Posts Tagged ‘Events’

Speaking in Chicago about Expression Blend for Developers – May 6

April 23, 2010 Comments off
Chicago Silverlight Users Group
Chicago's version of Top Banana

In conjunction with my trip to Chicago for the Expression Blend Workshop .toolbox event, I have the honor of presenting at the Chicago Silverlight User Group meeting.

On May 6th at 6:30pm, we will meet at the Illinois Technology Association and discuss the virtues and value of Expression Blend for Developers.

Surprise! Its not just a tool for designers, rather its a tool for design tasks, which developers can often find themselves doing.

We’ll talk about when it makes sense to switch between Blend and Visual Studio, time-saving and headache-preventing features in Blend and  how to keep your solution “Blendable” for more Blend-focused people on your team.

Register your spot today for the Chicago Silverlight User Group meeting.

What’s the yellow bus for? It’s a mildly clever shot from my last visit to Chicago in 2007.  I don’t remember if anyone got it back then, but I titled the shot “Chicago’s version of Top Banana”.  Which was kind of funny because back then the “Top Banana” video editor was all the rage as far as Silverlight demos went.

It was back in the day of Silverlight 1 and “Top Banana” was amazing.  We’ve come a long way since then.

.toolbox events in May – Free Blend training in Chicago, New York, Boston and Austin

April 20, 2010 8 comments

.toolbox event

.toolbox is going on the road!

The .toolbox site is hosting 4 events in May. These interactive workshops are focused on improving your skills with Expression Blend and Silverlight. Topics covered include:

  • the Blend workspace
  • prototyping with SketchFlow
  • drawing and animation
  • importing artwork from other tools
  • styling and skinning controls
  • transitions and effects
  • adding interactivity with behaviors
  • and whatever else we can fit in based on time and interest of attendees

Who should attend?

  • designers who want to build on their interaction skills
  • developers who want to learn Silverlight
  • developers who want to improve their Silverlight UI skills

When and Where will the events be held?

  • May   7 – Wyndham Hotel, Chicago – register
  • May 11 – Crowne Plaza Times Square, New York – register
  • May 14 – NERD Center, Boston – register
  • May 26 – Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin, Austin – register

Are these the same events as the Silverlight Design Days?

Yes. If you have already registered for a Silverlight Design Day you do not need to register again.  The good news is that along with the re-branding of the events we have also added seating at each event. When we started these workshops in February, the .toolbox site was not live yet, but now we’re ready to celebrate and shout out its name. 

Will these events be as entertaining as the Conan O’Brien show you just saw?

I can’t play guitar, but I hope to make the events engaging.  I will be there presenting along with some other local stars to be confirmed shortly.

I can’t make it to an event, but I still want to learn, where do I go?

The .toolbox site, of course!

Other sites with Expression Blend and Silverlight tutorials include:

    Hope to see you there! If you plan to attend, feel free to let me know here or @adkinn

18,230 miles, 8 events, 1 vacation and 25 pictures later…

April 14, 2010 3 comments

Starting with MIX10, I’ve been on a bit of an odyssey the last month. My itinerary looked something like this:

I’ve posted a few of my favorite photos on Flickr of London, Dublin, and Washington DC.

Thanks to all of those who acted as hosts for the events, attended the events and hung out in proper English or Irish pubs (and the occasional Vegas casino bar) afterwards. I had a great time discussing all of the great news about Windows Phone, Blend 4 and IE9 from MIX10.

And now to return this week with Visual Studio 2010 and Silverlight 4 releasing along with the announcement of the KIN, there is a ton of fun to be had and work to be done.

Now, back to work…

Silverlight and Blend events tour this week in England and Ireland

March 22, 2010 1 comment

I jokingly told many of my friends at MIX from the other side of the Atlantic that I would be chasing them home.  The truth is, I am heading to England and Ireland this week and will be participating in a few events along with a workshop of my own device.

Most of the events will be a local recap of the amazing MIX10 event with the exception of the IXDA Dublin event and the Silverlight Design Day workshop.  Being a “Silverlight and Expression Blend” guy myself, I hope to skew the MIX recap discussions towards RIA and Windows Phone as much as possible. Here is the agenda for the next two weeks:

Tuesday, March 23rd

     Mini-MIX at the Edge UG
     London, UK 
     18:30 – 20:30

 Wednesday, March 24th

     Silverlight Design Day – London
     Chertsey, UK
     8:30 – 17:00

     Silverlight UK User Group
     London, UK
     18:00 – 21:30

 Thu, March 25th

     MixGenUG – Coventry
     Coventry, UK
     19:00 – 21:00

 Mon, Mar 29th

     The Blend Experience – IXDA Dublin
     Dublin, Ireland
     18:15 – 21:00

 Tue, Mar 30th

     Best of MIX at MTUG
     Dublin, Ireland
     19:00 – 21:00

Happy to confirm that I will be heading over there to meet up with friends, I am glad to say the other joke about me riding back in one of their suitcases is not true. I get to ride in tiny seat watching MIX10 videos the whole way, like everyone else.

Silverlight Design Days – Free Blend Training on Tour

January 11, 2010 30 comments
Silverlight Design Days have been given a new name and life as .toolbox Events.
Check them out!

Event Schedule

A Silverlight Design Day is opportunity to learn about Silverlight and Expression Blend from a design and interface developer perspective.

The first half of the day will start out with a short poll, asking these three questions:

  1. How many of you write code?
  2. What technologies do you use today?
  3. Is there anything specific you want to cover?

The tools and the platform will then be introduced by accomplishing designer tasks based on the earlier poll as much as possible.

The second half of the day will be your opportunity to get your hands on Blend and Silverlight. PCs will be available already configured to run through tutorials, made especially with designer and UI tasks in mind.

SWAG and giveaways will be saved till the end of the day, for those hardy souls that can make it all the way through.

Where and When:
The events will be held in training centers with pre-configured PCs available. Feel free to request during the second half of the day, help configuring your own laptop. Once the Event Schedule (shown above) is complete we should end up with an even number of US and non-US locations.

This event is free of charge. However, attendees are responsible for booking and paying for their own travel and accommodation. Both breakfast and lunch will be provided.

You register by click next to the location you wish to attend in the Event Schedule above.  Registration is handled via the MSDN events site, so be sure to have your LiveID credentials ready.

Online Training:
Sounds like a great idea but you can’t wait? Here are a few online sources to get you started:

Silverlight Developers Guide to PDC09

November 13, 2009 3 comments

Silverlight action at PDC09

The 2009 edition of the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference, affectionately known as PDC09, is next week. If you share my interest with Silverlight and related technologies, the list below should help provide some guidance to getting the most out of the event.

First let’s look at the published content plan:


Pre-conference deep dive all-day training events focused on a single topic.

  • Windows 7 Developer Boot Camp – Learn about Windows 7 from some of the top Windows 7 engineers. Hopefully you already registered because this one is sold out.
  • Getting the Most out of Silverlight 3 – The posted info and title sells this workshop short. I would have called this Applied Silverlight or Silverlight form the trenches, you can hear more about in this video. You can still register if you haven’t yet.


Here we find the meat of the conference, the sessions. You can find them listed on the site in schedule order, search by tag, add to outlook, or even by Excel spreadsheet. The site is Mobile device ready, too.

Below I’ve picked out a few of the session that caught my eye:





Silverlight action at PDC09

With all these people in the same place at one time, you know someone is going to throw a party.  Here are the big public events going on during the week. There’s more that require invites or just a little careful nosing around.




  • Meet the WPF Team – .NET 4 Beta 2 is out and the WPF team wants to talk, 12:30-2pm
  • Partner Expo Reception – Free drinks in the LACC, 5:30-9pm
  • INETA Community Roundtable – peek behind the curtain and get a glimpse into the future… of community, 6 – 7pm



  • Time to sleep, fly home or hang out in the hotel bar – your choice

Social Media

  • Twitter
    • PDC09 – official account with all the news
    • PDC09 Twibbon – show your pdc pride
    • Silverlighters At PDC09 – a list of all the Silverlight people who will be at PDC09.

      If you’re not on the list, let me know I’ll add you.
      Must love Silverlight, or at least like it a lot.
  • Flickr tag – pdc09
  • Facebook PDC Fan Page

And More Stuff

Silverlight action at PDC09


And remember this post is just covering the material that’s already public, we haven’t let out everything out of the bag yet.  Keep an eye on the PDC09 site to stay in the know.

Speaking on Designer/Developer workflow tools with Ryan Stewart on Oct 21

September 22, 2009 2 comments

Since its inception, the Seattle Interact group’s goal has been to talk about designer and developer integration topics without a specific technology bias. The experiment has been interesting, but this October we are putting the idea to a true test. Ryan Stewart, a Platform Evangelist from Adobe and myself, a Silverlight and Expression Evangelist from Microsoft, will be discussing the tools available to improve the D2D Workflow.

Here’s the abstract from the site:

Designer and Developer Workflow
Is it a myth? Marketing lingo? Or could it be real with the help of powerful tools?

Listen in as Ryan Stewart from Adobe and Adam Kinney from Microsoft discuss the workflow concept from their respective point of views. Ryan will demonstrate how Flash Catalyst works within the Flash Platform development cycle. Adam will show how Expression Blend fits into the Silverlight development workflow.

I’m looking forward to the event and expect it to be an interesting session. We’ve both agreed to play nice and not have a “feature show-off” competition, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear a few jabs here and there. 🙂

Silverlight Week in Seattle Sept 14 – 17

September 4, 2009 1 comment

If you’re in the Seattle area you are in for a week of Silverlight events.  Sometimes the stars align and all the Silverlight geeks land in the same city at the same time.  And even if you’re not in the area the FireStarter event will broadcast online.

Here’s a rundown of the events:

Silverlight Week in Seattle

That could almost be considered too much Silverlight. Almost.

Hope to see you there (at one or more events)!

Silverlight Geek Dinner, Sep 15th – Seattle/Redmond/Bellevue

August 28, 2009 2 comments

We’re holding a Silverlight Geek Dinner two days before the big Silverlight 3 FireStarter event. Jesse Liberty is going to be there, will you be there too?

Why not join us for some Mall Food at the Crossroads Bellevue Mall Food Court on Sept 15th around 6:00pm?

All the details are at

Also, please Tweet This!

This is just like your typical NerdDinner, except the conversation will probably be pretty focused on Silverlight. We’re always eager to learn new stuff, though. All are welcome!

A Silverlight 3 FireStarter event narrative

August 12, 2009 2 comments

Silverlight FireStarter

Minimal event description:

FREE Silverlight and Expression Training on Sep. 17 in Redmond and online presented by Microsoft product team members and evangelists.

Flavorful description:

When you wake on Sept. 17th the year of 2009 you have a smile on your face. Not only did you get the day of for “training”, but the “training” is actually something you’re very interested in.  Maybe you haven’t had the chance yet, or you’re looking for additional guidance; but today you’re going on a tour of Silverlight 3, Expression Blend, SketchFlow, the Silverlight Toolkit, RIA Services and XAML Power toys.

  • Mithun Dhar starts the day off with a welcome and logisitics.You notice his navy blazer, wondering if he’s warm or not.
  • The crowd cheers  and waits expectantly for disco moves as Scott Guthrie presents the keynote, explaining how Silverlight is awesome in so many ways.
  • Tim Heuer enters next with a smile on his face and a load of scenarios where Silverlight is a smart choice. As he mentions your specific scenario, you’re convinced training was a good idea today.
  • Break time – you run to the bathroom, too much coffee this morning.
  • Adam Kinney welcomes you back from the break, actually you specifically as you were the last one back in. You begin to blush but Adam dives into Expression Blend. You can tell he enjoys the tool and the joy starts to spread among the audience.
  • Lunch! – free food! free drinks! cool.  You find the one or two people you know there and find a place to sit down. Conversation ranges from the weather to Silverlight to something caught in between your teeth.
  • After lunch and returning to your seat, Janete Perez keeps you from taking your after-lunch nap by building prototypes in SketchFlow very quickly.  You’re intrigued.
  • Justin Angel and Shawn Oster take the stage.  You’re distracted by the fact Justin is wearing sunglasses inside, but your reverie is broken when they begin racing through all of the available Silverlight Controls. What a full framework.
  • Brad “no microphone needed” Abrams takes the stage and shows you the RIA Services framework. First the multitude of controls and now line of business application building blocks out the wazoo.  You’re set and can’t wait to try this when you get home. Or maybe just tomorrow morning at work.
  • Break time – 52 different types of free drinks are available in the sliding door refrigerator.  You counted.
  • One of the first ones to return to your seat this time, Karl Shifflett shows off XAML Power Toys. You know this is cool stuff, you’ll want to look at again, but you are completely lost in the palm trees on Karl’s Hawaiian shirt.
  • All of the speakers come back to the stage for a Q & A Panel. Discussion is lively and casual, you’re happy to be here in person.
  • The conference officially ends, and you find your favorite speakers and listen to them answer a few questions from the circle around them.
  • Ready for dinner and some Silverlight time you head out and twitter: FINALLY building something in Silverlight 3….mwa ha haaa…


Register to attend in person (Microsoft Campus Redmond, WA).

Register to attend online.