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Just a quick shout-out to congratulate the latest Silverlight MVPs to the program.  The Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) program is a recognition program that is in place to recognize and reward those individuals who have been identified by individuals (peers, Microsoft staff, etc.) as experts in their technology field and global contributors to the technology. 

Microsoft MVP logo

As of today (01 OCT 2010) we welcome some new folks to the Silverlight group:

All of these folks are great participants in the Silverlight ecosystem and their local geographies and I congratulate them for their efforts.  Be sure to check out all the Silverlight MVPs and subscribe to their blogs!  Thanks to all of you for helping make a great developer ecosystem!

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Microsoft MVP Logo

Congratulations to all the new/returning MVPs from all competencies, but I wanted to call out the newly awarded Silverlight MVPs for this latest round.  Please join me in congratulating them:

And a specific call out also to Colin Blair (@SLColinBlair).  Colin’s work in the WCF RIA Services space gained him recognition from the connected systems division.  Since Colin is around our Silverlight circles as well, I wanted to give him a shout out!  He also had one of the best free upgraded suites at MIX10…which he aptly named the RIASuite – and an impromptu design review for WCF RIA Services took place one night with Brad Abrams, Nikhil Kothari and others.

Congratulations again to all these folks for your deserving work in your local and broad communities.  The Silverlight community expects high things of you!

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Quick, what’s the most popular thing in XAML development?  Yeah, thought so…MVVM or Model-View-ViewModel.

It’s one of the most popular subjects I hear about when people talk about developing applications with WPF and Silverlight.  However, as much as it is talked about and as much as frameworks are born every day, there isn’t a ton of just simplified ‘here’s how you do it’ information in one place.  I mean, sure there *is* information, but I have to admit I think it is a bit scattered all over.

One of the pioneers of promoting this pattern for WPF development, Josh Smith, took some time to try to solve that.  Josh has recently released a self-published book titled Advanced MVVM and is a quick and good read about the pattern.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Josh presented me with a complimentary printed copy of this book a few weeks ago.  I had already intended on purchasing it when available on Amazon Kindle and have since done so.  In the nature of ensuring I share the love and complimentary goodies, Josh allowed me to give away my printed copy to someone, which I did at a Silverlight user group meeting just last night.  I’m grateful Josh provided me with a printed copy and also grateful he encouraged me to give it as a prize.

Advanced MVVM Book CoverThe book is about 50-ish printed pages and is a quick read.  It covers creating a simple and common game, Bubble Burst, using the MVVM pattern.  The code is all WPF, but the concepts still apply to Silverlight development and Josh points out some areas where there are differences.

All of the code discussed in the book is available to download so that you can work with starting projects as you go throughout the book learning the pattern.  Josh covers all the key topics of the pattern you would expect: ViewModel, View, Commands, etc.  One of the things that Josh is good about is not being a zealot of the pattern.  He’s quick to point out that when code belongs with the View and when he thinks it doesn’t.

When doing development I always think it is a great idea to have some solid references on your shelf.  No matter where you are in your skill set, there will always be those times when you want to refer back to something you may have forgotten or perhaps get a different perspective on a specific way of doing things.  For MVVM development, I think this is one such reference.

On a side note, Josh got a lot of crap for his initial chosen method of distribution (Lulu digital, which uses a DRM PDF).  He quickly responded and offered a printable copy as well as put it on Amazon for Kindle distribution (which I bought and can read on my Kindle, my phone or my PC…note: phone and PC are in color too).  There are a multitude of ways you can get the title all of which are listed at the AdvancedMVVM.com web site which also lists a table of contents for the book.  If you are doing Silverlight or WPF development you should pick it up, read it and keep it handy.  It’s not the only opinion, of course, but it is a great presentation of the pattern relevant to the development platform that I’ve seen.


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This week at Microsoft we are hosting roughly 1,300 of our top community experts around the world in various technical competencies.  For Silverlight, we have about 80% of our group in attendance from all over the world.

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional logo

At the beginning of the year the Silverlight team asked our MVP group to identify the individuals within their group have done a lot for Silverlight community and that they would consider worthy of being named an ‘MVP of the year’ award.

First to be clear, ALL of our MVPs are top notch and all have contributed significantly to the Silverlight community both professionally and personally.  It is really exciting to see this level of commitment to community these folks have.  You should take a moment and check out these folks using the Twitter list that John Papa has put together.

Out of this group of experts, they have peer selected the following individuals for 2009 as their ‘Silverlight MVPs of the Year’ – please join me in congratulating:

These two were identified by their peers and the Silverlight team as contributing significantly to the Silverlight community/ecosystem over this past year.  Laurent has one of the most definitive books on Silverlight (and is working on an updated edition) as well as releasing one of his projects, MVVM Light – a Model-View-ViewModel framework for Silverlight developers to help them get quickly started with MVVM pattern development.  Dave has saved us all the searching in the world and continues to scour, validate and surface some of the best Silverlight content around the world in his Silverlight Cream blog – providing a daily post of aggregation of all the cool things happening in the Silverlight community.

Take a moment to subscribe/read/whatever to our Silveright MVPs – they are the folks keeping us honest :-)

Congratulations Laurent, Dave and all the MVPs for the efforts you have accomplished over this past year – looking forward to continued efforts this year!

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Happy new year to all!  I hope you enjoyed a safe celebration whether that be playing a board game with friends, toasting the new year with some bubbly, throwing things at Ryan Seacrest on TV, or whatever.

Each quarter, new MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) candidates are awarded.  January 2010 is the first awards of the year and so I present the new/moved/re-awarded Silverlight specific MVPs:

  • Jeff Prosise – If you aren’t subscribed to Jeff’s blog, stop and do so now.  It’s filled with some great nuggest that are usually on the advanced ‘how’d he do that’ side of things.  Jeff does a good job spelunking the framework and figuring things out.
  • David Yack (@davidyack) – David is a CRM guru and has also written a great Silverlight 3 Jumpstart book (recommended for beginners).  He’s been spending more time with RIA Services for biz/CRM apps lately and been providing great insights into integration uses.  He should blog more :-)
  • Laurent Duveau (@LaurentDuveau) – another re-award for Laurent who keeps cranking out great stuff and helps with the Silverlight Tour in Canada.
  • Laurent Bugnion (@lbugnion) – one of the XAML experts at IdentityMine, Laurent also has written one of the definitive Silverlight reference books – and is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet.
  • Ward Bell (@wardbell) – Ward has some great thoughts on application building for XAML clients and extensive experience with multicolored jackets and general antagonistic views ;-)
  • Page Brooks – organizer of SilverlightContrib and various control development efforts in the community.  Control Wrangler?
  • Rob Eisenberg (@EisenbergEffect) – one of the brains behind Caliburn, an Open Source Silverlight application framework.
  • Andy Beaulieu – have you played a Silverlight game?  If you have, it’s most likely been one of Andy’s :-)
  • Jordan Knight (@jakkaj)– hailing from down under (is that phrase still used?), Jordan does a lot in the Melbourne area around Silverlight community and has a great blog of content.
  • Alessio Leoncini (@aleoncini) – One of our Italian friends that has been doing a lot in working with Silverlight in Italy and spreading the good word! Grazie!
  • Andrew Tokeley – Andrew was one of the developers behind the Buttercup Reader, a completely accessible Silverlight application which is now Open Source.
  • Koen Zwikstra (@kozw) – Have you heard of Silverlight Spy, the indispensible Silverlight debugging tool!?  Koen is the brain behind it.
  • Qing Li is a new MVP in China that has been doing a great amount of work helping the community understand and learn Silverlight development.

Congratulations to all the new/renewed/moved Silverlight MVPs.  I look forward to seeing you at the MVP Summit soon!

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