Nick Landry

Nick Landry (@ActiveNick) is a mobility pioneer and former entrepreneur specializing in cross-platform mobile app development for Windows, iOS and Android devices. Nick works at Microsoft as a Senior Technical Evangelist in the New York Metro area. He spent most his career in IT consulting, software and services companies across various technical and business roles, designing, building, managing and selling innovative software products and solutions for the world’s top brands and Fortune 500 companies.

Known for his dynamic and engaging style, he is a frequent speaker at major software development conferences worldwide, was a 10-year Microsoft MVP awarded on Windows Phone Development, and a Nokia Developer Ambassador & Champion. With over 23 years of professional experience, Nick is a certified developer and software architect by trade and specializes in Cross-Platform Mobility, GIS, Cloud, IoT and Mobile Game Development. He is an active blogger, occasional author, avid gamer, loving husband and proud father.

Windows 10 for Developers: What’s New in Universal Apps

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Universal Windows apps let developers build apps that share a maximum amount of code across a wide range of devices, including smartphones, phablets, tablets, laptops, desktops, hybrids, 2-in-1’s and even servers. Universal apps can be built natively using either HTML+Javascript, or XAML with C#, VB or C++. Windows 10 is the final destination for convergence with “One Windows across all devices”, adapting itself to the device form factor to provide the optimum capabilities and user experience. Windows 10 improves on this model with the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) that lets you build a single binary across all Windows 10 platforms, even Xbox One, Windows on Devices and HoloLens. Join us for this overview session as we explore new features for developers in Windows 10, including code sharing, targeting specific devices and API contracts, Visual Studio 2015 tooling, new APIs, and also what’s new with our favorite virtual assistant: Cortana. We have finally arrived! One code base, one binary, countless Windows devices to run it on. Come learn about the opportunities, and discover how to build apps for 1 Billion Windows users!

Building for the Internet of Things – Part 2: Connecting Things to the Cloud

Friday, March 20th, 2015 at 1:00 pm in

Picking up where we left off in Part 1, this session extends the reach of your hardware projects by connecting your “things” to the cloud, thus fulfilling the promise of the “Internet of Things”. You’ll learn about many of the options available to plug devices into connected intelligent systems, including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other custom wireless options. We’ll explore how sensor data from hardware devices from the field can be collected and routed through gateways using Machine-to-Machine (M2M) messaging, and stored in the cloud, where it can be consumed in real-time data visualization dashboards. The Internet of Things is full of opportunities for developers and this session is your best starting point to understand the big picture, and the possibilities.

Building for the Internet of Things – Part 1: Hardware & Sensors

Friday, March 20th, 2015 at 12:15 pm in

Connected, smart devices have become pervasive. These “Things” already outnumber more traditional computing devices and are set to surpass the 100 billion devices mark within a few short years. The Internet of Things (IoT) extends your reach as a software developer into the world of diverse hardware devices controlled by your code, and powered by the cloud. In this session we’ll explore the “Maker” or “Things” side of IoT with hardware boards like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Netduino, Intel Edison and others, and the various sensors and shields you can use to measure temperatures, capture user input via buttons, display data on micro displays and more fun electronic stuff. We’ll build our first simple electronic circuits using LEDs and push buttons, and then write embedded code to augment that circuit by deploying & running it on various microcontroller boards. Don’t fret if you’ve never done anything with hardware or electronics, this session will give you the guidance you need to get started.

Building Windows Universal XAML/C# Apps for Smartphones and Tablets

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 at 1:00 pm in

This session is your fast track into the wonderful new world of app development for Windows device. Come learn how your valuable C# skills now make you a hot mobile developer for smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. We’ll perform a quick lap around Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 and the new Windows Universal Apps, build our first app using XAML & C#, and debug it with Windows 8.1 and the Windows Phone Emulator. We’ll then explore the converged WinRT API services and features, such as touch input, accelerometers, Live Tiles, etc. We’ll also spend valuable time going over the new app model for Windows device apps, how to share code between phone and tablet, and how to build a converged UI in XAML for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone. Lastly we’ll go over the app packaging and how to submit your Universal apps to the Windows Store. The converged Windows Platform is more efficient and far-reaching than ever. Come learn how to build mobile apps for hundreds of millions of Windows device users.

Building Speech-enabled Mobile Apps with Cortana

Saturday, June 21st, 2014 at 12:00 pm in

Can you hear me now? Move over Siri, Cortana is the new star in town and with her comes an army of speech-enabled mobile applications on Windows Phone. Mobile applications are not always easy to work with due to the small screen and small on-screen keyboard. Using our voice is a natural form of communication amongst humans, and ever since 2001’s HAL9000 and Star Trek, we’ve been dreaming of computers who can converse with us. Or maybe you’re part of the new generation of Halo geeks dreaming of Cortana? Thanks to the new Microsoft SDKs for speech recognition and speech synthesis (aka text-to-speech), we are now several steps closer to this reality. This session explores the development techniques you can use to add speech recognition to your Windows Phone applications, including in-app commands, standard & custom grammars, and voice commands usable outside your app with Cortana. We’ll also see how your apps can respond to the user via speech synthesis, opening-up a new world of hands-free scenarios. This reality is here, you’ll see actual live demos with speech and you can now learn how to do it. Most of the demos target Windows Phone, but we’ll also cover some content for Windows Store, iOS and Android.

Build Your First Mobile App in 1 hour with Microsoft App Studio

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 at 1:30 pm in 222

Microsoft App Studio is an innovative new tool to design and build a starter app for Windows Phone without writing any code. Whether you’re a mobile development neophyte or a savvy developer filled with great ideas but not enough time to prototype them, App Studio can help you get started by building the core of your application using multiple page templates and data sources, such as RSS feeds, YouTube videos, Flickr photos, HTML content, custom collections and more. In this session, we’ll build a live & working Windows Phone app on the fly, exploring the various options of App Studio. We’ll then generate the source code and dive into Visual Studio to understand the various parts produced by App Studio and how to extend them. We’ll discuss how to add custom features to the starter app, turning our prototype into a real-world app. Lastly, we’ll go over what’s involved to get the app published, how the submission process works, and where to take your app from there. If you still haven’t published any mobile apps, it doesn’t get any easier than with App Studio. Come learn how to get from “Idea” to “Publish” in just a few hours.

The Great Mobile Debate: Native vs. Hybrid App Development

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 at 10:00 am in 222

It’s not easy being a mobile developer. iOS and Android dominate the market, Windows Phone is climbing into third place, and we’re not really sure if BlackBerry still matters. Do you focus on one platform or many? What size of the mobile population do you really want to reach? Each mobile platform comes with its own programming languages, SDKs, IDEs and application lifecycle & architecture. Are we really expected to learn all of this? Isn’t HTML5 supposed to be the Silver Bullet so we can finally write apps once and run them everywhere? This session will demystify all these questions, walking you through the modern mobile ecosystem, and explore your options as a developer. We’ll review the native story on each major platform, discuss the pros & cons of both mobile native and web development, cover some of the cross-platform solutions available to developers, and explore best practices and guidelines to insure a successful mobile strategy. Don’t just blindly pick a side or assume that “one size fits all”, this session covers one of the most hotly contested debates in modern IT. Come join us and be a part of the conversation.

From Prototype to the Store – How to Truly Finish a Windows Phone App

Saturday, May 11th, 2013 at 3:00 pm in 222

Windows Phone development is highly productive, relatively easy and fun. If you’re already a .NET developer, you can get up and running with the Windows Phone SDK pretty fast. Maybe you’ve already even built a prototype or two. Stuff runs. You deploy it to your phone. Ready to publish, right? Wrong. There’s a difference between a functional prototype and a final store-ready app. This session explores recommendations and best practices to turn your fledgling app into a real professional submissions. We’ll look at the user experience, the “About” page, tracking the update history, getting feedback from users, providing help, and even your iconography. We’ll also go over critical monetization steps such as supporting micro-transactions, in-app advertising, rate & review reminders and sharing your app. With hundreds of thousands of apps to compete with, you need to go above and beyond to impress your users. Come learn how to do it for a maximum impact.