Mix 09 Trip Report

 

It is traditional when you return from a conference to file a "trip report" with your team. What follows is my trip report to you, with an emphasis on what I learned. I will not review, here, all that was discussed about what is new in Silverlight 3, that will come in many postings, videos, etc, but rather I’ll try to report on how the conference affected my own plans for increasing your satisfaction both with Silverlight 2 and with Silverlight 3. 

I have to start, however, by saying that the excitement at Mix was palpable, and the reception was highly enthusiastic, first to Bill Buxton’s extraordinary “Back to the Future” keynote and then to the Gu’s amazing, mind-boggling presentation of all that we were rolling out.  The twittersphere could barely keep up, and the excitement persisted throughout the conference.

keynote2

Plans Arising Directly out of Mix

Speaking personally, as is often the case, much of the value occurred in the halls; in the interpersonal connections and in listening to what folks had to say: what was exciting, frustrating, enticing, meeting or missing expectations.

In addition, as I thought about my role and how to meet my goals for the next six to nine months, it became clear that two adjustments would be critical: more collaboration and more context.  The great news was that Mix also afforded the opportunity to set both in motion.

I’ll explain what I’m doing about collaboration here, and I’ll follow with what I’m doing about context within a couple days.

Collaboration

colaab
(image cropped)

One of the truly remarkable things about the Mix conference is how amazingly open and eager to collaborate people are. I had only to suggest the idea and people were ready to sign up….

  • Jeff Paries (Senior Digital Media Designer at Waggener Edstrom) a true expert will work with me on animation
  • Who could be better than John Papa to work with on Data
  • The founders of colaab – an incredible application they built from scratch entirely in Silverlight that I believe may ultimately be the killer app in RIA are willing to share some of what they’ve learned as object lessons in real world Silvelright
  • I’ll continue to work with Justin Angel and the Toolkit team to keep you up to date on what they’re bringing forward
  • I’ll be working with Microsoft team members with expertise in Blend and related products to focus on how these tools can be put to use by developers
  • And the list keeps growing

Silverlight 2 and Silverlight 3

RequiredVersion As you know, Silverlight 3 is a Beta product with no Go Live license.

We are not going to be so infatuated with the latest and greatest that we stop providing world class information on Silverlight 2.

We’ll try to find the right balance, and as Silverlight 3 moves towards release we will increase the time we spend on it so that you’ll be completely ready.

As you may know, my book Programming Silverlight 2 has been cancelled, but I’m happy to announce that we O’Reilly has committed to shipping Programming Silverlight 3 with Visual Studio 2010this year and I am committed to making it be one of the best books on the market. My co-author will be Corey Shuman.

Lessons we might learn from this year’s Mix

Finally, there are always a few things that can be improved or lessons to be learned. Here are my three observations on that note,

  • Wi-Fi availability was excellent within the conference, but less so throughout the hotel. A lot of us begin to itch if we are away from email for more than an hour or so.
  • Post-conference shut-down: It would be great if the "third place" could stay open for a couple hours after the final session so folks could unwind together and get their last minute questions answered.  If not, next conference, we’ll have to set up a place to fall back to.
  • Predictable Availability: From now on, I intend to make myself predictably available in the equivalent of the third place. I very much enjoyed the informal contacts and discussions and look forward to this as a crucial part of upcoming conferences.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.
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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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