Melbourne Silverlight Code Camp Thoughts

Over the weekend I attended the Silverlight Code Camp held at the NAB training facilities in Docklands, Melbourne. It was fantastic that a bank showed an interest in a developer event, in particular Silverlight. The NAB has a flagship product built in Silverlight with future software projects planned. NAB are on the lookout for developers so if you’re interested in Silverlight, they have a large budget for development and have been spending big according to their who welcomed us before the keynote, so contact them if interested. Also thanks to the other sponsors such as Readify.

I’m a day late in the game for my thoughts, I was exhausted Sunday afternoon after 2 very early mornings and lot of sessions. For a comprehensive review of the event check out Alex Mackey’s blog Silverlight Code Camp Review. He makes a lot of great points that I agree with, in particular a little bit of polish missing on a few of the advanced topic sessions weakened the experience for those on the advanced track. As a first time event and being free, I give it an A- (minus).

I enjoyed the keynote presented by former Silverlight product manager Scott Barnes, even tho as all keynotes go was a bit flashy (silverlighty?) with a bit of marketing spin. What was nice to hear was in fact Microsoft are really backing Silverlight, and it’s one of if not the fastest iterating units inside Microsoft, with a very short release cycle. Other notes included the push (through demonstrating Silverlight’s usefulness, not by mandate) inside Microsoft for other business units to adopt using Silverlight on their public facing sites.

The experts panel was great, we do see these kinds of sessions for example at TechEd. Panel sessions are always great where experts are fielding questions from the audience and just carrying on a formalised discussion. This session was very entertaining and informative, the discussion on HTML5 was great with the key take-away being standards are slow to propagate (adopt) where-as Silverlight is iterating fast to accomplish rich web experiences right now. Other recommendations from the panel, make use if WCF RIA where possible. Also the need to be in a different mindset when building Silverlight applications; which by nature function asynchronous with the back-end (this message was repeated in several presentations).

My top 5 sessions were:

One thing that topped off the event personally for me was winning a licence to some Silverlight controls from Component One, looking forward to getting that soon. Should help get me motivated into constructing more complex Silverlight side projects, which if #SLCC ’11 goes ahead I can present. If you have the opportunity to attend any future Silverlight code camp in Melbourne, don’t hesitate to sign up.

Check out the sessions schedule on my previous post.

Finally the Silverlight community in Australia links are:

Published by Nick Josevski

Software Engineer at Octopus Deploy

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