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A few of us in the Silverlight team have been talking about various things and speculating on how we think the universe works.  We’ve been wondering how people best learn at different levels and how they come to decisions on what tools of their trade to use, etc.  I had a novel idea – let’s ask them.  I’m curious if you might help us stop speculating and get a broad picture of these ideas.  If you would, that would be great and help us understand better where we need to fight for prioritization of certain resources.  Please forward this along to colleagues and not just your super-smartest friends…we all are at different levels and getting only one perspective doesn’t give a broad picture.

Decision resources

Obviously when you go about to start a project you have to decide on what you are going to use and why.  If you are looking at Silverlight, what factors into your decision?

Why did your company choose to adopt Silverlight (or choose not to)?  Was there another technology that was chosen to be better? Why/why not?

What is the most important thing in deciding if Silverlight is right?  Feature set? Existing technologies? Rapid development?  Other reasons?

Learning resources

On learning – how do you best learn?  Do you prefer “atomic” samples?  These are the ones that you can just pop in and figure out a task-based situation (i.e. how do I open a file in Silverlight).  Or do you prefer more of a “lesson plan” approach to things?  This would be a series based on a task (i.e. Build a Media Player in Silverlight).

On medium – in either types of these learning paths, what is your preference?  Video? Written step-by-step guides?  Labs?

On topics – what are the top 3 topics you expect when learning a new technology?  How do you on-ramp yourself when you know nothing about it?  Do you expect to learn the tools first?  Or jump right in to data access?

Feel free to leave comments here on this post.  I think actually asking the people who we ask to learn things will give us a better idea how to best prepare for those who haven’t learned yet…and perhaps still yourself!


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