Microsoft Student Partner Modern Experience Development

An ‘Appy Christmas at Modern Jago

One of the many things I love about Modern Jago is its huge TV, which has an XBOX connected, with Kinect

My apologies for a total lack of posts since Christmas. I’ve been busy with all sorts, but mainly revision for my exams. Normal service will now be resumed ūüôā

Near the end of¬†November¬†I read about ‘Appy Christmas — an event set up by Microsoft to encourage the development of Windows 8 applications over the festive period — on the Microsoft UK Students Blog.

I immediately thought it could be good fun and posted about it on the University of Hull Microsoft User Group hoping that some of my fellow Hullians would join me on the trip down to Modern Jago, Shoreditch , London. It turns out that in the end 25% of the attendees were from The University of Hull, a fantastic turn out.

The two day event started for me and the two Hullians I was travelling with, Rob and James, went to catch our train at half 10 on Monday from the Hull¬†Paragon¬†Interchange¬†station, just 2 and a half hours later we were at Kings Cross and boarding our Circle Line tube train to Liverpool Street — 10 minutes after alighting at Liverpool Street we’d finished the final walking part of the journey and were at Modern Jago.

This was the second time I’ve been to Jago and I really like it there, its a blend of Modern and Old that works really well, much like Windows 8 I guess Microsoft would say ;).

Over the course of the Weekend I ported my Solar System Simulation coursework for 2D Graphics to WinJS, improved the UI and submitted it to the store — quick work! You can read all about that application here. Rob developed a C# and XAML Modern UI app port of his Cheap Ass Gamer Windows Phone 7 application, which is absolutely beautifully designed and you should¬†definitely¬†check out by clicking here!

Other than application development  a lot of fun was had out on the town with Phil Cross, Ben Nunney and my fellow Microsoft fans and a heck of a lot of pizza was consumed. Overall we produced over 30 apps in two days, good going! No wonder the Windows Store is the fastest growing app store at the moment. Porting applications is almost effortless, bar changing the UI for the big screen.


Microsoft Student Partner

The Perks of Working with Microsoft

Reasonably often I hear my friends saying how they’re dreading a certain lecture or hate writing a certain essay they have to do. I’ve never really¬†experienced¬†that, I love what I do and I think I get to do a lot of really cool stuff — from making games to mucking around with robots. Another of the things I adore about this subject is the¬†opportunities¬† you get that a lot of other subjects don’t seem to get, a good example of this was yesterday when I got two emails from Microsoft.

The first email was to confirm to me that my free tickets to the App Builder Showcase at Modern Jago in London had been reserved. This event is particularly exciting because the special guest is Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft and one of my¬†favorite¬†people in the technology industry because of his¬†famous enthusiasm for what he does.¬†I can’t wait to meet the man himself and hopefully learn a lot of things about both the company and the industry as a whole from a man who’s been there since the foundation.

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft - Somehow this man is in charge of one of the largest companies in the world ;)
Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft

The second email was to confirm my place at the Western European Microsoft Student Partner Summit in Dublin, Ireland. Microsoft are very kindly paying all my expenses, including getting there, staying in a hotel and all my food for the 3 days. They will also be putting on a range of events and activities ranging from learning about porting XNA to Windows 8 & Networking with MVPs and MSPs to going for Dinner at the Guinness Storehouse (Yay! ;)).

I shall of course be blogging about my experiences at both events, so check back for those!

And it would be rude not to end he post with a big thank-you to Microsoft for being so good to me, particularly Phil Cross and everyone else on the Academic Audience Team.


Modern Experience Development

Windows 8 | Elite Welcome Pack

I posted not too long ago about how, by submitting my Hull CS Blogs for Windows 8 App, I had joined the Windows 8 | Elite Program. On Saturday I had a parcel delivered and was pleasantly surprised to find it was a Windows 8 | Elite welcome pack!

Contained within were:

  • A Windows 8 Branded Pen
  • A Windows 8 Branded Pencil
  • A Windows 8 Branded 4GB Memory Stick
  • An Invitation to the Windows 8 Release party at Modern Jago in London on the 26th October
  • A Welcome Letter
  • And most interestingly a Windows 8 app design sketch pad, which I’ve used to plan UI enhancements to my app ūüôā

Its a nice pack, especially considering the Windows 8 | Elite is totally free to join, as is the Windows Dev Centre if you’re a student, so my advice is to click here and get involved!