though, I’m not the only one who needs their life to be simpler.  Developers need less after-hour meetings to attend.  Recruiters need easier choices for which user groups to attend and sponsor.

I’ve discussed this topic thoroughly (both in public and in private) with various members and influencers in the community.  A consensus has been reached and I now have the following announcements:

  1. The Portland Silverlight User Group has been dissolved.
  2. The Portland Windows Phone User Group has been dissolved.

That was easy.  ;-)  Hah, I wish.

My efforts are now being joined with PADNUG to help transform it into more of a generic “Windows” user group.  PADNUG already caters to ASP.NET, C#, SharePoint, WPF, and WinForm developers.  Who it doesn’t cater to as much are WinRT, C++, Windows Phone, and HTML5 developers.  The focus will be on the platform and in using a variety of technologies that make sense.  While the technologies will change, and the devices we develop for will change, one thing that will not change is that of Windows being that platform on which our applications run.  Whether these apps are in the cloud, or on a PC, or on a phone, they will run on “Windows”.  In my opinion this was the central message that came out of BUILD.  Use what you know, build what you imagine, you know the rest.

So how is this going to kick off?  I’ve already accepted an invitation to join the PADNUG’s board of directors.  Next month I’ll be presenting on Windows Phone Development with HTML5 and PhoneGap at PADNUG.  That topic makes a lot of sense, especially when you consider there is a Windows Phone Camp and an HTML5 Webcamp being held next month.  Next year’s going to be exciting in preparing for WinRT.  However we don’t want to leave anyone to feel left out because of the work they’re doing right now.  There is a need to be forward thinking, but also relevant.  For me, this will be an interesting balance to strike.

So do you have any feedback?  Are you pissed?  Are you relieved?  Could you care less?  Assuming you do care, I encourage you to speak up and share your thoughts.  We’re all volunteers here.  If doing it your way means you’ll willing to pitch in and help, then I’m more than happy to hear what you think.

tags: Silverlight | PDXSLUG | PWPUG | wpdev | PADNUG | winrt

Considering Mobile Development? Think Windows Phone.

I attend a fair number of user groups, code camps, conferences, etc., in Portland and Seattle.  Basically if it’s a developer-oriented event then you can probably count on seeing me there.  I see developers covering a wide range of interests and specialties.  I must admit, that I am continually amazed regarding the population size of mobile developers.  Let’s be honest.  It’s small.  No, it’s very small.

Almost every developer is intrigued by the current opportunities in mobile development.  Most will tell you they want to start developing apps, but they don’t have an idea.  Many have downloaded the development tools for one of the platforms.  Some will even take time out of their schedule to attend a full day of training (either free or paid).  A few of those have actually built an application and deployed it to their personal device.  Very few have gone on to publish an application.

Are you thinking of getting started in mobile development?  If so, then you should seriously consider building apps and/or games for Windows Phone.

As you get ready to start your mobile development career you must first pick a platform.  There are many reason for selecting Windows Phone rather than Android or iPhone.  I’m going to try and outline some of those reasons in this post, but we should really be having this discussion over drinks or a burger where it can be an actual conversation.  This topic of where to focus your energies as you prepare for the next step in your career, it’s a very personal topic and one you feel pressured to get right the first time.  You don’t have time to learn and do everything, which is why you’re first picking a platform to invest in.  You’d be crazy not to try and learn from those who have gone before you.  It would be nice not to make some of the same mistakes.

What you’re looking for is advice and perspective, not answers and instructions.

The case for Windows Phone

Here are 10 reasons for why you should select Windows Phone for the next step in your career as a developer.  This list is by no means complete, but it will have to suffice until you pull me aside and we have this conversation.

1. Use your existing knowledge and skills
Most of the people I talk to are .NET developers.  They’ve developed in C# or VB.NET and are familiar with the Microsoft stack and how to solve problems using the .NET framework.  They’ve invested time in learning WCF, WPF, Silverlight, and LINQ.  For them jumping to Objective-C and learning a new set of libraries is a scary prospect.  Windows Phone represents a huge opportunity in moving to mobile development while leveraging the skills and knowledge they’ve spent years investing in.  If this scenario applies to you then can understand why I ranked it as number one.

2. The Metro design language
Metro is the design language for Windows Phone.  It focuses on typography and content, and in presenting everything in a very clean fashion.  Metro removes any unnecessary chrome and removes all unnecessary clutter.  Metro apps are easy to use and those who use them don’t become lost or overwhelmed.  Metro also presents a great opportunity for developers to start growing their designer skills.  Metro is also easy for developers to learn.  You’ll quickly break those old habits from years of designing ugly applications in VB6 / Windows Forms.  I think everyone will concede that having even basic design chops makes you so much more valuable as a developer.  You’ll start to be viewed as someone who can conceptualize and capture the vision of a product.  That’s a high-value skill which is easily recognized by upper management.

3. World-class tools and support
Microsoft makes the best development tools in the world.  Period.  Their tools make you more productive in development (Visual Studio), in testing (Windows Phone Emulator), and even during design (Expression Blend).  Building with these tools or using an add-on like ReSharper doesn’t mean you’re a “weak” developer.  Instead it shows a level of understanding and maturity.  A good comparison would be choosing to use a nail gun over a hammer when building a home.  Sure you’ll break out the hammer occasionally, but you’ll get most of your work done with that nail gun.  When you’re developing for Windows Phone you take advantage of that amazing tooling and emulator support.  This translates to faster development, fewer bugs, and a shorter development life cycle.  That then leads to more applications being built, more success stories, and ultimately more profit.  I should probably also mention that the tools for building Windows Phone applications are free.

4. The Windows 8 effect
Arguably this reason could have been number one, however Windows 8 has not even been released.  Let’s think about this.  Windows 8 takes advantage of the Metro design language.  Metro now becomes the common design theme across the three screens (PC, Xbox, Phone).  Let’s be honest, once Windows 8 is released then every PC becomes an advertisement for buying a Windows Phone.  I saw a guy selling a laptop on the home shopping network, and he kept chanting how the world runs Windows, and Windows is what you know, and you won’t get lost when you use it.  Techies will purchase a Macbook Air and an iPhone or Android.  The rest of the world will purchase Windows 8 and then have their first smart phone be a Windows Phone.  I’m generalizing and I shouldn’t be, but we all know there’s more truth in that statement then we’d like to admit.

5. Nokia
I don’t know how many iPhone and Android devs I’ve talked to, but the majority have dismissed Nokia and its ability to have a positive effect in Windows Phone sales.  They won’t be saying that after today*grin*  Monday night during Mobile Portland I had a chance to listen to George Kurtyka talk a little about what Nokia is doing with Microsoft.  Nokia has an established reach into international markets such as India and China that is simply amazing.  However, only two phones were announced today, and the Lumia won’t even be in the US until early 2012.  Let’s be honest, they’re just getting warmed up.  By the end of next year, Nokia will be selling a ton of phones.  You don’t have to take my word for this.  Wait 4-6 months and then see what the landscape looks like.  But don’t look only in the US, look in Europe and Asia.  By the time your kids are out of school for summer vacation you’ll know whether the Nokia partnership was an absolute success or an horrific flop.  I’m pretty confident it won’t be the later.

6. Discoverability
Today it was announced there are just over 35,000 apps in the Windows Phone marketplace.  That means there’s still opportunity for you to build an app and have it be successful without any marketing.  However, one thing I really like about Windows Phone is how the new marketplace in Mango highlights more apps in each of the different hubs.  In addition there’s now a web version of the marketplace where I have dedicated web pages for each my apps (e.g. Alchemy, RunPee).  Anyone who has a Windows Phone can now purchase and install apps directly from those web pages.

7. Monetization – Ad Revenue
There’s money to be made with free apps which display ads.  The first key is to have an app which users will keep coming back to.  The second key is to display ads which are relevant to your app.  There’s a concept called eCPM which is essentially how much you get paid per 1,000 ad impressions.  Yeah, it’s nice to know you get paid just for showing the ads.  However, what most people don’t realize is that those eCPM values will increase if users click on the ads.  Because more clicks lead to a higher eCPM, your primary concern should be how to generate more clicks.  Consider that users are starting your app because they are interested in it, so why not show them an ad which they’re more likely to click on?  If your app displays movie reviews, then it makes sense to show an ad related to movies in theaters, or home entertainment systems, or even DVDs for sale.  Starting in April of this year I’ve had one app make over $5,700 with over 8 million ad impressions.  Beginning in August I saw my eCPM values double from what they previously were.

8. Monetization – App Sales
If you make a quality app then people will pay you good money for it.  And they won’t just pay 99 cents; they’ll pay 2 or 3 dollars.  I’m not sure if it’s the effect of having Xbox titles on the phone or something else, but this platform is not like Android.  People purchase apps on Windows Phone.  Don’t get me wrong, folks love to have free apps.  However, they aren’t afraid of purchasing an app provided they can see the value of the purchase.  For the last two months the royalties I’ve made on my paid apps have been double what the total ad revenue is for my free apps.  Again, the onus is on you to create a quality app.  If you think you’ve built yourself a winner then don’t be afraid to charge for it.

9. BizSpark
Not everyone has the stomach for starting a new company that’s building a mobile app, especially if it involves quitting their day job.  Regardless of whether you’re even considering such an idea, you should do yourself a favor and become familiar with Microsoft’s BizSpark programThis program is an absolute must for any startup.  Microsoft understands how important innovation from new startups is to the overall ecosystem.  They also know that 80% of all startups fail.  Thankfully Microsoft has made it easy and cheap to get into the program, and easy and cheap to graduate after three years.  Not all, but some developers learn they have the “innovator’s itch”.  If you find out that you’re one of them then the BizSpark program and support it brings is a great reason for developing on Windows Phone.

10. App Contests
Folks laugh that Microsoft keeps promoting contests where you can publish an app for Windows Phone and either win a device (e.g. phone, slate, Kinect, etc.) or free advertising for your app.  What they don’t realize is that members of my local user group have won 2 windows phones, 1 Kinect, over $1400 in cash, and at least 4 apps have won free advertising.  There are two high-value contests happening right now.  In the first contest you can win one million ad impressions for your app (details).  In the second contest you can win either a Samsung Series 7 Slate and/or free advertising for your app (details).  For the second contest you’ll need a promo code (use KWHIT).  Advertising has a huge impact on how successful (or not) your app is, just ask the folks building for iOS.  These contests represent huge opportunities for success, so get your apps finished, published, and submitted to these contests ASAP.  See Cigdem Patlak's blog for a more complete list of contests

Areas of concern (why not to choose)

I didn’t like writing this next section.  It felt like I was taking cheap shots at the friends I have on the Windows Phone teams and that wasn’t my intention.  However, I felt I needed to include this to provide an honest and fair perspective for you readers.  Of course there are areas where Windows Phone is lacking right now.  Are they deal breakers?  If not addressed, then absolutely.  Will Microsoft address and remedy these issues?  Why wouldn’t they?  I mean, isn’t this what the whole “reset” was about? Microsoft taking the time to get it right?  Or did they already have the reset and now we should expect them to be firing on all cylinders?  No, we’re still feeling the effects of that reset, and unfortunately Microsoft is still playing catch up.

1. Missing:  “Amazing” Success Stories
The types of stories I’m talking about are those where someone releases an app/game and after 6 months it’s made over $500K in sales.  Those stories happen routinely on the iPhone and even occasionally on Android.  To my knowledge there has not yet been a success story of this magnitude on Windows Phone.  Notice that I said “yet”.  I want to be one of those success stories (I mean, who doesn’t).  I also need there to be a few of these stories which I can then point to as I answer the critics I face.  I believe it’s only a matter of time.  Within the next 4-6 months I fully expect these types of success stories to become routine.

2. Missing:  Monetization – In App Purchase
Earlier this summer it was confirmed by Todd Brix that In App Purchase (IAP) was a high priority but would not be included for the Mango release.  Two months later during the BUILD conference the Windows 8 App Store was announced with support for IAP.  During GameFest I attended a session on the new in-game purchase API which uses Microsoft Points and is only available to Xbox Live titles (e.g. Beards and Beaks).  In my opinion, not having IAP is akin to not having copy/paste.  It appears that the Windows 8 and Xbox Live teams would agree with me.  Who knows, maybe there will be an out-of-band update similar to Nodo just for IAP.  It really, really hurts not having this feature.  Hopefully we’ll get some news on it around the MIX or MWC timeframe.

3. Missing:  Enterprise Support
From the beginning Microsoft has announced that the first release would be consumer focused.  Mango is still part of that first release (e.g. the version number is 7.5).  Yes there’s SharePoint integration on the phone right now, but I’ve been told that isn’t enough.  So exactly what is needed?  Honestly, I couldn’t tell you.  What I do know is that there is an enterprise application development model for the iPhone.  I also know we don’t have that model for Windows Phone.  I’m sure there’s more beyond just that.  I don’t expect Microsoft to leave this area alone.  In fact, I don’t see how they could.  I mean, we’re talking about Microsoft and they understand the enterprise's needs better than anyone else.

4. Missing:  Native Support
I used to think this wasn’t an issue. After attending GameFest and talking to folks at EA Canada and Unity I started to get a glimpse of how important it really is.  At BUILD I saw Windows 8 making a big deal about native code and not talking about XNA.  Now I finally understand that XNA isn’t the be-all-end-all solution I once thought it was.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love XNA.  However these big game studios have an amazing amount of influence.  Consider that they will be making games for the Windows 8 App Store.  How are those games going to get onto the phone?  Are they going to rewrite them in XNA?  Not a chance.  I know, because I asked them.  Now think about how big of a deal it was to finally bring Angry Birds onto Windows Phone.  I’m not going to draw any conclusions, but you have to wonder what kind of influence Windows 8 and WinRT will have on Windows Phone.

My Experience

I started out on iOS, and then started doing Android and Windows Phone.  Earlier this summer I abandoned all my efforts, projects, and opportunities for paid work using iOS and Android.  I only develop for Windows Phone.  My advice to you?  Mobile is super important to your career, so pick a platform and start developing now.  Personally, I think you should pick Windows Phone.

tags: Windows Phone | wpdev | Mobile

Windows Phone - Upcoming Events

There's a few upcoming events that you'll want to register for if you're thinking about Windows Phone Development.

Windows Phone Design Day

Ok, these are by far the most important events you can attend in the next 3 months. Period. Arturo Toledo has all the information about these on his blog. You should make sure you do whatever is necessary to attend one of these events. This is especially if you're a developer!

  • Find one nearby (details)
  • Register now
  • Get the day off
  • Use vacation time
  • Call in sick if necessary

Corrina Black and Arturo will both be at all these events. I cannot stress how important it is to listen and talk with both Corrina and Arturo in person. Also, be sure to take your app with you and get feedback on it.

However, you also need to that as of right now these events are only scheduled for Europe.  For those of you in the US, please start sending feedback to both Corrina and Arturo letting them know you want to see one of these events in a city near you. They need to hear from you personally, and the best way to reach them is through Twitter (@corrinab and @arturot).

Windows Phone Camp

These are the second most important events you should attend in the next 6 months. There are 33 that have been scheduled all across the US. Some are two day events, and most are just a single day. Right now you can go to the MSDN Events site and see a map of where these are all scheduled (red pushpins). The same advice applies:

Windows Phone Camps

  • Find one nearby (map)
  • Register now
  • Get the day off
  • Use vacation time
  • Call in sick if necessary

The Windows Phone Camp for Portland is scheduled for December 1st. I'm already registered. Be sure to say "hi" and let me know if you'll also be there. We'll probably do a nerd dinner / "appy" hour that evening.

If you don't have a Windows Phone Camp scheduled near you, ping your local user group leaders and/or myself and let's talk about organizing one near you. It could be as simple as a half-day event during the weekend. If it's not too far and my schedule permits, I'd be happy to show up and help support it. You should definitely be thinking about hosting your event before the second week in December.

HTML5 Web Camp

Depending on your perspective, this could also be a candidate for the most important event you should attend in the next 3 months. Especially with all the opportunities that will be coming with Windows 8.

You'll want to look at that same map on the MSDN Events site, but this time focus on the blue pushpins. There's not as many of these scheduled right now, but I'm sure you'll see more and more of these being added in the future.

Honestly, this is a great event that your non-Microsoft friends will also be interested in. Especially once they realize they can build apps in HTML5 and deploy them to the Windows 8 app store.

The HTML5 Web Camp for Portland is scheduled for December 8th. I'm already registered  This will be hands-on, so you'll want to bring your laptop. Space is limited, so register now.

tags: Windows Phone | HTML5

Augmented Reality Game in Windows Phone

Back in July the AT&T Developer Program sponsored a mobile hackathon up in Redmond, Washington.  This was an all day event heavily focused on building apps for the following three platforms:

  • Mobile Web
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

One team shined brighter then all the others and built an augmented reality first-person-shooter game.  It's amazing to see what they could get done in a single day.  Included below is a short video where give a demo of the app and briefly explain how they built it.  Did I mention this was built using the Beta1 tools for Windows Phone Mango?!

The next mobile app hackthon will be held on October 15th in Seattle, Washington.  There is no charge to attend this event, but you do need to register in advance.  I won't be able to attend, as I'll instead be attending the Portland Startup Weekend.  If you're thinking of attending the hackathon, be sure to register now.  Let me know if you do attend, I'd love to see what you build.

Augmented Reality Game in Windows Phone from Silvertail Software on Vimeo.

tags: Windows Phone | Augmented Reality

Portland Startup Weekend (Oct 14-16)

Startup Weekend is happening in Portland again, this time October 14-16 at Urban Airship in downtown Portland.  This is always a great experience.  Be sure to put it on your calendars and take part in the discounted registration (use code INTEL).  I'll be there pitching and working on some ideas involving Windows Phone 7 and Metro apps for Windows 8, so please feel free to join me.  I'm also happy to be recruited and hear your pitch if you feel like you have a great idea and need help building it.


Startup Weekend Portland set for October 14-16

Portland, OR, 9/14/11 - With its mission to build a stronger community of tech entrepreneurs in the Northwest, Portland Startup Weekend

(#pdxsw) has announced details for its October event, taking place the 14th through the 16th at Urban Airship headquarters in Portland’s Pearl District.

Portland Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event that inspires teams to create a minimum viable product - such as a web or mobile app - that can anchor a company. The aim is to create an environment where developers, designers and business developers can come together and build a product that can launch a startup.

Participants give informal, 60-second pitches on the first night of the event. Together, they choose the most viable ideas and form teams around them. The rest of the weekend is spent developing the concepts into product with the help of a team of mentors from Portland’s community. The weekend culminates with demonstrations in front of an panel of judges and potential investors.

"Portland is hotbed of startup activity at the moment, and Startup Weekend is a great opportunity for would-be software entrepreneurs to find a co-founder, build a prototype, and launch a venture,"  said Skip Newberry, President of the Software Association of Oregon.

"Startup Weekend at OBTC in Beaverton was a great success this past spring, and Startup Weekend Portland promises to bring together an even larger group of entrepreneurs."

Portland Startup Weekend’s Platinum sponsors are Urban Airship, Intel, and Activetrak. Gold Sponsors include Puppet Labs, OTBC, BrandLive, Launchside, Empirical, KickoffLabs and PUSH Your Business.

Tickets can be purchased online at

Discount code “INTEL” brings the ticket price to $50.

Founded in 2007 in Boulder, Colorado, Startup Weekend is a nonprofit that has brought together a worldwide community of entrepreneurs that have launched hundreds of startups, including Portland companies Mugasha, Taggr, CPUusage and AudioName. Learn more at

tags: Startup Weekend

PDX-UX meeting (9/29)

In case you're not already aware, the PDXRIA user group has recently gone through a few changes.  Previously the group had focused primarily on ColdFusion and Flex.  The group is now called PDX-UX, has a new user group leader, and has a new focus (as outlined below).

Hello All,

I'm here to announce some changes to this group. If you saw this message on the PDX RIA Yahoo Groups site you can ignore this.

Simeon has passed on management of the group and with the management change the group itself will be changing quite a bit. In some ways, the PDXRIA group is going away and a new group is starting up: PDX-UX.

"The PDX-UX user group is located in Portland, OR. Our members share their experiences and knowledge around designing and developing next generation user interfaces and user experience. PDX-UX meets on the third Thursday of the month at Thetus Corporation’s office."

What does this mean?

The new group is sponsored and managed by Thetus (where I work). The work of managing the group is done by myself and Sarah Allen (another Thetus employee). Most of the meetings will be held in a very nice, new Thetus space in downtown Portland.

The group is no longer focused mostly on Adobe technologies but on user interface design and development, with an emphasis on development. We will cover any and all related topics no matter the platform. Over the coming year we hope to have presentations on design techniques, HTML5, data visualization, and language and platform specific tools and libraries. We will be focused PRIMARILY on client specific topics, but client related server-side stuff is a possibility.

The group will be hosted on Google Groups.

For those of you who have been members since the PDX CFUG days, ColdFusion is not likely to be covered. For those of you who are Flash/Flex developers: those will most likely be covered. We will keep this Adobe group site as long as we still qualify as an Adobe Group.

Ryan Miller

I know Ryan, he's a good friend and will do a great job with this group.  So why does this matter to you?  Because tonight is their first meeting and it's going to be a show and tell of different apps with different designs built by different companies.  I'll be there showing off two apps, the first is the RunPee app built for Windows Phone, and the second is that same app rebuilt in Metro and running on a Windows 8 slate.  Exciting, eh?

The meeting is tonight from 5:30 to 7:00pm at Thetus Corporation in downtown Portland (map).  Food and drinks will be provided, hopefully I'll see you there!

tags: WP7 | wpdev | windowsphone | bldwin | metro

Mobile: The Market, The Web, and Windows Phone's Future

This month we had Jason Grigsby of Cloud Four presenting at the Portland Silverlight User Group. Jason also runs Mobile Portland, and gave a great presentation on the state of mobile, where it's going, and where we might want to strategize our efforts. His presentation was only 53 minutes long. I've watched it twice, and I was even there in attendance (it's really that good).

WHO: Jason Grigsby
Jason Grigsby was one of the project leads on the Obama iPhone Application and helped design the user inferface for the Wall Street Journal's Blackberry application. He founded and organizes Mobile Portland, a local mobile group.

Jason is a co-founder of Cloud Four, a small start-up focused on mobile and web development. He blogs at and provides a frequent updates about mobile as @grigs on Twitter.

TOPIC: The Market, The Web, and Windows Phone's Future
There are few things more frustrating than reading the tech press in the United States try to cover the mobile market. First Microsoft’s mobile efforts are going nowhere. Six months later, it will be bigger than the iPhone by 2015. Say what?

Let's back up for a moment from the day-to-day horse race coverage of Android versus iPhone and look at what the big picture trends are in the mobile market. What makes mobile unique? What makes a mobile product successful? And finally does Microsoft have a chance to get back into the mobile game?

Mobile: The Market, The Web, and Windows Phone's Future from Portland Silverlight User Group on Vimeo.

tags: WP7 | Silverlight | PDXSLUG | wp7dev | Mobile | Mobile Web