2014 is quickly coming to a close. I really can’t believe how fast this year has gone by, or how much has happened over the past 12 months.
My year started out with a bit more traveling then I’m used to. I was given the amazing opportunity to travel to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2014 to show off the new features of CoPilot with my colleagues at ALK. There was a lot to see at MWC, as a Windows Phone fan my first instincts were to find the Nokia ‘booth.’
Nokia announced their Nokia X devices (to be cancelled a few months later) and put on a developer conference to introduce developers how easy it would be to port android apps to the Nokia-X platform. There was also some great content on the Nokia Imaging SDK.
A couple weeks after MWC was the New York City DVLUP Day event! It was fantastic being able to attend a conference completely devoted to Windows Phone App development. The Nokia Ambassadors and the Microsoft DPE team put on a great event. The event was split into multiple tracks. Introductory Windows Phone App dev, Advanced Windows Phone App dev and Unity Game development. I decided to go to the Unity track and learned a lot about creating games with that platform. I unfortunately never finished the Flappy Bird app I worked on during the session.
Then of course came the biggest Microsoft event of the year, the annual Build conference. This was my 2nd Build conference, but I had such a different experience this year. At Build 2013 I wasn’t really active in the #wpdev community yet, but at this year’s conference I knew a lot of #wpdev enthusiasts via twitter and other developer events. I got to attend the annual Build Blogger Bash, met Daniel Rubino, Sam Sabri, and Mark Guim from Windows Phone Central and all of the Nokia Ambassadors and other Microsoft journalists and influentials.
— Sam Sabri (@samsabri) April 4, 2014
I also had the opportunity to sit on an experts panel discussing how to become successful on Windows Phone. I’m still not sure if I truly qualified as an expert, but I was joined by some real experts like AdDuplex CEO Alan Mendelevich, the VP of Sales from Fortumo and some members of the Microsoft DPE team.
And then of course there was all the content of the conference itself. Cortana, Windows Phone 8.1, Universal Apps, the .NET foundation were all huge announcements for Microsoft developers. Universal Apps are particularly exciting and I can’t wait to see how they become even better with Windows 10. I still haven’t caught up on all the content from Build 2014, you can check out all the sessions here: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2014
A few months after Build I was given the Microsoft MVP Award for Windows Platform Development. Although I had a lot of fun and saw some amazing things at Build and MWC I think receiving the MVP Award has to be the highlight of my year. I love being a part of this community and I plan to continue contributing back as much as I can for years and years to come.
Later in the year I spoke at my first regional conference. Presenting a session on Windows Phone 8.1 Multitasking at the NYC Code Camp. I still have a lot to learn to become a better speaker, but it’s fun and I like to do it.
In October I made my first App Studio app and decided I’d like to use AdRotator in the app. AdRotator did not yet have Universal App Support though, so I reached out to Simon Jackson and started contributing to the project. At around the same time I took on a new role as an AdDuplex Developer Advocate. Simon and I then did a bit of a podcasting tour to spread the word about the winning combination of AdDuplex + AdRotator for Windows and Windows Phone Apps. We were able to make appearances on MS Dev Show, .NET Rocks and we may try to do a few more podcasts in early 2015.
Speaking of podcasting I also joined with Robert Shurbet recently to bring back the AppBizDev podcast. It’s an honor to takeover the show from the excellent former hosts Ben Riga and Alan Mendelevich. Robert and I can’t wait to record some more episodes in the coming year.
My final conference/event of the year was the annual Microsoft MVP Summit. Meeting all of the other Windows Platform Development MVPs was an awesome experience, and visiting Microsoft’s campus was a real treat (even if it did rain most of the time). The highlights of the Summit were [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]!
So 2014 was pretty huge, but I think 2015 could be even bigger. Build 2015 is going to be amazing and I can’t wait to see Windows 10 running on a phone. The other AdDuplex developer advocates and I are really excited to help developers be successful on this converging app platform. CoPilot should be seeing some big updates this year. And last but not least I was recently approved to become an author for a certain website providing online training courses (rhymes with Rural Blight) and plan to produce my first course before the end of the first quarter.
Bring it on 2015.
I wanted to thank my amazing wife Lindsay for supporting me and allowing me to do all these events and traveling. I couldn’t do it without you. I also want to thank my local Microsoft DX Evangelist Nick Landry for encouraging me to become more active in the dev community.