The Hackathon Guide to Windows 8 Apps

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APIs / Azure / Windows Phone 8 / Worskhops and WebCast



Poster created using Be Calm a Windows Phone App

A Hacker’s Guide to Windows 8 Apps is a four step guide to building apps at a hackathon on the  Windows platform. The guide is  designed to point you to quick resources and short tutorials you needed to building  winning apps at a hackathon.


 Get  free Tools !!!

Free software is always music to your hears at a hackathon. With programs like DreamSpark for students and BizSpark(see step 2)developers get the software they need   for free.  With DreamSpark students get access to developer tools like Visual Studio 2012/ 201 3 (Pro and Ultimate).  In addition to this you also get a  free Windows Store account that allows you to publish apps to the store for free.

To get you on your way to free tools all you need is : a Microsoft account (,,;  and your academic account. Once  you have set up your DreamSpark account fill free to start downloading all the tools you need.

Download List  Flaticon_532


Get Azure

Windows Azure enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage web applications and services.  With a couple of clicks you  can simply spin websites, VMs , mobile services  just to mention a few.

Use a  Virtual Machine to  provision on-demand, scalable compute infrastructure when you need flexible resources. You can create VMs that run Windows, Linux, and enterprise applications. Or, capture your own images to create custom VMs.

Mobile Services are my personal favorite when building a  Windows 8  or Phone app.   With SDKs for Windows,  IOS , Android and HTML , mobile services allow you accelerate your app development by providing a way to  structure storage , authenticate users, and send push notifications.

How to get  Windows Azure ?

At a  hackathon there are a couple of ways you  can get  Windows Azure these are :

  1.  Sign up for a 30 day trial at
  2.  Sign up for BizSpark the perfect program to get your startup up and running .
    A couple  of  successful apps and startups were started at hackathons.  So, if there is ever a time to sign up for BizSpark it is now.  In addition to other resources BizSpark  provides you with a free subscription to Windows Azure for three years.
  3. Flaticon_10785Give a great big smile  to the Microsoft Evangelist. If you at  Microsoft  sponsored event there is a possibility that a friendly Evangelist is close by.  SOMETIMES we may  have  BizSpark code that give  you automatic enrollment into the program.   Find us quick the codes are usually in limited supply.



Try APIs

Hackathons require their participants to be nimble and creative.  APIs are great way for you to  build  quick apps with rich content.  With APIs offered by  Mashery,  APIhub,  Nokia,  Open Data, Tumblr,  Bing API, Instagram, Windows APIs etc you could be building a functional app over a weekend.  Use your web skills with HTML5 & JS or  use your java or C skills to try XAML & C# to build an app.

To get you started to  APIs on the Windows platform all you have to do is :

  • Register for an API key for the APIs of your choice. 
  • To get started with APIs on the Windows platform check out our one of our StarterKits  in  HTML5 & JS or XAML & C#.



Win Prizes

And now the moment you have all been waiting for and the
winner is …


How do I win the cool Tablet, amazing Xbox, the latest phone,  a giftcard etc? ”

The Answer

BUILD & LAUNCH A GREAT WINDOWS APP.   And most Importantly have fun !

Submit your app to the Windows Store and become a global winner.


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