My fellow Technical Evangelists and I have been running a bunch of workshops lately focused on getting students through the entire lifecycle development process from start (creating free developer accounts) to finish (getting published in the Windows Store).

Some pictures from recent events:

MIT IAP 2013

MIT

Brandeis AppLab

WP_20130205_006

One of the challenges is to find out how to even get started! That’s where Part 1 of this series comes in handy. Let’s get you started with creating a Dreamspark account so you can get free access to developer software as well as get you a code to waive the developer fee!

Step 1: Register on Dreamspark.com

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DreamSpark is a Microosft program to provide the tools developers and designers need to build powerful and immersive Apps. It is critical that you sign up to DreamSpark by following a simple 3 step process and get started on your app/game development.

  • Go to http://www.dreamspark.com and click on the “Student” tab on the top
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  • Towards the bottom, click on “Create Account” under “Individual Account”
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  • Fill out the details for “Enter Your Account Information”. Ideally use your *.edu email address or Microsoft Account (hotmail, msn, live, outlook) here.
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  • You will then get asked to verify your account. Choose “Get Verified through my School” and type your school’s name.
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  • Enter your *.edu email address and click Verify
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  • Check your email and click the link provided in the email sent to your school address to complete your registration.
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  • You are now verified!
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Step 2: Download and install Visual Studio 2012 (Express or Professional)

  • Click on the “Software Catalog” tab on the top. You’ll now see many different titles for Developer & Designer Tools as well as Server & Applications
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  •  Click on Visual Studio 2012 Professional and then click the “Download” button
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  • Install it!
  • You can do Step 3 while VS2012 is downloading

 

Step 3: Get a free Windows Store account (waive the developer fee)

  • Go back to the DreamSpark.com homepage (http://www.dreamspark.com) and click on “view details” next to “Free Windows Store access for Students) or just click “here”.
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  • Under Registration Code, click “Get Code Now
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  • Copy the registration code that appears. you’ll need this for later (see below)
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  • Scroll down the page and you’ll see 3. REGISTER AT THE WINDOWS STORE. Click on the “Windows Store” link or just click “here”.
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  • Sign in with your Microsoft Account. If you don’t have one, create one for free by clicking on “Sign up now”.
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  • You may need to go through another verification step here. Follow that process.
  • Choose your country and choose “Individual” for Account Type
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  • Fill out the details. Please use the address, city, state and zip code of your mailing address at school.
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  • You’ll see at the bottom a request for “Publisher Display Name”. This will show up as Publisher in the Windows Store. For example, I’m “edvangelist” in the Windows Store. Think of it as your Business or Company Name.
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  • Check the box to accept the App Developer Agreement Terms
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  • You’ll see the screen with a price for the Windows Store developer registration fee.
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  • Paste the registration code you received (a few steps above) and click “Update total”. The fee is now $0.00. Gotta love free!
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  • At this point, it may be a roadblock, but you will now be asked to provide a credit card. This is just for verification purposes an you will not be charged.
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  • You will now need to wait for the mini-transaction with 3-digit code to show up on your credit card statement. This is needed to complete verification and allow you to submit your app/game. Click Purchase.
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  • You’re all set to get started and see your Dashboard!
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  • Once you get the verification information from your credit card statement, to your Dashboard and click on “Verify your payment method
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  • Match the mini transaction on your credit card and populate the fields. I’ve heard Visa and MC show up quicker than AMEX for these transactions.
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  • Fill it out correctly, then you’ll be able to submit your first app!
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Optional: Register on Generation App (http://bit.ly/acm30TL)

Generation App is a 30 day step by step program to help design, code, test and submit Apps. Through GenApp, you’ll get

  • Design Consultation – Review your app design with a Windows 8 expert and receive up to 30 minutes guidance on how to create a stunning user experience with your app. It is critical that you schedule your free design consultation at the earliest to get started on your App Development.
  • Technical Consultation – Review your app specifications for up to 30 minutes with a Windows 8 architect to help you take advantage of the unique Windows 8 features. Leverage this great resource to resolve technical roadblocks fast.
  • App Excellence Lab – Get up to 60 minutes of 1:1 guidance from a Microsoft Services Engineer. To understand the App Excellence Lab and get more info, go to http://bit.ly/acm30TL.