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almost 8 years ago

Excellent Resources pre-Hack

Hey all,

Here's some great links and information to look at to prepare for the hack on Saturday :) Start thinking of app ideas!



Are you interested in using Microsoft Azure for your hack?  

Sign up for BizSpark here: and get free Azure usage. 

You'll register your own start-up, which you'll need to come up with a name for. You qualify as a startup because you're developing software products 

Stuck? Contact 


Using APIs:   

An application-programming interface (API) is a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing a webbased software application or web tool. A software company releases its API to the public so that other software developers can design products that are powered by its service. An API is a software-to-software interface, not a user interface. With APIs, applications talk to each other without any user knowledge or intervention.   

When you buy movie tickets online and enter your credit card information, the movie ticket website uses an API to send your credit card information to a remote application that verifies whether your information is correct. Once payment is confirmed, the remote application sends a response back to the movie ticket website saying it's OK to issue the tickets.  

As a user, you only see one interface—the movie ticket website—but behind the scenes, many applications are working together using APIs. This type of integration is called seamless, since the user never notices when software functions are handed from one application to another.  

An API resembles Software as a Service (SaaS), since software developers don't have to start from scratch every time they write a program. Instead of building one core application that tries to do everything—e-mail, billing, tracking, etcetera—the same application can contract out certain responsibilities to remote software that does it better.  


Free online training and certification  

Develop expertise designing and developing fast and fluid Windows apps and Windows Phone apps. Whether you are leveraging your existing web programming skills in JavaScript and HTML5 or you are a .NET developer interested in C# and XAML, this application development training covers the skills and tools used to build for the desktop, devices and the cloud. Visit the Microsoft Virtual Academy:  



A storyboard is a technique for illustrating an interaction between a person and a product (or multiple people and multiple products) in narrative format, which includes a series of drawings, sketches, or pictures and sometimes words that tell a story.  

Designers can create storyboards to specify how a user interface changes in reaction to users' actions and to show things that are external to the system. Good storyboards allow design teams to get a feel for the flow of users' experiences. They are generally not very detailed and use the minimum amount of detail required to get key points about the big picture across. An easy way to kick off your storyboarding is by using Microsoft PowerPoint:   


Creating user interfaces   

When creating applications with rich user interfaces, the user interface can be separated from the application's functionality. This makes it possible to implement the functionality separately from the user-interface, which makes to code clearer and easier to maintain. Moreover, the user-interface description can be stored in a separate file (based on the XML format) that can be edited by user-interface designers independently from developers using tools such as Expression Blend.