From 0 to Windows Phone ‘Mango’ in 1 Day at DevTeach


Next week will be an awesome week in Montreal.  DevTeach, the premier level-300/400 developer conference in Canada is on from Tuesday 31st to Thursday June 2nd.  This includes a complete additional MobileTeach track around Android, iPhone & Windows Phone. 

Not only that, but I’ll be running the 1-day post-conference training session on Friday dedicated to Windows Phone

This week Microsoft announced news about the upcoming Windows Phone ‘Mango’ release that really seals the deal on possibly the greatest smartphone user experience to date and enhances arguably the best mobile developer experience even further.

In this comprehensive 1-day post-conference for the agile mind, I’ll start by showing attendees (familiar with .NET), how to create a Silverlight application from scratch using the MVVM pattern (including advanced features like a templated items control and a custom panel), making design decisions for the phone and how to get an application published.  We’ll then dive into the platform features, figure out data access, sensors, location and notifications, conquer storage and tombstoning and wrap up with other new major Mango features.  Attendees will get access to samples.


From 0 to published WP7 MVVM Silverlight app including:

  • Development Tools
  • Silverlight Development
  • MVVM
  • Data Binding
  • Timers
  • ItemsControl
  • Custom Layout Panel
  • DataTemplates
  • Phone UI Design
  • Marketplace policies

Accessing device features including:

  • Input
  • Shell Integration
  • Sensors
  • Location

Getting data and notifications from the cloud including:

  • Data Access
  • Building Phone-compatible Services
  • Notification Services

Application Lifecycle & Tomb-stoning

Local Data Storage (including isolated storage, 3rd party and Mango options)

Other new major ‘Mango’ features

You can add on that extra bumper day to the 3-day main conference price at a discount or purchase direct 1-day access for $399.

As if that’s not enough, I’ll also be doing a demo in the conference keynote and a session on Silverlight 5 features in the conference Silverlight track (which I also lead).

Hope to see you there!


Built on Silverlight & Azure: A Solution to Plan, Deploy & Track Your Workforce

During a trip to Redmond this year, I got to meet the Gu.  If you don’t know who that is, then never mind, but keep reading.  Anyway, another guy from Canada got to present alongside Scott (still don’t know who I’m talking about?) last November during the keynote for the Silverlight Firestarter event (when Silverlight 5 features were first publically announced).  That guy was David Ossip, CEO of Dayforce, demonstrating their latest Dayforce Workforce Management solution.


I’d seen the Firestarter demo, but I recently learnt about another aspect of this solution.  It would be reason enough to mention Dayforce because they use Silverlight for a rich client-powered experience.  Another reason to mention it, is that it also uses Windows Azure, a technology for which I have created and delivered training at Microsoft’s request.  The Windows Azure Platform is both an awesome platform and service for high availability and scalability and easy provisioning in the cloud or in a hybrid combination with on-premise system.

Dayforce epitomizes the kind of offering that is well suited to the platform.  They wanted to provide solutions that demanded zero IT maintenance for their customers and a scalable path as their customer base grew – they now have around 40 customers with some 150,000+ users.  Using Azure, adding more customers or users now involves merely deploying more Windows Azure instances with a few mouse clicks, rather than buying/licensing, racking/provisioning and adminstering servers.  Hosting the application on Windows Azure hosted services means running the services in an IIS environment that is great for hosting WCF-based services to which their rich Silverlight client can connect.  It’s a SaaS solution with a rich-client plus! 

This kind of Silverlight-Azure combo is the kind of thing I expect to see in droves with other successful offerings in the future.  Since Scott Guthrie is moving over to be a VP for the Azure platform, this awesome-sauce (hi John!) combination will no doubt get even better.


Want to know more about Dayforce?

About Dayforce – Dayforce offers a complete workforce management solution with functionality that includes time and attendance, labor scheduling, labor forecasting, labor budgeting, task management and employee self-service. The company has made waves in workforce management with a vastly superior user experience, a much faster application, and significantly greater business value.
In addition to being named one of Deloitte’s Companies-to-Watch, Dayforce has been named the winner of the Top HR Product of the Year by Human Resource Executive® magazine, the winner of the Microsoft BlueSky Award for Innovation Excellence, and one of the CIX Top 20 Innovative Companies. For more information, please visit

Microsoft Regional Directorship

It’s probably about time for me to announce that I am now a Microsoft Regional Director.  The logo has been on the side there for a little while.

Let’s do the FAQ thing…

So you’ve been hired by Microsoft? No.

You’re an MVP.  So this is another award like that? No.

Is it something like a Microsoft Certification? No.


Teasing pause.  Being a Regional Director is a role, external to Microsoft, but working closely with Microsoft, that Microsoft invites select external people to undertake under contract.


How much does the role pay? Nothing.

Do you get any specific benefits? "… working closely [very closely] with Microsoft… " at many levels,  a presence on, various other invitations, offers and program awards, and working with fellow program members.

How many RDs are there in the world? Right now, a little over 125 (see and the program has been around for many years.

Can I apply to be one? No.  You have to be invited.  Start by getting to know your local Microsoft Evangelist/Advisors.

What are the attributes of someone invited to become an RD.

From (the official site for RDs)

Regional Directors are members of an elite, worldwide group of technology thought-leaders known for their national and international speaking tours, their authorship of books, articles and blogs, and their business acumen. Regional Directors are well-versed on the totality of the software industry. They are recognized for their achievements in communicating the benefits of emerging technologies.

and further qualification…

RDs are seldom specialized around a single [can be multiple] technology, but rather are well-versed on the totality of the software industry. Regional Directors have a strong affinity for emerging technology and are known to be early adopters of Microsoft products and technologies. Around the globe, RDs provide strategic technical direction for their business community.

So what tasks does the ‘role’ entail?

RDs start by working their regular day to day careers with employers or customers.  On top of that, or in the course of doing that, they evangelize Microsoft technologies and products through various channels, either of their own volition or sometimes at Microsoft’s request.  This may involving blogging (duh!) or other communication mediums, tweeting, meeting with customers, speaking at events, attending conferences, meeting with Microsoft teams and executives Winking smile, and advising companies or other institutions, etc.  RDs also bring valuable and trusted community and industry insight back to Microsoft.


In the last couple of monthly, I’ve been extremely busy lately with work and RD/MVP stuff.  I have a few blog series coming up around WP7, HTML5 & Silverlight, onto which you may want to keep an RSS reader tuned…