If you missed the Windows 8 Unleashed event last Friday in Boise, then you missed an awesome event. We had great speakers, a great facility, great food, and great attendees. It was great!
The event was sold out with 80 attendees registered to attend this great event. On the day of the event, of those 80 registered, only 40 actually showed up. We were expecting a 50% drop rate, and that is exactly what we got. At least everyone had plenty of elbow room.
As attendees arrived they were checked in by my beautiful wife and Brent Schooley at the registration desk. Here they got their name badges, chose the sandwich they would like for lunch, received an e-book from O’Reilly Media, and a certificate from Infragistics for a free product.
Each session was an hour and a half long followed by an hour lab to give attendees time to work on the skills they just learned about. My session covered the basics on getting started developing Windows 8 applications starting with the different types of Visual Studio templates to choose from. I went into detail on each of the templates (Blank, Grid App, and Split App) to help people decide which template was right for their applications. Next I started talking about using controls in their applications. Everything from properties to events, and the different types of controls, such as layout controls, text controls, range controls, etc.. Last but not least, I showed everyone how to implement navigation into their applications. Chances are you have more than one view in your app, and I showed you how to navigate to them. I even had time to squeeze in some of the new async API by demoing the MessageDialog control in Windows 8. That is always fun!
Jim McKeeth session was all about working with location, data binding, roaming and the App Bar. I wish I could give you more information about his session, but I was too busy trying to get lunch ordered and delivered as well as keep the event running on schedule. So I missed the majority of it.
Brent Schooley gave a great session on Designing for Windows 8. He did a great job of turning Microsoft’s marketing jargon into terms that developers could understand. Then he went into Live Tiles and why/when you would use them. Brent posted his own follow-up with related materials over on his blog.
After all the sessions and labs wrapped up at about 3:30 pm, the Windows 8 application contest began. The attendees had roughly 4.5 hours to write the best Windows 8 application they could. The best three applications would win prizes in the amounts of $500 for 1st, $200 for 2nd, and $100 for 3rd. Out of the 40 attendees, only a handful stayed to participate in the contest. Making the odds pretty darn good for those who stayed.
Nine attendees stayed, but only five had an application to enter. Now those odds are looking really good! The winners are as follows:
- 1st place and $500 went to Glen Colby and Ash Talbot
- 2nd place and $200 went to Brad Georgeson
- 3rd place and $100 went to Wade Dorrell
Congratulations to all the winners! The 1st place winners Glen and Ash, will be entered into another contest in which the best overall application will win $10,000. Now that is some prize money.
This was a free event for people to attend, but it is not a free event to host. It costs money for facilities, food, swag, prizes, and time for presenters to come and share their knowledge. I would like to thank Scott Nichols at URS for securing our great facilities in downtown Boise. It was perfect for this event. I would like to thank Microsoft for providing us with the resources and swag to hold this event. They are the ones that provided the prize money of $500, $200, and $100 to our contest winners, and some funds for food. I would like to thank RemObjects Software for letting Jim McKeeth speak, snacks and drinks, and by providing the contest winners with additional prizes. I would also like to give a big THANK YOU to Infragistics for giving me the time to plan and put this entire event together, as well as speak at the event. Infragistics even provided our third speaker Brent Schooley based in New Jersey, and paid for his flight, hotel, and car. Infragistics sponsorship doesn’t stop there; they also provided funds for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for all of our attendees, speakers, and volunteers. Wait, I’m not done yet! Infragistics even gave every attendee their choice of a free copy of our Windows 8 controls (when they become available), NetAdvantage for jQuery, or our NetAdvantage for Windows Phone products. It’s easy to say that if it weren’t for Infragistics, this event wouldn’t have been as great as it was.