When everybody is focused with the football African Cup or classico USMA vs MCA (our local Barça Real Madrid), today we're having the first Windows DevCamp at Microsoft office in Algiers.
With 20 developers, the DevCamp started with an introduction to Windows 8 Platform and Store, then an interesting Brainstorming session which ended up with 36 ideas but only 10 have been selected for the sake of the DevCamp, after that teaming-up! and oding time!!!.
When building an application, before even thinking of the features you'll be implementing, you need to first to determine what your App is great at. Write it down and put it somewhere you can have a look at all the time. Because developing an application is more about the experience you want the user to have, it's key to know what you App can do best and how users will take best advantage of it.
After determining what your App is great at, you need to describe the user experience, how will he navigate from a page to another, what would be the animations. It's important to ask yourself WHY users will download your App, and most important, why would they use it frequently.
Before moving to the next step, familiarize yourself with the Windows Store App Design and UX Guidelines. Windows Store Apps support Portrait and Landscape orientations. Snapped view is also nice to consider for multitasking scenarios.
Once you have these in mind, you can start planning what features to develop. If it's a News App for instance, you would defintely consider adding the "App Bar menu" to refresh the content or add an article to your favorite. Remember to use Contracts like "Share", "Search" or event Push notification using Windows Azure Mobile Services, these are powerful features that Windows 8 provides which give users unique search and social experience.
Last but not least, select your business model, how do you want to make money out of your application. You can choose to make a Paid-App, have Ads in it or go for an In-App-Purchase model. Get yourself familiar with these model and choose the one you think would be best for you.
For absolute beginners, Windows Phone or other platform developers we highly encourageto hve a look at www.generationapp.com, (or http://aka.ms/GApp for french content) before joining the DevCamp or starting building you first App. This will walk you through the different steps to develop a nice Windows Store App.