Featured, General

Want to be a Microsoft Evangelist?

We’ve got an opening on our team!

If you live in the Columbus or Cincinnati, Ohio area and are interesting in joining a fun team with great people and challenging work, being a Technical Evangelist is for you!

More details at the job posting site, but here are the posted qualifications:

  • 8+ years of experience writing code. Expertise in iOS, Android and/or Windows app and/or game development and/or experience shipping a product is preferred.
  • Publication of at least 1 app or game to a mobile marketplace.
  • Experience in a broad set of developer technologies including Windows 8, Windows Phone and HTML5/CSS/JavaScript, or similar competitive technologies.
  • Ability to communicate concepts and code in a concise and instructive manner in writing and as a technical presenter.
  • Passion for technology with solid knowledge of enterprise global IT requirements and competitive offerings required.
  • The strong candidate will have deep involvement with their local or regional developer community either as an MVP, User Group Leader, or active community speaker/blogger.
  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in computer science preferred.

Ready for a change? Willing to take a chance? Apply today!

Development

MoDev Windows $10K App Contest

Just this week on 10/1, some of our friends over at MoDev announced a contest, for a chance to win cash prizes, totaling $10K.  My favorite part, is that you can actually control whether or not you win, with a public vote, which will occur after the contest entry period ends on 12/31.  You just have to get your friends (and their friends) to vote for your app! Helps drive awareness for your published app & increase your downloads, but also increases your chance to win!  Check out the details below:

The Modev Windows $10k App Contest

We’re looking for those game changers, industry disruptors—denizens of creative awesome from across the developer community. We’ll award prizes two ways:

  1. An impartial panel of judges will pick the top three apps from among the entries and award prizes
  2. We’ll put the pool of entries up for a public vote, and encourage some healthy competition between entrants to promote your app and get the public to vote for you

To qualify, entrants need to submit new Windows 8 or Windows Phone apps to the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store between October 1 and December 31, 2013, and fill out the Contest Entry form. Judging and public voting will begin in January 2014, with winners announced by January 31st.

Cloud, Development, ITPro, Product Announcements, USCloud

VMware or Microsoft? – The Complete Series

Some of the guys on my team have created an AMAZING series of blog posts comparing Windows Server and Hyper-V to VMWare’s offerings. Here’s a complete list of the entire series – you should DEFINITELY take a look…

Date Article Author
Aug 12, 2013 Series Introduction Kevin Remde@KevinRemde
Aug 13, 2013 What is a “Purpose-Built Hypervisor? Kevin Remde@KevinRemde
Aug 14, 2013 Simplified Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 Host Patching = Greater Security and More Uptime Chris Avis@ChrisAvis
Aug 15, 2013 Reducing VMware Storage Costs WITH Windows Server 2012 Storage Spaces Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Aug 16, 2013 Does size really matter? Brian Lewis@BrianLewis_
Aug 19, 2013 Let’s talk certifications! Matt Hester@MatthewHester
Aug 20, 2013 Virtual Processor Scheduling Tommy Patterson@Tommy_Patterson
Aug 21, 2013 FREE Zero Downtime Patch Management

Keith Mayer@KeithMayer

Aug 22, 2013 Agentless Protection Chris Avis@ChrisAvis
Aug 23, 2013 Site to Site Disaster Recovery with HRM Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Aug 25, 2013 Destination: VMWorld Jennelle Crothers@jkc137
Aug 26, 2013 Get the “Scoop” on Hyper-V during VMworld Matt Hester@MatthewHester
Aug 27, 2013 VMWorld: Key Keynote Notes Kevin Remde@KevinRemde
Aug 28, 2013 VMWorld: Did you know that there is no extra charge? Kevin Remde@KevinRemde
Aug 29, 2013 VMWorld: A Memo to IT Leadership Yung Chou@YungChou
Aug 30, 2013 Moving Live Virtual Machines, Same But Different Matt Hester@MatthewHester
Sep 2, 2013 Not All Memory Management is Equal Dan Stolts@ITProGuru
Sep 3, 2013 Can I get an app with that? Matt Hester@MatthewHester
Sep 4, 2013 Deploying Naked Servers Matt Hester@MatthewHester
Sep 5, 2013 Automated Server Workload Balancing Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Sep 6, 2013 Thoughts on VMWorld Jennelle Crothers@jkc137
Sep 9, 2013 Shopping for Private Clouds Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Sep 11, 2013 Dynamic Storage Management in Private Clouds Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Sep 12, 2013 Replaceable? or Extensible? What kind of virtual switch do you want? Chris Avis@ChrisAvis
Sep 13, 2013 Offloading your Storage Matt Hester@MatthewHester
Sep 16, 2013 VDI: A Look at Supportability and More! Tommy Patterson@Tommy_Patterson
Sep 17, 2013 Agentless Backup for Virtual Environments Special Guest Chris Henley@ChrisJHenley
Sep 19, 2013 How robust is your availability? Kevin Remde@KevinRemde
Sep 20, 2013 VM Guest Operating System Support Brian Lewis@BrianLewis_
Sep 23, 2013 How to license Windows Server VMs Brian Lewis@BrianLewis_
Sep 24, 2013 Comparing vSphere 5.5 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V At-A-Glance Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Sep 25, 2013 Evaluating Hyper-V Network Virtualization as an alternative to VMware NSX Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Sep 26, 2013 Automation is the Key to Happiness Matt Hester@MatthewHester
Sep 27, 2013 Comparing Microsoft’s Public Cloud to VMware’s Public Cloud Blain Barton@BlainBar
Sep 30, 2013 What does AVAILABILITY mean in YOUR cloud? Keith Mayer@KeithMayer
Development

App Enthusiasts

Today marks the launch of the App Enthusiasts application for Windows Phone and Windows 8!

App Enthusiasts showcases applications created by developers around the world on Windows Phone and Windows 8. Stay up to date with the coolest creations by students, indie developers, and companies in your area. App Enthusiasts can filter apps by region, country, state and city, and it even keeps track of the apps you’ve seen across all of your devices! Microsoft employees are using App Enthusiasts to showcase apps at local events around the world, so if you’re interested in having your application promoted or if you’d like to find out about Enthusiast events in your area, please email AppEnthusiasts@Microsoft.com.”

What is exciting is that App Enthusiasts is more than just an app, it is a movement to bring visibility to applications created by Windows Phone and Windows 8 devs.  Microsoft field employees are planning to host events at Microsoft retail stores across the U.S.  At these events, developers featured in App Enthusiasts share their creations and speak to the audience about their inspiration.  We believe that an application like this can help create a community of supportive developers and fan interest alike.  I certainly suggest reaching out to AppEnthusiasts@Microsoft.com if you have an app that you would like featured in this program!  Seriously, we want your best work to shine!

Let’s take a look at the app itself:

Upon launching either version of the app, the user is asked to authenticate with their Microsoft Account and is then greeted with a listing of applications organized by date:

 

Users can see at a glance what City, State, and Country an app has been published in.  Upon clicking an item, the user will be brought to the download page in the marketplace for the selected app.  When an item has been viewed, a checkmark appears next to the item indicating that it has been seen.

 

With these applications I found it really easy to discover cool apps coming from my geographical region. By setting the filter to my city I was able to see creations from people in my area.  From here I could easily install apps built by people I’ve actually met in the field.  Being able to curate and find their work made it incredibly easy for me to provide feedback and ratings.  It is a really great way for me to keep in touch with my community and help promote the Windows ecosystem.  If you want to know more about the upcoming events and how to showcase your app, send an e-mail to AppEnthusiasts@Microsoft.com.

Enjoy!

BootCamp, CodeCamp, Development, Events, Featured, Students, Training, Windows, Windows 8, Windows Azure Mobile Services, WP8

Upcoming Microsoft Events

Hey all – the team is starting up a new round of Microsoft events – they’re similar to what we used to do with DevCares and MSDN Events (if you can remember back that far) but all have an education + hands on component to them.  This schedule is for all of Central Region, and although we unfortunately can’t visit every city in the region, hopefully you can find a city near you so that you can attend!

Build 2013 Highlights – The Best of Build!

Were you unable to attend Build 2013 and hear about the latest Microsoft product announcements for software developers? Never fear! In this session, we will give you the best of Build, covering the major announcements and technology innovations you need to know as a developer. We will show code and demos to get you up to speed on the latest with Windows 8.1, XAML, WinJS, Bing, Windows Azure, and Visual Studio.

Agenda

  • Windows 8.1 and Windows Store changes
  • What’s new in XAML and WinJS
  • Introducing the Bing Platform
  • What’s new in Windows Azure
  • What’s new in Visual Studio and web
Date City
Sept. 24 Houston, TX
Sept. 24 Southfield, MI
Sept. 24 Indianapolis, IN
Sept. 25 Columbus, OH
Sept. 27 Overland Park, KS
Oct. 3 Edina, MN
Oct. 9 Austin, TX
Oct. 15 St. Louis, MO
Oct. 17 Irving, TX
Oct. 29 Chicago, IL
Nov. 14 Waukesha, WI
Nov. 22 Independence, OH

 

Monetization of Real-World Windows Apps

Often, as developers, we think of our pet software projects as a hobby. As it turns out, we have one of the most profitable hobbies in the history of hobbies! Billions of dollars have already been made by developers just like you that built an app for a mobile platform, and monetized it effectively. In this one-day event, we will share with you some modest and extreme success stories, some strategies for making money from your apps, and some technical instruction on exactly how to make that happen in your code. We will also demonstrate how easy it is to build one unified codebase that can used on Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone.

Agenda

  • Overview of the platforms, success stories.
  • Monetization Strategies (trial, paid, ads, IAP)
  • Hands-on Labs
  • Implementing Pre-Lunch Strategies in App & Store
  • Using PCLs to share code and increase success
Date City
Oct. 15 Houston, TX
Oct. 17 Indianapolis, IN
Oct. 22 Detroit, MI
Nov. 6 Chicago, IL
Nov. 6 Dallas, TX
Nov. 6 Kansas City, MO
Nov. 6 Columbus, OH
Nov. 12 Edina, MN
Nov. 13 Austin, TX
Dec. 4 St. Louis, MO
Dec. 4 Cleveland, OH

 

Windows 8 + Windows Phone: Better Together

Trying to wrap your head around app development across multiple platforms? Trying to capitalize on the opportunities in both the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 marketplaces? Want to maximize your design and development resources and get to market better, faster, and stronger? Then come to this session and learn some real world techniques to maximize your efficiency of developing for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. See how you can minimize your development costs by maximizing sharing and reuse between the two platforms.

Agenda

  • Designing for sharing
  • Developing and sharing
  • Tips and Tricks / Architecture
  • And then there was 8.1… A quick tour of the new stuff
Date City
Nov. 5 Houston, TX
Nov. 14 Downers Grove, IL
Dec. 3 Indianapolis, IN
Dec. 10 Detroit, TX

 

Hands-on Labs: Windows 8 & Windows Phone

Build your first Windows 8 apps with an accompanying app on Windows Phone! We will start from scratch to create a Windows 8 app that is powered by the cloud AND includes a Windows Phone version too!

Agenda

  • Window 8 + Cloud
  • Windows Phone
Date City
Nov. 15 Irving
Nov. 20 Columbus
Nov. 22 Chicago
Nov. 22 Houston
Nov. 22 Edina
Nov. 22 Austin
Nov. 22 St. Louis
Nov. 22 Southfield
Nov. 22 Indianapolis
Development

Game On!

Want to quickly build and publish a Windows 8 game? Here’s your chance!

game_on_virtual_event_header_rev051713

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, the Game On Virtual Event is for you. This FREE event covers everything you need to develop, upload and publish a Windows 8 game to the Windows Store. With GameMaker: Studio from YoYo Games, it’s easy to create an amazing game in record time. Thanks to built-in design options and drag-and-drop tools, you don’t need development experience to participate or build a Windows 8 game! Pro developers can also dig deep into the code to create a one-of-a-kind game experience.

Join us for this FREE virtual event kickoff on June 15 from 10:00am to 2:00pm (PDT), and then over the next seven days, build your game fast with individual help from the experts. All week long, we’ve got your back with one-on-one support, GameMaker forums, and an online Help Center that’s ready and willing to answer your questions. So if you’ve been thinking about building a game for Windows 8, now is the perfect time to make it happen.

Register for the Game On Virtual Event today.

Featured, Product Announcements, WP8

Windows Phone 8 Starter Kit for WordPress

After many emails, and much procrastination, I finally had a chance tonight to update the Windows Phone Starter Kit for WordPress over to Windows Phone 8 and update it to support WordPress 3.5.1.

For those of you running the old WP7 version, the changes you need to make to support WordPress 3.5.1 are pretty simple, but do require a bit of code writing.  To make it as easy as possible, this set of steps *should* work for a simple update:

  1. Open your Starter Kit in Visual Studio 2012 (this is now a Windows Phone 8 project, not a Windows Phone 7 project, so Visual Studio 2012 is now required).
  2. Copy all the code from https://github.com/ChrisKoenig/Windows-Phone-Starter-Kit-for-WordPress/blob/master/Networking/WordPressPlugInReader.cs and paste over the top of the existing code in your Visual Studio project.
  3. Recompile and test locally

Basically what I had to do was add a variable parameter to each of the query strings on the URIs requesting data from the WordPress site as it seems that WP3.5+ is caching the data based on the query string parameters now, which it didn’t used to do before.

If this doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll try to help walk you through it.

CodeCamp, Dallas, Development, Events, Featured, Fort Worth, Texas

CowTown Code Camp

Cory, Teresa, and the folks over at the Fort Worth .NET User Group have finally realized a lifelong dream – a code camp based in Fort Worth for the Fort Worth .NET Community!

Announcing the CowTown Code Camp!

Those of you in the North Dallas area, please be advised that the CowTown Code Camp is officially scheduled and ready for registrations! Festivities occur on March 16th at the Pier One headquarters in downtown Fort Worth. In addition to standard sessions, there will be an “experts room” setup where technical experts will be on hand to answer any questions you may have and to have mini sessions to go through short labs or demos. This room will have it’s own schedule and activities to be posted by Feb 3rd.

If you’re interested in speaking at the Code Camp, the call for speakers is still open – just send your information in to the Speaker Submission page on their website.

Development

Want to be a Microsoft Evangelist?

Once in a great while, a job opening on our team will come available. As this doesn’t happen that often, I wanted to make sure to share that news with everyone so that we get a good sampling of candidates submitting for the position.

As many of you know, I’ve been with Microsoft for almost 6 years, all of that time in a Technical Evangelist role. An opportunity has become available for me to move into Management within our team, which opens up my old position for a new, fresh face.  If you think that fresh face should be you, I’d encourage you to fill out the online recruiting form and send in your resume using the following link:

http://aka.ms/TechnicalEvangelist

What we’re looking for is summed up nicely in the job description there – it’s a technical role for experienced developers to drive adoption of Microsoft developer technologies – specifically Windows 8, Windows Azure and Windows Phone – in the broad developer community across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. You’ll get to flex a combination of technical, sales, marketing and business management skills as well as work closely with teammates across the district, the region and the US to deliver high-quality outcomes against a challenging scorecard.  It’s not an easy job, but can be a very rewarding one – I should know, as I’ve been doing that job for almost 6 years!

If you have any questions about the position, please send me mail at chris.koenig@microsoft.com and I’ll do my best to answer your questions. Please don’t post comments here as I want to keep our conversations private. I expect we’ll be moving forward soon to identify a set of candidates to do technical screening, so make sure to get your application in quickly!

Azure, Cloud, Development, Featured, ITPro, Product Announcements, USCloud, Windows

Rock Paper Azure Redux

Have you heard the news? We’ve recently raised the stakes with Rock Paper Azure game. This cloud-based coding challenge is back for just six weeks – and anyone can win! Simply get your Windows Azure account, and build and upload a bot (or re-boot your existing bot if you’ve already built one). Tweet about it with #AzureRPS to @RockPaperAzure and you’ll be automatically entered to win one of five weekly prizes. When the dust settles, we’ll enter each week’s top 10 bots (60 total) in a random draw for one of three grand prizes.

  • 1st Prize: A Surface tablet.
  • 2nd Prize: A 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect.
  • 3rd Prize: A Kinect Sensor for Xbox 360.

Don’t have an azure account? Get a FREE 90-day trial at http://aka.ms/thecloud.

Don’t have an existing bot? Build a new one by visiting the Getting Started page on the Rock Paper Azure website.

Full details can be found at the Rock Paper Azure website, located at http://www.rockpaperazure.com/