Developers: Keith Patton talks Windows Phone 7

[box type=”info”]This is one of a series of sponsored blog posts highlighting New Zealand companies working with cutting-edge Microsoft technology. If you’re interested in Windows Phone 7 development, you should download the free Windows Phone Developer Tools and start building your own Windows Phone application.[/box]
I’m not kidding when I say that Keith Patton from Marker is one of the top Windows Phone 7 developers in New Zealand. He’s behind  a couple of the most popular apps in the New Zealand marketplace, and one of the top games worldwide. The list of applications he and Marker have created is stupendous in terms of quality:

  • Alphajax: currently one of the top games worldwide, with rave reviews.
  • Yellow: a business and personal directory search application, with location and maps integration.
  • Air New Zealand Mpass: an application to list your Air New Zealand bookings, including on-screen barcode display for self-service check-in.

“Developing for Windows Phone 7 was one of the most enjoyable phases of my development career”

I think Keith sums it up best when he said that developing for Windows Phone 7 was “probably one of the most enjoyable phases of my development career”. One of his gems of advice is that coding for Windows Phone 7 should “feel like fun”. If it doesn’t, you’re probably doing it wrong!

Keith and I first met in Las Vegas, where we traveled to the MIX conference in 2010 to learn about the Windows Phone 7 developer tools. Since then, he’s been coding away, learning the best development techniques, and fine-tuning his applications. I took some time to sit down with Keith and talk about these applications, and his experience creating them.

This interview is a bit more of a deep-dive than the previous interviews: Keith describes the development techniques and frameworks he uses to create his apps. There’s some real gems of information in there, including Keith’s overview of Caliburn Micro, dependency injection (shout-out to MicroIOC), and more. We also talk a little bit about performance techniques and workarounds. So if you’re starting or experienced in Windows Phone 7 development, it’s worth watching. You can also pick up some of Keith’s tips and tricks from the Marker Blog.

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