A renovated MSDN site on Microsoft dot com has become the repository of a lot of promotional content targeted to the developer community. The old MSDN was packed with technical information, a lot of knowledge base information, and even training. But few would label its content promotional.
The new MSDN still offers a voluminous set of technical training content, a lot of which is packaged in video format and colored with humor. But some of the content even takes on more of what one might refer to as a business look and feel. A good example of this effort can be found in a short, 5 minute video depicting one developer’s success building a computer game for PCs and windows phones. So anyone following Microsoft may want to take a look at this effort, which is titled One Dev Story: The developer behind Roman Empire. The reason for watching the video is to gain first hand information about just how Microsoft is going about the task of attracting more interest from the developer community to, ostensibly, fill the enormous gap between solutions available for Windows 8.1 and Android and iPhone (iOS) competitors.
The developer is Jacek Ciereszko, and the app is “Roman Empire”, which is a computer game. The video content is largely targeted to developers, but not excessively so. For example, Ciereszko mentions he wrote the game in C# with the Xamarin tool kit, but only after the first one and a half minutes of the entire five minute presentation.
What isn’t included in the video, and what would, perhaps, help Microsoft reach more of the developers it is seeking, is much of a business case for the app. Rather, the video content presents Ciereszko’s apparently delightful experience building the game (he jokes about how he had to gain his wife’s permission to allocate weekend time to build the game), in what this writer found to be an almost unbelievable manner.
Developers in 2014 are writing apps to make money. The video would have been more compelling had some content been included about the success of this game. True, Ciereszko does mention “over a million downloads”, but nothing is made about this point beyond noting his sense of satisfaction knowing so many people had tried his game. But, if Android and iOS developers are to be won over, it would certainly make sense to add some business beef to the developer motion.
Ira Michael Blonder
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