How was it for you?

I know the group’s been very quiet for a while. And, even though life’s been getting in the way, I’ve not forgotten about it.
There’s a possibility of something later in the year (more details when I have them) but for now, I have a question for you.
It doesn’t matter if you came to one meeting or dozens.
You may have been to the recent meetings or not been for years.
Whatever your situation, I’d love to hear from you.

How, why, and was attending past meetings a good thing for you?

I have my own thoughts based on “running” the group for 7+ years and had lots of positive and a few negative experiences along the way. (Maybe I’ll share them if you’re interested.) But, good or bad, I want to hear from you.

Here are a few deeper questions if you have the time to give a longer answer but any response will be appreciated.

  • Did you come just out of curiosity and to gain wider knowledge?
  • Was it a way to learn or hear about something specific?
  • Did you come with specific goals from attending? and were those goals met or achieved?
  • Was it just an opportunity to pass the time with some free beer and pizza?
  • Did the promise of freebies (SWAG) impact your choice to attend?
  • How would your apps (and even your life) be different if you’d not come or the meetings had never happened?
  • Is what you learned at past meetings still relevant or have you moved onto other things with no direct connection to Windows [Phone] apps?
  • What persuaded you to come the first time?
  • If you were nervous about attending at any time, why?
  • Did anything happen or change to stop you wanting to come back?
  • Would future meetings be interesting to you?
  • What was the best thing about having attended in the past?
  • Which meeting and for what reason (subject, speaker, location, whatever) was your favourite?

Thanks

matt.

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WPUG Alumni on the Gone Mobile podcast

This was totally unplanned but three of the last four guests on the Gone Mobile Podcast will be familiar to you if you were a regular attendee of WPUG meetings.

GoneMobile.io

Listen and enjoy:

Gone Mobile 47: Building Reactive Apps with Xamarin.Forms and F# with Rob Lyndon

Gone Mobile 49: Bot Framework with David Hamilton

Gone Mobile 50: Building Great App Experiences with Matt Lacey

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March 21 – Windows App Developers and the Future

In a break from the pattern of past meetings, on March 21st we’ll be having a series of discussions of what the future for Windows App developers looks like.

Join us for a pub lunch to discuss how you see things going.

Can’t make lunch? Join us for coffee in the afternoon to share your opinions or ideas.

Not free until the evening? Join us and the Azure User Group to hear how bots might be the future.

More details, etc. at https://www.meetup.com/wpuguk/events/238111110/

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Feb 8: Creators update + Q&A with Windows engineers

We’re back. And starting 2017 in style!

This meeting coincides with the Windows Developer Day – Creators Update livestream but there’s more. Not only will we be having a “viewing party” but we’ve also secured access to a Q&A with members of the Windows engineering team straight after. This will be your opportunity to ask questions about what’s announced to the people who built it.

This will be your opportunity to see what’s new for developers in the Windows 10 Creators Update. We’ll watch and learn what it means for your apps and games, and more about Microsoft’s latest developer products. Information will cover updates in developing for the web or UWP, the latest consumer apps, and line-of-business tools.

While the live stream will be available online to anyone, the engineering team Q&A is only accessible to those who attend the “viewing party” in person.

In addition to the exclusive Q&A, we’ll provide some food and drink to all attending. Plus, we’ll have some goodies to give away too.

Timeline

16:45 – Doors open

17:00 – Live stream starts

18:30 – Engineering team Q&A

19:30 – Creator update demos

20:30 – Home time :)

We know that these times may make it hard for some of you to attend the live stream but, hopefully, you’ll still be able to make it for the Q&A 😉

If you’d like to attend, please register on meetup so we know how many to expect and cater for.

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What happens when you get 25 developers in a room for a day? (Submit-It!)

Submit-It! attendees

A. They submit 25 apps to the store.

Well that’s what we did on the Saturday just gone. There were a mixture of new apps, apps updated to support Windows 10 (mobile and desktop as a single UWP) and other updates to existing Windows8.1 and Windows Phone apps.
These are (most of–some are stuck in certification) the apps in question.

Tembler
Simple Maths
Izaak's Favourite Things
Fun Basic
BasketCoach Stats
ParisNewsUpdate
Quick! Theme my band!
Soundicity SEPic
My Shelf
Have I been p0wned?
Mqtt Monitor
Video Games Vault
Turtled
PS15
Films to watch lite
Bikometer
Cineworld Film Showings
Hexpand TechnoBapple Quiz-Me
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October Newsletter

If you’re not signed up to receive our newsletter (enter your email in the box on the home page if you want to join) you’ll have missed this.
Because I don’t want you to feel left out:


It feels like I’ve been doing this for years. Part of that is probably because I have.
Those days of meeting in the basement of a pub to talk about developing for Windows Phone 7 are now just a distant memory.
Since those days much has changed. Changes for me, changes for you, changes for the group and changes in the apps we develop and the platforms we develop them for.

I know many of you who will receive this are no longer in a position to attend user group meetings or have other priorities in your lives (and apps). That’s one of the great things about life: it changes and presents new opportunities and experiences.
If that’s you but you think there may be a time when you come to meetings again if the circumstances or the topic was right I’d love to hear from you what would bring you back. Is it a particular topic or speaker? Some specific type of event? Whatever it may be just reply to this email and let me know. I promise to read everything you write.

If you are still able to and interested in attending events then I want to make sure you’re aware of the following:

Wednesday October 28th
It’s our regular meeting at Microsoft’s office in Victoria. We have two speakers arranged. Firstly Tarun Arora will be showing us some of the ALM and DevOps tools in Visual Studio Online. Then Timur from Badoo will share some of the tools and techniques they use to build their apps.
More details and registration via: http://www.meetup.com/wpuguk/events/224636443/

Saturday November 14th
Back in April we held a one day hackathon in partnership with UICentric. It was so popular we’re doing it again. These events are a special type of hackathon where we explicitly focus on completing projects. If you want to come and build something from start to finish in a day that great but we also want to provide a space, opportunity and incentive for those of you who currently have something in progress to get it in a place where you can submit it to the store. That’s why we call this event ‘Submit-It!’.
Details and registration: http://www.meetup.com/wpuguk/events/225592021/

Wednesday November 18th
Apps World Europe is a major conference happening at London’s ExCel center on the 18th and 19th of November. After they heard how great the apps of the people who attend our meetings are they invited us to hold a meeting there at the end of the first day. So we are. You can attend the whole conference, just one day or just our meeting. Do whatever works for you.
You’ll have to register as an Apps World delegate to attend (there are free expo passes available) but more details at http://www.meetup.com/wpuguk/events/225200214/

And finally.
Every few months I ask you to take part in a survey by Vision Mobile to create their Developer Economics report. If you do you not only get a copy of the report but you also have a chance to win some prizes too. Last time one of our regular meeting attendees won an Oculus Rift dev
Participation in the study also helps promote the group and raises our profile and credibility which helps produce great events in the future. So please follow this link to participate: http://vmob.me/DE1Q16WinAppsLdn

Thanks.

Matt.

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Xamarin Insights with Mike James – Sept 23rd

This month (September) Mike James will be returning to us to talk about Xamarin Insights.

More details and registration on meetup.

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Badass: Making Users Awesome – Book review

I feel I should start by apologising to you. I was given a review copy of this book a few months ago but the fact it’s taken me this long to tell you about it is something I should apologies for. You need to know about this book. And yes, I should apologies to the person who gave me the review copy too. ;)

Book Cover

 

This is a book about products and services but equally applies to apps. Given multiple similar apps, why are some more successful than others and what can we learn from the ones that are successful so that we can be successful too?
The structure and layout of the book is different to most but something you’ll recognize if you’ve read any of the Head First series.

The book aims to provide a “formula for improving our chance of making a sustainable, bestselling product or service” or app!
I think there’s something in it for everyone involved in app development and who want to create apps that uses will love and get value from. Obviously if you’re just building apps for yourself and/or to scratch a technical itch then carry on. Well, actually, upon reflection, there’s still something in this book for you too.

Here’s the thing. When it comes to a product/service/app in any category or niche, what distinguishes the successful from the not so successful is not luck. It’s about making the person using it a badass!

What does that mean?
It’s about creating better users, not better products.
The knock on from this is that people will talk about themselves more (people like doing that) and the reason for that will be your app. The most trusted form of advertising is recommendations from friends and family members. When others discover that the reason for then becoming badass is down to your app you’ll see the number of downloads of your app go up.

You may have heard the advice that you should “build services, not apps”. While that advice is generally good, it’s better to not “build a better service, [but] make a better user of the service”.
If you can create your app so that it creates a great Post-UX UX (the experience after using the app) then you’re on your way to a winner.

The book has a lot of information to help you create apps (and services) that will help create badass users. That is users who “reliably perform in a superior way”.

The advice covers everything you’ll need to know to help your users. Whether it’s practice, examples, struggle, progress, rewards, jargon, choices, memorization, willpower or affordances. There is a lot you’ll need to know and this book will help you through it.

There are also two other things you’ll learn about that are especially close to my heart.
“Cake features” and how you app can actually make people fat. Yes really. And how you can cause an emotional response in your users through appropriate prompts and a compelling context.
I urge you. Go get and read this book to learn more.
You owe it to the people who will use the apps you help create.

Get it from Amazon or O’Reilly.

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Submit-It! – The Apps


Last weekend we organised the Submit-It! hackathon.
It was one day of people finishing and then submitting apps to the Windows and Windows Phone stores.

During the day the apps that were submitted (either as updates or new apps) are:

Beerweiser for Windows Phone
Bikometer for Windows Phone
Castle Hill Crash for Windows Phone
Clock24hr-M for Windows Phone
Hexpand for Windows
Izaak's fAvourite Things for Windows
and Windows Phone
LondonLive for Windows Phone
Match The Pairs for Windows Phone
Milestone Planner for Windows
Music Central Preview for Windows Phone
MV Buddy for Windows
and Windows Phone
Phone Book for Windows Phone
Quarterback Club for Windows Phone
Relative History for Windows
and Windows Phone
UV for Windows Phone

If you want to find out more, Jay has written a blog post about the day and there are lots of pictures on meetup.

As the day proved so popular we’ll probably do something similar again.

 

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Submit it!

We’re having a hackathon.

Some of you may remember the “publish” hackathons that Microsoft held last year. We’ve teamed up with the lovely people at UI Centric and taken inspiration from last years events to do something similar on Saturday April 18th.

We wanted create an event that is all about submitting to the store. Hence the name.
Tinkering with code and occasionally working towards releasing or updating an app is fine, but actually releasing something is much better. You learn more and other people can actually benefit from using it when your app has been released.

Many of us lead busy lives and finding the time to work on what are often side projects can be difficult. We recognise that having some specific time set aside, away from distractions, to work on your project can be really helpful and productive. That’s why we’ve created this event.

Whether you’re working on your first app or updating one of many apps you’ve had in the store for years you’ll be equally welcome.

And if you submit a new app or update on the day you’ll get:
– help submitting your app (if you need it)
– help with code or design (if you need it)
– food and drink (so you can concentrate on your app)
– somewhere to work without distraction. Power and WiFi provided.
– some goodies : but only if you submit!
– the chance to take home a new device : but only if you submit!

This isn’t an event to come and listen to talks at. It’s not a place to just hang out and chat. We want this to be a place where people are motivated to crack on and release and/or update apps.

Please register on meetup if you want to come and be sure to answer the questions on the registration page when you do sign up.

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