The BlackBerry® Developer Relations team gathered from all corners of the globe as the BlackBerry® 10 Jam World Tour hit Asia! It made me feel proud to have the opportunity to host the Jam events and be a part of such a diverse and dynamic team. Every area of the business showed up in full strength to demonstrate our relentless support for our developers.
Our BlackBerry 10 Jam journey started in India. We had worked hard to assemble a team of superstars from across the globe, yet the distances we traveled seemed nothing compared to the expanse our Indian developers covered just to get into our Jams in Bangalore and Delhi. Some came from neighboring cities, others flew in from different parts of the country, and others traveled by overnight train from hundreds of miles away. Before I could even express my gratitude for their perseverance, all I received in return was a heartfelt appreciation for bringing BlackBerry 10 Jam to India. It was simply heartwarming.
I officially kicked things off with a short welcome to a fully packed crowd who expressed their excitement through cheers, especially when they realized that they were part of the first Jams in Asia! After the waves of cheers settled, I welcomed Annie Mathews, Head of Alliances for India. Annie is well-known amongst the Indian developer community for her efforts within the content ecosystem. She re-affirmed RIM’s commitment to India, but especially highlighted the important contribution of thousands of Indian developers that have built and will continue to build applications for not just the local market, but the entire globe!
Alec Saunders then took the stage after an amazing number, and the energy in the room went nuclear! The echoes of hoots and cheers and non-stop applause during Alec’s keynote was simply deafening. It felt like I was at a political rally!
Next up was Krishnadeep Baruah, RIM India’s Head of Marketing, who took the devs through the BlackBerry 10 UX. To have RIM India’s most senior employee take the stage impressed many in the crowd. Krishnadeep was omeone who had witnessed RIM’s birth in India since 2007 and been a part of every BlackBerry device launch, as well as the various marketing campaigns. Despite being a veteran, he could barely contain his excitement for BlackBerry 10, and when he shared the new experiences and possibilities for developers, it was genuinely felt by everyone present.
Things switched into technical gear at this point with Alan Wong giving the audience a taste of the BlackBerry 10 architecture. It wasn’t just talk, as Alan showcased some interesting demos and samples including from various local developers like Divum, Indience, Spice Labs, DbyDx, who had the early opportunity to build their latest apps and games on the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha.
The final part of the keynote was all about the dollars and cents. This session on monetization opportunities was led by Krishna Tamireddy, who heads the BlackBerry App World™ Content Marketing team for APAC. The insights, trends and tactics he shared were very well received by the audience and came as a pleasant surprise to many who had been struggling to monetize on mobile platforms.
The afternoon tracks saw the crowd disperse into Web and Native to hear from our platform experts. On Native, we had Ramprasad Madhavan who flew in from Toronto to speak to devs for the first time in his hometown of Bangalore. On Web, AT&T hackathon winner Demian Borba came all the way from Brazil backed by our very own >Chris Saunders from Australia.
I had a chance to connect with many of the attendees. One of them was Chris Martin, a 14-year-old who had submitted an app and won a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet through our free BlackBerry PlayBook tablet offer. Being underage, he had managed to convince both his parents to accompany him for the Jam in Bangalore, and even the media and bloggers had a fun time finding out what motivated him to build apps for BlackBerry! It seems to me that India has this tendency to produce quite a few of such young prodigies. Delhi confirmed this notion: Raghav Sood, one of our BBM hackathon winners from last January, brought his dad along as well. In this case Raghav was not just an attendee for the Jam, but had managed to hack up a BlackBerry 10 Cascades™ app! He put several folks (like me) to shame when he demoed his Twitter® client with Alan on stage. The best part: he had only built it in the past 48 hours and had no prior knowledge of QML!
Overall, an excellent start to the tour that gave the entire BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour team the confidence to take on the rest of Asia. Thank you India! Until next time, keep building!