I’ve been an MVP for 5 years, the first year was as an Expression Blend MVP, the next 4 years were/are for Silverlight (I’m still an MVP)!
Going to the MVP summit is a massive trek for an Aussie like me, its a very painful 20+ hour flight(door-to-door) so for the last 4 years I passed on the trip.
However this 5th year I decided to go because like most of my Silverlight colleagues we felt it could be our last,
Besides my fascination with Silverlight (all things XAML really) I’m also an avid follower of technologies that help me create crazy UI/UX experiences so delving into HTML/DirectX is not uncommon! And I also like to know the very low level details of the technologies I use, so hacking at the bits in the runtimes is part of what I do
This is what I wanted to get out of the MVP summit…
1. Finding out about MS’s future strategies for XAML/HTML/DirectX, the UI stacks in Windows / Windows Phone / XBox and its other platforms.
2. Finding out about the .NET strategy .
3. Talk to experts in 1 & 2 above both from MS and from other MVP’s
I had a clear goal what I wanted to do on my trip!
And this is what I got out of the MVP Summit (and I’m being very careful not to break NDA here) …
1. put faces to twitter names, hung out and discussed cool stuff ! Invaluable!
2. “This info is off limits”, “Can’t talk about that” for a lot of the stuff I wanted to know about (XAML & WinRT)
3. Confirmed my suspicions on the .NET strategy, confirmed what I was seeing in Windows Phone 7/7.5/8 and WinRT/.NETCore . There is a lot going on that has been brewing for many many years. We have been seeing it in Silverlight 3/4/5 and in Silverlight on Windows Phone. BUT it all made sense after some of the sessions and discussions with MS folk. Can’t really say much more !
4. Learned of 2 multi-year hush-hush projects that are as encompassing as Roslyn that explains a lot of what’s been going on with Silverlight
5. Saw that MS teams that adopted xaml (wpf / silverlight) early are in a great position to become agile going forward. These designers/developers are what i consider experts in XAML and can bend it to there wills, they are now in a great position to deliver agile UI/UX updates to us for there respective products!
6. SurfaceRT with TypeCover + OneNote is perfect for conferences, i must of typed the equivalent of 20 pages of notes..
7. The MS folks that were available to us were great people that wanted to be as open as possible BUT couldn’t. They really do care about the developer community BUT MS are at an inflection point with there tooling/frameworks/runtimes, and so they were not allowed to discuss such things!
8. This was the general tone of my introduction to people …
MVP 1: Hi, I’m david
me: Hey I’m Jose ..
MVP 1: ohhh (looking down at my tag)… your a Silverlight MVP …. <long uncomfortable pause> … im sorry!
me: its all cool!
9. Blend Tooling has been playing catch up for 3 years. Lots of refactoring and bringing in new platforms ,XAML-WinRT and HTML-CSS-WinJS, has caused Blend to stagnate in the innovative features category. They have smart people working on the blend tooling BUT seems like they still have about another year to go with all this convergence … Overall I liked what I “heard” from the Blend team and of the direction of it in VS .. Just sad that WPF/SL had to suffer! (note i said HEARD because we really didn’t see anything it was all discussions)
So in summary the top 5 topics / discussions / sessions that I found most interesting
5. Visual Studio vNext …
Sorry I could not expand more on certain things (like 1 above ), NDA blah blah blah…
Know this, I am very excited about the direction of .NET.. Its had a great decade already and all signs point to an even better decade going forward!
Feels like MS are doubling down on .NET