The masterminds at Nokia are now rewarding developers by allowing them to earn rewards for publishing Windows Phone apps with Nokia DVLUP. DVLUP is a program that is currently in beta which challenges developers to unlock badges, achievements, points and prizes by expanding their Windows Phone development knowledge.

NOTE: DVLUP is now out of private beta and open to the general public, and available to developers in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. If you’d like to take part you may sign up here.

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DVLUP challenges Windows Phone developers by rewarding them points for publishing apps utilizing various aspects of the Windows Phone and now Windows Phone 8 SDKs. As you unlock points (called XP) you also unlock achievements (called badges) which grant you the ability to redeem points for prizes and rewards.

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The choice of rewards seem to vary from time to time but can include gift cards, clothing, software, Xbox consoles, Nokia Wireless Charging Kits, Nokia Purity Headphones and of course various carrier locked Nokia Lumia Windows Phones. You can also redeem XP for Nokia Ad Exchange (NAX) credits and even Windows Phone Store Placements.

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The challenges found within DVLUP range from beginner to expert and seem to be posted for 60-90 days at a time, which gives everyone plenty of time to submit an app for every challenge if they so choose . The XP rewards for the challenges also increase exponentially with difficulty which encourages developers to try more difficult tasks.

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Now some people may create basic and unpolished apps just to unlock the XP, and Nokia has now implemented ways to discourage developers from doing just that. You can also unlock XP from challenges that reward you specifically for having well reviewed apps (4+ stars) and popular apps (25, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000 and 2000 total reviews).

There is also a very active community involved within DVLUP which allows developers of all levels to discuss current challenges and ask questions or seek feedback. Overall it seems the DVLUP community is a very friendly place where peers want to see each other and even help each other succeed.

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Nokia’s DVLUP program is a unique take on finding ways to encourage developers to get involved with the Windows Phone app and Windows Phone store ecosystems. What is also encouraging is that even though Nokia is a large portion of the Windows Phone devices sold, the DVLUP program is sure to help all device manufactures as it helps the entire Windows Phone Store ecosystem mature.

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Since DVLUP is currently in private beta you must request access to the program which you can do so via a general signup at DVLUP.com. However, if you want to increase your chances of gaining early access to the DVLUP program you are encouraged to seek out the closest Nokia Developer Ambassador to request and discuss access.

We’ll be continuing coverage of DVLUP for some time as we publish apps and possibly reap the rewards… for science of course. Stay tuned!

PLEASE NOTE: Since Nokia DVLUP is currently in beta, the UI, design, features and functionality displayed are subject to change at anytime and without notice. Nokia is constantly striving to improve the service and proactively takes feedback and implements changes and improvements as needed. For the latest DVLUP updates be sure to follow DVLUP on Twitter.