The Microsoft MVP Award Program Blog

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The Microsoft MVP Award Program Blog

Independent Experts. Real World Answers.

MVPs Bring Together Hundreds of Developers to Hack Kinect and Build Games in Sydney

MVPs Bring Together Hundreds of Developers to Hack Kinect and Build Games in Sydney

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By Nick Ellery, MVP LEAD, Australia

This summer a handful of Australian MVPs banded together to deliver the ‘Developer!Developer!Developer! Sydney’ event in Sydney, Australia. ‘DDDSydney’, as the event soon came to be known, was a two-day developer event that not only featured sessions on some of the latest dev tools and practices around, but which also rocked so hard that it actually tilted the earth a little further on its axis (just a little bit though, don’t freak out).


Organized by MVP Lewis Benge (blog / twitter) and attracting 280 attendees, the event featured four tracks of solid gold developer content delivered by both MVPs and other community leaders. Day one focused on some great breakout sessions in a theatre-type format, while day two was where things really got interesting (for me, anyway). Day two was the Kinect and Windows Phone Mango Dev Day!

The Dev Day was a way to get people to start playing with and thinking about Kinect and WP7 Mango development. It was an important, and very useful, way to teach developers new skills and get them using them immediately. The Kinect element featured a half day of training on the non-commercial Kinect SDK, delivered by Lewis and Windows Live MVP Bronwen Zande (blog / Twitter). This training was followed by a challenge to attendees to build something cool using what they’d learned about the SDK. Some of the resulting applications included a Tetris-style game that required you to contort your body to fit through puzzle pieces as they approached you on-screen, a quick-draw Western-style game (just like Wild Gunman, but without the NES light gun and the crazy Marty McFly Nikes) and a jukebox controller for Windows Media Centre which allowed you to control and select music using your body movements. After the judging was finished, the gunslinger app took home top honours. Keep in mind these were all working prototypes built in around two hours!


*Picture of the gunslinger app. Photo by MVP Bronwen Zande, used with permission.


*Picture of the body Tetris app. Photo by MVP Bronwen Zande, used with permission.

The Windows Phone Mango component of the Dev Day, delivered by our omnipresent Windows Phone Development MVP Nick Randolph (blog / twitter), was a similar concept. The aim of the day was for attendees to learn as much as possible about the Windows Phone 7 API, build an application, and win prizes. Applications developed on the day include apps that help you avoid parking tickets, apps that help you find public toilets, and an app that helps you find great Mojitos. My vote went to the Mojito app, but alas the judges did not share my enthusiasm for the delicious combination of white rum, lime and mint: the developer of the anti-parking ticket app took home first prize and an AR Drone.

In all, the day was very successful and saw a lot of training delivered on some cutting edge developer topics. A big “thankyou” must go out to all the below MVPs who were involved and made the day so successful (as well as to the other presenters and @Mrslewisbenge).

An extra special “Thanks” should go out to Lewis Benge for his leadership in promoting and organizing the event, and to developer whiz-kid and Internet Explorer MVP Aaron Powell for all of his work both behind the scenes and presenting at the event. Special mention must also go out to Bronwen Zande and Nick Randolph for hosting the Dev Day sessions.

If you’d like to keep up to date with what MVPs from the Oceania region (Australia, New Caledonia, New Zealand) are doing on Twitter, follow the ANZ MVPs Twitter list.

  • Awesome event was had by all.

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