Recently I noticed something interesting on google searches and especially on bing. If you search for “Silverlight Expert” I show up near the top! Well… when google thinks that you are a Silverlight expert, then it’s time to start blogging more I guess. So here are my top 5 steps to becoming a Silverlight Expert. These are some of the most valuable steps that I’ve used as an Expert Silverlight Consultant and Trainer. We try to introduce as many of these resources in our Training and Consulting.

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5. UX Skillzes

Sorry for the haxx0r lingo… but I’ve been liking it a lot lately. So, what are UX Skills? In short, this has nothing to do with Silverlight. Silverlight (or Flash, or WPF) are technologies that make it easier to create a better User Experience. At the end of the day though, it is the developer / designer that has the responsibility of creating the experience. the platform just makes it easier to realize that designers vision. No tool can completely make up for a lack of skill.

User Experience (UX) is made up of multiple areas and disciplines. Including concepts like Information Architecture (IA), Interaction Design (ID), Visual Design, Human-Computer Interaction studies, Human Interaction Psychology, etc…


Read the rest of this entry »

The last couple of months I’ve done a lot of speaking around Silverlight as well as developed a 3 day Silverlight class for Improving (where I work). This is one of the demos / exercises from that class. Enjoy!

Open in New Window

I just posted this on my new health blog. I’m re-posting it here because there is a definite overlap to this contest between getting healthy and the developers audience here.


Wednesday night I spoke at the North Dallas .NET User Group where I announced this for the first time publically… unless you count twitter (some good twitter feed back as well)

So Here’s the deal…. if you’ve seen my new health blog you’ll know that I’ve been having a lot a success lately getting back in shape with an eating plan. I feel great and I’d like to keep the momentum going and help “spread the love”. Too many developers are out of shape (including me).

MSDN_TeamSuit To help keep this going I’m going to run a contest on my health blog in February: I don’t have all of the details worked out yet, but I do know that I’m going to give out a free subscription to MSDN Team Suit to the winner (approx $10,000 retail value!).

so, tune in, subscribe, or follow me on twitter and look for the final details to get announced here on my health blog before February. Also, if you have any suggestions on how we could do this fairly and accurately on line, leave a comment over there!

(I turned off comments on this post… so that they could go over here.)

Dependency Injection with Silverlight

December 18, 2008    Category: Blog, Technical   2 Comments »

This is one of my favorite talks that I’ve been doing lately. I like the concepts here because they don’t just apply to Silverlight applications, but all of your software development. I also like that fact that most people don’t think about some of the more advanced software approaches that you can take with Silverlight.



Download my demo code from SkyDrive.



An HTML Public Service Announcement

October 23, 2008    Category: Blog, Technical   3 Comments »

Because friends don’t let friends use HTML Tables …

I’ve been spending more time lately working in MVC and MVP, (specifically M-V-VM) style applications. I thought that it would be a good time to pull out some of the great MVC PSA’s that Adam Keys from FiveRuns and the guys from RailsEnvy put together. They started a while ago, but they keep adding more! Be sure to check out the other MVC PSA’s linked below.

Check out the other Model View Control – Public Service Announcements:

Silverlight 2 for Mobile at PDC!

October 22, 2008    Category: Blog, Technical   1 Comment »

I noticed this announcement (below) on the Mobile site from Amit about Silverlight 2 for Mobile. If you’re going to PDC this year, then you should definitely go check out Amit’s session!


That’s right. I said Silverlight 2 for Mobile! – you know, Silverlight with the CLR running in it… on your mobile device!

Think of how awesome that would be!

What’s the big deal?
If you’ve been following the Silverlight for Mobile space, then you’ll know that the only thing that Microsoft has been talking about up until now has been Silverlight 1 for Mobile, even at at Mix this year. If you’ve been paying attention then you might have seen this little tidbit of a roadmap from Todd (technical evangelist from Microsoft).

Why am I excited?
While I think that most Silverlight for Mobile applications will focus on mobile gaming and consumer "widgets" (think: rich mobile widgets for mapping, weather and traffic notifications, etc..) I am most excited about the possibility of creating robust mobile applications for enterprise customers line of business applications. I’m specifically thinking about applications that leverage Test-Driven development practices,  Dependency Injection, and Model-View-View Presenter designs for robust flexibility and the ability to multi-target the same rich application for web and mobile web with multiple views.


My Take
Right now, there doesn’t seem to be a lot to talk about, other than the session title at PDC. But I will say that even the idea of having Silverlight 2 on a mobile device is truly exciting!

I’m guessing that there will be more to talk about after PDC.  I can’t wait!

Silverlight 2 is out!

October 14, 2008    Category: Blog, Technical   No Comments »


Several people have already blogged this. In fact, you should stop reading right now and go and look at Gu’s, Hanselman’s, Heuer’s and Shawn’s posts. Go ahead… I’ll wait.

OK, back? I don’t really have much anything to add, except that this has been one of the top 3 questions that I’ve been asked over the last many months. XAML Fest, Clients, User Groups, and TechFests… all seem to want to know the same things… "when will it ship?"

Well, I’m glad to finally have an answer for that question! The other 2 questions are "how would I compare Silverlight to Flash" and "what if I don’t have Blend or Visual Studio?".

I’ll save the Flash/Silverlight question for another time (except to say that you should go look at the Rosetta project).


As far as the Blend/Visual Studio question. Here’s my answer.

Yes. You should use Blend and Visual Studio. The developer designer workflow is awesome and the tooling is exceptional. That being said. You can now also go get the Silverlight for Eclipse plug in … if that’s the way you roll.


As for me?…. Now I’m off to go upgrade all of my code, demos, slides and tools to Silverlight 2. (and maybe I’ll be able to hold off a bit before jumping to the next set of CTP tools… Silverlight 3!)

I’m speaking at the XAMLFest in Houston today and there have been several questions around how we did our automatic dependency injection in our Silverlight applications and the tools other tools that I recommend.

I updated my recommended tools for Silverlight on Delicious and

We use Ninject for DI in Silverlight. Here’s a great blog post from Jonas Follesoe (a Microsoft Regional Director from Norway) on using Ninject to do Dependency Injection in Silverlight.

Seperation of Concerns - The way of a true master

I really like Jonas’ writing style, especially the way that he comments his code examples

Code illustrating my DataContext problem.

also… be sure to check out the very cool Expression Kolur plug in that he wrote. Awesome!

Blend add-in screenshot



Are you using OpenID to log in anywhere? I use OpenID to access my blog, and a couple of other sites that I use. One of the down sides to OpenID is that it still relies on a Username / Password combination going over the Internet. I’ve started using MyOpenID’s implementation because they allow me to use an InfoCard to authenticate with their OpenID provider… or more specifically I use my Windows Vista CardSpace (CardSpace is .NET 3.0’s implementation of the open standard InfoCard).


In fact, without my info card… it’s impossible to use my (as in mine, my personal account) OpenID. I don’t have a username/password associated with my account at all. In addition to that, they have an automated process that calls my cell phone whenever I log in to the system. That may seem like a bit of overkill, but so far I’ve been happy with it.

MVP Summit 2008

April 16, 2008    Category: Blog, Technical   No Comments »


This week I’m in Seattle for the Microsoft Global MVP Summit. I’m having a great time up here meeting with the product teams and other MVPs from across the globe. Way too many incredible people to mention them all here.  It’s been fantastic and exhausting at the same time!

If you’re on twitter… you can follow along with the #mvp08 hashtags.



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