The Windows Phone 7 Student Hackathon… Are you up for the challenge?

Microsoft Gulf presents the Windows Phone 7 Student Hackathon


The Windows Phone 7 is set to make an impact in the Gulf pretty soon, and this is your chance to make a mark as a developer for the Gulf.


To encourage all the young and talented aspiring developers, Microsoft is proud to host a Windows Phone 7 Mobile App competition.

The deadlines for this competition are:

1) May 21st 2012 : Final Date to submit your Apps to Yalla Apps.

2) June 15th 2012: FInal Date to publish the App to the Marketplace


Prizes will be given for 2 categories:

a) The most number of Apps published by an individual/team.

b) The best App submitted by an individual/team.


The hackathon is to be held on May 5th 2012, Saturday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm in the Gem Seminar Room of the Microsoft Gulf Office, Dubai Internet City.

In these 9 hours, we will provide you will all the help and support you can get for your apps. Expert mobile App developers will be around to guide you with your app. There will be entertainment, food and a great chance to meet talented developers from other Universities.


So dont miss this opportunity to get all the help possible to make your App a winning App in the Mobile App development competition… You can register at the Eventbrite page by clicking this link.

(Note that this competition is open only to students from schools or colleges/universities within the UAE.)

The Referal Code for this Competition is: WP7_students_hackathon_UAE

Remember to submit this referal code when you submit your Apps via Yalla Apps.


Imagine Cup is coming, to town…

Ok, I know its been a while since blogged last, but as a 21- year old developer working in Microsoft, I think I have earned the right to say, I have been busy.. ūüėõ

So of the many things I have been doing this past week, which involves submitting about 10 Apps, finishing off my game App, I have been busy working with the DPE team helping them organize the Imagine Cup UAE finals.

I’m pretty sure quite a few of you have heard of this competition, but for those of you who do know what Imagine Cup is, here is a brief overview:

Imagine Cup is an annual competition hosted and sponsored¬†by Microsoft Corp, where in they bring together some of the brightest developers. The challenge thrown at these young technologists, is to “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems”.

The competition has various challenges. This year’s challenges include:

1) Software Design




2) Game Design: XBOX/Windows




3) Game Design: Phone




4) IT Challenge




5) Kinect Fun Labs Challenge




6) Windows Metro Style App Challenge




7) Windows Azure Challenge




8) Windows Phone Challenge




The Competition is quite exciting and challenging. Participants are expected to use Microsoft technology and they get a change to showcase their talents, first at the regional (country) Finals. The top team from each country, then progresses to the worldwide finals. The worldwide finals have always excited me. I have never been to one, but I have seen videos, and I must say, I have never seen any event organized in such a grand scale. The ideas presented here are quite innovative. The common misconception is that Imagine Cup is all about creating Utopia with technology. While some may consider this as a delusion, others take it up as a challenge, the truth is that most of the team who win, have simple, but elegant solutions to the very simple problems what the world faces. And that is what I love about Imagine Cup. Innovative minds from around the world, come together and present a cool new perspective to facing problems.

This year, the finals are going to be held in Sydney, Australia. The regional finals have started all over the world. It’s really exciting for¬†me considering that I am a part of the team representing¬†my college in this competition for the UAE regional finals.¬†A couple of weeks¬†back,¬†Microsoft Gulf announced the 5 teams which had qualified for the UAE finals. The team¬†that wins¬†here,¬†get a shot at the worldwide finals in Australia.

The project topics for each of the teams is quite interesting. One of the teams will try to cure Sleep Apnea using the Windows Phone, another team attempts to solve piracy issues, while 2 teams focus on optimizing standards for EMR (electronic medical records) and its ease of access, and the last one tries to convert waste into bio-fuel using technology.

The Imagine Cup UAE finals will be held at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel (Meyana Auditorium), from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm on 23rd April 2012.

Honestly, I think it is a brilliant opportunity for people to come, relax at a brilliant venue, eat good food, have a good time, play with the Kinect, and watch each of the 5 teams present their ideas. If you havent registered already, click here.

For those of you who have a Windows Phone, you can now download the imagine cup app, “Imagine Cup Live“. I published the app a few days back. It gives you twitter updates, blog feed, lets you view the competition count down clock and has all the important links. For those of you reading this on your mobile phones, Click here, to download the app.

So, hope to see you guys at the Imagine Cup UAE Finals. Till then, chao.

Day 1: Orientation & Introduction

Hello World!

Yes, I know its cliched. But considering the fact that I am a programmer, I believe it would be sacrilege if I posted anything other than a “Hello World” as the very first words I write in my new blog.

So, to briefly introduce myself, I am Prashant Vaidyanathan. I’m 21 years old, and am in my final semester in Engineering (Electronics and Electrical) in BITS -Pilani- ¬†Dubai Campus. I currently am interning in Microsoft, and work as a Junior Software Developer.¬†I love Basketball and¬†used to be a National Level Basketball player back in India, and I¬†love watching NBA matches. I also love football, and am an Optimistic Arsenal fan. ( optimistic would be pushing it here. I truly believe¬†in the Arsenal¬†youth system and believe that they will win their next major¬†silverware when¬†my children are old enough to write a blog of their own).¬†Also apparently,¬†I tend to digress from the main point.

My true interest however, lies in Computers. I have been playing with computers ever since I was 4. I know a couple of programming languages: C, C++, C#, Visual Basic, Lisp, BF, Whirl, Java, Assembly Language, HTML, CSS, XAML (Gasp for breath….). I work on multiple platforms, tools and frameworks including AutoCad, Visual Studio, Expression Studio, Silverlight, XNA, Adobe Photoshop, Maya. (Pretty cool eh? ). Last year I presented my paper on ‚ÄúA new encryption technique for the secured transmission and storage of text information with medical images‚ÄĚ in the IN-TECH 2011 conference organized by the World Association for Innovative Technologies (WAIT) for which I was awarded the Award for Science and Technology transfer.

So yeah. Thats me, being not so modest. But I believe that I must give the readers of this blog a fair reason to believe in my posts.


I work in Microsoft Gulf in Dubai in the DPE РDeveloper Platform and Technologies department. My job entails:

1) Making Windows Phone 7 Apps

2) Training Students from other universities to build Apps for the Windows Phone.

3) Testing out the cool new technologies here in Microsoft.

Its been 6 weeks, and I must be honest. Its been one of the best 6 weeks of my life. I have learnt a LOT. More than what any textbook or course could offer. And this, being my dream job, I am actually loving my work here.

The reason, for¬†me picking the name of the blog as captainwp7. Well, I’d like to think of myself as some super hero for¬†the Windows Phone 7 from the DC universe making Apps for¬†Batman, Superman and Flash. But seriously, its coz,¬†I used to be called¬†Captain back in school,¬†and well, this blog is going to be about the Windows¬†Phone.

I will be discussing cool new features that I come across. I will also be sharing tricks and tips for programming, not just for the Windows Phone or Windows 8, but also, for other technologies. I will also be sharing source code for most of my programs.

For all those of you who are actually afraid of programming or code or feel your greatest achievement with any computer has been using MS Paint (no offense), fear not. This blog is to help you overcome that fear of programming and actually learn cool tips that you can have fun with.

So, thats it for now. Will be posting soon about the Windows Phone to give most people who dont know what it is, a general overview about it. Till then, Chao.