Category Archives: Kinect

Celebrating 3 Years at Microsoft!

It’s been three years since I joined Microsoft… how did I get here? Before you begin, check out my new Facebook page for developers: Shahed Codes! And then connect with me on LinkedIn!

mslogo Wake Up And Code!

With a background in ASP .NET web application development for enterprise customers, I recently published my first book, “ASP .NET Core Essentials”, via Packt Publishing. You can check it out at the following URL: https://www.packtpub.com/web-development/aspnet-core-essentials

But first, a little history…

Back in 2011, I published a couple of silly little indie games for Xbox 360, using XNA and C# in Visual Studio. While working at my day job, I had gotten a little bored with business applications and decided to teach myself game programming. I made a little profit with my games, including Angry Zombie Ninja Cats.

Ninja Cat Sprite Sheet

Ninja Cat Sprite Sheet

With mixed reviews, the ratings bounced back and forth between 3 stars and 4 stars, and finally settled on approximately 3.5 stars. The game even got a brutally honest review from Indie Gamer Chick, who later invited me to write a couple of dev articles for her website:

The latter article even got republished on Gamasutra:

By 2012, I branched out into make free dev tools for XBLIG indie devs, such as the XNA Sales Data Analyzer and XBLIG Basic Starter Kit. The Sales Data Analyzer tool was received well by the indie media (including my now-colleague Dave Voyles), and was used by XNA developers across the US and around the world! :)

statsUS analyticsMap

The first time I ever spoke at a public event was at NoVA Code Camp in 2013, while I was working at Excella Consulting. I joined my colleagues Sahil Talwar and Doguhan Uluca in delivering a 3-part presentation on a complete end-to-end lean web application architecture. Specifically, I talked about Entity Framework Code First Migrations.

Source: https://twitter.com/shahedC/status/326068261336788992

Combining my background in enterprise business applications and indie game development, I decided to start speaking on various topics ranging from ASP .NET to Xbox game development. By 2014, I achieved a triple-achievement with the following:

  1. mentioned in Official Xbox Magazine
  2. selected to received MVP Award
  3. received job offer from Microsoft
Source: Official Xbox Magazine, March 2014, Page 65

Source: Official Xbox Magazine, March 2014, Page 65

The MVP Award for Microsoft is only for members of the community who are not employees of Microsoft, so I gave up the award when I accepted a job offer from Microsoft in March 2014. Since then, I’ve had the chance to work with all sorts of development tools, technology and platforms, including:

All of the above allowed me to start working on customer projects ranging from Xamarin and Azure to ASP .NET Core and IoT. Upcoming projects will include Bot Framework, Cognitive Services and HoloLens! I also got a chance to build an internal Kinect v2 application called Speech Bubbles, which tracks passers-by and displays cartoon bubbles above their heads to follow them around as they continue walking.

I had the opportunity to record 3 courses for Microsoft Virtual Academy with my then-colleague James Quick. The primary topic was Game Development with Construct 2, including the use of Xbox One controllers and the publishing process of getting your game into the Windows Store and the Xbox Store.

mva

Over the years, I’ve had the chance to speak at various community events around the DC/MD/VA region, along the East Coast and even across the US. When Unity Technologies came to town, I hosted their official Unity Roadshow events with Carl Callewaert, Unity’s Global Director of Evangelism. I even took some time off to fly to Barcelona (Spain!) to teach a game dev workshop to a team of King employees. In case you haven’t heard of King, they’re the developers of a popular mobile game called Candy Crush.

carl-unity king

In addition to community events, I’ve delivered talks and mentored students at various hackathons, including: American University, Georgetown University, Gallaudet University, Howard University, University of Maryland @ College Park, University of Maryland @ Baltimore County, James Madison University, Johns Hopkins University, George Mason University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia (UVA), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

universities

One of these hackathons was HackMIT, where I had the opportunity to join my colleague Gavin Bauman in training a group of HackMIT attendees at the beginning of the hackathon. We also mentored the students throughout the event.

Fast-forward to 2017, I’ve been facilitating the NoVA Code Camp event at the Microsoft office in Reston VA (now twice a year). This community-led event owes its existence to volunteers from the community, including current organizers Ed Snider and Stan Reeser. Past organizers include Tasha Scott and Greg Hurlman.

The following Twitter Moment consolidates the tweets that mention our sponsors and speakers at NoVA Code Camp 2017.1 for Spring 2017:

fb-artI’ve continued to administer and moderate multiple developer groups on Facebook (and a real-life Meetup group):

 

Hope you found some inspiration in my journey. If you’ve made it this far… check out my previous anniversary blog post from 2016!

 

 

UMD Kinect Q&A: an interview with Gregory Kramida at the University of Maryland

We’re here with Gregory Kramida to talk about his Kinect group projects at the University of Maryland.

Gregory Kramida at UMD

Gregory Kramida at UMD

1. Greg, tell us a little bit about yourself and your team.

I have received a BA in Graphic Design, and a BS and MS in Computer Science (CS) from the University of Maryland. Currently, I am a PhD student in CS at the same University. My team consists of four very talented young individuals and myself.

We currently have two other CS PhD students, one Physics Masters student, and one Computer Engineering undergraduate student. Neither one of us is fully finished with his educational goals, and some of us are still finidng our true calling, so we are forced to collaborate in an ad-hoc fashion.

Whenever any of us has the time and energy, they contribute. Hence, I am the only “permanent” member, and we are allways looking for like-minded, driven, and talented individuals.

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Philly Code Camp 2015

Presentation Material for Philly Code Camp 2015

1. Capturing Your Audience with Kinect (featuring Speech Bubbles)

2. Azure Mobile Services (+ Universal Apps)

 

 

Capturing Your Audience with Kinect

On December 12, 2014, I presented “Capturing Your Audience with Kinect” at MoDev Con 2014.

You can find the presentation material below:

 

The session was recorded, and the video clip should be available soon!

Kinect Therapy at Children’s National Medical Center

During the summer of 2014, Children’s National Health System in DC invited me and my colleague Amanda Lange to tour their Sheikh Zayed Institute’s Pain Medicine Care Complex. They have been making good use of Microsoft’s Kinect sensor to aid in physical therapy for their young patients.

We were greeted by Chelsea Kling, a coordinator for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The lobby was inviting with high ceilings and kid-friendly balloons of various colors.

At the Sheikh Zayed Institute’s Pain Medicine Care Complex, we were greeted by Christy Baxter (MSN, MHA, RN, CPN, BA) a Clinical Manager at the pain clinic. Christy gave us a quick overview of what they are currently doing at the clinic.

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