Prior to the official start of Tech.Ed Australia 2012, Microsoft held an App Fest for Windows 8 application building.

At the end of the App Fest, 28 applications from the 158 attendees were demoed. Below is a rather long time-lapse of the event — to keep the entertainment levels up, I recommend keeping an eye on the poor lad at the front table who stays up for most of the night, before finally laying down around about the 9am mark.

Of the five applications that we demonstrated to media a couple of days later, each was a WinRT “Metro” app that looked to embrace the HTML, CSS and JavaScript model of creating applications for Windows 8.

Myles Eftos, team leader of the Get Tanked project that created an app to display petrol prices around Perth, said that the App Fest was an interesting exercise in seeing how quickly a web developer could get up to speed, and how much of the web developer skill set could be brought over.

“Coming from the web, we don’t use the MS stack for development very often, if ever. In fact, we try to avoid IE where ever possible,” said Eftos.

He recommended that any web developers looking to develop a WinRT application should mock it up first in a regular browser before bringing the design over into Visual Studio, as the compilation is rather time-consuming.

App Fest 2012 winner: DiabeticBuddy
App Fest 2012 winner: DiabeticBuddy. (click image to enlarge)

The winner of the App Fest was DiabeticBuddy, an application that is aimed at 6 to 10 year old children and uses gamification to encourage kids to stick to their daily finger-prick testing schedule.

The team behind DiabeticBuddy comprised attendees from Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Wollongong.

“The people in my team can cut code pretty well, but as a group, boy, we are cutting a lot more code,” said DiabeticBuddy team leader Scott Quayle.

“You get really surprised with what you can create in that amount of time.”

Chris Duckett attended Tech.Ed Australia 2012 as a guest of Microsoft.