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.
Our sessions were fairly visited by 20…30 developers. Also our stand had uninterruptedly developers traffic. A lot of developers in Germany still didn’t get a chance to try out BlackBerry 10 and feel the awesomeness of the devices and the power of the operating system. When we showed it to them they were amazed about the BlackBerry 10 experience as well as how mature and diverse the App Development Eco-System that we offer. Many also expressed uncertainty around BlackBerry because of the recent announcements of BlackBerry seeking for strategic alliances. I understand that of course and tried to make those devs aware of few facts that could convince them coming to our platform sooner than later:
BlackBerry 10 follows open industry standards and an open source approach with its big variety of development technologies.
The relatively small amount of 120000 apps in our store BlackBerry World compared to the other App stores is for developers a chance because of less competition and eager BlackBerry 10 users to download and buy applications.
BlackBerry is a star in a lot of countries and BlackBerry World has almost no geographical limits for developers.
All in all it was a good conference for us and we really enjoyed to meet a lot of known and new developers. Looking forward to attend MTC2014 in Munich in coming spring.
Today we met with a professional software development team at our Tech Center in Bochum. They demonstrated their upcoming BlackBerry 10 application and we discussed some troubling issues they are having. So we quickly built two small sample applications, which you can download here. Inside the archive zip file, which is easy to import into Momentics as existing projects, you will find the projects ListItemLayouts and Lesson3OnlineJson.
ListItemLayouts is based on the default template for ListView projects, but with a custom ListItem Component. The new ListItem contains three rows, each row has text aligned on the left and right side of the screen. Also each line uses different layouts: first row uses DockLayout, if the text of the Label on the left is too long the labels might overlap; second row uses StackLayout and with spaceQuota, so that overlapping is suppressed; the third row is based on the second row, but with different spaceQuota values and multiline set to true. View pictures below to see the behaviour of these layouts.
Lesson3OnlineJson is an application which loads a JSON file from the web which also contains URIs to images, these images are also loaded from a remote web address. We added new dummy objects to the JSON file, to see how to bind data from nested JSON objects with our ListItems. In the end it was quite easy in QML by using the following statement:
This binds the string ‘myString’ of an object within an array at position 0 to a Label in our ListItemComponent.
Simon Zwick contacted me few weeks ago asking how to set-up a BlackBerry Developer Group and how to get BlackBerry 10 developer devices to start developing on our platform. We agreed it will be a good idea to build the first BlackBerry Developer Group in Berlin and get in the benefits of having devices, Swag, Networking with us and another BlackBerry developers worldwide… Simon did a great job preparing the first meet-up, he printed flyers, created a Facebook event, a twitter handle, etc… Luckily Till Adam one of our BlackBerry Elites and team lead at KDAB is also based in Berlin and gently offered us their office as the Meet-up location as well as sending some of the devs he knows to the event.
We started at 7pm. Round 15 guys showed up. After a short welcome note from Till, I did some demos showing the BlackBerry 10 experience, then talked about the native development kit and showed Momentics, the IDE with a little of coding. Then my colleague @WaterlooErik from Waterloo/Canada presented our awesome HTML5 platform via video conference. It went very well. Also @Kari_Gow our BlackBerry Developer Group Manager didn’t want to miss the meet-up and joined us from Waterloo/Canada via a video link. She talked about the benefits of being organized in a BlackBerry Developer Group and gave a motivating welcome by showing the growing number of the BlackBerry communities worldwide and especially in the EMEA region.
Then Simon discussed with the guys the next meet-ups: In which form, where, how often, etc… We agreed to meet on every 2nd Wednesday in a month and Simon will look for a nice location somewhere in Berlin. We discussed and talked about BlackBerry and the mobile development space in Germany those days
I closed up by showing a 5 min video of Alec Saunder’s keynote in Orland/Florida/USA last May, where he gave a motivating speech to the devs there to come and to stick to BlackBerry Development.
I am very glad that we now have a BlackBerry Developer group in Berlin, since Berlin is becoming more and more the center of mobile development in Germany. Thanks Simon, Thanks Till and KDAB and thanks to all the guys who joined us and stayed till 11:30 pm. See you soon again.
Last Friday we welcomed eleven computer science students from Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) at our Tech Center and gave an introduction to BlackBerry 10 with hot coffee and refreshing drinks. In a following hands-on session we helped those students to set up their laptops so that they were ready to go from 0 to BlackBerry 10 with Cascades. Of course we showed them in a live coding demo how to develop BB10 applications with the main focus on animations. Unfortunately time was too short to show more awesome features, but we would be happy to welcome more students and repeat such sessions at any time.
So again, thanks for visiting us here in our Tech Center, especially to Kai Kuchenbecker for gathering interested students. We hope you had a lot of fun and that we could stimulate and inspire you to do great apps.
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.
Kerem Bakacak a 15 year old student developed a BlackBerry 10 application using Cascades within only 2 weeks during his internship at BlackBerry Tech Center Bochum. All german students in the 9th grade have to do a two week internship during the school year and we were happy to welcome Kerem. He attends a computer science class in his school where he learns programming paradigms with Visual Basic, but he has never programmed in QML or C++ before. So after getting used to the syntax we guided him developing his application step by step and it is now published on BlackBerry World. Fantastic!