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Learning to Build Universal Windows Apps [Bootcamp]

For five days, from 11 – 15 August 2014, fifteen eager developers interested in developing Windows apps gathered together at CcHUB for an interactive and hands-on bootcamp. Facilitated by Adebolu Omololu, Support Engineer for Microsoft Enterprise Platforms, we delved into building Windows apps, publishing them on the Windows store and deploying solutions on Azure.

What we learned

Day 1: An Introduction to Windows Store

An introduction to Windows store, why you should develop for the Windows store, how to monetise apps and the benefits you get. At the end of the day, all the participants setup Windows store developer accounts.

Day 1: Introduction to Windows Store

Day 1: Introduction to Windows Store

Day 2: How to Build a Windows Store Application

We got our hands dirty in with Windows store applications. Each participant began working on their individual Windows store app by following a lab prepared by their facilitator. It was a collaborative effort with everyone learning to build the apps together. Some participants were unable to install the prerequisite tools but we improvised by getting them to binstall Azure virtual machines which we used instead.

Day 2: How to Build a Windows Store Application

Day 3: How to Develop Windows Phone Applications

We learned to develop Windows Phone applications, use virtual and local machines, and publish applications to Azure. For this exercise, the class developed a simple to-do list. The last thing we learned before the end of day 3 was how to managing data when using Azure services.

Day 3: How to Develop Windows Phone Applications

Day 4: Project Sienna and Universal Windows Apps

We first goWhen the got to Project Siena, more than half the class asked why we did not show them this easier alternative first instead of making them develop the individual apps for the Windows platform. Why did he show them the first. Learn from a beginners perspective. Learn to develop ib visual studio. Created windows store accounts. Every one minus 1 person had the account set up

Day 4: Project Sienna and Universal Windows Apps

Day 5: Demo Day!

Each participant got to showcase their apps to the whole class. Their demos the app name, what it does, how it works, what platform was used to develop it and a prototype of what they had developed. They ended by telling us what they liked and dislaiked about the platforms used.

Day 5: Demo Day!

Day 5: Demo Day!

The Outcome

At the end of the bootcamp, we were able to sign up all participants for Bizspark account valid for 3 years and with $60,000 worth of data. We also had 11 solutions created using Project Siena, App Studio or Visual Studio and published to the Windows Store. The apps are:

  1. Age Calculator: an app that calculates your real age, not your football age.
  2. Current Affairs App: provides information on current and historic events of political or social interest and importance happening in the world.
  3. Football Panorama: allows you watch clips of renowned footballers. It also includes RSS feeds of football related activities.
  4. Interest Rate Calculator: calculate the interest rate and amount on money borrowed or loaned.
  5. Kickball Africa: get football news across Africa.
  6. SWAN: teaches you how to swim, all in one app. Includes instructions and videos.
  7. Tax calculator app: find out how much tax you should pay.
  8. This or That: a food app that suggests what to eat, how to make it or where to get it based on your cravings.
  9. Touriza: lets you know the best tourist centers in the world.
  10. Translator app: helps you translate languages.
  11. xDash: pulls feeds from your favourite websites
Recap

Five days and eleven apps later, we were able to learn and develop Windows apps in a 5-day bootcamp with Microsoft MySkills4Afrika volunteer and Microsoft Engineer, Adebolu Omololu. The interactive and practical nature of the sessions made it easy for participants to learn and ask questions about how to develop for the Windows platform using various tools. There was also one-on-one time with the facilitator and a lot of team work.

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This bootcamp was made possible thanks to the Microsoftย MySkills4Afrika, an initiative that bringsย skilled resources from across Microsoft to support Africaโ€™s future.