The first stop on my Brent Goes South For the Winter Tour was Roanoke Code Camp 2013. This event, hosted by the Roanoke Valley .NET User Group (RV.NUG), was held at Virginia Western Community College on March 9, 2013. Infragistics sponsored the event at the Gold level and I was happy to head down to give two presentations and help out with the Windows 8 labs.
Most Code Camps have a speaker/sponsor event the Friday night before the Code Camp. It’s a great way to meet the organizers of the event as well as the other speakers. I always plan my travel arrangements to make sure I am able to make it to the speaker event and I would urge fellow speakers to do the same. The speaker event for the Roanoke Code Camp was held at Shakers Restaurant. The food and drinks were great, but more importantly the discussions there were fantastic. We talked about the future of Windows 8, the likelihood of me ever using a Windows Phone full-time, how to get people to develop for Microsoft’s new platforms, and my new book. It was a great night and it really got me excited for the Code Camp on Saturday.
Session #1: Designing for Windows 8
For reasons that are probably fairly obvious, this is my favorite session to give. Windows 8 design is something I have devoted a lot of time to and being able to share what I’ve learned about it with other people is something I really enjoy a lot. Everything from Bauhaus, to Swiss Design, all the way to taking a desktop application and turning it into a Windows Store application just never gets old. If you’re interested in more information about things I discussed in this session, here are some links:
- Designing for Windows 8 – Chapters 1, 2, and 6 take a deeper dive on the presentation material and chapters 3-5 cover additional topics not in the presentation itself
- Helvetica – I mentioned that if you wanted to learn more about how type affects us and why, this is a great film to check out
- design.windows.com – This is *the* place to go for all of Microsoft’s design documentation for Windows 8
- Microsoft Design Style series – This is a series of blog posts I wrote about Microsoft Design Style
Session #2: Creating iOS Apps with C# using Xamarin.iOS
This is a new favorite session of mine. It’s fairly well documented that I’ve been a big fan of MonoTouch (now called Xamarin.iOS) since the beginning. Lately, that love has been rekindled with the various advances Xamarin has brought to the table in 2.0. Since the amount of iOS devices in use continues to rise, it remains the best place to build mobile applications for. Many C# developers shy away from building iOS applications because they don’t want to learn Objective-C. Well, with Xamarin.iOS you don’t have to. You can build native iOS applications with C# and you can even do it from within Visual Studio if you want. Want more? Infragistics has native iOS controls with bindings for Xamarin.iOS. Check out my blog post for getting started with the NucliOS chart. If you liked this session and want to see it again, a recorded webinar version of what was covered is available on YouTube.
Windows 8 Lab
Joel Cochran, a fellow Windows 8 guru, decided to have a Windows 8 lab after the Windows 8 sessions. The idea was to give people who were working on Windows 8 applications the chance to ask himself, me, or G. Andrew Duthie (the local Microsoft Evangelist who is razor-focused on Windows 8 as well) questions. A few developers took part and the discussions we had there were excellent. I even took the opportunity to give a brief Indigo Studio demo. If you’re interested in learning how to prototype Windows 8 applications, check out this blog post.
I thought this was a great Code Camp. It was a smaller event than some of the other Code Camps I have been to recently, but there was just as much energy. Everybody was friendly and approachable and I feel like everyone (including the speakers!) learned something they could take away from the event. I’d like to thank the event staff for being very accommodating and helpful throughout. Also, thank you to everyone who attended my sessions.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I am also documenting things that happen on my tour outside of events over at brentschooley.com. I have added a gallery of images from around Roanoke and a review of a great dinner I had last night
If you have any questions or comments, please comment below or find me on Twitter @brentschooley. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.