Photo - (centre) Dinesh Nair, Director of Developer and Platform Evangelism for Microsoft Malaysia, flanked by the winners during the media Q&A session.
More than 400 students and software developers have ensured Microsoft Malaysia's software marathon, called WOWZAPP 2012, goes into the Malaysia Book of Records, said the technology solutions giant.
Microsoft Malaysia's developer and platform evangelist lead, Dinesh Nair, said seven outstanding local software developers and their teams have been noted for their innovative software development skills at an awards ceremony.
"The award winners were among the 413 students and software developers who participated in the largest-ever software development marathon in Malaysia, at the Microsoft WOWZAPP 2012 Hackathon for Windows held in November 2012 at Multimedia University in Cyberjaya," said Nair.
"We are proud of the tremendous response from the local software development community to WOWZAPP Malaysia 2012," said Nair. "It shows great promise and enthusiasm for the Windows 8 platform - as we saw many first-time Windows developers join us for this event and bring their creative ideas to life."
"In our 20 years of transforming Malaysia together, we are thrilled to see the continued momentum as local developers take up the challenge to develop even more innovative apps for Windows 8," he said. "This event is one of the many opportunities we have in the pipeline to demonstrate our continued commitment to support local software development on all fronts."
"There will be a further initiative for the local software development community following WOWZAPP, in the form of the Asian Development Bank's 'AppsForAsia' event happening soon," added Nair. "AppsForAsia will harness the creative power of local software developers to address the economic, social and commercial needs of an ecosystem of Asian governments, NGOs, enterprises, SMBs and local communities, through software development," added Dinesh.
WOWZAPP Malaysia 2012 was part of the WOWZAPP 2012 Worldwide Hackathon held simultaneously in more than 30 locations worldwide from 9-11 November 2012 for 32 hours straight. Students and other independent software developers across countries such as India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Chile and Greece worked in teams to develop apps that were published and made available for download in the Windows Store.
Technology embraces entrepreneurism
"Technology today provides one of the best platforms to embrace entrepreneurism and innovation, which also contributes to nation-building," said Dato' Saiffuddin Abdullah, deputy minister from the ministry of Higher Education, during the event. "Malaysia's aspirations to become a developed nation with a thriving high-income economy can be realised when we are willing to embrace a culture of dreaming up ideas and inventions, encourage risk-taking, and acknowledge that even failure is simply part of the creative process. The creativity, passion and tenacity I have seen in the WOWZAPP Malaysia 2012 participants are certainly a good sign for Malaysia's future."
Participants were provided with the resources to build their apps, such as Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8 and a free Windows Store registration code, both available through DreamSpark, a Microsoft Program that supports technical education by providing access to Microsoft software for learning, teaching and research purposes, said Microsoft's Nair.
"Participants were able to test their apps, while developer experts and trainers from Microsoft were available to answer questions and guide them each step of the way," he said. "Participants who were new to the platform were able to gain valuable practical experience and develop their skills in coding apps, while seasoned developers enhanced their professional skill-sets; exchanging knowledge and experiences.
"At the end of the event, 93 teams had made sufficient progress with their apps to be able to submit 94 apps for consideration for the Windows Store. Microsoft is working together with the successful app developers to submit their apps to be published and made available later for download through the Windows Store."
"This has been an amazing experience for me to be able to learn new skills, network and exchange ideas with other software developers. WOWZAPP has provided me with access to resources and knowledge that will certainly help me to innovate and explore the possibilities in software development today and in the future," said Lim Shang Yi, the overall winner of WOWZAPP 2012 Malaysia 2012 with his social networking app Food with Friends.
"As a developer, I find that Microsoft does a great job in creating cool new tools especially Visual Studio in helping developers create more content rather than spending time on developing more codes just for some content," added Shang Yi.
"This is the first time we developed an app for Windows 8 and we found the experience really easy. There was ever-ready support from the Microsoft team on the ground to help guide us," said John Joel Saguit, developer of the Meme Rock Band 2 app, winner of the Best of Show (Professional) Application category.
"Developing on the Windows 8 platform was fairly easy compared to other platforms. The resources and assistance made available to us during the Hackathon really helped us," said Tham Cheng Bin, developer of the Tap Tap Color app, winner of the Most Fun Application category.
"WOWZAPP 2012 is a great place to meet and brainstorm with students, startups and developers whilst providing an opportunity to combine technology with entrepreneurship," said Kee Yong Zheng, one of the winners for his creative app for the Secret Recipe lifestyle café chain.
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