RIM opens doors to first tech centre for BlackBerry developers

Research In Motion is pushing hard to rebuild the BlackBerry brand, and that continued this week with the launch of a developer tech centre in England.

The company this week raised the curtain on the first BlackBerry Tech Center, located in its Slough office, which will provide a dedicated workspace for BlackBerry 10 developers.

RIM said a "developer evangelist team" will be on hand every day from 9:00 to 17:00 to provide expertise and guidance to those working on the new operating system. Each day of the week will follow a specific theme, allowing developers to visit the centre on a day guaranteed to support their needs.

On Mondays, the team focuses on helping developers with Native/Cascades/Qt, while Wednesdays provide guidance for developing with BlackBerry WebWorks and HTML 5. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, meanwhile, will be centred on helping Android, iOS, and Windows developers bring their respective apps to the new BlackBerry 10 platform. Developers must register online to work at the new centre.

Tech Centers will also serve as a space for other developer activities, and provide for a collaborative forum for developers to share experiences related to working on BlackBerry 10, RIM said.

"The opening of the first BlackBerry Tech Centre underscores our ongoing commitment to actively engage with and support the efforts of our developer community," Alec Saunders, vice president of RIM's developer relations, said in a statement.

The new centre, he said, "designates a space where developers can draw on the resources and skill set of our experienced [...] team to help them create compelling apps."

Earlier this month, RIM opened its app store to BlackBerry 10 apps and set a 21 January deadline for developers to be eligible for a $10,000 ((£6,000) prize.

RIM expects to open more BlackBerry Tech Centers in various locations around the world, including Silicon Valley, Indonesia, and Vancouver, according to the company.