I am happy to announce I have joined Amazon and will be evangelizing to developers around the world regarding Alexa – the voice behind devices such as Echo, Dot, and Tap. It is hard to imagine a future that doesn’t allow people to freely engage with things in their environment by naturally talking. As such, I am thrilled to be at the dawn of this new voice-interactive era, and look forward to sharing how developers can get involved!
While I will be evangelizing all things Alexa, my primary focus will be in the Smart Home capabilities Alexa has to offer. Imagine the possibilities of walking in a room and saying:
Alexa, dim the lights
Alexa, lower the temperature
The above is possible now. What else? Have a voice-interactive idea you wish would come true in your home? Want to see it become a reality? Tweet me at @palermo4 and use the #AskAlexa tag to start the conversation!
Please enjoy my 2 seconds of national fame as I stand in the background with my daughter asking Matt Lauer "What up?"
[View course at Microsoft Virtual Academy]
I am thrilled to announce the availability of a new course at the Microsoft Virtual Academy for on-demand viewing – Gaming Engines for Windows 8! This course takes you through every aspect of developing games for Windows 8, from audience definition through product monetization. Discover the gaming engines that’ll ease the process, such as Construct2 by Scirra, GameMaker by YoYo Games, and Unity. The course is appropriate for beginning game developers and includes demos and lots of tips to help you make your venture a success.
[View course at Microsoft Virtual Academy]
Jeremy Foster and I had no idea what kind of response resulted from presenting our free training course to prepare for the 70-480 exam. For example, who knew that our shirts (purchased from the Microsoft Store the day prior) would become so popular, people contacting both of us wondering where they could buy one?
That said, the real story is in the successful outcomes of those who watched the videos and then subsequently passed the exam. Even more impressive to me personally is that some already have apps submitted to the Windows Store! (Do you have an app in the store? If not, consider 30,000 reasons why you should submit your app now!)
A Jump Start to the Jump Start
I want to give a Matthew Hughes in the United Kingdom recognition for his outstanding coverage of this course. He took meticulous, detailed notes on every topic. I have organized his blog posts below:
Part 0 Getting Started
Part 1 Semantic Markup, Forms, Media and SVG
Part 2 Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
Part 3 Advanced Layouts and Animations
Part 5 Manipulating the DOM
Part 6 Advanced Topics
I have recently acquired GameMaker by Yo Yo Games for cross-platform game development. Among the supported platforms are Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8!
This gaming tool allows anyone with decent computer skills to develop a game rapidly. I recently lead a group of students (many who had never written a single line of code before) to create a simple game in one hour. I could not believe how much the students accomplished in such a short period of time.
I highly recommend GameMaker, and suggest you start creating your game today! There is a free version of GameMaker available to download now. However, I strongly suggest that you buy GameMaker:Studio Professional while it is 50% off (offer ends January 4th 2013).
What happens when you get the brainpower behind Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft IE together? You get something very FoxIE! I value this type of discussion going on at this new series on debuting on Channel 9. If you have anything to do with web development, you should pay a visit!
The release of Windows 8 is on the horizon, and soon millions of people will be looking for Windows 8 apps. Now’s the time to make sure your app is ready for them.
Begin your 30-day journey to create a great Windows 8 Metro style app. Get started at www.generationapp.com and receive:
· Insider tips and tricks on Windows 8 application development.
· Personal on-the-phone access to a Windows 8 architect*.
· An exclusive one-on-one Metro style design consultation*.
· An opportunity to get expert help from a Microsoft Services Engineer at an App Excellence Lab.
Your new Windows 8 app could be mere days away.
* Offer good only to legal residents in the 50 United States & D.C., age 18 or older to hobbyists, professionals or developers in the field of software tech who sign up for building a Windows 8 application on www.generationapp.com. Offer limited to 250 design consultations per month and 500 technical review consultations per month, on a first come first served basis. Limit of one session of each offer type per person. This offer is non-transferable and cannot be combined with any other offer. This offer ends when supplies are exhausted, and is not redeemable for cash.
On April 23rd 2012, the Microsoft Evangelism team on the West Coast will join together and present on the topic of Windows 8 and how to start developing for the new platform. Be sure to follow all the action with this twitter hash-tag #win8appdev.
For more information about this event, check out this blog post from Scott Kerfoot.
Congratulations to all the Microsoft MVPs of the Year!
Two of the MVPs are based right here in Arizona.
Joseph Guadagno was awarded MVP of the Year for C#. Joe has been an ongoing contributor to the community through is efforts with the Southeast Valley DotNet User Groug (SEVDNUG), Desert Code Camp, AZGiveCamp, and as President of INETA North America (just to name a few).
Joe works full time (like most of us) and still manages to contribute so much to the community. Congratulations to Joe for being recognized by Microsoft and by his peers a “leader by example” among MVPs.
Scott Cate was awarded MVP of the Year for ASP.NET. Scott is well known in the Arizona community. Scott is a long-time user group leader, and is the founder of AZGroups.org, a site dedicated to listing all the technical user groups (regardless of platform) in Arizona as a service to developers. Last year, Scott was awarded the title – Microsoft Regional Director. Scott has been quite active in the southwest region of the USA promoting the Windows Phone Unleashed events. He is a regular speaker at many technical events locally, nationally, even internationally.
Despite his busy schedule, Scott is devoted family man – always beaming with pride over his children. Kudos to Scott for being recognized with such a high honor (though no surprise for those who know him).
If you have benefited from the hard work of either of these gentlemen, please enter your comment below!