Developers: Want to attend the BlackBerry 10 Jam? Submit your “Unconference” ideas to win a free pass and hotel accommodations

BlackBerry Jam
By Bla1ze on 4 Apr 2012 07:58 pm EDT

We're not all that far away from the BlackBerry 10 Jam, in fact it's just under a month away now, and RIM has decided to try out an "unconference" for everyone attending. The idea of an uncoference is to let your attendees decide the topics of discussion and as such, RIM wants to hear from you all -- BlackBerry Developers.

On Thursday May 3rd, the last day of the show, we will host an “Unconference”. This gives us an opportunity to work hand in hand with our developer community to build sessions and discussions on topics closest to your hearts.

We are asking for your ideas for session topics and to vote on the topics that most interest you. We’ve talked a lot about wanting to engage with the developer community and to show that we are listening, and this is another great way to build on that commitment.

What topics would you like to see discussions on? I’ll give you a topic I’d be interested in seeing: “My App is Great, But Now What? – Making an app a business; the importance of business and marketing planning.” Or maybe one like “How to Win the Enterprise App Opportunity with Gamification.”

Time to get your thinking caps on and really figure out some discussion topics; things you want to know from RIM, that can specifically help you in the development process. For submitting your ideas here in the comments you'll have the chance to win a free pass to the BlackBerry 10 Jam Unconference and 3-nights hotel accomodations from RIM. You have up until April 14th to enter, after that winners will be contacted and arrangements will be made.

Note:  This is a contest for developers and you must be able to be in Orlando, Florida for May 1st through the 3rd. If you cannot attend, or are not a developer -- Please do not enter this contest.

Reader comments

Developers: Want to attend the BlackBerry 10 Jam? Submit your “Unconference” ideas to win a free pass and hotel accommodations


I dream of attending BB10 Jam. I would like to learn more about Optimizing Webworks apps for maximum performance and/or how to gain maximum exposure for your app.
As always, thanks for the great contest!

Don't want to enter but would love to see my new Blackberry 10 device to be integrated for safety in my home or car to automatically call for help in the event of a car crash or slip and fall. Maybe a device similar to GM vehicles named "OnStar" . If we could incorporate that into a BB10 device it would then give a person a device that is needed and not just wanted. Give the device a capability to be more integrated in our lives and not just a device that makes phone calls. Make a device that can control my Sony televisions and other devices. Emergency services, Emergency Action Service messages delivered to my phone based on my location wherever I may be similar to messages delivered over the local television or radio stations. Allow my phone to be able to attach themselves to other phones to automatically give distance to another or give automatic updates on another persons actions. I hope that BB10 is worth the wait.

I think it would be a great way to build a robust developer base if there were sessions aimed at beginners. And before you dismiss my argument, I mean REAL beginners! I am talking people who have a strong desire to code, but have very minimal coding skills. To some this may seem like a waste of time and energy, but even is only 1 in every 15 true beginners go on to actually become developers, one good, successful developer can be a very valuable asset to the company that inspired him to begin developing and the company that "started it all". You don't have to worry about too many people coming to these sessions who do NOT plan to actually develop since attending these conferences is not a cheap endeavor.

I agree 100000000%! I have so many awesome ideas for apps and I want develop for BB but I really dont have the coding skills...but then I look at people just like me who are making apps for iOS...wish BB would be like :(

This is not a farfetched idea. Its actually a great idea. The fact is that a lot of developers that have made something for the iphone are very much beginners. How many stories are there of 13 year olds making apps or people that just wanted to make something and didnt really have the know how. Apple and 3rd party companies have made it pretty simple for these people to start doing things. This will be even more important given the fact that RIM wants people to use webworks. There are a lot of web designers out there, some with coding exp some without. If these people get an itch to make a cool app there should be great help from rim to make this happen. I have no coding experience ZERO!!! but started reading up on html css and javascript and already have something brewing. I wanted to test this out on my playbook but didnt know how to sign keys and what not so i can test. The instruction had me playing with the Mac terminal which i have no Exp with. After spending like 7 hours trying I ran into a program they had on the support site. Someone made it so everything is done AUTOMATICALLY. This should have been added right away to the Basic tutorials that Rim has. Instead i wasted so much time playing with something i dont understand but have a huge desire to make some cool apps. SO YES HELP THE NOOBS OUT MORE!!!!make it stupid simple to get going just like apple. For anyone that is a beginner here is the link to that program It will save you so much time.


I agree completely. I have some ideas as well but haven't the slightest idea how to code. The closest thing would be I took a short HTML course way back.
Also, are apps copywrite protected or anything like that? Say, for example, there's an app on iOS but not on Blackberry can you make one similar (not copy obviously) for Blackberry?

I think app integration with the os (messages, bbm, phone etc..).

On a side note I would like to see in the future tablets that would have the ability to make calls. Since I will be developing app for my employer for their delivery drivers, I am trying to get them to go with BB10. That is why I really wanted to attend the blackberry 10 jam.

Give us a place to discuss the BlackBerry APIs directly with the people in charge. What functions do we as developers would like to see added? What problems and bugs did we encounter?

The BlackBerry OS Java APIs were a mess, inconsistent, incomplete and often not working as expected (or at all). One of the major headaches in developing for BlackBerry. Could have been avoided if developers had a place to discuss this.

In Florida, so definitely going to BB 10 Jam.

"How to optimize your app for touch screens and larger screens to help transition from BB7 (or lower) to BB10."

I think this is a big issue because large screens and touch screens are becoming more and more popular, and according to reports the first BB10 device will be a touch screen. For the longest time, developers have been used to creating apps for smaller screens that can be navigated by trackball or trackpad, and don't function well on touchscreens. Many developers have a hard time not only updating their UI to work and look better with larger touchscreens, they don't function fluidly like they should on a touchscreen. Simple things like kinetic scrolling and larger buttons or click (touch) points seem to be always overlooked, but are essential to transitioning into BB10.

Never went to a Blackberry event and would love to attend. I started developing for the playbook and loved it so far. Can't wait to look into the BB10 and what TAT is bringing to the table.

I want to talk about how they are helping developer market their apps. There is no promocode program available for developers to give out to review sites. This will be huge once more apps start coming in. Lets face it not all apps are created equal and it will be these review sites that will let people know which one are good and which to avoid. But to do this RIM has to give away to let developers give out their apps. App review sites can not buy them all. They will quickly go broke!!!
also more exposure for developers and the great app they are making!!!

The blackberry playbook should be renamed the blackberry Genesis and also instead of copying apple it should fold. Blackberry should also merge with mircosoft and devlop a OS that allows your phone to be a keyboard for the playbook (Genesis) also it should have game options that work with playstation and xbox. Also blackberry should be more user friendly and allow you to do video confrencing with up to 20 people or more and be easy to use. Also blackberry should be able to create a whole power point thru the phone also able to use spreadsheet through the phone easier. And blackberry needs to extend its bbm feature to be a social networking program that allows u to post pictures and create groups where u do not need to give people your bbm pin to join

I would like to see some kind of acknowledgment towards theme developers. I know us theme devs aren't really considered developers because we don't use much coding like app devs do, but we are still part of the community. I believe that customization is a big part of any mobile platform nowadays. I'd like to see a session where theme devs can share their ideas about themes on BB10. I would be honored to attend BlackBerry Jam 10.

hi blaze why cant we have demos (videos) of webworks and other tools to develop for bb 10 so that beginners can also try their hands on developing bb10 apps.

A good set of sessions imo would be "Cool things to do with the BBM SDK, and how to make them with BBM 10". I made a BBM social app and it was great, people download it and love it but I feel I am just scratching the surface of what's possible here.

Kudos to RIM for giving out passes to BlackBerry 10 Jam btw. I would have loved to attend but the cost including accommodation etc was over my budget when I added it all up. So please pick me! :-)

I'd love to attend BB10 JAM this year and am quite close to pulling the trigger on some tickets to start things off. This would probably push me over the edge without question.

A topic I'd like to see is for some entry to mid level coders that show how to stratagize with your code and offerings. For example, many consumer focused applications can be extremely powerful business tools with just a little re-work and proper marketing. Different stratagies could cover anything from start to finish, like which framework is best suited for both "sides" of the application, to distribuition in AppWorld & Enterprise AppWorld.

Personally I see this as a huge untapped market. Let's just say RIM gave apps that come from "Enterprise" AppWorld access to deeper api calls to do things like lock the screen to the running application. (No bottom swipe up so that it's operating in a kiosk like fashion). You could make a "sign in" application to give to guests as they arrive. Simple HTML form submission with perhaps some NFC goodness to read your office badge if you have one?

Even if I miss out on the free pass, I'm going to be trying to get my butt down there. :)

I'm already a PlayBook and BB app developer, and I'd really like to attend the BB10 Jam.

I'm looking for ways to leverage NFC and social networking features of BB10 to develop killer super apps. At the unconference, I'm hoping we can get into advanced NFC techniques, such as P2P data exchange, and interfacing with outside systems like merchant payment terminals, and security devices.

RIM really needs to continue pushing their NFC effort, and I think having it as an unconference topic would be fantastic.

My wish for a session at the Unconference part of BB10Jam:

** Hands-On with Qt
We all know that Cascades is using Qt Core to provide Cascades UI. Cascades allows to design UI from QML or C++ or both. Cascades is using many Qt Libraries / Functions...
So it seems to be a good idea to try plain Qt as development environment to become familiar with Qt itself. Qt 4.8 is available from GitHub BlackBerry projects. I want to have a session with this content:
* HowTo install Qt from GitHub on Windows, OSX, Linux (OSX binaries missing yet)
* HowTo start with Qt
* Deploy Qt Apps to the PlayBook

This would help all developers looking forward to Cascades.

my 2 cts

A a registered BB Developer, I want BB10 to open the hidden API's. We need to be able to integrate into the lowest levels of the OS to build the "Super Apps" that RIM keeps asking for.
Being able to access all the things that BB is known for and good at will help to build the apps that will bring BB10 to the top of the phone/tablet market again.

Some session ideas:

- A session on best practices for beta testing. What options do we have for doing a beta test and deploying a beta version of our app.

- How do we use try and buy. Again what are some best practices.

- Integration of WebWorks with native applications. Is it possible and how much can be done.

As a developer it would be great to go to BBJam10.

I live in FL, very close to orlando and yes I would love to go.

Currently have a 64gb playbook and use a palm pre 2. Will not switch to the Bold yet - do not want to give up the multi-tasking yet (waiting on BB10).

I also have a Sony Clie TH-55 w/ bluetooth. It runs on the latest version of the old palm software. It is amazing that it has more functional software than my current devices (I still carry it).

I have been thinking long and hard about apps that I would love to have and have decided to learn the programming on BB for these - but I have no experience in programming in this language. Something that makes it simple to learn with useful tools would be great.

I have been a developer for the past 2years (Fresh out of school) I have learned so much more from the field itself then I ever did at school. I couldn't be more grateful for what I have in my life career wise it truly is great. It has always been my dream to attend a conference and hear what other developers are thinking and doing. Maybe learn some things, I am still young and new and have so much more to learn. I do live in Canada which makes it harder to attend any event because most are held in the US. I have developed some apps for BB using the BB developer tools just for fun. Never did anything more with them.

I think a good topic for the unconference would be how to create a trial and full version of an app how to best integrate this with BlackBerry App World licensing. There are a lot of potential gotchas when doing this. It would be nice to know what has been most successful for other developers.

Here are a few ideas for topics:
-Your app and its users: Does it flow well and does it work correctly...
This would be more of a topic on how to test an app to see how the UI holds up to most common users and most common issues developers forget to test for before submitting (and get approved with). This should probably include 'some' of the guidelines already published for devs

-The inner workings of the Application submission process
This always seems to be a big void. What happens from the point of submission to approval of my application. What departments check what? What steps do you take when testing an application. Does the application really get tested? This would actually make a good RIM posting **wink, wink** like the BBSIRT one.

-So you don't want to make a monster app...
This topic would be geared toward small applications or niche applications. The role of small applications in the developers ecosystem. Applications which aren't looking to change everything but are just trying to get things done and help people accomplish that one thing more efficiently.

Well that's it for now ;)

I am a developer for the Playbook (MZC Enterprises) currently and would love a chance to win this. I would like to find out about how the porting processes would work. Meaning how will apps I develop for the PlayBook be ported to BB10 devices. What would I need to do and will blackberry have any tools to do this without having to rewrite the applications. Also I would like to touch on how developers can make apps that run in the background on both the PlayBook and the BB10 devices, this is a huge issue.

Well even if I don't win I would love to hear about the issues I described above. Thanks for this opportunity CrackBerry!!!

Taking it Offline - I would love to see a a presentation about offline app best practices. Making your WebWorks App function like a native app when data coverage is spotty or non-existant. Topics would include caching application files, data storage schemes, syncing ( + queueing) application generated data, and how to best process/store the large amounts of code and data your application may need when off-line.

I have two Ideas that I would love to see discussed.

1) Building a better UI on a mobile platform with multiple screen sizes.
a) Consistency - should it be consistent across all screen sizes?
b) Clarity - Does it make logical sense - how do I do this?
c) Conventionality - does it follow conventions people already know? Is this Important?

2) Building of Secure Apps for Insecure Environments
a) coding standards related to proper data handling
b) good habits?
c) security for on device, intranet, and internet apps

ALSO as far as marketing goes I would love to see RIM actually go after Apple and prove to the consumers that the PlayBook is awesome. Do this by having a commercial quote apple saying "HTML5 is the Future and that there is no point to support flash" and then go on to say well good thing because the PlayBook does Flash better then any mobile device on the market while also beating apple along with every other competitor in HTML5. Show that the playbook browser and the BB10 browse is blowing away the competition in Flash and HTML5. Just go to BerryReview and read the article about the new scores the PlayBook and BB10 got. What's great is the PlayBook browser beats Google chrome in HTML5, a browser for your computer. This is a HUGE win for RIM and they NEEEEED to show this. I know RIM doesn't market by going after competitors but come on the media is against them and there competitors bash them, its time to stand up to them and come back at them. This commercial would do so much good for RIM and I WOULD LOVE to see it. PLEASE DO THIS COMMERCIAL IDEA AND RIM, If you need a more detailed pick you have my screen name send me a message id be GLAD to help.

Idea: "How to build a flexible User Interface for BlackBerry 10 - smartphone, tablets, and more!"

Detail: BlackBerry 10 will be on tablets (PlayBook, etc), Smartphones, and other devices (automotive, embedded, etc), meaning there will be many screen sizes, pixel densities, and screen shapes. For apps to work across all of these different devices, the user interface will need to be optimized for each one. Developers need to know the best way to do this, and how to dynamically have their apps customize to the difference screens.

Why: My current BlackBerry PlayBook app "Many Notes" will work fine on the BB10 Smartphone, but obviously the user interface elements (buttons, text size, etc) will be too small on the higher density screen of the BB10 smartphones. I'd love to get instruction on how to update my app so that it will dynamically resize elements of the UI by detecting the device it is running on and optimize for that screen size. This would be a useful sessions in helping PlayBook developers transition from tablet to smartphone with the release of BB10.

Thanks for running this contest :-)

1. migrating from BlackBerry to BlackBerry 10 (i.e. moving from Java to HTML5/CSS3 or Java to Actionscript.

2. BlackBerry Development Best Practices: Do's and Dont's, and the how's and why's. (i.e.
Don't do this. (Gives an example)
Why (this is what happens if you do
Do this instead (Shows the correct way to build)
How is this better
apply this methodology to UI, threading, polling, push, network usage, etc..

3. Becoming a best selling app. What makes a great application great.
4. Making your app social. Building around BBM and Social (Twitter, FB, Foursquare, LinkedIn, etc...)
5. Individual breakout sessions on ActionScript/AIR and HTML5/CSS and WebWorks: Basics, Intermediate and Advanced Usage (how to tie in with Javascript/JQuery/Dojo/ frameworks, etc...
6. Innovating your app == for developers that already have published apps what can be done to make those applications better.
7. Selling and marketing your application on AppWorld. How to get seen. Most applications get lost in a myriad of **cough** Handster **cough** books **cough** crap. How to get through the rubble.
8. Playbook/BlackBerry in the Enterprise. Building applications for Business. (SAP CRM/Sharepoint/SQL Server/Salesforce etc...)

So, yes, I made some apps, got a brand new PlayBook (developers offer) and the best of all: We got tons of positives reviews. Really! I'm very very happy and excited about the success of the apps and AppWorld itself.

Me and my company are betting on BB10, and since we are new on this market, our main concern is about the future.

Clever movement by RIM, I must say: RIM is compromised with the screen aspect ratio. Now, I really want some directives about "making apps for the future resolutions ready for the day one". I mean, we want to know about how can we be ready for new devices and how to make apps easy to port for BB10. The aspect ratio is already one good thing to know, but I believe there is more. I want to be able to think about 2 or 3 years ahead when developing an app. I want it to be ready for new devices, and since we starded developing for the QNX, we want to know how we make it better for future hardware.

Thanks for everyone.

Best regards!


I develop using WebWorks and I firmly believe it is the future of App development. RIM is clearly the leader in HTML5. I say this with some authority as I have ported my app to iOS, and had it approved by the App Store, but was very frustrated with the state of Apple's adoption of HTML5 which, in my opinion lagged behind RIM's.

Nothing is perfect, unfortunately, and there are still issues with WebWorks and HTML5 at RIM as well. An unconference session idea would be to have the Web and Webworks people available to walk developers through the process of modifying and improving the framework so that developers would be in a better position to collaborate with the RIM team to drive improvements. A discussion about resources available to directly help developers with their programming issues would also be useful.


I am new to developing for the Playbook and found it easy to start with WebWorks which I think is great for newbies, especially if you already have some Web-design and Javascript skills, not to mention that all the tools you need are free if you want to make a WebWorks app.

I would like to see more tutorials and templates for developers like myself who do not come from traditional computer-background fields. We are young professionals in various industries with knowledge to share, and with Playbook WebWorks we have easy tools to work with. The same applies to Adobe AIR/Flash.

Many artists I'm sure will welcome designing in a more graphical and less-program-intensive environment. I have dabbled in Flash and would like to eventually add Adobe AIR/Flash to my skill-set and develop apps in that environment. It would great to have some intro courses and templates for getting apps up and running in Adobe AIR/Flash and understanding all of the different components of Adobe and what to use to best develop an app (AIR, Flash, Flex?) and what tools are available and at what costs.

The bottom line... While the majority of conference attendees are probably hard-core programmers trained in the computer sciences, it would be nice to see a few events/lectures for attendees who are in the arts and non-computer sciences who are eager to bring their ideas to BB10 and can get in easily (like I did) with WebWorks and then Adobe AIR, where they can develop as much as they can graphically, without too much hard-core coding.

Session: Building native (C++) extensions to use in your WebWorks apps

Currently, WebWorks devs have less APIs than AIR devs, but with a little bit of work, they can use the AIR APIs in WebWorks by building extensions.
It is still not ideal as devs are stuck with using whatever APIs AIR is exposing.
By learning how to build simple C++ extensions using the NDK, devs could call native APIs or even (hopefully) run processes in the background.

I agree 100%! This is now my favorite chioce for the Jam. I have a number of ideas that I can not currently build due to the need to expose APIs that are not available through Webworks and I do not currently have the knowledge to do so.

There have been plenty of sessions on Air Native Extensions on BlackBerry DevCon USA and Europe. You should check it out.

I love RIM's new dedication to developers. So here are my unconference ideas:

-"Stage3D: creating a total phone/tablet gaming experience" A session about combining the best qualities of a tablet and a phone to create one consistent cross- and multi-device gaming experience.

-"BlackBerry 10 UI guidelines": the platform could really benefit from a more uniform UI experience, however with enough freedom left for developers to do their thing.

-"Enterapps": preparing and promoting your apps for enterprise usage

-"Gamification": increasing app usage by adding game elements

I would like to see a session that is specifically targeted for Native Java devs that shows them how to migrate to BB10 - not JavaScript - but Java developers.

A session that would help Java developers migrate to the BB10 platform - specifically RIM can take a Java app with some extra level of complexity - analyze it from top to bottom and show the devs the different options in creating the same app in BB10 and actually go ahead and code the same app in BB10

* BlackBerry Enhancement – Building cross-platform apps that take advantage of BlackBerry-specific features (BBM, etc) but degrade gracefully on other platforms. This would be mostly about WebWorks apps.

* Marketing for small developers – What makes BlackBerry unique? What BlackBerry features improve app discoverability?

* Building user experiences that are uniquely BB10. What features does BB10 offer to create a superior user experience.

* Shaping the future of BlackBerry development tools and how BlackBerry can compete with the Development Tools provided by Apple (Xcode/Cocoa Touch/Foundation etc.) in order to attract iOS developers to the BlackBerry 10 platform

* Creating the next $1 billion app... on the BlackBerry 10 platform.

* What comes after Super Apps? A discussion about the future of what apps will become, and the next "edge" BlackBerry will have in the smartphone market.

I'd like to see an unconference topic about strategies to generate revenue from your app.

1) What makes a compelling app that people would want to use?
2) How do you get customers?
3) How do you make money from them? (i.e. charge them? What price? Ads?)
4) What are other avenues for revenue generation?
5) Do you need actually need revenues?

Unconference session ideas:

1.) How to change your location based Android app so that it works seamlessly on the Blackberry playbook?

Currently the Android runtime on Playbook has quite a few bugs pertaining to GPS fixes, background services and power management that prevents location apps (inlcuding any turn by turn nav app.) from running seamlessly.

2.) How to spend time & money most effectively on marketing your app to get the best returns? I would like to discuss what works, what does not and what to avoid altogether.