Phone a Friend (MVP and Ambassadors)The plan is to start out with "How to Begin". This was no easy task as beginning is always the most difficult part. When I first start something new that I have not done before I go to my friend and mentor Jan Hannemann, your friendly neighbourhood Nokia Developer Ambassador and fellow Microsoft MVP. One of the topics he is VERY strong on is the MVVM pattern he is definitely a go-to guy in that area. I've done it before haven't really focused on it until now. You should visit his blog (http://janhannemann.wordpress.com/) if you want some detailed info yourself or just contact him. He's always happy to help. That goes for pretty much any Microsoft MVP I've ever met.
Ask the Audience (Microsoft and it's forums)While there are many similarities to developing for Windows Phone with Silverlight there are differences. This old dog is constantly learning new tricks. On the Windows 8.1 side of the equation it actually works out pretty similarly. However Microsoft has introduced quite a number of new features into the Universal App model, most of which are huge time savers for developers like me. I used to have to either use 3rd party controls or brute force my own solution. Microsoft has provided lots of samples to help you out. Information in places like Stack Overflow is still pretty thin as the platform is still fairly new. It will grow. The sample pack currently contains at least 65 different Universal App samples covering everything from File Access to Geolocation to some Direct 3D gaming stuff. Something for everybody.
Microsoft's Universal App Samples: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/windowsapps/Universal-Windows-app-cb3248c3
You can also ask the audience by visiting Microsoft's developer forums. They have endless answers to questions and the nice part is many experts are constantly monitoring the forums and will find you the answer you need if nobody else has asked it before. I found more than a few answers in there.
50/50 (Visual Studio/Blend)Do you use Blend? Do you even know it's included in Visual Studio? I must confess at first I didn't use it much purely from an ignorance point of view. But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE learn what it can do and get on with it. It will make you better, it will make your apps better and it will make you
Because Universal Apps are so knew there aren't the myriad of 3rd party controls so you need to make the ones provided work for you. There are lots of really cool controls that do amazing things. You don't need that pesky Windows Phone Toolkit anymore. It's all mostly included now.
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