Just joined Microsoft Students Partners for few days, and me and my colleagues in Team West were invited to a Code Camp for learn developing for Windows 7 Phone with XNA. The camp was established in the castle, in Freusburg. We traveled from KÃ¶ln after my RIA Business Applications presentation in the Springboard conference.
This special event joined together five very known and respected Microsoft Evangelists: Frank Fischer, Oliver Scheer, Frank Prengel, Tom Wendel and Jan Schenk. They are experts and known figures in programming world, with expertise in Windows Phone 7, Silverlight and XNA.
In the landscape of the castle, with Towers and defensive walls, we’ve been Knights .. of Code, of course (in German is Code Ritter). The organization was purely German: perfect! We had a lot of fun, lots of presentations and access to the knowledge gathered along the years of all five Evangelists.
In the first evening (who was right our Team West own event), we had the Microsoft Phone introduction by Frank Prengel (also known as Dr. Mobile) , XNA presentation by Tom Wendel (The Ant Man) and Silverlight presentation by Oliver Scheer, known as “Mr. deep zoom”. After all presentation, a collective brainstorming revealed around 30(!) ideas for implementing next day, who were judged from usability, possibility of creation and interesting points of view by our 5 Evangelists. Finally, we created teams based on the projects appealing to us. We followed our instincts and smell the code inside each application promise.
We, from Team West joined together in the Endeavour of creating a Mensa application, available both on web and on Phone for each student. Its goal was to present the menu of the Mensas nearby to the user in an attractive form, so the students would easier choose their favorite type of meal.
So me, Patrick, Ali and Ralf Ehlert created a team. After presentation we had a Beer and Chips evening. For all of us, was a good excuse to pull out our laptops from bags and start architecting. We created a list of features, ordered them by priority and “doability”. We wanted really hard to have a product ready for presenting on the final meeting. And to work as presented it was a must!
The next day, we started working .. really hard. My responsibility was to create the web services that provided the data to both web and Phone application, entities for transporting data and their persistence in database. At the end of the day we had all our parts finished, for the next day remaining only the integration.
The second evening brought with it the warm of a fire: we had a Barbecue Evening! Sponsored by ZÃ¼hlke, we had the nice surprise of good steaks and nice conversation. It is unimaginable how bonds can be created during these events! I had a lot of joy speaking with the Evangelists and understanding better what’s behind their job.
The third day, we had to finish our integration. It wasn’t so smooth as desired, but thanks to Patrick Schidler we succeeded. We had our product done just right before the final meeting! In the final presentation we were very proud to present our application to Evangelists and also had already a business plan for it! Impressive, huh?