Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto we’ll help you build your app at the Windows 8 Codapalooza

Dr_EvilGood news, we added Ottawa, and Toronto to the Codapalooza. See “OK, how can I register?” section for more informations.

I talked before about Camps, hackathons, and Design Clinics on Windows 8, because it was a great way for you to use your Web skills (also C++, or C#), and build amazing Windows 8 Metro Style applications. Now, there is an opportunity that you cannot miss: building an application now, and go to an App Excellence Lab to be able to deploy your application in the Windows 8 store before everybody (and get two years free). For more information on the lab, you can read the blog post of my colleague. There is also virtual labs available for anybody that can’t go on an in-person one.

So what’s my point with the title? Since I’m from Montreal, I decided, with our amazing new intern, Ramez Debbas, to have two days where we’ll help you build your application to give you the possibility to register for the App Excellence Lab. On the 7th, and 9th of June, we’ll be available from 09h00 to 17h00 to help you build your application, in French or English, from HTML/JavaScript/CSS, or from C#/XAML. Here are some answers to the question you may have:


What is a Windows 8 Codapalooza?

Ramez, and I, will be there to code our application or game, but also to help you build your one. We’ll have French, and English support in the lab, as expertise around HTML/CSS/JavaScript, and C#/XAML. You can join us when you want: the 7th, the 9th, or the 7th, and 9th of June together. As we think that being able to publish your application to the Windows 8 store before everyone is an amazing opportunity, we want our Montreal folks to don’t miss this chance. It’s going to be an informal event, where coding, and fun will be on the schedule! No presentations, just coding, as the goal is to get at least 60% of our application ready to be able to register for the App Excellence Lab.


What about if I don’t have any idea yet?

No worries, we have plenty of ideas. You can come at the event without any ideas, and we will brainstorm with you to help you find the idea that fits you!


Are you crazy, we won’t have the time to build a full application in one or two days?

People usually think I’m crazy, but for this one, we are not! You need to keep in mind four things:

  1. We don’t have to finish the application to go at the Excellence lab, and have the magic token that will give you the opportunity to deploy your app in the store before everybody else. Only 60% of app needs to be done, and you’ll have some time after to finish it.
  2. We are not looking for a Photoshop or AutoCAD kind of application: simple application like an RSS reader for your blog, or a conversion tool.
  3. You can port actual HTML5 application or games you have for Windows 8. See the resources part of this FAQ to help you get started.
  4. It’s easy to leverage your actual skills like HTML5, C++ or C#, you only need to learn the API, no new language!

So yes, we definitely think we’ll be able to get one billion apps (oops, Dr Evil, go out of me), a couple of apps of this one or two Codapalooza days.


Why should I go develop with you guys instead of doing it at home?

I know, it’s nice to develop from the comfort of our home, but there are three reasons I saw to come code with us:

  1. Have access to Microsoft employee to help you build your application;
  2. It’s not always easy to concentrate at home with all the other stuff we can do;
  3. Free beers! Yes, we like coding with a beer…


Do I need to take a lunch with me?

Absolutely… not! We’ll have some pizzas, and pops for lunch. You need to be there before 11:00 to get this royal treatment, as we’ll order with people there to be sure we have everything to satisfy all tastes.


What do I need for the event?

A computer with Windows 8 installed (you can download it from here) on it (primary, dual-boot or in a virtual machine). You’ll also need the SDK/Visual Studio 11 installed on your Windows 8 machine (you can download it from here). Last, but not least, your coding skill to build your next amazing application..


If I want to start now, what are the resources for me?

Here are some steps you can follow to help you in the building process.

  1. Read Planning Metro style apps. It’s always easier if you plan before attacking the coding part. Use this to sketch out the concepts of your app and figure out functionality.
  2. Read Design guidance for Metro style apps.
  3. Find the right scenario via the End-to-end apps and gamesdocumentation.
    1. Web Sites to Windows 8– This is not very difficult at all and is a pretty minimal effort if you use the HTML5 programming model in Windows 8.
    2. Porting web-based Games to Windows 8– Specifically games that were built with HTML5 <canvas> or those that used a library such as CreateJS or easier to port to Windows 8. An example that has been done in HTML5 and converted to a Windows 8 app is Cut the Rope and Pirates Love Daisies.
    3. Developing Reader/Content Aggregation Apps – These are simple to build and I have seen them built in a day at Hackathons and can go from design to production very quickly.


If I already build my app, or don’t need your help, what can I do?

Perfect, now you need to register to the App Excellence Lab to get all the benefits of having build an application now. You can read this blog post to get more information on the lab, and you can send an email to win8cdn@microsoft.com and include the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Your city
  • The date you want to do in-person or virtual lab
  • A brief application description (no binary, optional screenshot, but only send if the screenshot is not confidential)


OK, how can I register?


As this event is open only to people that really want to build an application during one or two days with the goal of going to the App Excellence Lab, registration needs to be done by e-mail. Here is the simple process, send me an email at fredh@microsoft.com with your full name, the day you want to join it, and the time you’ll be there. The event will be held at our Montreal office at 2000 McGill College (corner Maisonneuve, and McGill subway station). Only people that had sent me an e-mail will be able to join the event. I highly recommend you to be there as soon as possible so you’ll have plenty of time to build your application.


For Ottawa people, Susan will be available on the 7th of June from 09:00 to 21:00. You can send her an email to Susan.ibach@microsoft.com register for the event.


We also add date for Toronto, as Paul will be available on the 6th of June from 9:00 to 17:00. You can send him an email to paul.laberge@microsoft.com register for the event.


So, feel free to forward this to friends, and co-worker. I hope to see you there!