In July, I was able to witness the launch of Silverlight 3. Developers want one thing - to create interfaces that customers care about. Interactive technologies are evolving quickly. Development and design are converging, collaborative workflow is a necessity, and people expect intuitive interfaces and rich experiences.
Dealing with complexityThe software development experience is still complex. Our tools and platforms must be robust enough to help with the complexity. Integration is expensive and re-writing code over and over is difficult.
ThriveMicrosoft is launching a new site called "Thrive for Developers." Although the economic news is looking a little brighter, it's still tough out there, so to help, Microsoft has put together Thrive - a Web site all about helping developers survive the recession and manage their careers in this tough economy. You can find training resources, discount product offers, career advice, and community connections all at Thrive.
If I weren't employed at Microsoft...I'd be learning Silverlight. Well, I'm learning it regardless, because it brings so much power on top of the aging world of HTML. Less than a couple dozen elements comprise the initial, relatively simple design of HTML. It has grown, but is unable to deliver rich interactive experiences on a par with Silverlight. I've done a demo showing how to build an end-to-end application where Silverlight talks to Azure tables and displays data in a fancy list box. I also show an ASP.NET version. Along the way you learn about REST-ful services, Visual Studio 2008, while building up various projects from scratch.
Calling out to all MSDN readers - can you gather a group of people?Get a group of people together. We can have as few as 10. But the more the merrier. I can even invite people via Live Meeting and we can do an online version, with attendees from anywhere. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know if you've got a nice group of smart people who are ready to dive in. Even Larry the Cable Guy would say, "git er done!"
It doesn't get much better - a live presentation where you can ultimately repeat my steps and tell your colleagues that you can build up a Silverlight app that talks to the cloud. I want to help people get jobs. At the next Professional Developers Conference (November) we are releasing Azure. And you know what that means - there won't be enough developers who can talk to cloud data from a rich client application. So now is the perfect time to jump in.
Prediction: SketchFlow is going to be popularIt is the end-to-end solution to make rough ideas real. SketchFlow is a dynamic prototyping feature found in Expression Studio 3 and it revolutionizes the speed and efficiency of prototyping the vision for an application. Rapidly demonstrate and iterate on ideas, application flows, screen layouts, and the functionality of an application. SketchFlow enables you to rapidly create and prototype new ideas and effectively present them to your clients before evolving and delivering them as completed projects.