Last September we developed a new module for year 3 and MComp students within the School of Computer Science at Lincoln called ‘Social Applications Development’. As the name entails, the module is about the design and implementation of social applications, on mobile platforms, with content that sits at the core of LiSC’s research concepts. With students enrolled on the module from different degree programmes with a diverse range of programming skills we carefully considered the different mobile platforms out there for developing social apps on. The most popular of course are the iPhone and Android platforms, however we considered the barriers to developing for these platforms too high given the range of development skills the enrolled students had. To this end we chose the emerging Windows Phone platform which offered comparable hardware and application development opportunities to both Android and iPhone. The clincher was the ease of developing for Windows Phone (over Android and iPhone) and the familiarity of Visual Studio for most of the students. Fast forward 6 months and the student feedback on the module has been very positive, despite some initial resistance at the beginning in the choice of platform, most students now agree it is a good platform to develop for. The legacy of the previous ‘Windows Mobile’ operating system is something that may be difficult to entirely shake off for Microsoft – Windows Phone is an entirely new mobile OS, built from the ground up for contemporary digital lifestyles and takes nothing from previous Windows Mobile platforms.
To further enhance the students experience of the module we are hosting a Windows Phone workshop with Microsoft on Wednesday March 7th @1pm-5pm – by registering and coming along you could be in with a chance to win a brand new Nokia Lumia 800 on the day! The event will take place in the Lincoln School of Computer Science in room MC3204 (Comp Lab B), and will include presentations by Microsoft on Windows Phone followed by a coding session then finishing the day off with pizza. If you are interested (you don’t have to be enrolled on the Social Applications Development module) then it would be helpful to familiarise yourself with developing for Windows Phone using Visual Studio 2010 and the ‘Mango’ SDK, by doing so you will get more out of the workshop. All machines in room MC3204 are installed with the prerequisite tools if you want to get a head start!