Ziad Khazzaka - 1:1 with a #MEAHero

At the dawning of many Microsoft launchings, we will conduct series of interviews in order to meet developers behind great apps on Microsoft platform.

The following is a 1:1 with Ziad Khazzaka developer of ones of best apps on Windows Phone and now on Windows 8.

Tell us about yourself, what you do, background around programming etc.?

Hi, I’m Ziad Khazzaka form Lebanon. I decided that I wanted to be a software engineer and that I wanted to build Windows Phone 7
& Windows 8 apps.

Fast forward through thousands of late nights, lots of VB, C#, C/C++, Java and others, 4 years of college, my apps are one of 10 Best Apps out of 100,000 in Windows Marketplace! 
and I’m here. I love technology and I’m especially excited for the ubiquitous computing revolution. I was an iPhone enthusiast until I could get my hands on a Focus, and I can’t see a reason to go back.

10 Best Apps out of 100,000 in Windows Marketplace


MusicAmp app for Windows 8 is one of the best online music player in Store


What path(s) led you to develop for Windows Phone?

Having various Windows development skills, it was an easy sell to switch from WPF to Silverlight for the phone. I didn’t know what app I’d write, but I knew I had to put something in the marketplace once I got my
phone. The inability to easily shoot a link to the phone was an obvious target, and I figured I’d close that gap with a nice free app called Lebanon Today, initial release on 10/4/2011.



How do you find the development process on WP7?

For the most part, I really like it. The tools are fantastic; the emulator is fast and fluid. I especially like how quickly one can get up and running with new applications. It’s actually possible to go from
zero to a working app in just an hour or so. I’ve built a ton of apps, but most of them won’t ever make it into the store. I had a blast doing homebrew, but the managed framework really is fantastic.

The most shocking thing I found is that, after writing Windows Phone apps, I felt that desktop development was just so much more tedious. It’s fantastic that so many of the implementation details are removed,
so you can really focus on the app you want to create.


Have you developed for other platforms and if so how does their development process compare?

I’ve done iPhone development, and just a little bit of Android. I thought Apple had done a pretty good job with Objective-C and UIKit, but as is often publicized, the Windows Phone tools really blow it away in some
key aspects. I think we’ve already got a lock on the most developer friendly platform.


What do you think of the platform (from a user perspective), and how do you compare it to competitors?

I really like how connected Mango feels. I’ve found it much easier to keep up with everything (mail, messages, Twitter and Facebook) than I did with iPhone. I often find myself thinking “well, I don’t have anything
else to check on my phone now.” The “glance and go” advertising didn’t work well, but it really is that way in practice. I love it; I just hope our competition doesn’t catch on soon.


What other WP7 projects are you working on or planning to start?

I'm working on MusicAmp and MetroTiles for Windows 8, I’ve had an social app ready for months called Synth, but it needs some work and I’m not sure when the next update it’ll be in the store. the most requested feature is something that is completely out of the scope of the app. Whatever I do next, it’ll probably interoperate with Windows 8, though.

Synth for WP7:


MusicAmp for Windows 8


Galaxy S3 Wallpaper for WP7


ARS for WP7


Moskito for WP7


Kamus Translator


MusicAmp Free for WP7


MusicAmp for WP7


MusicAmp English for WP7


MusicAmp Arabic for WP7


MusicAmp Hindi



What advice would you give to aspiring WP7 developers?

My advice to any aspiring programmer is the same: keep at it. Put in your 10,000 hours and you’ll be an accomplished expert before you know it. Persistence is key in software; everything can be solved by applying
more effort. Remember that there is always a solution.

What do you think about the future of Windows 8 and Windows Phone integration?

I can’t comment on this. :)

Thank you for your time. Any closing words about WP7's future?

Thanks for the interview, I absolutely love Microsoft! We’re off to a great start, and I’m confident that the smartphone war is only just beginning. The foundation is strong; we’ve got a great platform to move forward.