Earlier this month I participated in the Portland Code Camp. Talk about an awesome event, over 500 attendees showed up and participated on what turned out to be the first non-rainy Saturday in months. While many of them could have instead been partying at the beach they instead choose to focus on their professional lives in both teaching and learning from others. Each year I am completely amazed by the dedication of the technical and professional communities here in Portland, Oregon.
Originally I was scheduled for just 2 sessions, but I did finally end up speaking in 3. I wound up filling in at the last minute for a speaker who became sick.
In the first session I had about 30 people and we talked about the importance of UX in your mobile applications. None of the crowd had really seen Windows Phone 7, so I spent a lot of time talking about it and what is new in Mango. I then talked about some of the UX paradigms and how those can be translated over to over platforms (e.g. Live Tiles -> Widgets in Android). We spent a while talking about the importance of push notifications and why you need them. While I had a slant of what works in Windows Phone 7, really the discussion was about the general UX paradigms and how you can build a more engaging mobile experience regardless of what platform you choose.
My second session was on Making Money with Windows Phone 7. That session was recorded and the slide decks are also available for you to download (see my other post).
My last session of the day was sitting in on a panel with Walt Ritscher, Bill Moore, and Joe McBride. We had a blast talking about how UI/UX is changing because of mobile, kinect, and html5. It was a very well rounded crowd, with most people coming from a background of using a non-Microsoft web stack.
One observation I took away from code camp is that really we're all in this together regardless of what our technological background is, and what unites and excites all of us is creating these engaging and immersive user experiences. At the end of the day it's all about UX, as that's the language that each of us speaks and understands. With this perspective it really makes the "silverlight vs html5 / silverlight is dead" discussions seem like trivial, petty, and entirely useless conversations. The technology isn't what matters, it's the human element or what we commonly refer to as the User Experience (UX).