It was a gently recommendation by my colleague Nafeesa from the BlackBerry® Academic Program to drive this one day Cascades workshop organized by the IT-Authority in Muscat/Oman for University stuff and others. So I used the opportunity to be in the region for the KSA Jam and continued the journey to Oman.
Mrs Azhaar from the ITA did a great job to set up everything for the workshop: The location, the invitations, the setup at the Venue, etc… We started quite early in the morning with around 15 attendees, all of them equipped with laptops and 2 of them even with a BlackBerry 10 device. After an introduction to BlackBerry 10 including a demo on the most important features, we started by installing the SDK, the Simulator, etc… It took quite long time until everyone was setup. Unfortunately the Network connection was not so good and thus I zipped my Momentics folder and distributed it to them. Which was a bit challenging for the laptops to get it unzipped. But all went well. The setup is an important step of getting started and I wanted to make sure they all run out with a working simple app and that was reached. I introduced them to topics like localization, active covers, List management etc… I planned to talk about the invocation framework and integrate the camera in the sample we built but that had to be a homework for attendees as they all received my presentation and the demo projects.
I met a small team from the private Technology university and we talked about building the first BlackBerry dev group in Oman. They wanted to check with their Students and come back to me. I will be very happy to get that setup as by then we will have 6 Communities around the Middle East.
Thank you very much Mrs Azhaar and your ITA organization for this opportunity. Thanks to all the participants for a nice Day in Muscat. I am looking forward to connect with you all soon and plan our next engagement in your lovely country.
I met Abdullah and Mhammed at the first BB10Jam we did in Riyadh on March 2013 and they showed at that time great interest to build the first BlackBerry Developer Group in KSA inside the Future Technology Club at the King Saud University and they promised me at that time if we do another Jam we will reach out to a lot more young developers looking forward to learn how to develop Apps on our BlackBerry 10 Platform. And so we did. Abdullah and Mhammed with the help of few other guys (see them on the picture below) were so smart to get almost everything organized by their own and kept us always updated.
On Sep 17th we kicked off the event. The morning sessions were intended for those not familiar with the BlackBerry 10 OS. We demoed the OS and talked about the SW architecture etc… In the afternoon sessions we dived deeper in the SDK details with hands-on cascades demos. A lot of the devs had their Laptops and their BlackBerry 10 devices with them and they tried to follow with the demos. My colleague Lukasz (@DDLUCK) was unfortunately not able to travel with me. He did his HTML5/WebWorks introduction session remotely on WebEx and it went quite well.
My colleague Rami (the KSA Business Development manager) and myself presented facts on the opportunity BlackBerry World offers to developers in this particular region and worldwide. We used a mixture of Arabic and English during the presentations and I believe that was well received. Few of the attendees asked questions in Arabic and English too.
We had few Q5 to seed to the devs and we combined that with a question and answer session. It was great fun. It was a fantastic Jam and I am looking forward to organize a Hackathon with the the BlackBerry developer Group soon, as next step in our engagement plan in the KSA region.
Again big thanks to Abdalla, Mhammed, Gousai and all the others you see on the picture.
looking forward to seeing you soon Inshalla!
The Gaming Lab is a royal institution with the purpose of educating young Jordanian developers on programming and specifically games programming. Maysalward is a company specialized on mobile development. Both are located in the Jordon IT hub in Amman. They reached out to us on several occasions asking for a BlackBerry 10 event and so we agreed on this date few months ago. Originally the management of the Games Lab were so generous and offered us to host the event at their premises but due to the huge number of subscription (200), we shifted it to the Intercontinental hotel. A nice location. I believe some 120 devs showed up. I was surprised about the amount of women developers of the audience (probably 30%). Really great.
My colleague Mike from Dubai did an awesome talk about the BlackBerry 10 Experience with a lot of demos on his Z10. Then I did a presentation on the BlackBerry 10 Architecture. Then we wantd to tell the local devs why they should care about apps development for BlackBerry. And for that I didn’t find better stuff then the 5 min opening keynote video from my VP Alec Sounders in Orlando at jam Americas 2 weeks ago… After that my colleague @labukhait from Dubai and our friend Ziad Al Masri a marketing manager at Maysalward put more deviance on the opportunities BlackBerry offers for Apss devs. Ziad also volunteered to create and manage the first BlackBerry user group in Jordan. Awesome, Thank you and Welcome BlackBerry dev group Amman to the family of all developer groups at BlackBerry.
The afternoon started with a general session on developing for BlackBerry (Signing, Sandbox, UI guidelines, Monetization, and all of that) Then we video streamed my colleague @ BlackBerryLuca from the UK to do the HTML5 session and luckily all went very well. Although only few developers showed up their hands when Luca asked “Who is web developer?” almost none left the room during the session. We closed with the NDK session with a bit of cascades live coding as well as presenting the BlackBerry Android runtime.
It was a successful event and we will build on this for the future to stay connected to the nice devs there. It appears to me Jordan like Egypt and Tunisia is a good region to find talented developers in the Middle East.
Thank you Amman for a great jam day