Here’s a slightly different approach. Read Omid’s journey to Windows Phone development. He started really as an “infrastructure” guy/student but now he is both – and having fun.
I'm Omid Raghimi (@raghimi, About.Me). I'm currently an International computer Science(Network Communications) Student at Kingston University. I came from Iran to study my course in the UK. I also have a MCTS (Windows 7) certificate from Microsoft. I've been through many Microsoft Technologies from MS DOS 6.0 to Managing Forefront 2010. I learned how to troubleshoot windows 98 by myself and after that upgraded myself to Windows XP and after years to Windows 7. My abilities rely mostly on Microsoft Windows Server and related tools and technologies to design and manage Microsoft Networks. Actually, the biggest job I've ever done was designing and implementing a 50 client Domain network with MS Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 by myself and also designing security policies and implementing security using MS Forefront 2010 for that network.
About me as a developer; first started programming in Visual Basic at the age of 14. I only learned some simple and basic parts of Visual Basic and Borland Delphi and with this background I started understanding HTML, PHP, xml and some more.
With this background, let me tell you about My First experience developing app for phones...
At the beginning of studying computer Science in London and after limitations in my country I was introduced to a Microsoft Introduction Lecture over the Imagine Cup. Although it was mostly about Imagine Cup, they talked about a Windows Phone camp in the uni which was coming up. So this was the time which I heard some news over updated Windows Phone. They gave us a link to more information over the Windows Phone camp which lead me to the App Hub. App Hub gave me lots of information over the new Windows Phone and as I had just learned how to write code in Java (simple principles) at the beginning of my course I become curious to write code for Windows Phone. So I started going through the tutorials which were available at App Hub. I downloaded Visual Studio from DreamSpark which was great and free. DreamSpark lets student download software they need which is a great benefit. It was awesome having both a Graphic Design Software (Microsoft Expression Blend) and coding software (Visual Studio) - both good for programmers and designers. I came up with the idea of creating an app which sends polls through SMS with the help of my friend. I started to build my first app with the big help of Microsoft MSDN. It was so much fun because actually they have made an introduction for almost every part. So I just made the app in a day by using both Visual Studio and Expression Blend and went to the Microsoft Phone Camp in my Uni. I talked to The Microsoft Guy about the App and he came up to my laptop and tested it, he asked me to submit it online and after a minute he gave me a Samsung Windows Phone. So the First Easy coding app brought me a Windows Phone. The App made me to upgrade my HTC VIVA touch (windows 5.1 OS) to a Samsung Windows Phone 7.5.
I called the App QSMS and Published it to the Marketplace so easily. It was my first time developing for mobile phones and it was so easy and fast learning how to code. I have plan to develop and publish more useful and free apps to the marketplace and of course the first step would be upgrading QSMS to be able to track and rate the polls.
After my app published, I received an email regarding a point base reward system from Microsoft so every time I develop and publish an App I will get rewarded which is so great.
So I suggest you take a look at the facilities that Microsoft has provided for Students at DreamSpark and if you are thinking about how to code for the first time just take a look at the easy tutorials. You cannot imagine how easy this is. I've always hated to develop for mobile platforms from old platforms like Symbian to new ones like Apple iOS. The reason was that I never found a good help for how to start. No easy step to step guides, no simple examples and so on but when I came up to Microsoft support for Windows phone apps! Man the website really gave me anything I wanted to complete, run and code my Idea for an App. that became the reason for me to consider myself as a developer of Microsoft's Windows Phone.
Trust me! Try it, you will be thrilled.
This was the best experience in my IT life.