Silverlight 3 Tour Overview: Part 1

As Promised, this will be the first of four blog posts on the Silverlight 3 Tour. I would like to overview the course a bit so you will be able to determine if you should head out to an Object Sharp Event near you to take in the training on Silverlight. With that said, I would have to say that any personal development towards your career is exceptionally important to future proof your job. It may also spark new interest in other areas of development if what you’re currently doing has lost it’s spark.

Being the first day of the Course everyone got a quick tour of the Object Sharp office on the 19th floor of 1 Yonge St, Toronto, Ontario. Due to the fact that the majority of their Staff are consultants, and therefore work on site at client locations, there weren’t too many offices to visit, but it was nice to see the view of both the lakefront and city scape from the offices. Everyone that I met was very welcoming and introduced themselves and what their role is at Object Sharp.

Bruce Johnson, our instructor, started into his introduction explaining how he likes to present his training sessions. I have had the pleasure to watch Bruce Johnson at a number of events, most recently his sessions on RESTful Services at Tech Days 2009 in Toronto. Bruce enjoys keeping the crowd attentive with some mild humor, fun demos, and if possible, lots of audience interaction. Bruce’s Philosophy is if the audience has the ability to participate, they are more likely to pay attention to the content as they can get focused on the spot answers from their instructor.

The Silverlight 3 Tour is a lab based training session, with a stated 60% content, 40% lab breakdown. So you get an outline of all of the Features of not only Silverlight 3, but also the content that you may have missed by not following Silverlight up until this point. If you have been lucky enough to work in an environment where you have created Silverlight 2 applications, it’s definitely a good overview of Silverlight, just in case you forgot about some elements or needed a bit of a refresher course. I unfortunately haven’t been able to develop Silverlight Professionally as of yet, but I have been following the progress of Silverlight since Energize IT 2007.

Our Lab today was to get us comfortable with writing XAML in Visual Studio. We discovered how the different properties could be set, either inline, with attributes or nested elements, or by setting the properties in the code behind file. This was a great exercise for people that haven’t had any exposure to XAML, or Silverlight. I finished up my demo and began pimping it out, adding in some animation and projection techniques I learnt while preparing my Presentation for Tech Days, which one of the other attendees saw and asked me about over the lunch break. Little did I know, the projection and animation abilities were being outlined later in the slides that we covered today.

Overall, Today was an excellent start to the training, and with a few bumps out of the road, we’re ready to start learning about Expression Blend in tomorrows session.