Starting to Develop For Blackberries
I've been using a Blackberry for a few years now; ever since I started working at StreetWise again. We use the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) to help keep everyone in touch; anyone in the company can use it if they own a Blackberry. Since I had to administer the BES it became pretty clear I needed to get on the bus and start using one.
Four hundred dollars later and I had my first Blackberry; a silver Curve 8300. It. Was. Awesome. I've since had another Curve and am now using the Bold.
I'd never had a "real" smart phone before and instantly became addicted to real time connectivity. I know a lot of developers resent this kind of availability but I love being able to respond immediately when needed. The way I see it I can, and do, respond on my terms so there's no real issue with it.
The killer feature initially was email but is openness to 3rd party developers. There's a crapload of stuff out there already but the fact that I can write my own programs is really nice. Unfortunately, Blackberry apps are written in Java.
I've never done any actual Java development, but I have done some basic debugging on some smaller applets, so I get the basic idea of Java. Java's not too tough as a language but it kind of sucks setting up a development environment to work in (especially if you've never done it before). It's definitely worth while to have some programming experience with another language before tackling Java. Either way, there's a great tutorial on getting started with Java at SitePoint.
With the basics of Java out of the way it's important to know what goes into a Blackberry application. Research In Motion (RIM) has a very extensive developer center that include quite a few tutorials that should help start the process.
There's a lot of information out there on how to develop for blackberries. Expect more about this topic in the future.