WP7 Unleashed - Portland Recap

What an awesome event!  Unfortunately I didn't take my camera, but Erik Mork has a recap with pictures, so be sure to check it out.

The day started with registration at 8am.  Everyone brought their laptops and came prepared to write code.  One individual's laptop died the day before so he brought in a desktop workstation.  Talk about hard core!  That's what I loved about this event, everyone was ready to learn and expected to write code.  No one was there for "free pizza" or to get a free day out of the office.

Windows PhoneThe first session was an overview of the phone.  We had two devices there, and we made sure that everyone got to play with the phone and experience its features.  The night before I had customized one of the phones as much as I could, uploading songs, pictures and movies.  I really wanted people to get a feel of what it would be like as a personal device.  My Xbox live account was tied to the phone, as was my Facebook account.  I had even purchased a song from the marketplace.  This was a demo phone, yet it seemed like folks were scared to really play with it because it looked like it was "my phone".

After the first session we jumped straight into the hands-on-labs and writing a Windows Phone 7 app in Silverlight.  Then we had another session on using web services, push notifications, and the trial api.  Then another hands-on-lab.  Food was brought in so we had a "working lunch".

After lunch I presented my session on sensors, tombstoning, launchers, and choosers.  Once that was done we jumped straight into the final hands-on-lab.  Individuals that finished the lab had a working app that demonstrated all the features we had talked about (except push notifications).  Then the contest started.

We had lots of innovators in this group.  A few formed up into teams to build their app for the contest, but many built the apps on their own.  There was lots of ideas.  None of the two apps were the same, and only one of the apps was a twitter client.  What was really interesting is that we had the majority of the teams deploy their apps to a device and demo it on a phone, rather than using just the emulator.

Prizes were given away for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.  We're talking about cash ($500, $200, and $100).  Winners were determined by attendees voting for who they thought should be first, second, and third place.  Points were assigned, it was a lot like the voting to determine who wins the Heisman Trophy award.  The presenters only got involved if a tiebreaker was needed. We were done and out of there by 6pm.

This was an awesome event.  It will be happening again in Seattle, Bellevue, and Boise.

We're thinking of having another one of these in Portland, the time frame would be mid-November.  If you're interested then please let me know.  Whether or not we do it again in Portland depends on how much demand there is.

tags: WP7

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