With my Imagine Cup entry submitted, I thought that I would write a blog post to reflect on what I have learned from the experience.
My entry was a Windows Phone 8 health application taking advantage of the latest features in the hardware of the devices and the latest additions in the SDK including data transfer over Bluetooth. I also enhanced the application with the use of Windows Azure, a cloud based Microsoft platform which I used for Mobile Services and Storage. The service allows my Windows Phone application to store and retrieve data from the Windows Azure SQL service. As well as the mobile application and cloud service, I also implemented a .NET Gadgeteer project which included 5 modules (the main board, power module, button, Bluetooth module and a pulse oximeter). Together, this device allows the user of the application to record their pulse and blood oxygen levels and transfer the data via Bluetooth to the application. This information is then stored periodically within the application for the exercises the user is performing and when completed, will synchronise the local data with Windows Azure.
I believe that with all the effort put into creating this application, it has been one of the best applications I have ever developed for the platform. The development has made me work much closer with the SDK and UI design allowing me to create a better application. I won’t claim that I am a graphic designer and I also won’t claim that my design skills are amazing, but the effort put into the design of the application was as much as I put into the code.
Unfortunately, working at SEED Software hasn’t given me a lot of time to develop my own projects. Although I do have the weekends and after work, I have taken on a lot of projects this year including the redevelopment and maintenance of The Hullfire and HUUTV websites. Included in the development of The Hullfire’s website is a Facebook application which is still in development. I have also developed Windows Phone and Windows 8 applications for The Hullfire. As well as these mobile applications, I have also been working on my own Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps and games, and porting my existing applications from Windows Phone to Windows 8.
To make sure that I finished my Imagine Cup project, I took off the three-week holiday for Easter that I would normally get as a student. I did take this break not just for the development of the application but also to spend some time relaxing. I took a week off to go home to Skegness and see my parents and spend time together with my girlfriend.
In between me slacking however, I managed to finish the entry for Imagine Cup in time. It took some time to get the videos ready but it did get finished and submitted.
I don’t regret entering the Imagine Cup competition. For me, this was probably just a “test run” at the competition. Do I believe that my application is worthy of a place in the finals for the competition? Well I suppose that is up to the judges. I do believe that the application is something great and would be amazing if it got recognition. No matter what the outcome of the entry in this competition, I will be entering again next year and with getting back to work, I will hopefully have a lot more time to work on it to perfect it well in advance of the deadline.
If you are considering entering the Imagine Cup competition, don’t think about it. Just do it. If you have an amazing idea in mind for an application that you think is worthy in one of the categories, then get your team together and bring that idea to life.
I have become a better developer from the experience and am glad that I took part.
If you want to take part in the Imagine Cup competition, keep a look out on the website for more information after this year’s competition has finished.