A few months ago we contacted Microsoft to arrange a #phonecamp in the School of Computer Science at Lincoln where they would come along and give presentations and demos of the Windows Phone platform. This aligned with our Social Applications Development Module run by LiSC for third year students as we taught the mobile app development part of the module for Windows Phone. The phonecamp ran last Wednesday (7th March) and was an engaging afternoon with students hacking away on the platform. There were some shiny prizes handed out at the end too….
Microsoft’s Joanna Tong presented at the phonecamp with nearly 50 students in attendance. The afternoon kicked off with presentations covering the UI design of Windows Phone (Metro), app development tools and submitting apps to the Windows Phone marketplace. Following a quick afternoon break involving Scotland’s other national drink – Irn Bru – the students set about building mobile apps with a keen eye on the prizes up for grabs; 3x Nokia Lumia 800 phones and 2x t-shirts. For fairness the phone prizes were handed out with the use of a random number generator with the t-shirts given for ‘best tweet’ and ‘best app ‘. This levelled the playing field as not all the students present had the skills to quickly prototype a mobile app in an afternoon.
Some pretty neat app prototypes and concepts where conceived, complete with some lively elevator pitches, particularly from LiSC’s very own Andy Garbett and Oliver Szymanezyk. As it turned out there were two other parallel phonecamp events taking place in the UK at the same time as Lincoln’s, one at Imperial College and the other at Robert Gordon University. This instantly put us in competition mode by striving to get the most and best tweets with #phonecamp hashtag on Twitter. Needless to say we won and on that note the best tweet award at Lincoln went to @arne3000 with his stunningly embarrassing tweet in reference to Joanna Tong, the Microsoft representative hosting the event with us. The bio-@arne3000 wasn’t forthcoming with his identity but was soon sighted due to bright red gamma rays bursting out from the left side of the room. He was duly dragged out and forced to accept his XS t-shirt for his efforts, below photo says it all.
Feedback from students at the event was positive, we are now looking at the possibility of running similar events students in the School of Computer Science will engage with and enjoy. Mobile computing is here to stay and will only become more embedded in our daily lifestyles, equipping our students with the skillsets necessary to design, build and evaluate mobile applications is a great way to enhance both their CV and future job prospects.
Three lucky students went home with a Nokia Lumia 800 and the day finished with a behemoth pizza order from Domino’s – who else? There was no beer at this event so unfortunately I cannot add an extra ‘beer’ paragraph.