An Interview with WP7 Developer Darren Parkinson

1)Have you developed Apps for any other platforms before? If Yes What are they?

I’ve mostly developed apps for internal business use.  Some examples are: an Expenses tracker which exported to our standard format for Nokia Symbian devices and Web based apps for Blackberry and iPhone that integrate with our internal systems.  Development isn’t really my day job, so mostly the things I develop are to improve my everyday life at work, which I can then share with the rest of the team.

2)Why did you choose WP7 as a platform of your choice?

I’ve been following Silverlight for some time and the technologies of choice for most things I work on (where appropriate) are C# and Silverlight, so I thought I would take a look at the WP7 SDK and have a go at developing something for my current itch.  I think the team around Silverlight are great and provide a fantastic resource for learning — they are very inspirational.  People like John Papa with Silverlight TV and the great guests he has from the wider team on specific topics, as well as Adam Kinney, Jesse Liberty, Scott Guthrie, Scott Hanselman — I could go on…

3)Which one do you think as the single most feature you liked in WP7?

I really like the minimalist UI and the consistency, but using Silverlight as the development platform provides so much possibility.  Personally, I think it’s a much easier platform to learn than some of the competition and the cost of entry is much lower too.

4)Are you satisfied with WP7 Platform development tools?

Absolutely.  Also, I think they’ve made a superb decision in making the development tools free.  It’s a great resource for anyone wanting to learn app development.

5)What are the Apps you are developing now in WP7?Details on the Apps?

I’m really just experimenting with the SDK at this point, but something I was working on was an application for the Cycle Scheme in London, something that can be easily used whilst sitting on a cycle.  I’ve used apps on a competitive platform and they are mostly pretty difficult to use on the go. 

6)In what way Microsoft can improve their WP7 or What does WP7 lacks from?

At the moment, my understanding is that it won’t be possible to deploy applications into the Enterprise, bypassing the marketplace, which will be a bit of a stumbling block — hopefully this is a capability they’ll release in the future along with the other obvious things that have already been widely commented on. 

I also hope that software updates are provided regularly and don’t take ages for mobile operators/handset manufacturers to allow.  My experience with Windows Mobile was that a new release would be available but if the handset provider or the operator didn’t make it available, there was nothing you could do — this also seems to be a problem for Android too.  Hopefully, with Microsoft prescribing the hardware platform to a certain degree, this won’t be a problem.

7)Future Plans of you?

Once everything is officially released I may continue development on the Cycle Hire application and release it to the marketplace, but it really depends on whether I can get my hands on an actual device that I like.  Outside of that, I haven’t thought of any other apps that I’d develop, but they’d be mostly "data snacking" apps rather than games or anything I think.

Apart from these questions, Other things you want to share with the community?

I hope that WP7 turns out to be the great platform I want it to be and that we can all show what a great community we are part of.

Thanks Darren for sharing with us. Expecting more WP7 from you in the marketplace..

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