Susan IbachTechnical Evangelist
Become an MSP and bring technology and awesome opportunities to your campus! In this blog post I’ll explain what you need to do as an MSP and some of the great perks you get in return. So join now!
The Microsoft Student Partner (MSP) program can be summarized in the following 4 words: “We believe in you!”
For us, it is not about track records, it is all about passion. We want to see where your love for technology can take you. Of course we prefer people passionate about Microsoft technologies, but simply having the urge to find out more about them, regardless of whether you own an IPhone or an Android phone, is enough to get you in our MSP position.
We have great MSPs all over Canada, some are working with their faculties student society, others directly with teachers, some even have their own start ups. You could be one of them! We want to know how you can help! What are your strengths and how we can empower you so you can shine!
A MSP is the point of contact between students and Microsoft. They help other students find out about the initiatives we put in place such as Developer movement and Imagine Cup. If you like free stuff or helping the world make sure to check those two links out. This last semester we had March App Madness Hack-a-thons which were coordinated events across Canada to teach and then let students develop their own Windows Phone 7 Apps! All thanks to our MSPs. They organized the events, gave tutorials and helped guide the rest of the students in the development of their app.
We are always on the lookout for those highly energetic students that want to get involved with our technology! If you are one of them, apply now!
The MSP position is not all about work. We have a line up of great rewards as a thank you for all the effort you put into it. For starters, MSP get a full MSDN account. More than 5000$ value! (This convinced me when i joined. Nothing like Legal free software)
If that is not enough, read the title of this section again!
We want to help you Improve your career prospects. As a MSP, you are invited and engaged in most of our own and 3rd party conferences in your region. You will get to network with some of the top technology professionals and sometimes even with part of our leadership team. Recently, for instance, our MSPs in the Toronto region had the chance to sit down and chat in a round table with Microsoft Canada’s President Eric Gales. Every year brings new opportunities for you’ll get to take advantage of!
Furthermore, this September, we will be having an international MSP virtual Summit. Where MSPs will get training and knowledge on how to present effectively, how to develop for different platform, how to take advantage of the technologies we have and much more!
Remember that you will be directly engaging with Microsoft. Doing a great job as an MSP helps your chances of finding great opportunities! Being in the front lines lets you touch all the latest technology as early as possible.
There are many other perks and goodies that you constantly receive from us. Join the team, get involved and get ready to shine!
The Discovery channel show Inside West Coast Customs worked with Microsoft to deck out a classic muscle car with all the latest in Microsoft Technology. The final result is pretty awesome!
Imagine driving this beauty around campus. No it is not April 1st, this is for real and it is cool!
The crew at West Coast Customs worked with developer evangelists at Microsoft and decked out a 2012 Ford Mustang!
Step 1 – they retrofitted the Mustang with a 1967 Mustang replica body, painted it black and decked it out with neon blue lights in the grill and around the rims. The result is a car that looks like something from a science fiction show.
Step 2 – Install every cool Microsoft gadget you can think of!
The car is web connected so the driver can just glance over at the display to check the weather forecast or find the nearest Tim Hortons. Though in this car, you might prefer to be the passenger because the passenger display lets you play games over Xbox Live!
When the car is parked you can flip up the rear windshield and turn it into a projector screen to watch movies or play video games
The rear windshield also has a customizable display so you can flash messages to someone driving behind you.
The dashboard is actually a touch screen running Windows 8 beta. You can swipe to choose the display you want for your odometer, you want classic Mustang, we can do that, you want Metro, we can do that too.
There are Kinect sensors in the front and rear of the car, you can use your windows phone to get a live feed from your car. Is your neighbors dog really digging up the flowers? Now you can find out.
Want to learn more, there are stories on Channel 9, There’s a news story below as well.
Quick tips on how to have a successful presentation.
There are many do's and don'ts that make a presentation "AWESOME". But I will share with you my three top presentation tricks to give a powerful presentation.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare:
Prepare the slides till you have memorized them by heart. Prepare it with your colleagues, friends, family or even your pets. Some people don't know that most of the valuable presenting time is lost between switching slides and remembering what comes next. So if you want to give a solid presentation PREPARE.
Show your confidence level:
There is a trick to showing confidence levels when presenting. If you are speaking in front of a huge audience only share information that you know. People in the audience always tend to ask you questions based on what you tell them. That is why the first trick is the most important one. Also to make it a great presentation avoid using adverbs like maybe, possibly, perhaps, can be, and so on.... These words define the judgment level of a person. Therefore, if a question is being asked, assert in a direct answer.
Start and End:
The last trick that can seal the "AWESOME PRESENTATION" title is by starting and ending the presentation strong. The most attention span of people is at the start and at the end. Make sure every word during this sections is spoken clearly and loudly to show a high confidence level.
Shreyans Dhaddha Microsoft Student Partner at Algonquin College
Submit your app to the marketplace. Read this walkthrough and you will know what is essential and what isn’t!
This is a two blog series about how to get your app ready for certification and then how to submit it.
Remember to register for the Developer Movement. Each app you publish earns you great rewards!
Before we start, I want to thank Nuvodo for creating the awesome WhipIt app for us to make this blog post. If you ever wanted a portable whip, here is your chance. Those McGill students don’t get tired of creating apps ever since the McGill App Run!
Before we start make sure you have done everything I said in my last blog and go get your app ready for certification.
Doing this will really speed up the process and save you a lot of anger moments in case something goes wrong.
Start by navigating to the App Hub at create.msdn.com
if you haven’t already, you need to register for the app hub. Make sure you select student, since registration is free for students. (On the next step during registration you will have to authenticate your school credentials through Dreamspark.)
After you have logged in with your liveID (the one you used to register), you will need to go to “my dashboard” and select “Windows Phone.”
In this dashboard, you will be able to see the amount of times your apps have been downloaded, their status in the certification cycle and the $$$ you are getting from their sale.
But before you make that money, lets make sure you submit the app. Go to the right hand side and click on the long navy tile.
This name is not the one that the customers will see in the marketplace. So feel free to make it as weird and hard to understand as you like.
Browse to and select your applications xap file. It can be found in the YourAppFolder/Bin/Release/ folder.If it is not there, go to your visual studio project. on the top part select release instead of debug, for the Windows phone device and then build your solution. The folder should appear.
If you want to do a private beta with your app, select that option, but I’ll only focus on the Public Marketplace distribution. In this screen, make sure you increase the version number every time you update your submission. This will ensure users get your updates.
Do not select the technical exception box, you don’t need it. if you want to find out you can click on the link
Once everything is ready, click next.
In the case that you have to stop at some point of the registration because you forgot one of the things I mentioned above click “save and quit.” If your cat/dog/kid/trolling brother unplugs the internet router, beg that you had at least clicked on next earlier! Go once again to the dashboard; you will notice the following in the notification section:
Now click on it and lets move on to the branding and marketing section.
Remember that list of things I told you to have at hand? Well, this is where you are going to use it. Just browse to the images and copy-paste the blurbs. Something that normally would take you forever to go and do during the submission, now takes just one or two minutes!
***Make sure you write a support email! When getting your rewards for the developer movement you will need to provide this email for every app!
After you have clicked next, you will find yourself in the pricing selection section. You are able to sell your app in any country listed there. You can even select different prices per location. Be aware that as a developer you are liable for taxes in some of those locations. Mostly in Asia and South America. In others, like North America and Europe, Microsoft will take care of your tax liability for most of the countries (discounting it from your sales). This has a big impact on your sale decision, and there is a list you can check here.
If you are submitting a free app, then it doesn’t matter!
For Nuvodo’s sake, we are selecting the $0.99 equivalent on all countries where Microsoft takes care of the taxes and adding China, Colombia and Japan, since Nuvodo has accountant friends in these countries.
Once you have selected all the countries you want to publish your app to, it is time for the last step.
You do not need to fill the tester’s notes. just go ahead and select the publishing option.
You can have it published after certification or you can do it manually, where you will have to come back after certification and choose to publish it. The marketplace gives you this choice for scheduling purposes.
That said, my thinking is that it should be up there as fast as possible! Especially, if it is your first app. You want to see that little piece of goodness around the world immediately. Unfortunately, even after certification it may take up to a week for your app to be published and then appear when you look for it in the marketplace. Fortunately, your second app or any updates to the same one will be done in one or two days. The reason for such a delay is the large amount of apps being ingested into the system.
In the end, you will find this nice message
After that you can monitor the progress in the dashboard until it is published!
you can also get a link to the online marketplace to send people directly there.
Now, what are you waiting for. Go get your app published now!
Take a look at our MSP Shreyans Dhaddha’s advice when making a good app. Make sure you don’t fall in the ever increasing scope pitfall.
Most developers have a question on how to create a good app so that people will find it worth purchasing. It takes a serious amount of analyzing before even creating the app. There are always some rules that you need to follow in order to create something "Good".
Before even developing the first concern should be on the value of the product. And no I don't mean value by price. By value in this case I mean, is there even a market out there for the app that you are creating. Is there any previously created app already on the app marketplace. What can I do better from an already published app? You need to answers all these questions to define the value of your application.
The second thought of the developer should be regarding the app's focus itself? Who will the application focus as their major consumer. Will it target a person who is always on the run or a person who just wants to keep a daily log and so on... Using this idea you can break down and target the exact end user to improve the user experience even more and increase the value of your application.
Most startup developers run into a problem that haunts them during their development phase which is Scope Creep. In simple terms scope creep usually means when a developer keeps adding requirements which makes the project's scope grow continuously. This is one of the main reasons for new developers that their projects don't get completed on time. In order to avoid this situation, design how the application will flow between screens and define the logic in a simple flowchart before implementing it. This rough design technique before the actual implementation would keep you more focused on the current goal. See the sample below for how to create a rough screen design.The third and last topic is creating the user interface.
As we all know that the heart of an application is the functionality it provides. Even thou the functionality is a crucial part of an app, the user interface may have a big role to play as well. If the user interface is acceptable then your users will switch to another application that does the same thing but better looking. There should be an equal tradeoff between the functionality and the design of the application. Some things to remember when creating a user interface is to create a consistent flow for the app. There should be a very small learning curve to the application. Things should be very easily be accessible. Keeping the layouts consistent between each other. Once these targets are met, you will know for certain that you are making a "good" app.
Shreyans Dhaddha Microsoft Student Partner at Algonquin College