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Part 1 - Series Introduction

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Hello, and welcome to this series on Windows Phone 8.1 development for Absolute Beginners. My name is Bob Tabor, and for the past 12 years I've created screen cast training like this for C#, .NET, Visual Studio and more. This is the third time I've been invited by Channel9 and the Windows Phone Developer Platform team to create this series.

Based on what we've learned from the previous two editions of this series, we've put together lessons focused on a gentle introduction for beginners - so if you're already an experienced developer, you may find that I go a bit slower. There are probably better resources available for you on Channel9 and on MSDN. If you're just getting started, this series is for you. In this series, we'll start by learning about XAML, the declarative language used for laying out the user interface of Phone apps, as well as the Phone's API, the specific classes and methods you can call to interact with the phone's hardware capabilities and the tools in Visual Studio that make your job easier.

This time around, I'm focusing especially on the pre-built page and project templates available in Visual Studio to help you become productive quickly. The better you understand these templates and what they do, not only will you see basic implementations of important phone app features, but you'll also be equipped to leverage these templates to build your own cool apps.

We'll be building several apps in this series — my aim is to show you how to combine several ideas we discuss into a full-fledged app. I'll event demonstrate how to build Universal apps. In fact, almost everything you learn in this series will apply to building BOTH Phone and Windows Store apps. You can develop one code base and with a few tweaks to the user interface to account for the differences in the form factors and hardware capabilities, you can sell your app in two stores instead of just one.

My goal for this series is to give you the definitive head start — this will not be the only resource, the only instructional video series you'll ever need to build Phone and Windows apps. However, it will help you get you up to speed as quickly as possible so that you can move on to even more advanced ideas that dive deeper into the Phone's hardware.

Before you begin, these are really the only requirements prior to beginning this series: First, that you already know C#. In fact, this series assumes that you finished my Absolute Beginners for C# Fundamentals series on Microsoft Virtual Academy.   If you're not familiar with C# already, please put this Phone series on the back burner for a day or two and watch that series first.

The second requirement is that you have the tooling installed in Visual Studio for the Phone 8.1. In other words, you should already be able to go to File > New Project > Templates > Visual C# > Store Apps > Windows Phone Apps and see all of the project templates. If you do not have this installed, that is your first step. Unfortunately, I can't help you with this. There are too many versions and editions of Visual Studio and too many potential issues that arise during installation. If you need help, I would recommend that you visit:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/forums

and make sure you ask your question in Windows Phone Development: Tools for Windows Phone development.

If you have any questions specifically about what I talk about in this series, I'd be glad to answer your questions or help you if I can. There's a comments area beneath every video on Channel9 and I try to keep up with the comments. Also, you can tweet to me on Twitter @bobtabor and I'll help if I can. Please keep in mind ... you may be asking months or even years after I recorded a given video, so please try to be as descriptive as possible. Include the video title and the exact time marker in the video to help me help you.

Developing apps for the phone is a lot of fun and pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Make sure you pause and rewind the videos. Most importantly: follow along writing the code that I write to make sure these ideas get cemented in your mind. Following along and writing code is the best way to learn. I also will make the source code and the assets I use - icons, pictures, videos, audio files - so that you can check your work against mine.

Ok, so let's get started. We'll see you in the next lesson.

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