A Personal Guide to Getting Started with Silverlight

Back in June I posted a blog entry on how to get started with Silverlight; it seems it is time to update that as the world changes very quickly and we have many new resources. Each of us has our own way of learning, but here is my suggested path through the information, mixing tutorials and videos with a healthy dose of hands on!

Step One – Get Only What You Need At First

First, go to the Get Started page, but don’t download everything in site. There’s always time to come back; start by getting just the links shown here:

GetStartedTools1

SilverlightInstallVideo

Next, Click on Learn on the menu at the top of the page (or click here) and watch or download Video #1, The Silverlight Install Experience.

You’ll want to be sure that you have installed the Silverlight tools for Visual Studio properly, and I would go ahead and install Expression Blend as well.

If you have little .NET experience and no WPF or Silverlight experience, then you may want to pause here and get some basic background. In that case, I suggest (a) Taking a look at some showcase applications to see what Silverlight can do, and then perhaps read through this old, but still useful overview of Silverlight

If you are already a .NET programmer, read (or download) the first Tutorial: Silverlight Controls and be sure to work your way through the programming (source code is available in both C# and VB.NET and the tutorial itself will be in both languages very soon.

Then be sure to watch the following videos on the fundamentals (click on the image to go to the video)

GraphicsAndBrushes Keyboard Control
UserControlBasics IntroBlendVid
BrowserIntegration IntensiveBlend
creatingStyles TemplatesWithoutVSM
TemplatesWithVSM DataOverview
DataBindingXaml DataBindingBlend

Careful! You’ll want to watch #33 Templates without VSM before you watch #32 Templates and VSM.

Videos and Tutorials

The User Controls tutorial matches up with the Keyboard and the User Control video.

Tutorial 5, Expression Blend for Developers is a solid foundation for the second half of the videos shown that use Blend (starting with Introducing Blend to Silverlight Developers and Intensive Silverlight Programming and Expression Blend)

The Styles and Templates tutorial is a very good match with the two videos on Templates

We have three tutorials on Data:

and these match up well with the many videos on databinding and data manipulation.

Once you’ve worked your way this far, you’ll be all set to explore on your own as you’ll have all the fundamentals under your belt and a bit more.

Enjoy! And don’t forget, the forums are a great place to get your questions answered quickly.

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About Jesse Liberty

Jesse Liberty is an independent consultant and programmer with three decades of experience writing and delivering software projects. He is the author of 2 dozen books and multiple Pluralsight courses, and has been a Senior Technical Evangelist for Microsoft, a Distinguished Software Engineer for AT&T, a VP for Information Services for Citibank and a Software Architect for PBS. He is a Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer and a Xamarin MVP, Microsoft MVP and Telerik MVP.
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