Monday, March 24, 2014

DVLUP Day at NYC


When Nick Landry, our regional DVLUP ambassador told me about the DVLUP day event at New York City, I recognized it as another excuse to experience the energy of the vibrant city apart from meeting and learning from other app developers. The event was to be on March 22nd and we had plans to visit NJ anyways to attend my nephew's birthday.

On Saturday morning, myself and my brother-in-law Shibu, set out to New York City.  Shibu is an Android fan, and I was like, well this is the chance for me to baptize him (to convert to Windows Phone). LOL.



 
We hopped on the NJ Transit from Metuchen station. The good thing about spending time with Shibu is that he is as geeky as me. We share common interests and always a pleasure to chat with him. Time flew by and after a 45 minute ride, we reached Penn Station. It was almost 7:45 AM. So we had to rush as the event was supposed to start at 8. And we knew the event was over-booked. And thanks to my dear friend Giphi, who was texting images of the long line outside the event, which made us literally run :) (BTW, this event took place at the Microsoft office at Times Square).

The 10 minutes of jogging reminded me how out of shape I was. Man!

We joined the line, some 200 dudes (and some girls) back :) :(. 


 
They were giving away a Swiss Gear backpack as an early bird incentive, which Shibu managed to get.

Once we were in, I could recognize some faces who were there at the WPDevSaturday at Iselin, NJ, a month back. After chatting and having a hot coffee, we went inside the main conference room.

Nick Landry did a amazing Keynote, which gave an introduction to Windows Phone and how it is growing fast and gaining popularity.  He introduced all the speakers of the day.


 
Once the keynote was over, we spread out Into different tracks. I had taken the "Maps, Image SDK and Cloud" track.  Nick gave a very good insight into GIS abilities of WP and also how< to implement map-ing capabilities in WP apps.

As I am working on a map-based app, it was indeed an informative session for me. Lot learned. The main thing was the answers from Nick invoked from wonderful questions from the attendees. That is the main reason for attending such in-person events. This session answered lot of questions/doubts I had.
The time flew and it was time for lunch. Sandwiches, a bottle of water, and some time to code on my app. By this time Jesus Aguilar was ready to give us some great info on Azure. 

He gave insights into Azure basics and explained everything I needed to start on Azure Mobile Services.

Then came the Lightning Talks about Design, Submitting apps to Marketplace (for beginners) and  how to market our apps. The Marketing talk from Susan Wisowaty was quire informative. Jeff Harmon's talk on advertising gave a new insight to app ads. Depending on PubCenter is a dumb idea. :) Jeff also helped me solve a problem I was facing on getting map images from HERE REST APIs.

We spend some time coding afterwards and meeting other app developers. It is always a good feeling when you could share knowledge with like minded people. 

Two of the many friends I made from attending the events: Rob Irving (of Car Dash fame)  and Nick Landry. Missed snaps with Jason and Govind. Next time :)

Well, after the event, Nick did not forget to hand over the Swiss Gear bag that I won on the February app contest. Also collected the NFC card that Giphi won on the same contest.

As the NJ transit trains are sporadic on weekends, we had to run back (it was already 6:45 PM) to the station to catch the train. I did not miss the chance to take some good snaps of Times Sq.
 

Overall, it was a wonderful, happy, geeky, informative day of knowledge sharing and having fun! And at Times Sq, NYC, one of the few  places I like to spend the time at.

A BIG THANK YOU to Microsoft and Nokia for putting up an event like this.

Oh I did not mention the cost of the event. $FREE.00.