Microsoft Hackathon - 04/2013 - retrospective

On 24th and 25th of april, i was registered with the Microsoft Hackathon in Vienna. The idea is to get a chance to develop your own Windows Store app and get it online with the help of Andreas Schabus and others from Microsoft.

UX Workshop with USECON

On friday, there was an interesting workshop with USECON - but this deserves a blogpost of its own. Stay tuned ;)

Do your homework

First of all: in the invitation of the Hackathon they give you an extensive set of stuff you should install prior of going to the Hackathon:

  1. You should have your own Publisher ID for the Windows Store
  2. install Windows 8 RTM (http://msdn.microsoft.com/de-at/evalcenter/jj554510.aspx)
  3. install Visual Studio 2012 (http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/11/en-us/downloads)
  4. install Windows 8 SDK samples (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/apps/br229516.aspx)
  5. install Windows Phone SDK samples (https://dev.windowsphone.com/en-us/downloadsdk )
  6. install Windows Azure Subscription (http://www.windowsazure.com/de-de/pricing/free-trial/)

If you do not prepare this you might end up with wasting a lof of time to uninstall, reinstall and repair all kinds of software ... :(

Unable to activate Windows Store App

If you get the following message:

Unable to activate Windows Store app '5d881688-ac11-4916-949a-dff77d3ab739_p3xkhs4cay0ke!App'. The App3.exe process started, but the activation request failed with error 'The app didn't start'.

you might have your source in a drive that is a TruCrypt drive. All other solution types of Visual Studio work perfectly if you have your source code in such an encrypted drive - just the Windows Store solution doesnt ... 

Thinking about the design

I personally was not coding up my product idea there - instead i was using the knowledge and experience of Andreas to discuss a lot of my design ideas with him. Andreas is involved with many projects that bring Apps to the Windows Store.

Since i want to deviate with my app quite a bit from the standard way that microsoft suggests on how to distribute the buttons and controls on your layout it was perfect to have alot of time with Andreas do discuss these ideas. Looking at other well-designed Apps helped me to get even new ideas on how an improved design can look like.

So i definitively can recommend taking this opportunity to get up to speed with your Windows Store app development.

If you are interested, the next Hackathon will on the 24th of may 2013:

https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?culture=de-AT&EventID=1032539906

Posted on April 30, 2013 .