Jerry Nixon on Windows

Friday, March 7, 2014

Testing your Phone app on every Nokia device just got easier.

imageWhen it comes to application testing, running your apps on phones is invaluable. To see the features you observed working in the emulator behaving as you expect on a phone is both rewarding and satisfying, not to mention the reassurance it provides that your app is ready to be unleashed on consumers worldwide. However, maintaining a wide portfolio of current phones may be impractical. Aside from the cost, Nokia phones come in a wide variety of regional and operator variants that simply may not be available in your locality. In addition, as new models are release they may not be available in your area immediately.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

At last, C# is getting “?.”, sometimes called the Safe Navigation Operator

Visual Studio (and many other Microsoft Products) uses as a feedback mechanism for users to suggest and vote on product features. One of the most popular features, with 3,752 votes, a new “?.” operator for the C# language, sometimes called the Safe Navigation Operator.

Monday, February 17, 2014

YouthSpark: Challenge for Change

clip_image001On Tuesday February 11th, Microsoft announced the launch of Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change, a contest from Microsoft YouthSpark – in partnership with Windows, Office, Surface, Microsoft Stores, Brand Studios and Corporate Communications – that invites youth aged 18-25 around the world to share their ideas for a social good project that could spark change in their communities, college campuses, or the world. The contest is open for entry February 11 through March 5.

15 Easy Ways to Screw Up Your Next User Group Talk. And, a little advice.

In college, a millennia ago, I spent a summer serving Philadelphia’s inner city children with Bart Campolo. As a leader, he was an effervescent, tireless motivator; an excellent writer as much a speaker. As he verbalized his process he forever transformed my approach to public communication.

He explained two reasons for communication. The first, information. This practical, utilitarian task comes up from time to time, but isn’t the reason the world needs excellent communicators. It simply set a level across participants. If you were successful, people knew more. It’s as simple as that.

Monday, February 10, 2014

More Free Training: Developing Windows Store 8.1 Apps using XAML

imageDaren May and I are back to walk through the core C# and XAML concepts of Windows Store development, in our Microsoft Virtual Academy courses on the subject, refreshed from Windows 8.0 to Windows 8.1. Sit back and relax for nearly 16 hours of free developer training. 

Windows 8 App Challenge for Students

Are you a student? Are you building a Windows 8 app? Any student-written Windows 8 app published before 4/14/2014 qualifies to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Want more? Any Windows 8 app published before 4/14/2014 and has 100 downloads qualifies to win an additional $50 Amazon gift card – that’s $100.


Step 1: Build your App

Download all the free software and resources you need to start building your App.

Step 2: Publish your App

Publish your new and unique app to the Windows Store. Win a $50 gift card. Submit your app at

Step 3: Promote the App

Get a 100 downloads for your app to qualify to win an additional $50. Confirm 100 downloads at

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Free C# Training for Beginners and Forgetful Experts

imageLast year, I sat down with my colleague and friend Daren May for to create a Microsoft Virtual Academy training series that beginner developers could use to get a solid introduction to C#, called Programming in C#.

This course steams through the myriad of C# features and concepts, giving a comprehensive survey of the topic to would-be students. It was brilliant for me to have to remember all these things that made me love C# in the first place, and a chance to introduce new developers and remind seasoned ones.

I hope you like it.

Choosing between Visual Basic and C#

imageHere’s an awesome question I was recently asked:

So far, our line-of-business apps are in Visual Basic. We are moving to Visual Studio 2013. On the internet, we find more samples in C# than Visual Basic. What language should we choose?

The overarching principle here is that an enterprise needs to have an established, common technical architecture and set of development standards – including language. Having said that, every enterprise should also have a roadmap for change adoption, adjusting to trends and upending long-held traditions for the sake of the enterprise and their developers.

It’s all free! Here’s $500 for your user group, and all the swag you want, and free Facebook advertising. No catch.

imageMicrosoft has a kind of love affair with its developer community. As a result, the Microsoft developer community worldwide is the largest and most cohesive community you could imagine. It was Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, who said, “Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers!”. That set the tone for the importance of and relationship with developers to Microsoft.


In Colorado, if you live far north of Denver you will find the Northern Colorado Microsoft User Group that meets in Fort Collins that Eric Liprandi coordinates. If you live closer in, there’s the Boulder .Net User Group that Ely Lucas coordinates. Downtown Denver has the Denver .Net User Group that Andreas Taber coordinates. In Denver’s Tech Center, there’s the Visual Studio User Group run by Chris Wallace. And down in Colorado Springs, Ben Hoelting runs the Southern Colorado .Net User Group. There are also SQL-oriented user groups, SharePoint, BI, Software Testing, and more. Communities abound in Colorado.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The most Comprehensive Blend for Visual Studio training you will ever receive – for Free; you’re welcome!

imageNovember 2013, immediately after the release of Visual Studio 2013, I sat down for an all-day session with Unni Ravindranathan, the Senior Program Manager for Blend. Who better to walk through, not the new features of Blend, but all the core features of Blend – and the new features, too. In some cases, Blend for Visual Studio 2013 returned some of the features removed in Blend for Visual Studio 2012. But in many cases, it’s just candy tooling for the XAML developer.

Is this for you?

Do you want to see Blend in action and learn how to incorporate its bountiful power easily into your current projects? Windows 8 projects, you bet! Silverlight projects, you bet! Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) projects, too? You bet! Blend is a tool for XAML developers, not just Windows 8 developers. In fact, in some cases, Blend does more for the Silverlight and WPF developer. So, enjoy.