The State of Things – A Brief Review Before Tech Ed.

I think it is fair to say that interest in Silverlight is wicked-high.

  • Twitter grades. Jesse: 99.5th percentile; Tim: 99.8th percentile!
  • Between us Feedburner shows more than 10,000 subscribers
  • 31 Silverlight Sessions at Mix, 30 at Tech Ed
  • LiveSearch of “Silverlight” returns 450 million pages
  • Amazon lists over 500 books on the topic!

And with all of that comes a very serious responsibility on our part to meet the needs both of new Silverlight programmers and those of you who’ve been with us since hieroglyphics.  My goal: how can we increase the immediate and long term utility of the information we’re providing?

More Useful Information Through Listening

It starts by shutting up and listening (admittedly not my strong suit).

We’ve been taking every opportunity to speak world wide at industry gatherings large and not so large.  While I’m blasted to be presenting at Tech Ed, it is also true that community and regional events like Code Mash  can be CodeMashLogoterrific opportunities to talk to programmers who I might not get as much of a chance to sit down with at the larger shows.

At this year’s Mix I skipped a number of presentations to spend more time in the Third Place, and no surprise it was time incredibly well spent. I’ve been sitting in on Ask the Expert Sessions, spending more time on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks and generally finding that developers are more than eager to let us know what they need, if only we’ll be quiet enough to listen. And respond.

Last year, about this time the community asked for more end-to-end projects. Thus were born numerous innovations, most notable of which is Tim’s Application Corner and, more recently, my ongoing glass-window design and coding of a VideoWiki. 

I’m extremely happy to say that the VideoWiki project will benefit from the assistance and collaboration of a number of extraordinary people both inside and outside of Microsoft.

Even as we speak I am working actively with that most gifted of Animation and development/design experts, Jeff Paries.  We will soon blog our rough design ideas, and then walk through the decision processes, the creation of wireframes and more. But I digress.

More Useful Information Through Innovation

signalNoise While our How Do I videos remain extremely popular, some folks would rather read than watch; and thus was born both the Silverlight Tutorials, but also my experiment in writing mini-tutorials within my blog, and here my ego takes over and I must show off that  while my Twittalyzer scores are generally pathetic, my Signal to Noise ratio just hit 100%! – as promised: More signal, Less noise.

Better Information Through Intensive Collaboration

Tim and I are teaming up with Laurence Moroney and many others inside Microsoft,  transcending false internal “boundaries” and creating collaboration across organizations. That model is proving out not only with Evangelists, but also with developers; more and more we are crossing old lines and creating new and effective virtual teams.  (Do I get points for not saying syn**gy?)

Better Performance Through Recognizing How Much Is Left To Be Done

Before we get too happy with ourselves, there is much more to do on all these fronts (and many more); but folks at Silverlight.net (and our sister sites) are very committed as are, as you know by their incredible productivity, the teams writing the code.

What’s On Deck?

My own list, just of material I hope to provide in the next few months, is staggering. The number of topics for my blog, VideoWiki, videos, tutorials, book, and presentations is a wonderful and absurd and magnificent shot of main-line enthusiasm and I can safely report to you, after nearly two years into my one year stint at Microsoft, that I’ve barely begun. 

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Tomorrow’s blog entry: Transition Content Control.
This week: Next step in the WiKi Design

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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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