Interview at Windows Phone 7 Lab (wp7lab)

5 minute read

Liviu Arsene, the co-founder of Windows Phone 7 Lab (wp7lab),  wrote to me with high enthusiasm to know more about my applications, my views on WP7 SDK, my further app releases, my interests and a lot more.  The mail exchange followed by a short call before he posted my thoughts on the website.

This experience was one-of-its-own kind.  To develop applications is one aspect of being a developer, to publish applications is another, to contribute via blogs (like this site does) is a different altitude in itself.  But to get into a discussion with an equally interesting personality on a topic like Windows Phone development - yes, it has its own flavor!

So the exchange of mails further translated into an official release as an interview, which you can find below

Original Source:

Here you have it folks, a new developer interview with the developer of Kids Doodle,Puneet Ghanshani. In case you missed Kids Doodle Free as it was launched earlier this month, give it a try and then you’ll understand why we were so eager in contacting Puneet for an exclusive interview with our team.

As usual, we aimed a couple of questions at how the WP7 development process took place and where did he get the inspiration for his app. Read through the interview below and you’ll get to know more about Puneet Ghanshani and his work. Also, we’d like to officially thank Puneet for taking the time and agreeing to do the interview.

1. We’re definitely eager in learning more about you, so what can you tell us about you and what you do for a living?

I am a passionate developer in Microsoft technologies. I got an early exposure to this ecosystem at an age of 5 when 8088-processors used to run on MS-DOS operating systems and display was on green monitors. I started developing small applications with the help of programming languages like QuickBasic, Clipper, C, and C++ until I dirtied my hands under the bonnets of Visual Basic and Microsoft .NET stack.

Seeing .NET stack as a propellant of future technologies, I chalked out my career path on Winforms, SharePoint, and Silverlight; and later on, on Windows Phone development. My bread and butter though come from a leading software consulting and solutions organization, where I have been getting opportunities to work on Microsoft technologies for the last 5 years.

2. How did you end up coding WP7 software? What was so appealing about this new development platform?

I have been developing applications. Simultaneously I have been evaluating solutions providers on RIA platform and have been fascinated by the integration of a rich UX platform with WCF, Comet and MOM. With Windows mobile platform adopting XAML and Silverlight as the stack, I took up designing and developing applications for mobile as my hobby.

The most appealing aspect of this new development is that it unifies the language of development for Winform, Web and Mobile platforms, leverages on hardware acceleration and delivers a rich-user experience which is better than many others, and above all – its Microsoft’s baby! Yes, Microsoft is my first love!

3. Kids Doodle is definitely something that’s appealing to both children and grownups. How did you come up with the idea?

Well, there is a small kid in every person who loves scribbling, drawing, sketching when one is speaking over phone, when meetings seem long and boring, and when one is in deep thoughts! So, in situations such as these if you have a phone as cool as WP7 handy, doodling, sharing and tweeting would always be fun! So why not have an application that people of all ages would love. So that’s how an idea of Kids Doodle got rooted in my mind, and it took a firm shape from there.

4. Are you planning on releasing any new games or apps? Can you give us a clue as to what you’re working on next?

Yes, an IdeaException() has been thrown and caught in my mind! (laugh) I am working on some innovative ideas and they are taking a concrete shape. So you can expect a much enhanced professional version of the widely used moneyManager app that I developed some time ago and is being used by many, plus some mind-games, and some surprise releases as well.

5. Have you considered making a living out of developing WP7 apps and maybe starting a business for this sole purpose?

No, not yet. I am yet to evaluate that option. With only 6 applications in the market, I would say, my journey has just begun.

6. How would you rate the WP7 SDK? Are there any tools missing/needed that could improve or speed up the development process?

Microsoft has done a very good job really, especially, with the “Mango” version of SDK. However, the SDK still does not offer all features of WM6.5 SDKs. A radical shift of Windows Phone from being a complete “business” phone to just a “consumer” phone is a little difficult to digest. Had the APIs supported more WM6.5 functionalities, I would have no reservations in saying that Windows Phone would have leapfrogged the user base in all segments.

As far as tools are concerned I am still waiting for a tool that simulates hardware conditions for multiple devices. That would ease testing & bring better performing applications.

7. We’ve noticed that developers have issues with promoting their apps while you on the other hand have managed to get some really good media spotlight? What’s the secret?

There is no secret to application promotion. One should have pulse of the user’s needs, rather than their requirements. That is crossing half the journey. And, if you have gauged the market well & your users are happy, you have sailed the remaining half of the journey. Use the best tools available in market, take feedback from your friends, relatives and users very seriously, particularly one which is shows your application in poor light, and all the time think of bringing something new and useful. There should always be something interesting for which users await an application update. This itself will result in your application getting media spotlight, sort of naturally– you will not have to do that. That’s the mantra I believe in! I think making users happy is the secret.

8. Is there any message or piece of advice (when it comes to developing WP7 apps) that you would like to share with our readers?

It is tough to be a designer, developer, tester and a user at the same time. Being a ‘user’ of your own application is toughest, sometimes fatal if you are not a ruthless critic of your own application. So if you are an individual developer, like me, you should manage frequent role changes very well, and be your own critic! Finally, seek review from your dear ones before you launch an application in the market. My dad and my wife have been my testers and challengers, and my first users every time!


So yes, there is more to remain tuned on this website - blogs, applications, and announcements!