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 (Hotmail.com, Live.com, outlook.com); and your academic account. Once you have set up your DreamSpark account fill free to start downloading all the tools you need.
- Download Windows 8
- Download Visual Studio Pro or Ultimate of 2013 / 2012 (both available)
- Download Windows 8 SDK
- Download Windows Phone 8 SDK
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 :
- Sign up for a 30 day trial at WindowsAzure.com
- 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.
- Give 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.
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#.
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? ”
BUILD & LAUNCH A GREAT WINDOWS APP. And most Importantly have fun !
Submit your app to the Windows Store and become a global winner.