September 30, 2015 10:07 am

Windows 10 development for absolute beginners

The absolute beginners series is back for Windows 10.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro dev or just starting out, there’s valuable content for everyone.  If you’re looking for a faster pace content that dives deep, the Developer’s Guide to Windows 10 series may be for you.  The only thing that the absolute beginners series assumes is that participants understand the basic language fundamentals of C#; if you don’t have this covered, you should take a look at the C# Fundamental series first.

Your guide through the series, Bob Tabor from, walks you through how to create Windows 10 apps on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) – meaning you’ll gain access to all the Windows 10 screens: PCs, phones, tablets, and even on a Raspberry Pi, HoloLens, and Xbox.  Bob will challenge you with exercises, help you build a reference sheet for future reference, and explain the techniques and concepts being used along the way in a simple, friendly manner.  The series source code for each video is at

The curriculum is laid out around in two major parts. The first part will teach you the skills to build basic apps.  The second part you’ll create of four separate full blown apps: soundboard, weather, an album cover matching game and a hero explorer app. We recommend those new to the platform start at the beginning.  But for those already familiar, here are direct links to the sections you are likely to find most helpful.

  1. Soundboard (Video 49) This first sample app plays funny sounds when the user taps a given tile.  The UWP Soundboard app will allow us to create an app allowing the user to filter the sounds by category, a search feature to find a sound quickly, databinding, working with the media element, drag and drop when using the app in desktop, and the process of submitting the app to the Windows Store.
  2. Weather (Video 57) This second sample app focuses on making calls to external web services to retrieve data from a third-party web service, deserializing the JSON returned from the call into an object graph of classes generated by an online tool, working with Location services, adding capabilities to apps, debugging location using the Phone Emulator’s map and location feature, and more.
  3. Album Cover Match Game (Video 63) This third example demonstrates how to access known folders like documents, images and music.  The application traverses a folder structure to find all .mp3 files, reads the meta data about each file including the album art, and randomly chooses files to play.  The example makes extensive use of ObservableCollection<T>, databinding and data templates.  This app demonstrates the use of a storyboard used to stop and start music and perform the count down, game logic and scoring, advanced use of the Progress Bar and more.
  4. Hero Explorer (Video 71) The final example allows the user to explore Marvel Comic’s universe of characters via their programmatic API.  The application makes calls by create an MD5 hash of a public and private key as well as a timestamp to authenticate the call.  The app will deserialize JSON data into an object graph of classes, shows how to overcome inevitable failed calls to web services through the use of exception handling, async, await and Task, and makes extensive use of ObservableCollection<T> to allow results to stream into view.  Finally, the example demonstrates how easy it is to include Cortana integration into your app.

We hope you enjoy the series and if you are looking for examples on how to do certain tasks, please reach out to us via the comments or @WindowsDev.

Updated September 30, 2015 11:40 am

Join the conversation

  1. Why does MSFT keep pushing this “metro app” agenda?

    Nobody likes these “metro apps”. So much resource wasted on trying to make these things work…

    General public don’t want them. Businesses don’t want them. Windows enthusiasts don’t want them.

    Just drop the idea, Microsoft.

    “Metro apps” didn’t catch on in Windows 8. What makes MSFT think they will catch on in Windows 10?

    They won’t, simple as that.

    MSFT should realize that “metro apps” are actually the reason why many businesses and governments are sticking to Windows 7 until the last second of support. It’s easy to use, “app-free”, looks great (AERO looks fantastic, to this day), and the user has much greater freedom in his/her OS than in Windows 10.

    • Ah what a wonderful benefit to the population at large to have such a wonderful comment that is made without the slightest amount of facts listed to back up the claims.

      What might not be for you doesn’t mean it is not for others. I thought the fan-boy bashing of different OSes made by different companies was a thing of the past. You know under the title of “This is old and boring”.

      It is good anytime the human population gets a chance to enable a higher level of education even when it is at the basic level. The must be a constant push to continue the higher learning of all of us on this planet.

      In many ways this effort will be what one day may save ourselves from an extinction. I am glad Microsoft is doing such a useful thing for computer education and hopefully other companies will jump on that bandwagon. If you think about it how much easier will it be for the general population world over to adapt to newer technology if they get a good exposer via education.

      I don’t care what OS it is, what coding language it is. Help the people to learn and the future of life has no choice but to be better for all.

      • Considering that Win 8 has been out since the end of 2012 though it has never reached half of Win 7 base – and since 10 is starting out just as abysimal, amusing since it’s a free POS OS. Winblows idiocy speaks louder than their NT server stats… smh. Like why even bother…. oh right it’s Winblows and they will push anything and everything as long as it’s full of security holes and the dupes keep forking over cash to crooks.

        BTW – “genius” microsalt is just copying decades of open source initatives with their “education”… which, again, is neither new nor groundbreaking. Sort of like those flat “metro apps”.

    • Wtf are you talking about?!

      I love “Metro” apps. I suppose you mean uwp apps.
      I just started playing asphalt 8 and halo something from the winstore and they work with a keyboard and mouse by default when installed on the PC.

      I love the tiles (is that what you call “metro”). I have loved from day one of wp7. And they can only get even better.

      Businesses and governments are sticking with windows 7 because that’s just how they roll. They are not gonna switch unless they have to. As long as windows 7 is still supported, why would they change?!
      Stop repeating everything you read on 9gag!

      I love 9gag.

    • This is the most idiotic response ever. EVER.

      I love Windows 7, absolutely hate Windows 8 and it techs, but absolutely loved Windows 10.

      With Windows 10, I can develop in one platform and target all platform. By all I mean ALL. UWP, C# and .NET is what I’m sold.

  2. Not very Absolute Beginner when you have to come in already knowing basics of programming…

    • I would say that is the lowest level you would want a person to be considered an Absolute Beginner is at least reading about what code language is. It helps the person that may have interest in coding to understand that effort will be required to continue on the journey of coding.

      If they don’t have basic knowledge of coding language there is a high probability that the person won’t keep interest. Just consider the requirement an aid to help those who are curious to understand what they are getting into before they commit time to it.

    • Tom, we learned from the first version from Windows Phone 7 that including if statements or while statments cause you to have to reteach all that material when you want to do another absolute beginner series such as Azure or IoT. By separating it into a different series, we only have to record it once (and update as needed) instead of every series. Think of it as a best code practice, DRY: don’t repeat yourself 🙂

  3. When I first started with Msft I was listing code samples on multi-node BBSes.
    No matter what else has changed I must say having public support and samples has indeed come a long way.

  4. Great series – but I would need this for Javascript/HTML/CSS.
    Will this come here also or is it already available ?
    Regards Martin Klein

  5. ps:: this will be a cross platform game, able to be played in any browser,not just windows, mac, ios, android, mobile os, Linux, even blackberry if still around. any help. marvin.

  6. ps: also for not just windows, but for mac, ios, android, Linux, etc. so any good resources. using a screen reader jaws for windows from on a Toshiba satellite c-50-a laptop and using windows 10 64 bit pro. marvin from Adelaide, Australia.

  7. Disappointing that it’s only in C#! What’s wrong with VB? Who need all those curly braces and semi colons anyway? As for case sensitivity – I’m currently sitting as a desk and it doesn’t matter whether I spell it DESK, desk or Desk, it’s still a $%&^¬@~ desk!

    • Creating the series is a large undertaking. This was being worked on for months. Nothing is wrong with VB (or C++, or JavaScript/HTML). We picked c# for this series. We 100% can do a series in VB and HTML and in C++ if there is demand.

      For casing, DESK could imply acronym and Desk could imply brand name or a person’s name. It is just something that comes with certain languages 🙂 Just like 0 versus 1 index base or braces or many many other quirks in different language.

  8. VB.NET and C# are easily interoperable and failing that, there plenty of free tools on the web that translate one to the other. In fact, it’s a good practical exercise that will help you to learn C#, which is ultimately the better of the two languages depending on what sort of applications you are developing. I have to admit, though, C# case sensitivity is a bit of a pain.

  9. This is an excellent opportunity for people who want to learn about programming and application development. Windows 10 marks the beginning of a long period of stabilisation in both the platform itself and the tools and libraries for developing on that platform. Looking back over the last 10-15 years it was one API, Framework or Library revision after the other. These technologies, like DirectX, .NET Framework and other hands-on components have matured to the point where any effort you invest will not prove to be a wasted endeavour in the near future.