test-cloud-logoCome join me March 12th where I will be presenting at the Toronto ALM Usergroup on how you can Test your iOS and Android apps on 1000+ devices.




Here is the session overview

Imagine that you’ve finished an app. You’ve tested on your physical device and all goes well.

You deploy. It doesn’t go well. Someone tests on a device you don’t have. It crashes.

You get one star reviews leaving you frustrated because customers are downloading your app on a device you don’t own. What if you could test on a thousand devices without spending all of your cash to get them?

With Xamarin Test Cloud you can!

Whether you are deploying an enterprise app or deploying a consumer facing app, Test Cloud allows you to test on 1000+ real iOS and Android devices to catch bugs before users do. You will avoid customers who are frustrated with low performance issues and avoid app killing one star reviews.

Let us show you what Xamarin Test Cloud has to offer, how to write and automate your tests, and potentially avoid those dreaded one star reviews.

So if you want to learn about Xamarin Test Cloud and how it can help you come join us! Pizza will be served from 5:30 – 6:00 before the presentation starts at 6:00.  Sign up here to join us for this time saving event.

And don’t forget, RedBit is a Xamarin Preimier Partner & a Xamarin Test Cloud Partner, so if you are looking to implement a cross platform solution for iOS or Android or need assistance in getting setup with Test Cloud contact us to get you going!

Imagine Cup Student DevCamps Followup

imagineCamp2Over the weekend I was at University of Ottawa presenting to the students in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science program talking about building for Windows and Windows Phone and the best way to leverage and re-use code across the different platforms.  It’s always exciting to meeting and share with students my experience in software development and helping them along in their endeavours/careers.  You can read more about the event on the RedBit blog 

As a follow up here are bunch of resources and links to things I mentioned during the two days

If you attended (or if you didn’t, heard it was mid terms) feel free to connect with me here or via twitter to ask questions on developing for both Windows and Windows Phone or any other questions in general.

Next up will be Queens University register here and another one end of March in the Kitchener Waterloo Region (will post details on that soon).

Toronto Global Game Jam

Throughout my whole career as a developer I have always tried to participate in various events and speak at events to share the knowledge I have learned in developing software.  With the RedBit team expanding, I get introduced to new type of events and get excited to participate.


One of those events is the Global Game Jam and the specifically the Toronto Global Game Jam and the RedBit team will be participating. RedBit as a company has also decided to sponsor the Toronto Global Game Jam. At RedBit we are building some games for customers and used tried different software such Unity and MonoGame so we should be able to get something going in the 48hrs. I will be there to help encourage people to think about all platforms including Windows Phone (it outsells iPhone in 24 Countries), think about games that can go global and think about the female demographic as I think that is an area that is overlooked (45% of gamers are female according to The Entertainment Software Association)


Personally, I’ve played games my whole life and yes I did own Excite Bike. I continue to play games with my kids be it on XBox, Phones or desktops. I have also dabbled in creating games using XNA and going through the process with my son and created ‘hello world’ type games such as Tic Tac Toe and Memory Matching games.

I always get asked what tools should you use? We have used Unity3d and MonoGame with Xamarin, both are good and both allow you to go cross platform which is key in my opinion. At RedBit we are buildign using MonoGame and Xamarin as we are a Xamarin Partner and have all appropriate licenses. If you are building a game, you want to target the widest audience possible and using tools that allow you to go Mac, Windows, iOS, Windows Phone, Android is key. Marketing is also another key factor but that is another post entirely!

I’m excited to be participating in the Global Game Jam to see what comes out of it and feel privileged to be in a position where through my company I can help sponsor the event to help support the developer community.

Will you be there? Let me know as would be great to connect with you!

Oakville’s First Open Data Meetup

I have been involved in open data for a while now from a personal interest as a developer and a business interest via RedBit. I’ve participated in various hackathons, events, done presentation, open sourced some code and even help run an open data group called Open Halton where we try to work with cities and municipalities to open up their data.



Over the years I’ve seen many cities open up their data and even seen a Canadian National Open Data policy come into place via Data.gc.ca. It was also exciting seeing Open Data being tabled as part of the G8 summit where it is guided by the following principles


  • Open Data by Default
  • Quality and Quantity
  • Useable by All
  • Releasing Data for Improved Governance
  • Releasing Data for Innovation



Now the City (or Town rather) I live in (Oakville) is ready to open up the town data and is holding the first community meetup. I will be participating representing the developer community here in the region and how RedBit as a business has leveraged Open Data to generate revenue and most importantly create jobs.

If you are free Feb 5 2014 be sure to join as. You can register at EventBrite and we are holding two sessions to try and accommodate everyone.

Have you done anything with open data? Share what you have done in the comments below or via twitter @MarkArteaga


Windows 8 HTML/JavaScript Sessions at DevTeach

DevTeach is coming to Toronto May 27-31st and I’ll be doing a couple of session on developing Windows 8 apps using HTML5 and JavaScript

Designing Windows Store HTML5/JavaScript Apps Using Blend and Visual Studio

Embrace the Windows 8 design principles by taking full advantage of the rich feature sets offered by both Blend and Visual Studio. Learn how to start from scratch and have a fully functioning (and visually appealing!) application that highlights how to work with styles, controls, data sources, layout, CSS3 transitions, web services, and many other features that help you create a better user experience with greater productivity.

JavaScript, HTML, and Windows Store Apps

In this talk we’ll cover the basics of creating a Windows Store app experience using HTML and JavaScript, including the Windows Library for JavaScript (WinJS). Topics will include how to leverage your existing HTML and JavaScript skills, how to integrate Windows 8 personality and contracts into your app, and how Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 provides tools to make this easy and fast.

There are also a bunch of other sessions on Agile, Architecture, Mobile, Cloud Computing, SQL and other topics by some great speakers so be sure to register for DevTeach and attend!

TechDays 2011 & Windows Phone


TechDays is fast approaching and is next week in Toronto.  Similar to past years (2008, 2009, 2010) I’ll be presenting on Windows Phone.  This year is great because I finally think Windows Phone is in a state where consumers will finally start paying attention and the competition is actually starting to copy features in Windows Phone (who would have ever thought that!)

This year TechDays will be taking place in the following cities so make sure to register

  1. Toronto – October 25-26
  2. Vancouver – November 15-16
  3. Montreal – November 29-30

If you do register for TechDays 2011, make sure you use this promo code TDSPKR11CAN to get 50% off the conference admission! Continue reading TechDays 2011 & Windows Phone

Presenting at North by North East Interactive

imageThis Saturday June 18 I will be co-presenting a session with Paul Laberge titled On Mobile App Design: Experiences that Don’t Suck at North by North East Interactive (or nxne-i) which is a week long conference held from June 13th-19th.

What is nxne-i all about?  (taken from nxne website)

It starts with the presentations. Three solidly packed days of presentations, both technical and creative. Presenters from around the world have been hand-picked for their skill and talent, and all are eager to share and meet you. It’s also about the networking. Being able to meet and talk to people who share your passion for this industry. Meet them at the presentations, in the exhibitor hall, or at the evening party.

I’ll be there discussing things to look out for as a designer and developer.  It’s all small things, but it’s the small things that can completely ruin a user’s experience when using your app!

Here is a description of the session.

On Mobile App Design: Experiences that Don’t Suck
Clearly, modern mobile devices have changed the way we interact with the world, each other and technology in general. What is true about this disruption is that while state of the art hardware makes it possible for people to create amazing apps, it’s the creative implementation of those ideas that really make the apps and games popular. In this session, we’ll show you how mobile app designers and developers create effective experiences for their apps and why design is absolutely essential to the success of those apps. Examples will include sample applications on the Windows Phone 7 platform and a discussion on Microsoft’s Metro design language, with the intent of showing how designing great experiences on mobile platforms is not a cookie-cutter process.

If you are attending nxne-i be sure to join Paul and I.  Here are the details

Date of Presentation: Saturday, June 18
Time of Presentation: 9:30 to 10:30
Room: Regency D/E

Hope to see you there!

MIX11 and Windows Phone Re-Cap

MIX11During MIX11 the Windows Phone Developer Tools team made some great announcements that will help developers build new types of applications for the next version of Windows Phone code named Mango.

mangoFrom the beginning I knew Windows Phone was a great platform and they had something big.  Now, have they won the mobile space yet? No they haven’t, but they are putting everything in place with things like the Nokia deal which is a great opportunity for developers and still believe Windows Phone will be successful

With the announcements at MIX11, Microsoft have ‘opened’ up the platform some more to developers.  Now, when I say ‘opened’ I’m not talking about open sourcing their OS like Android, but opening up in a sense of API usage for developers. 

API support missing in Windows Phone we as developers have complained about but now the Tools team is delivering.  Is it coming tomorrow? No, but apparently we will be getting tools where we will be able to get ready for the Mango build of Windows Phone.  So we still have to be patient but the platform is getting there.

What are we getting? there are over 1500 new APIs available for Mango.  Here is an image of some of the APIs


Here is a list of some of the stuff that I find interesting

  • Multitasking – Fast App Switching (FAS) and background agents.
  • IE9 for Windows Phone
  • Additional sensor and runtime access – camera stream access, compass, gyroscope, sockets
  • Structured storage: Use SQL CE Databases using LINQ to access data. 
  • Contact and Appointment APIs
  • XNA/Silverlight integration – use XNA and overlay over Silverlight pages
  • Tooling investments – profiling tools (initially demoed at PDC10), emulator enhancements that allow devs to manipulate the sensor data

So, a lot of features that are coming in Mango for developers.  The Windows Phone developer tools are getting better and we as developers will be able to innovate on this platform.

If you are interested in getting a sneak peak at what is available in Mango be sure to check out the Windows Phone sessions from Mix all available online.  Some of my favorites are (in no particular order)

  1. Day 2 Key Note – About Silverlight and Windows Phone
  2. Analyzing and Improving Windows Phone Application Performance – Jeff Wilcox built 4th and Mayor Foursquare client and is on the Silverlight product group and guru.
  3. Deep Dive MVVM – MVVM is a must in my opinion for building Windows Phone apps.  Built right, you can use a lot of your code for Silverlight desktop also.
  4. Rx: A Library for Managing Asynchronous Data and Events in your Windows Phone 7 Application – Interesting way to write multithreaded code, makes things way too easy
  5. Multitasking in the Next Version of Windows Phone, Part I and Multitasking in the Next Version of Windows Phone, Part II: Using Background Agents – yes Windows Phone finally gets multitasking, it’s always had it just not exposed to developers.
  6. New Data Access Features Coming to Windows Phone – SQL Compact Database support
  7. What’s New in the Windows Phone Developer Tools? – memory profiling, dev life just got a little easier Smile

Those are my recommended ones, but make sure to go through the whole list of Windows Phone developer sessions at MIX11.  They are all useful!

In the next days I’ll go in details on the features that are coming.  Unfortunately, I have no code samples as tools are not yet available.  As tooling becomes available, I will most likely create some sample code.  In the meantime be sure to check out all the Windows Phone sessions available online from MIX.

Windows Phone 7 Developer Boot Camp: Silverlight Recipes


This Friday March 18th, I’ll be delivering a session on developing for Windows Phone using Silverlight.  For this session there will be lots of code to share and very little power point slides and we are calling it ‘Silverlight Recipes’.  The goal is to get developers up and running with code snippets that they can hopefully re-use in their applications.  Here is a description of the event

Windows Phone 7 Silverlight Recipes (75 Mins)
If you’re building Windows Phone apps to help organize your life, capture your ideas, find out what’s going on around you, stay in touch with friends or gather the information you need, chances are you’ll be building them using Silverlight. We’ll show you how to build Silverlight apps that fetch data from web services, get the phone’s current location, display maps, organize applications into panoramas and data into pivots, make use of input and sensors and more. With these recipes under your belt, you’ll be writing apps that make the best use of Windows Phone 7 features in no time!

I’ll also be doing the same presentation on March 25th 2011, and then the sessions go across Canada.  Here is a list of all the cities.  Unfortunately I won’t be at all cities and someone else will be presenting the content.


Where and When

Which Sessions

Downtown Toronto
Microsoft Canada
Ernst & Young Tower, 12th floor
(222 Bay Street)
Friday, March 18th
Click here to register

WP7 sessions only

Microsoft Canada
(1950 Meadowvale Boulevard)
Friday, March 25th
Click here to register

IE9 and WP7 sessions

BCIT, Burnaby Campus
(3700 Willingdon Avenue)
Saturday, March 26th
Click here to register

IE9 and WP7 sessions

Art Gallery of Alberta
(2 Sir Winston Churchill Square)
Tuesday, March 29
Click here to register

IE9 and WP7 sessions

National Arts Centre
(53 Elgin Street)
Wednesday, March 30
Click here to register

IE9 and WP7 sessions

Microsoft Montreal
(2000 McGill College Avenue, Suite 450)
Monday, April 4th
Click here to register

IE9 sessions only

IMAX Theatre Winnipeg
(393 Portage Avenue)
Tuesday, April 5th
Click here to register

IE9 and WP7 sessions

So be sure to register for the Boot Camps as they are free events.  And oh ya, there are also IE9 sessions Smile

Windows Phone Team at Mobile World Congress

The 2011 Mobile World Congress is coming up on February 16 and the Windows Phone developer team will be there letting everyone know what the platform has to offer to developers.  MWC has an App Developer Conference and the Windows Phone team will be hosting a day long session.

The session is only limited to 200 people so make sure to send the following information to creators@microsoft.com to get your spot!

  1. First and last name
  2. Email address for the invite
  3. Company name

This should be a great event and wish I could go.  Here are the entire details for the event

Windows Phone Wednesday 2/16, the App Developers Conference at Mobile World Congress

Calling all developers!!!!  If you are interested in learning more about developing apps for Windows Phone 7 then do we have the event for you…

“The Why and How’s of Windows Phone 7”  Presented by Microsoft
Join us on a whirlwind tour around the landscape of the Windows Phone platform. The daylong session will examine all aspects of development on the phone, including building apps and games, marketplace monetization, tips and trick for certification and an open panel discussion where you can get answers to your burning questions. Get in on the ground floor with us and see what makes
us different!”

Day long sessions includes:


Session Title



State of the Union

Brandon Watson


Platform Overview

Larry Lieberman


UX/Metro Design Review

Bryan Agnetta





Mobile Web Platform Futures

Joe Marini





Panel discussion






Business of your App

Todd Biggs


Silverlight/XNA overview

Rob Cameron

The conference pass gets you into the ADC as well as into the Expo Hall at Mobile World Congress.

If you are interested please send an email to creators@microsoft.com with the following details:

  • First and last name
  • email address for the invite
  • Company name

We are limited to 200 passes so sign up early!!