HO HO X-mas Hackathon!

By Joanne NH Wong

On the 18th and 19th of December, Microsoft and Nokia Finland has collaborated to make a successful event, creating a two-day opportunity for participants to create their Windows 8 and Windows Phone application(s). Among participants are Microsoft experts, consultants, professionals, app developers, programmers, and students from TAMK.  The idea of the event is to invite participants to port (hack) their ready app from other platforms (IOS, Unity, Android or html5) to Windows 8 or Windows Phone, but participant are able to anticipate by starting from scratch within 18 hours (2 days).

Among us, the 'nerds' from Programming course had put our feet into this Hackathon together with our course lecturer, Juha Ollikainen. Under some guidance and presentation, we learnt about the new system of Windows 8 (a touch optimized system for tablets, laptops and PCs), as well as developing apps for it using Microsoft Visual Studio 2012.
Lecturer Juha shedding lights on how to use the new Windows 8 interface

The event was simultaneously happening in Konela Tampere, Turku and Oulu as well. Hence, first day in the morning we were welcomed by sandwiches and coffee, while witnessed an online meeting with other parties from Oulu and Turku. Santa Claus was on the line, too!

There were also introductions to Azure Mobile Services and presentation on NFC technology by Nokia experts. While we are focusing on developing our idea, which is to create Windows phone app for Juvenes restaurant's menu, benefiting most students, staffs and customers who liked to check menu of the Juvenes restaurant in Tampere through mobile platform. It was a brand new experience for us, the students, as we are rookie in such skills and expertise. Our lecturer, Juha handled the crucial programming job while we pick up from tutorials and designing the visuals of the app.
Working hard

Meals are catered for all participants and us, the students are very happy with our free breakfast, lunch and dinner! There are also experts and consultants from Microsoft who gave us advice and consultations during our app developing process, such as how to use certain features with Blend (Microsoft Visual Studio).

On the second day, we continued to our app developing process until lunch time. And then presentation of apps by participants took place in the Konela premises. There are many interesting ideas and apps presented, and there are prizes to be given away to the best ideas and executions. Unfortunately we did not win anything for our app design, but we are glad to witness others ideas and learned from them. The winner app is 'Tuesto Timer', which is an app associated with food and recipe. It has an interesting feature which user can learn how to cook their steak perfectly by flipping them on the virtual stove on their phone. Some other participants won consolation prizes, too.
Winner presentation

It was a wrap at 3pm, and we are very glad to have participated in this event, learning a lot from our lecturer, as well as building great interest in app developing skills. We looked forward to learn more about using Blend program in the near future.

Participated students from 12IMP:
Bo Kyung Kim
Yulia Pak
Joanne NH Wong

Story and photos by Joanne NH Wong

Joanne studies in our international Degree Programme in Media
Read more stories by and about the IMPs, the Media students