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This post is long overdue.

Over the past year and a bit, Sela has built five(!) Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC) courses for the newest and most strategic Microsoft technologies: the Windows Store and Windows Azure. I am extremely proud to have been part of this effort along with the rest of the team at Sela, so many of whom were involved in this massive project.

All of these courses are 5-day, instructor-led, lab-intensive, demo-rich courses. They are all designed to prepare you for their matching certification exams, but more importantly, when you finish these courses, you should be able to hit the ground running. We used real-world examples for the demos and the labs. The advanced Windows Store app development courses (20482 and 20485) and the Windows Azure course (20487) were built in tandem, to emulate real, modern, client/server/cloud apps: 20482 and 20485’s server is the server app built for 20487, and 20487’s client is the 20485 client app.

It took a tremendous amount of work and effort to synchronize all these projects, each with its own goals and milestones, but it all paid off amazingly well, if I do say so myself. I participated in all of these projects, more in some and less in others.

Essentials of Developing Windows Store Apps

These courses teach you how to build Windows Store apps from scratch. They covers all the basics, including the Windows Store app lifecycle, how to build single-page apps with navigation and immersive layouts, how to work with files, contracts, tiles, notifications, and touch, how to deploy your your apps to the Windows Store, and much, much more.

The C# course (20484) adds C#-specific content, such as XAML basics and layouts and custom controls. The JavaScript course (20481) also brings you up to speed on HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, covers client-side MVVM with JavaScript, introduces the special WinJS library that bridges the gap with C# apps.

Advanced Windows Store App Development

These courses dig deeper than the essentials courses to teach you additional content to enrich your apps, provide additional functionality, integrate with the cloud and other services, and add real panache. They cover animation, globalization and localization, caching, branding, reusable controls and WinMD components, additional contracts, push notifications, devices, sensors, working with media, background tasks, security, trial apps and in-app purchases, and profiling and debugging, and more. The rich assortment of topics covered by this course is designed to give you all the tools you need to take your app to the next level.

Windows Azure and Web Services

This course goes from 0 to 60 in five days flat and teaches you all about Windows Azure, Web API, and a ton of related topics. It does cover the basics, but its focus is on bringing you up to speed and preparing you for the real world. To that end, it teaches you about security, data manipulation, deployment, storage, monitoring and diagnostics, scale, unit testing, and more. It also teaches you how to integrate with Windows Store apps from the server or cloud, so you can provide authentication, authorization, notification and other services to your client apps.


So many people worked on these projects, so I hope I’m not forgetting anybody: Shai Raiten, Gil Fink, Yaniv Rodenski, Ido Flatow, Sasha Goldshtein, David Ostrovsky,Tomer Shaiman, Erez Harari, Alex Golesh, Noam Sheffer, Alon Levi, Amit Raz, Michael Haberman, Moshe Levi, Oren Halawi, Ran Wahle, Sebastian Pederiva. Roee Moshe is single-handedly responsible for the amazing graphics on the lab apps and the presentation decks. Much gratitude also goes to our Diamond developers Nicholas Huebner, Chen Koifman, and Dolev Shaoul, to the testing teams and to the participants of all the alpha and beta courses.

Special credit goes to Baruch Toledano who spent so many nights on his couch waiting for me and other project leaders to meet our deadlines with nary a frown, and to my boss Ishai Ram for never exploding.