FREE AT&T Mobile App Hackathon in Chicago

AT&T is hosting a Mobile App Hackathon this Saturday, August 27, 2011, in Chicago. It will be a great event for developers to get together, network, learn about mobile technologies and build mobile apps. You will get fed and get to compete for some great prizes. This event is not targeted at a specific platform, so regardless of whether you are interested in Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android or even the dead webOS platform, come out, learn and build apps.

Starting at 2pm, Will Welbes and I will be hosting a Mobile + Cloud Jumpstart. The majority of mobile apps today require a cloud backend. The Mobile + Cloud Jumpstart will get you started developing apps with Cloud platforms like Windows Azure, Amazon Web Services and Apple iCloud. If you are planning to attend Mobile + Cloud Jumpstart, you must register independently of the AT&T Mobile App Hackathon since space is very limited. You can register at

You can register for the AT&T Mobile App Hackathon at This free event includes some great lightning talks, lunch, and a chance to win prizes.

Speaking at Dallas TechFest Tomorrow and Saturday

I am writing this post in-flight, on my way to Dallas from Milwaukee, via Atlanta of course. I am headed to Dallas for the weekend for Dallas TechFest 2011. Dallas TechFest is the premiere technology conference in Dallas, focused on delivering excellent, multi-platform, multi-language, technology content at a reasonable cost. And this year, for the first time ever, it is a two day event! The schedule is full of interesting topics and should be a great conference.

Online registration for Dallas TechFest is now closed, but if you aren’t registered and want to attend, you can register tomorrow morning on-site. I am really excited to present at this year’s Dallas TechFest and I am equally excited that the invite was for the following Windows Azure talks.

Data in Windows Azure
The Windows Azure Platform provides a plethora of options for data storage and trying to make sense of it all can be overwhelming. In this session we will explore the many Azure data services including SQL Azure, Azure Storage, Local Storage and AppFabric Caching. We will walk through the scenarios that each storage service addresses. Next we will dig into how to use each storage service and how they can complement each other when used together. Finally, we will explore the pricing and economic drivers that encourage one storage service over another when multiple fit into your solution.

Windows Phone + Cloud: Building Great Mobile Apps with Cloud Services And Azure
While today’s mobile devices are incredibly powerful, there is still processing and storage limitations that can be augmented by utilizing services in the cloud. In this session, we will explore scenarios where consuming web services make sense and consider how this benefits our users. Next we will create a Windows Phone application using available Web API’s. Then we will review the Windows Azure platform and discuss how Azure fits. Finally, we will integrate our own Windows Azure services into our Windows Phone app which will result in a Cloudy Mobile App.

One of the two things that I invest lots of energy into at Centare, and am extremely passionate about, is Cloud Computing with Windows Azure. The other is our new Chicago office, but expanding our business into Chicago is likely not interesting for the Dallas crowd. But, if you want to learn more about the Cloud, Platform as a Service, Windows Azure, Windows Phone and practical guidance for using Windows Azure, come checkout my talks this weekend at Dallas TechFest 2011.

I hope to see you in Dallas this weekend!

St. Louis Day of .NET Follow-Up and Slides

St. Louis Day of .NET was a blast! Thank you to everyone who made this event possible. This was truly one of the best events I had ever been to, both regionally and nationally. If you are in the St. Louis area, do not miss STLDODN next year!

I personally enjoyed meeting a ton of folks and presenting about OData, Windows Azure DataMarket, Massive Scalability and Making Money with Windows Phone. I also really enjoyed all of the side conversations about these topics and discussions of how they relate to the Cloud and Windows Azure.

If you attended my sessions and would like the slides, the following links are for you.
Consuming Data From Many Platforms: The Benefits of OData
Architecting for Massive Scalability
Overview of the Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket
Making $$$ with Windows Phone 7

If you have questions or would like to know more, feel free to ping me and I’ll point you in the right direction.

Windows Phone Unleashed Rocked!

Thank You
First things first. Thank you to everyone who came out last night for Windows Phone Unleashed @ TechWeek! We had just the right number of attendees and 21 innovative App Pitches. Just a few more attendees and we might have seen sunrise at the AON Center. To those that couldn’t make it out, but spread the word and extended the invite to others, thank you!

Thank you to everyone who helped organize the event including Dave Bost, Matt Hidinger, Mary Perisic, Deanna Robison, Connie Bernard and others. Without everyone’s help this would not have come together so nicely and quickly. A huge thank you to Microsoft for sponsoring the event, providing everyone a great meal, and giving away all of the great prizes, cash and swag. And lastly, thanks to Centare for providing the beverages and energy drinks. I don’t think I would have made it home without being hopped up on Monster and AMP.

Last night, we saw some amazing pitches and now it’s time to take the great ideas and make them real in the Windows Phone Marketplace. The following are some great resources to help you get started developing for the Windows Phone. Regardless of your preferred learning style, one of these resources will be perfect for you. There are instructional videos, hands-on labs, sample code, books, technical documentation and blogs.

Windows Phone Tools

Windows Phone 7 Training Course

Windows Phone 7 Developer Guide (Patterns & Practices)

Windows Phone MSDN Documentation

Windows Phone Team Blog

Make $$$
As I mentioned last night, there is a huge opportunity to make serious money with the Windows Phone. The following are some resources to get you started making money with Windows Phone.

Microsoft pubCenter – Monetizing with Ads

My Presentation on SkyDrive
Making $$$ With Windows Phone

We gave away some awesome prizes last night, one person left with an Unlocked Samsung Focus, and three others left with cash ranging from $75 to $225. The goods news is there are more opportunities to win and get Marketplace accounts. If you attended last night and would like to be notified of the ways to win more great prizes, including the exclusive special offer that was announced for attendees who get apps in the Marketplace, email me and let me know that you want “More Prizes” and I’ll add you to that list. It is very likely that we will be have more events like this one in the near future, if you would like to be notified of upcoming events like this one, even if you didn’t attend last night, email me and let me know that you want “More Events” and I’ll add you to that list.

A final note, whenever you begin any new journey, it’s often helpful to find people with similar interests that can offer collaboration, support and help you make progress on your journey. The Chicago Windows Phone Developer Group is a great community you should consider joining and getting integrated into.

Chicago Windows Phone Developer Group

Once more, thank you everyone!

Get FREE Windows Phone Goodies During TechWeek

Starting today and running through next Friday, July 29th is TechWeek Chicago. TechWeek is a week of conference, expo and events with over 2,000 entrepreneurs, business leaders, and innovators, 4 days of conference sessions, over 150 international speakers, 4 days of an expo hall with over 100 exhibitors, 35 competing tech startups, and over 30 independent off-site events. TechWeek connects the newest web and mobile technologies to thousands of Chicago business, academic, community, art, and media professionals- all within one week. For more information about TechWeek, check out

During TechWeek Chicago, Microsoft is hosting “Windows Phone Unleashed @ TechWeek”. This will be an incredible evening getting hands-on with Windows Phone and you will have the opportunity to work with the Windows Phone and Windows Azure experts to help get your app ideas of the ground. More details for this event is below.

There are a limited number of tickets, so RSVP ASAP!

Don’t miss this opportunity to get hands on with Windows Phone and the new features coming in Windows Phone “Mango”. Get help developing apps from the Windows Phone experts! This is a “hands-on” Hackathon where you will learn how to build, scale and publish your Windows Phone apps from the Windows Phone and Windows Azure experts. If you are a beginner or even an expert Windows Phone developer, you should not miss this event.

We will have short sessions on how to get started creating apps for the Windows Phone. And sessions on how to make serious $$$ building Windows Phone apps. Bring your laptop and we will provide all of the necessary tools needed to build your apps. This five hour event will bring together experts and developers with the purpose of developing WP7 apps.

Bring your ideas! Present them to your peers and WIN! Top app ideas will be voted on with an opportunity to WIN FREE Marketplace registration and more! We will also show participants who manage to create a Windows Phone app how they can be entered to win a new Windows Phone!

If you are a student, this is an event you can’t afford to miss! We will show you multiple ways to get FREE Unlocked Samsung Focus Windows Phones, FREE Xbox 360 games, FREE Visual Studio 2010 Professional, FREE Windows Phone Marketplace accounts and FREE Gift Cards.