Microsoft Ireland Team Blog

October, 2009

  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Introducing the Silverlight Jumpstart Program


    Over the last three weeks, I ran a pilot program with nine Dublin developers and designers called Silverlightimage Jumpstart.  This free training program was designed to give developers and designers intensive training in developing rich, interactive applications using Silverlight.  It focuses on understanding the programming model, the feature set, and two separate tools: Expression Studio and Visual Studio.

    The program runs for three weeks and is very time-consuming.  Participants spend two 1/2 days each week in sessions and have a substantial amount of exercises to complete at home as well.  The topics covered include how XAML works, creating Silverlight prototypes, building user interfaces, incorporating data, building controls, styling applications, using media, incorporating DeepZoom and more.  Throughout the course, participants use and become more familiar with both Visual Studio and Expression Studio to build these applications.

    I am opening this program to a larger group for the second session, which runs from November 3rd – November 20th.  I have listed the programs benefits and requirements below, and if this sounds like something you would be interested in, please let me know by e-mailing me at martharo [at]

    If the timing doesn’t work for you at the moment but you’d still be interested, please e-mail me and let me know.  I tentatively have another session scheduled to start in late January, and will do more as long as there is interest.

    Participants in the Silverlight Jumpstart program are required to:

    • Attend at least five out of the six sessions (sessions are held Tues and Fri 9:30-12 at the Westbury – participants not in Dublin can attend via LiveMeeting).
    • Complete homework assignments for each session.
    • Deliver your own original and new Silverlight application by the end of the program (this can be a pet project or a project for a customer, but cannot be a portfolio redesign or brochure website).
    • Provide feedback on your experience learning and using Silverlight & the toolsets

    Participants in the Silverlight Jumpstart program who complete the program requirements will receive:

    • In-depth training, hands-on labs and professional course work for learning Silverlight and related tools
    • A full Microsoft Expression Professional subscription (includes Expression Studio 3, Visual Studio Standard, Office Standard, Office Visio Professional, Windows XP, Windows Vista Business Edition)
    • A Windows Azure token for professional / personal use
    • Opportunities to get involved in early adopter programs, receiving early access to unreleased builds and new applications
    • A new Microsoft Press Book related to Silverlight and web development every month for eight months including Introducing Microsoft Silverlight 3, Microsoft ASP.NET & AJAX: Architecting Web Applications, and more.
    • Additional prizes for the best applications of each session

    This program is only for developers and designers currently in Ireland or Northern Ireland.  If you’re not in Ireland or Northern Ireland, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get you the content after the second session.  Thanks for your interest.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    WebsiteSpark Launch & Relaunch of TechLudd


    It’s been far too long since the last TechLudd, so we were thrilled to help relaunch TechLudd and at the same time celebrate the arrival of WebsiteSpark in Ireland.

    There is a lot more information on WebsiteSpark in my previous blog post, but the short version is that it’s a program to help give software, support and training to web developers, designers and any folks who build web sites and web applications for other people.

    TechLudd events are free events for people to to meet new folks in the industry, learn a bit about what start-ups and other tech people in Ireland are working on, and have a generally good time.  They are open to anyone who is interested in attending, and they’re always a lot of fun.

    The Guinness Storehouse, Dublin

    7:00pm on Tuesday, October 20th

    Please register here.  See you there!

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Please Welcome WebsiteSpark!


    WebsiteSpark Last year, Microsoft provided a program to help new start-ups get developer tools, discounts and a business network at practically no cost. BizSpark helped over 300 Irish start-ups in the last twelve months.

    This year, the Spark family is extending to include web designers and developers.  WebsiteSpark is launching officially in Ireland on Tuesday, October 20th at the Guinness Storehouse.  WebsiteSpark provides web designers, developers, students, freelancers and anyone else who is interested software licenses, support and business resources to help them grow and succeed.

    There are only two requirements to join the WebsiteSpark program.  A) Your company builds websites and/or web applications for other people (that is, you’re not building a product, you’re providing a service) and B) Your company has < 10 employees.

    WebsiteSpark will provide you the following software licenses for three years.  After enrolling here, you can download & immediately use the software.

    • 3 licenses of Visual Studio 2008 ProfessionalMicrosoft Web Platform
    • 1 license of Expression Studio 3 (including Blend, Sketchflow, Web & Encoder)
    • 2 licenses of Expression Web 3
    • 4 processor licenses of Windows Server 2008 R2 (can be used for development and/or production)
    • 4 processor licenses for SQL Server 2008 Web Edition (can be used for development and/or production)

    Along with the licenses, WebsiteSpark provides a business network to help grow your business, product support and free, online training.

    The WebsiteSpark program allows you all of the above for free for three years.  At the end of the third year, there is a $100 program fee, but other than that there are no additional costs.

    Getting started is easy.  Just go to WebsiteSpark website and sign up.  When you enroll you can either pick a network referral partner (there are five Irish network partners so far, we are signing up more at the moment) or you can enter a referral code which you’ve received at an event or from a Microsoft employee.  If you need a referral code, please e-mail me and I’ll take care of it for you.

    More information on WebsiteSpark as well as the software included with it is located at  If you have any questions on the program or are interested in being a network partner, just let me know.

    Cross posted from Martha's Blog.
  • Microsoft Ireland Blog

    Azure Academy Module 1, Dublin Oct 22nd 2009


    Microsoft Ireland and the National Digital Research Centre present Azure Academy, a series of FREE Level 300 Technical training seminars for a select group of invite-only customers and partners.

    Half-day instructor-led training seminars will be run on a bimonthly basis, giving attendees exclusive and early access to technical training delivered by the best of local and international subject matter experts.

    Register for the first module here, and Module 2, Module 3 and Module 4

    Cross posted from Ronan's blog
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